Why the 2021 Chevy Tahoe is the Best One Ever
Chevrolet has a lot of new cars that generate excitement. In 2019, the new Blazer generated excitement everywhere I drove. While people were quick to write off the current Silverado, it has been a hit since the introduction. The new Corvette has blown people away and the compact TrailBlazer promises to be a sales leader in the compact crossover market. The latest release from Chevrolet has everyone talking. The new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban have created an abundance of buzz. People generally seem to love these big new SUV’s. But do they live up to the hype?
In early August, we received our first 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe here at McClinton Chevrolet. However, I got my first in-person look at the fifth-generation Tahoe during the 2021 Cleveland Auto Show in late February. It was a magical time when crowds could gather, and strangers could talk to each other without fear. The unit on display in Cleveland was the Z71 trim. Honestly, it was not the one I would have displayed, but I am not in charge of those decisions…yet. The Z71 package was intriguing. It had a grand presence even in the enormous convention center. However, it was not drawing a crowd. It took me a moment to realize why. Chevrolet also brought the new 2020 Corvette to this show. The Tahoe had to share the spotlight with its much prettier sibling even though it is the workhorse of the family. It is like how Ashley Simpson must feel around her sister Jessica.
Sadly, I was not allowed to get in the new Tahoe at the Auto Show or drive it. The windows had those familiar “Prototype Vehicle Locked For Your Safety” decals. I made my ubiquitous joke about Jodi Arias being inside and moved on to look at the rest of the Chevrolet display. It would be six months and a national pandemic before McClinton Chevrolet would have our first 2021 Tahoe.
The car carrier with our first Tahoe arrived on Friday, July 31st. As luck would have it this was the first vacation day I took all year. I was helping my sister move to Tennessee and I would have to wait until Monday to see the new Tahoe. Our first Tahoe was the Premiere Trim finished in Black with the Maple Sugar Leather interior. It was stunning, to say the least. People make jokes about black SUVs being associated with the government or the Men in Black, but I think they look good. Days after the black Premiere Tahoe arrived, we received two High Country units, and then we received a Z71 version. What is interesting about the Tahoe this time is how each trim is unique. The Z71 has a different front-end styling from the rest of the lineup. The High Country grill is distinct compared to the other trims, and it also has unique rims. Personally, I like this change because it gives each version a different personality.
While each trim is unique on its own, the Tahoe and Suburban can be customized even more to fit your personal style. This is most evident when you are selecting wheels for your new Tahoe or Suburban. The entry-level LT comes standard with 18-inch wheels, then the Z71 gets 20’s, and the Premiere and the High Country each receive 22-inch wheels. Since the Z71 trim is reserved for off-roading, Chevrolet recommends the wheels and tires it comes with. However, if you opt for the LT, Premier, or the High Country, you have no fewer than 9-wheel designs from which to choose. Most of those options are 22 inches. Not since the days of Pimp My Ride have, I seen so many wheel options.
I do enjoy talking about trims and options, but most people want to know what driving the new Tahoe is like. (We will not have a new Suburban for a few weeks.) I first drove the new Tahoe early last week. One of the perks of working in Marketing is finding any excuse to take a fun new Chevy out for a spin. I simply explained that the stock photos of the new Tahoe were boring, and our customers would benefit from some real-world pics. I grabbed the keys to the Black Premier Tahoe, and I was off to get some great shots of this beautiful new machine.
Since this was the first Tahoe to receive an independent rear suspension, I was curious to feel how it drove on rough roads. I’ve driven the previous Tahoe and Suburban a lot, and while they are great, the ride can be a little rough if you are not carrying a lot of weight. The new suspension was noticeable from the start. The Tahoe has a more stable presence on the road now. This was even more noticeable when I took the Tahoe on some country roads near my home. In West Virginia, we have a lot of potholes, especially in rural areas. The Tahoe soaked up every bump with ease. Even though the Premiere I was driving has larger rims, the ride was superb.
The Tahoe also has great power. The 5.3-liter V8 and the beefy 6.2-liter are familiar to anyone who has owned a Tahoe within the past decade. They are both strong engines. We will not receive the new 3.0-liter diesel for a while. I am pumped to try that one. While the engines are familiar, the standard 10 Speed Automatic Transmission is fresh and welcome. GM fans will be quick to point out that there was a 10 Speed Transmission available on the 2020 Tahoe, but it was only available on the Premiere with the 6.2-liter V8. This new transmission is for everyone. I had some concerns about the 10 speed constantly changing gears or being geared too low for a steep incline. As I drove the Tahoe, those concerns quickly vanished. The vehicle shifted seamlessly. Even big inclines on an old country road did not phase this transmission.
Overall, my time with the new Tahoe was quite pleasant. Within minutes of my drive, I could tell this was the best Tahoe ever. I cannot wait to drive the new Suburban soon. Be on the lookout for additional content about the Tahoe in the coming weeks. We are going to discuss the interior and the trim levels in more detail soon.
Want to purchase or lease a new Tahoe? Check out our current inventory here.