IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
Chevrolet’s “big and bigger” full-size SUVs offer laudable ride quality, passenger comfort, and all-around refinement for their class.
Prices are high, V8 fuel economy is low, and their sheer size can make parking these vehicles a chore.
The Suburban is an extended-length, extended-wheelbase version of the Tahoe.
WHAT IS IT?
The Tahoe and Suburban are Chevrolet’s body-on-frame full-size SUVs, and both were redesigned for the 2021 model year. These vehicles share their basic platform with the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, which were also redesigned for 2021. Standard on LS, LT, Z71, RST, and Premier models is a 355-hp 5.3-liter V8. High Country models come standard with a 420-hp 6.2-liter V8, and optional on all but the Z71 is a 3.0-liter Duramax diesel inline six that makes 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and both gasoline engines include GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management and engine stop/start technologies. Standard safety features include forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, rear park assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Available safety technologies include a surround-view camera display, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot alert, rear pedestrian alert, and rear automatic braking. An available Max Trailering Package includes a Hitch Guidance with Hitch View feature that offers up to nine camera views, as well as a trailering app with trailer profiles and the ability to monitor the trailer’s tire pressure and temperature.
After their redesign last year, the Tahoe and Suburban see a few minor updates for 2022. Availability of the 6.2 V8 engine has been expanded to the RST, Z71, and Premier trim levels; it had previously been offered only on the High Country. Navigation is now standard on all but the LS trim level, as is a 12.3-inch digital gauge display. A “Buckle to Drive” feature in the Teen Driver mode restricts the vehicle from being shifted out of Park if the driver’s seat belt is not buckled.
With the 5.3 engine, the Tahoe and Suburban are EPA-rated at 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive. With 4-wheel drive, they’re rated at 16/20 and 15/19, respectively. With the 6.2 engine, the Tahoe and Suburban are both rated at 15/20 with RWD and 14/19 with 4WD. Premium-grade gas is required for the 6.2 engine; the 5.3 runs on regular gas. The turbodiesel 6-cylinder engine is rated at 21/28 with RWD and 20/26 with 4WD.
VALUE IN CLASS
The large SUV class is for shoppers who need maximum passenger and cargo capacity, and off-road/towing capabilities as well. The downsides of poor fuel economy, cumbersome exterior dimensions, and a “truck-y” ride are usually part of the bargain, but the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban are surprisingly easy to drive for their size, and they offer excellent all-around refinement and a long list of nicely designed technology and convenience features.