Three engine choices. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is available with three different engines – two gas and one diesel. Most trims come with a 5.3-liter V8, while the top-trim High Country features a 6.2-liter V8. The base engine makes 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, while the bigger V8 develops 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
Arriving later in the model year is a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel. This engine is also available in the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and has an output of 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
All three choices are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Most models feature standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel drive, the latter a $3,000 upgrade. The Tahoe Z71 is four-wheel-drive only.
Safety is a mixed bag. The Tahoe’s sheer size presents a tremendous advantage in safety. That said, it comes with a list of standard driver assist safety features, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, a rear-seat reminder, and rear parking sensors.
But the Tahoe is a mixed bag on other safety features like lane keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring, which aren't standard until the Premier trim.
Further, adaptive cruise control and enhanced emergency braking that works at speeds above 50 mph is available only on High Country and Premier trims. These are features we're seeing offered standard on some competing models. We think Chevy could have done better here.
Ample passenger and cargo capacity. The Tahoe seats eight or nine passengers by utilizing the front 40/20/40 bench seat in the base LS trim or fleet models to squeeze in a third person up front. Most families will utilize the Tahoe in a 2-3-3 configuration, which features wide, plush seats up front.
The first two rows offer the most comfort, but the third row is no longer the penalty box it once was this year thanks to a better seating position and more leg room. Of course, if optimizing passenger space is a priority, we recommend the longer Chevrolet Suburban to maximize interior room.
Storage space is up this year and the numbers are downright impressive. Behind the third row, there's 25.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Behind the second row, the cargo space measures 72.6 cubes. Fold down the second and third rows, and cargo space mushrooms to a whopping 122.9 cubic feet.
Let’s make a connection. One of the Tahoe's strongest areas is in all things connectivity, starting with its big and user-friendly 10.2-inch touchscreen display with large icons and a crisp screen.
Other standard features include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility and a wi-fi hot spot. The latter isn’t a common offering, at least as standard equipment.
All but the base trim features wireless charging. Multiple USB ports, including two on each row, and a 110-volt power outlet are available. Chevy also makes a Rear Media Package available with dual 12.6-inch LCD HD entertainment touchscreens in the seat backs.
There's also an available 15-inch head-up display – the largest in its class – and an 8.2-inch digital instrument panel. Fully loaded, the Tahoe rivals many premium models in all things tech.
Final thoughts. The 2021 Chevy Tahoe rolls out with its upper trims in place; the LS and RST trims follow. And the turbodiesel debuts months after it goes on sale. If you can't wait, we recommend the LT trim with the standard engine and the Luxury Package, which delivers a well-equipped model for under $60,000.
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