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Tonight, Chevrolet revealed the redesigned 2021 Tahoe and Suburban at an event in Detroit. Among many significant detail changes, the new full-size SUVs feature for the first time an independent rear-suspension that improves ride quality along with increased cargo and passenger room.
Sharing an overall design similarity with the recently redesigned Silverado, the new Tahoe, and Suburban sport a bluff-faced grille that leads to an otherwise-familiar profile. Behind that grille lie three engine options, all paired to a ten-speed automatic transmission.
The new independent rear suspension is the big news here, as ride quality is greatly improved over prior generations due to better body control over road imperfections. Further, an optional Air Ride Adaptive Suspension works in conjunction with the fourth generation of General Motors’ Magnetic Ride Control to offer an even more plush ride alongside better handling.
Journalists were given brief rides to sample the combination of the new chassis and suspension at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds, and the improvement in body roll and control over uneven road surfaces was notable. Your taller-than-average author still bashed his head on the second-row headliner as the Chevrolet engineer bounded over a dip – but it was a much more gentle noggin smash than when encountering the same dip in another vehicle.
The new rear suspension resulted in a redesigned frame to accommodate the chassis-mounted rear differential. The resulting dimension changes – paired with a longer wheelbase (adding 4.9 inches on the Tahoe and 4.1 inches on the Suburban) yield significant increases in both passenger and cargo space. The load floor is five inches lower, giving a more natural seating position in the rearmost row and increasing overall cargo area from 94.7 cubic feet to 122.9 cubes in the Tahoe, and from 121.7 cubic feet to 144.7 in the Suburban.
New to the 2021 Suburban and Tahoe are second-row seats that will slide fore and aft, with ten inches of adjustment. Further, the increase in wheelbase gives up to an additional 10 inches of third-row legroom, making these new Chevrolets an obvious choice for hauling large families.
That longer wheelbase doesn’t significantly affect the overall length of the already long Suburban – it only grows 1.3 inches to 225.7 inches. The Tahoe extends 6.7 inches over the outgoing model to 210.7 inches.
Engine options include the 5.3-liter (355 horsepower) and 6.2-liter V8 (420 horsepower), as well as the 3.0-liter Duramax Diesel inline-six (277 horsepower and 460 lb/ft torque). No fuel economy ratings are available yet, but the Diesel should prove to be an attractive choice to drivers looking to optimize both mileage and towing performance.
Alongside the new Cadillac CT5 and the Corvette C8, the Tahoe/Suburban pair will debut the latest generation of General Motors’ electrical architecture. Capable of 4.5 terabytes of processing power per hour, the new system has five times the capacity of the previous generation. Considering all of the data moving throughout the various communications and safety systems in modern vehicles, the additional computing power will be put to good use as new models move toward greater automation and autonomy.
The new Tahoe and Suburban have a standard 10-inch central touchscreen, paired with a standard 4.2-inch driver information screen in the instrument cluster. Higher trims (Premier and High Country) swap that 4.2-inch screen for an eight-inch color configurable instrument and information cluster. Also available on higher trims (optional on Premier, standard on High Country) is a fifteen-inch (diagonal) head-up display to keep the drivers’ eyes on the road. An optional media package puts another pair of 12.6-inch touchscreens in the second row – positioned so both second and third row passengers can enjoy the show.
A built-in 4G WiFi hotspot is standard, as well as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All trims save the entry LS model include a wireless phone charger.
Six trims are being offered across the Tahoe/Suburban lineup. The LS and LT are familiar to Chevrolet truck buyers, offering increasingly more entertainment and safety features, along with standard 18-inch alloy wheels. From there:
- RST offers a gloss-black trim package, contrasting stitching on the seats, and 22-inch alloy wheels.
- Z71 is the off-road focused package, with standard 4WD and a two-speed transfer case. All-terrain tires are mounted on 20-inch wheels, and the trucks are fitted with skid plates and tow hooks.
- Premier is a technology trim, with magnetic ride control, a premium Bose audio system, and additional safety features including blind-spot alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and parking assist. The Premier is fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels.
- High Country is the top trim, with bronze accents and specialized High Country badging. High Country has the 6.2-liter V8 standard, as well as the Air Ride adaptive suspension paired with Magnetic Ride Control. The High Country wears 22-inch alloy wheels as standard.
The new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban are expected to go on sale in the middle of 2020. Pricing was not available at press time.