Shifting Gears: How The New Gear Selector on the Tahoe and Suburban is a Game Changer.

October 27th, 2021 by

Have you ever climbed into an unfamiliar car, started it up, and then attempt to shift into drive only to find that the gear selector is not in the same place as your car? As someone who works in a car dealership, this happens to me often. My vehicle has a floor-mounted shifter. I’ve owned it for nearly three years. Every day I get in, start it, and reach down beside my lap to shift into gear. When I climb into a new Chevrolet Silverado, I find myself doing the same thing. But there’s no gear shifter there. Humans are creatures of habit That’s why it can take us a while to adjust to new surroundings, like gear selectors. For the longest time, we only had two different types of selectors to choose from, column-mounted, and console-mounted. However, the times are changing. And so are gear selectors. That’s why the new push-button system on the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban seems so different. Let’s explore this new offering and how it’s quite the benefit.

When the new Tahoe and Suburban debuted over a year ago, they made a big splash in the crowded pool that is the SUV market. New features like independent rear suspension alerted the world to big changes. Sure, these vehicles had new style and comfort, but one of the biggest changes was something few saw coming. The dash-mounted push-button gear selector surprised a lot of consumers. It was new. Few other Chevrolet vehicles have strayed from traditional shifters. This took some convincing.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was hesitant about the new shifter. I first saw the Suburban in person at the 2020 Cleveland International Auto Show. It was locked and I couldn’t sit inside the new Chevy. I had to wait until a unit was delivered to our dealership. When the day finally came I was one of the first to sit behind the wheel. I couldn’t wait to try out that new gear selector. Would it be difficult? Would it take me forever to get used to it? Would I constantly be reaching for a phantom column shifter? Turns out the answer to all of these questions was no. I was surprised by how easy it was to use. It’s been nearly a year since we first received a new Tahoe/Suburban with these new gear selectors, and I’ve never had any issues with the new setup. It’s incredibly user-friendly.

So, how does it work? It’s simple. You Push the “P” button for Park. You pull back on the “R” for Reverse. To shift to Neutral, you press “N.” To shift into Drive, you pull back on “D.” If you need Low Range, you simply press “L.” In other words, the setup is Push, Pull, Push, Pull, and Push. This is so much easier than similar systems on the market.

One thing you may wonder is why Chevrolet would make such a dramatic change. The easy answer is this move creates more room inside the new Tahoe and Suburban. A traditional console-mounted shifter takes up a lot of space. Since the new Tahoe/Suburban does not have a console-mounted shifter, this frees up a lot of room in between the front seats. There is more room there for things like wireless chargers, cupholders, and so on. But, the previous Tahoe/Suburban had a column-mounted shifter. Why didn’t they keep that? Simply, most Tahoe/Suburban owners aren’t fans of this type of gear shifter. So, the change made sense to keep customers happy.

The new gear selector is just one of the many improvements on the new Tahoe/Suburban. If you’ve owned one of these vehicles in the past, or if you’re new to the game, stop by McClinton Chevrolet today to drive one. You’ll love the changes.

Posted in Tahoe