Ace of Base: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Last night, General Motors showed off the new iteration of its Cadillac Escalade. Before that, the 2021 GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe appeared in separate events, as if parents were throwing two birthday parties for warring twin boys. You know which brand we’re choosing for Ace of Base duty.

And before you get yer knickers in a knot, I know that’s not a base Tahoe in the hero image — it’s an RST. Absent of an actual build and price tool, we’re working with what we have on the media site. Hey, we’re tryin’ to get you the most up-to-date information about base model vehicles! Qwityerbishen.

What we do have is access to the Fleet Order Guide for 2021. This gives us the detail we need to determine if the Tahoe remains a good option at its entry level or if you have to be one of those people and pop for a High Country.

An aside: the Tahoe/Suburban are the only members of this trio in which customers are even considering the cheapest trim. After all, if Sally Supervisor pulls up next to another soccer mom in the drop-off lane driving a Yukon Denali, you just know she’ll sneer at the proles in their Yukon SLTs. Same goes for the mighty Escalade; when Simon Cowell rolls up next to someone in his Premium Luxury Platinum ESV, the other driver is going to want to run theirs through a paper shredder.

Anyway, back to the bowtie. For 2021, the LS remains its entry level model and comes with the likes of tri-zone air conditioning, wireless phone projection, and an interior many leagues better than the Silverado. Its 10.2-inch infotainment display is the same as that in more expensive models, as are the number of USB ports. Wireless charging — different than wireless projection — does vanish, however.

What else does one give up in the LS? You’ll have to fold those rear seats using your own muscles and nav is not available on the base model at any price. Good job you go to the gym and own a phone, respectively.

Its 10-speed automatic is standard across the board and no Tahoe buyer, save for High Country shoppers, get to taste the 6.2-liter V8. All hands must drink from the 5.3-liter V8 well unless they pop for the new diesel. Safety nannies like automatic emergency braking is also standard on the LS, though rear-cross traffic and blind zone alerts are AWOL. In fairness, the latter is — along with a heated steering wheel — optional on all trims save the Premier and High Country. This seems like an egregious example of penny pinching.

Your author’s favourite package on the old Tahoe, the Custom, which deposited nearly $4,000 back into your bank account while binning the third row, seems to be off the table for now. What is still available is a front bench seat, found as order code AZ3 and providing a 40/20/40 chesterfield on which to sit (I was able to find a low-res image of that, strangely). This makes the LS — and it’s only available on the LS — a nine-passenger conveyance, just like Caprice wagons of old. Tremendous.

As equipped, it’s the spiritual successor to my father’s squarebody Blazer. I’ll take mine in Midnight Blue Metallic, please.

[Images: General Motors]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? L

et us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 29 comments
  • Cprescott Cprescott on Feb 05, 2020

    with the rollout of the hideous 2021 Cadihack full-sized SUV's, it has become apparent that there is now less difference between the Chevrolet, the professional grade Chevrolet, and the outrageously priced Chevrolet on the outside than ever before. Add a few chrome pieces and different ends of the vehicle and you have the same vehicle. The Cadihack's interior is different but that doesn't make it better. It just makes it badge-engineered fraud like we've come to expect from Mary's Motors.

  • The standard Tahoe has always been the best looking, most desirable SUV GM makes, IMO. I dislike their grills and interiors, but as a whole they're good looking FS trucks. I have no thoughts on the IRS rear, I drive a 2wd Explorer XLS with IRS and never drive offroad(because it's HORRIBLE offroad), and I imagine finally offering IRS will make many happy. Still, GM JUNK.

    • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer MiataReallyIsTheAnswer on Feb 06, 2020

      Somebody with a 2wd base model Exploder calling GM "junk" is pretty dadgum hilarious. Ask me how many transmissions my Explorer ate up, or how badly the leather on the steering wheel got all twisted and funky----- Then ask me how many TOTAL PROBLEMS my Z71 Tahoe has had over the course of 180k miles (hint, the number is lower than "1"). I mean I HAVE had to replace tires, front brake PADS and batteries in BOTH remotes, so on second thought yeah total trash baby.

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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.