By on February 5, 2020

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.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

29 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe...”


  • avatar
    R Henry

    Am I blind, or is no price provided?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s a base article.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        About the only reason a person purchases a base model anything is to save money. The price, especially in light of other options, is most determinate factor. Why omit it?

        The piece some time ago about the base model Chrysler 300 included price info…why doesn’t this? Is this some unwritten TTAC rule or something?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “About the only reason a person purchases a base model anything is to save money.”

          I don’t know if that is true.

          My best friend has bought base or lower-trim level vehicles all of his 73 years of living on this planet. And I’ve known him since USAF Basic Training in 1965.

          He buys based on need, but also has four vehicles for a 2-driver household.

          None of his vehicles are older than the factory warranty lasts, and he buys them outright, no financing and keeps minimum mandated insurance on all of them, unless going on a long trip in one.

          He could buy top of the line trim, but his reasoning is, “Why?”

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            My dad always bought the most stripper trucks on the lot, except for a V8 and limited slip, but and my question was always “why?”

            Now I know why, and I do the same. It’s like “poor” automaker is taking a loss for your gain. You almost feel quilty.

            So as I kid I’d sit in the passenger seat staring at the “CUSTOM” emblem on the dash, thinking “where??”

            He kept his basic pickups “basic”, but even as a kid I could tell the “El Cheapo” parts could’ve been easily exchanged for they factory upscale or aftermarket. So yeah I’ll start out with the new XL pickup with a sprinkling of options and end up with a “clone” King Ranch/Platinum/FX4 with a sprinkling of tasteful aftermarket add-ons.

            But paying cash does help you keep things basic, and take a good hard look and the same basic trucks separated by $25K in bling/gadgetry/glitz.

          • 0 avatar
            R Henry

            I hedged with the “about” in the first sentence. I have purchased base and midlevel vehicles just get the manual transmission, not just to save money….but I think I am pretty darn unusual in this regard. Most buyers, (most, not all) will avoid a base model if they can afford to.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        “It’s a base article.”

        Badump-ching

        LOL

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Not nearly base enough. I want vinyl seats and rubber on the floors. Steel wheels. No frippery but A/C (I’m not an animal) and if I am feeling generous, a basic stereo and cruise control. Power windows and locks are fine, cheaper that way if they just all have that.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Tahoe seems to have the same front as the pick up.
    Hear me. IT IS FUGLY !!

    If I were in the market, I d go over to the GMC dealer.

    Did i say the Chevy is FUGLY?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Gee, I’d comment but I’m afraid I’ll upset the author who knows us so well

    BTW, what IS the base price?

    (Sorry)

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Pardon my ignorance, but how is it even possible to sell a middle front seat any more? Is there an airbag for it somewhere?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I have no desire for a 1984 Caprice Estate, and no desire for this for pretty similar reasons.

    The 9th seat is vaguely interesting. Nothing else about this car is at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Haven’t you Bched repeatedly about the solid rear axle? They fix your supposed flaw and you still want nothing to do with it? How does that make sense?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        It’s more competitive now that the third row is usable, but that doesn’t mean I want one. I’d rather have a CUV (and I do). I never go off-road, on the few occasions when I tow it is a small utility trailer, and the more compact exterior dimensions are helpful every day with city parking.

        Will be interesting to see if the now-usable third row causes my sister-in-law to shrink down to Tahoe/Yukon size from Suburban/XL size for her next rig. My money’s on no, because the extended wheelbase suits her need to be queen bee.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          So again you state overwhelmingly this isn’t your type of vehicle yet you promote this being turned into a crossover competitor and losing its appeal to an SUV buyer.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            We’ll see who’s right when the sales are reported.

            I believe this change will make the vehicles, and especially the SWB versions, a whole lot more attractive to all but a few of the target buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      >>I have no desire for a 1984 Caprice Estate

      I do! I do!

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Dare I say better looking than the new Escalade? Add the diesel engine and this becomes the perfect cross country family vehicle

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Will wait to see what the “Build and Price” tool looks like for both the Tahoe and Yukon. To me the most interesting part of these vehicles is the “packages” that are available. Seeing what is and what isn’t bundled together or how one package might offer $3K in separate options together for $1,500.

    I would be more than happy with a “delete 3rd row” and a bench seat. I just need 4×4 and tow package for the beefed up components.

    Given the usual length of a generation with these BOF SUVs, I’ll probably be helping my wife shop for a Yukon of this gen. Thank goodness she doesn’t need to impress anyone with a Denali.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    I’d like to see a Lambo ace of base one of these days.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    I think the new front end looks far better than the 2015-2019 Tahoes, which just seem goofy to my eyes.

    As for base, the problem with base is the tiny wheels which basically SCREAM “Please note I’m a cheapskate”.

    Go ahead and buy a base model but proceed directly to the List of Craig to score some 20″ new truck take-offs from the big GM of your choice (Silverado, Yukon, whatever) so the thing will at least look decent.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      As for base, the problem with base is the tiny wheels which basically SCREAM “Please note I’m a cheapskate”.

      Sidewall is your friend (in everyday driving or if you have a wife who ever popped a tire off a rim she hit the curb so hard.)

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      Strange. I was thinking that the RS pictured above needed smaller wheels and more rubber sidewall.

      I’m with PrincipalDan on this. Sidewall is not only your friend on pretty much every vehicle, it looks better too…especially on larger vehicles like this.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Personally I’ve always had Z71 Suburbans and Tahoes, and the new version looks sweet so that’s what I’d need to stick with, as if it would even be possible to convince my lovely bride that we “need” to spend that 75 Grand LOL

  • avatar
    cprescott

    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.

  • avatar
    Right_Click_Refresh

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      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.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • FreedMike: Forget about the heckblende – check that alligator-skin carriage roof! This car’s pimp had was...
  • FreedMike: I recall the part of Lee Iaccoca’s biography where he talked about his early years at Chrysler...
  • FreedMike: As I recall, “toggle” operated mirrors were pretty commonplace in those days, Arthur.
  • FreedMike: I kind of like the XE. They redid the interior for this year, and it’s a definite improvement, but I...
  • PrincipalDan: 4 barrel intake if it doesn’t already have one from the factory. Simple TBI set up. Dual exhausts...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber