2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel first drive review: Range queen

GM’s body-on-body SUVs have constantly been big, but the 2021 Chevy Tahoe is huge. As this three-row hauler grows by liberal portions in its newest era, there is constantly the issue that greater equates to thirstier. Considering the fact that electrification is presently nonexistent in this phase, that genuinely leaves just one possibility to assistance mitigate the Tahoe’s newfound heft: a diesel motor. And it operates.

Resting below the hood is a 3.-liter Duramax inline-6 turbocharged diesel motor. With 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, it truly is not likely to win any exhaust-pipe-waving contests in opposition to competitors’ engines, like the twin-turbo gasoline V6 in the Ford Expedition (375 hp, 470 lb.-ft.), but that’s not the point. Chevy plopped the Duramax into the Tahoe to maintain the SUV’s capacity though giving the rig a big ol’ gas overall economy boost.

If your preconceived notions of diesel engines entail much more chugs than a frat party, Chevy’s Duramax will drag you into the 21st century. Whether I’m starting it from inside of the cabin or remotely from my dining place, this diesel straight-6 is a sleek and practically silent operator, genuinely only emanating the regular diesel vibe after I’m rather close to the hood. Seat vibrations are handful of and considerably in between, if they even exist at all. Purchasers nervous about generating the change away from gasoline will never have to fret much about NVH.

That carefree experience carries on on the road. All-around city, the diesel’s bass-forward motor note isn’t going to differ all that much from some of the competition’s songs, and it truly is not like it packs the quantity to overwhelm the radio. On the highway, it blends into the history with what tiny wind and tire noise can make its way inside of, leaving me and my imaginary occupants with fairly the chill area to melt away away some interstate miles.

And there will be plenty of burning to do. Whilst 2WD variants are rated at 21 miles for every gallon city and 28 mpg highway, Four wheel drive variants like my tester usually are not considerably driving at 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. My true-planet knowledge shows even much more promising figures during a pair hundred miles on Michigan’s 70-mph interstates, I’m frequently viewing stretches of 30- to 32-mpg cruising when the flow of targeted visitors sticks to the pace restrict, shrinking to a even now-outstanding 27 or 28 when absolutely everyone picks up the rate. four hundred miles for every tank is simply achievable, and in the ideal circumstances I guess I could squeeze out 500.

Folks never just use these leviathans to ferry individuals and cargo — folks also use ’em to tow. Fortunately, Chevrolet didn’t have to scrimp in that division with the diesel, which in 2WD form can tow up to 8,two hundred lbs ., with my Four wheel drive tester somewhat driving that at 8,000 lbs ..

I’m glad to have this RST-trim tester in front of me, since it truly is fundamentally the polar reverse trim of the gasoline-driven Superior Nation variant I drove briefly before this calendar year. Whilst the HC erred towards luxury, the RST (which stands for, I kid you not, Rally Activity Truck) is a tiny racier, with black inside and exterior things as considerably as the eye can see, doing away with just about just about every instance of chrome to exceptional effect. That monochromatic getup carries on inside of, with just a handful of dashes of pink stitching to zhuzh points up. No make any difference the place my arms land, I find tender leather-based or sufficiently tender and mottled plastic, typically befitting of an SUV that commences about $fifty,000 (the RST pushes that closer to $sixty large).

The 1st row is just not the only row that coddles its occupants. Whilst my tester’s $2,820 Luxury Package deal involves a second-row bench seat, an further $370 upgrades that to two distinctive captain’s chairs with much more legroom than I can shake a adhere at. Hell, even the 3rd row’s electric power-folding seats are sufficiently relaxed for my six-foot body on a road excursion. Then again, there’d far better be that much area on offer, thinking about the body and wheelbase are about seven inches greater than prior to with practically a entire-ass foot of newfound legroom for those people in the way-back.

The Tahoe’s inside is spacious as heck, and mighty relaxed to boot.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

I’m also excited to generate this Tahoe RST since it packs Chevrolet’s foundation suspension, not the high-priced air-or-magnets setups on much more high-priced designs. In spite of not packing as much cushion for the pushin’, the static dampers perform admirably, soaking up a significant bulk of road nastiness and only translating the most intense shocks and shudders to those people inside of. Combined with a new impartial rear suspension, selections or not, this is the most relaxed the Tahoe has at any time been. Procedure stays sleek, many thanks to brake and gasoline pedals that are super-quick to modulate, as perfectly as a ten-pace computerized transmission that’s constantly in the ideal equipment, or a shorter hop away from it.

The Tahoe’s embiggening pays off in other ways, way too. Storage area driving the 3rd row is up sixty six% to twenty five.5 cubic feet, and the load ground is decreased for simpler shoving. Every doorway pocket has a pair levels of trays and cup holders, in addition to two cup holders in the heart console and a trick $350 electric sliding heart console with a key compartment beneath the typical below-armrest cubby. If I have to have to fall the 3rd-row seats so somebody else can throw much more junk in the back, I can do so devoid of leaving my seat, many thanks to intelligent overhead switches.

Like just about every other trim of Tahoe, diesel variants select up some exceptional tech. Chevrolet’s newest infotainment program — just one I have constantly liked for its uncomplicated graphics, fast reaction and solid aspect set — arrives typical, with my tester sporting the greatest monitor on offer, ten.2 inches. It involves the typical fare, like wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile, as perfectly as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and a wi-fi charger (on all trims, conserve for the foundation LS). Preserving the little ones occupied is a $2,490 rear-seat enjoyment upgrade that slaps a pair of twelve.six-inch touchscreens in the middle row. No make any difference the location, passengers have plenty of chances to demand, many thanks to two USB ports in each and every row.

2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel

The newest model of Chevrolet’s infotainment program is snappy, rather and loaded with capabilities.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Common protection systems are handful of and considerably in between on the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, constrained to forward collision warning and computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection. My tester’s $2,490 Luxury Package deal throws blind-location monitoring, lane-preserving aid, parking sensors and a high-def encompass-look at digicam program into the mix, all of which should honestly appear typical on a little something the sizing of a smaller cottage. Surprisingly plenty of, I can not get the Tahoe RST with adaptive cruise control — that’s only out there on Premier and Superior Nation trims, since GM has some strange hang-ups (probably price-primarily based) about radar-primarily based assistance systems. Again, I’m amazed certified drivers just get a absolutely free move to pilot this factor, so you’d believe that just about every driver help below the sun would appear typical.

Presented all the major leaps forward in the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, it truly is no shock that it truly is a high priced brute. Whilst the RST’s foundation price tag of $61,395 (which includes $one,295 for place) represents a $ten,000-ish premium in excess of the total lineup’s foundation price tag, a handful of modest equipment deals swells the price tag to $70,435, and perfectly-geared up Superior Nation designs can push into the very low $80s. Oof. Fortunately, the diesel motor alone is just $995 much more than the gasoline motor, so that specific upgrade will never crack the lender.

The Chevy Tahoe is just one of just a handful of body-on-body SUVs remaining, and two of its in the same way structured competition, the Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia, really feel more mature and much less perfectly-geared up than GM’s offering. The Ford Expedition arrives close, but it isn’t going to have a diesel and it truly is a tiny much less polished than the Tahoe. It can be outstanding just how much far better the 2021 Chevy Tahoe is than prior to, and the addition of an reasonably priced diesel motor presents customers the probability to mitigate the thirst of a large SUV though retaining capacity devoid of sacrificing any of its newfound refinement.