The 2021 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe will arrive in the middle of next year.
Both receive an extensive overhaul, from under the hood to inside the cabin.
Chevy’s Suburban and Tahoe are big in outright size, but also with regard to sales. In many ways, they are the benchmark in terms of what buyers expect when it comes to full-size SUVs. So, when they roll out all-new versions of the big best-sellers, there is a lot at stake and a lot to pay attention to. Add to that how the Suburban was just honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Chevy seems poised to have a big year.
Let’s see what The Bowtie Brigade is up to this time around.
New Chassis & Suspension
When Chevy says “all-new” they aren’t kidding. The chassis and architecture is completely new to compliment the longer wheelbase. This new architecture, according to Chevy, translates into improvements in passenger accommodations, cargo capacity, and driving dynamics. The ride is smoother on uneven pavement and unpaved surfaces with optional features like Magnetic Ride Control and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.
The 2021 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe ride on arguably the most advanced suspension in this segment. Both make use of a multi-link independent rear suspension, composed of three lateral arms; a large longitudinal arm; coil springs; and a robust stabilizer bar. This independent rear suspension is matched with available Magnetic Ride Control and an Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.
How Air Ride Adaptive Suspension Works
Chevy’s Air Ride Adaptive Suspension offers load-leveling at all four corners of the vehicle, and up to four inches of ride-height adjustment. On the highway, for example, the system automatically lowers by ¾-inch (19 mm) to improve aerodynamics and efficiency. Drivers can also raise things up a bit for extra ground clearance, or down two inches for easier entry and exit. Not a low rider exactly, but impressive still.
What Engines Do The 2021 Chevy Suburban & Tahoe Have?
There’s a new 3.0 liter Duramax turbo-diesel offering 277 horsepower (207 kW) and 460 lb-ft. of torque. With the diesel option, Chevy is aiming for higher fuel economy versus the competition, but the EPA has not returned actual figures yet. If gasoline is more your style, the updated V8 engines offer Dynamic Fuel Management (i.e. cylinder deactivation) along with direct injection and variable valve timing.
The evergreen 5.3 and 6.2 return yet again, with 355 horsepower for the 5.3 and 420 for the 6.2-liter. Gear selection is handled by a standard 10-speed automatic for all engines with push-button electronic shifting.
Of course the interior has gotten a complete going over. For a start, you can get up to five display screens in total. Yes, that seems a bit excessive, but these are big, luxurious SUVs here and, on top of that, this is a 2021 vehicle we’re talking about. People today don’t just love their screens, they need their screens! So five seems like a good number.
There’s the standard 10-inch diagonal central color touchscreen. It’s the largest in the segment, according to Chevy, in case you were wondering. There’s also an available eight-inch diagonal instrument cluster, and an available 15-inch head-ups display, which no competitor offers (probably because that’s frickin’ huge). Another option is the dual, 12.6-inch rear-seat LCD displays, part of the Suburban and Tahoe’s rear entertainment system. Each screen has different connections, so passengers can watch whatever they please without affecting each other.
This, combined with all that extra passenger room and buttery-smooth suspension, will probably be the biggest contributors to overall family harmony on a long trip.
How Much Cargo Space Do The 2021 Chevy Suburban & Tahoe Have?
There is 66 percent more cargo room behind the third row in the Tahoe now, which means you can carry lots of people and even more stuff. There’s also that 10 additional inches of third-row legroom for Tahoe passengers, another metaphorical lifesaver on long family road trips; more room, more comfort, and less of a chance the kids will go stir crazy – especially with all the available tech we just covered!
As far as the Suburban is concerned, it gets a 19 percent bump in maximum cargo space behind the first row. The second and third rows grow in legroom by 2.3 and 2.2 inches respectively, to now 42 and 36.7 inches. The Suburban and Tahoe’s load floors are also significantly lower than previous generations, which Chevy says increases the overall cargo space.
Safety & Security
Safety? Tons of safety stuff is to be found with the 2021 update for the Suburban and Tahoe. There are over 30 safety and driver convenience features alone, including side-impact airbags; Passenger Sensing System; HD Rear Vision Camera; Automatic Emergency Braking; Forward Collision Alert; Following Distance Indicator; Front Pedestrian Braking; Rear Park Assist; IntelliBeam automatic headlamp control; and Hitch Guidance for towing.
Pricing, Availability & Manufacturing
The 2021 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe will go on sale midway through 2020. Trim levels include LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country. Nine exterior colors, including three new ones (Empire Beige Metallic, Cherry Bomb Tintcoat, and Darkmoon Blue Metallic) will also be available.
Pricing has not been announced yet. Production will take place at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.