By on October 30, 2020

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe front quarter

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD RST

5.3-liter V8 (355hp @ 5600 rpm, 383 lb/ft @ 4100 rpm)

Ten-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive

16 city / 20 highway / 18 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

20.3 (observed mileage, MPG)

14.8 city / 11.8 highway / 13.5 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $61,395 US / $71,398 CAN

As Tested: $68,485 US / $79,668

CAN

Prices include $1295 destination charge in the United States and $2,000 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Let me indulge in a bit of inside baseball for a moment. Those of us who make (at least something resembling) a living talking about cars tend to read a good bit of our colleagues’ work – and then discuss it at length via whatever channel we have at our disposal. Indeed, that’s what has made TTAC great over the years – we’ve brought light upon those who are clearly in this field for the perks.

At times, you get the feeling that some of these people don’t even like cars. It’s like sending a vegan to rank the best barbecue joints in North Carolina.

Anyhow, we who live most of our lives online have clucked our tongues lately at a number of automotive journalists trying to bring shame upon both the makers and buyers of modern trucks and SUVs, much like this 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe. These pearl-clutching writers have willfully ignored the strides that have been made in these markets over the past few years. Shame, really, because this latest Tahoe is a genuinely great SUV.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe profile

The most notable styling change is certainly the grille, which brings the big SUV in line with the Silverado. Here on the RST trim, it looks reasonably good to my eyes – somewhat less awkward than on the pickup. Some might balk at the styling on the offroad-inspired Z71 trim – the lower bumper is more rakish to give a marginally better approach angle, but to me looks like the face of a dog with a severe overbite.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe front

The rest of the truck is styled rather conventionally, with a distinctive character line front to rear sharply dividing greenhouse from the dirty parts. The tailgate trim immediately below the rear hatch glass is a bit unusual, but I’m sure we will grow to accept it with time. It’s not the most egregious styling affectation ever applied to a passenger vehicle by a long shot.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe rear quarter

The big news is that General Motors has finally graced its large body-on-frame SUVs with independent rear suspension. My God, what a difference it makes. While I never found previous generations of Tahoes particularly difficult to drive, the oscillations of the old live axle when encountering mid-corner bumps could be a bit disconcerting when trying to hustle.

No longer. On a family taco run to rural Ohio (don’t ask) we wandered well off the typical state highways onto some narrow country lanes. Twisty, hilly, uneven, oddly crowned chipseal is a test for any vehicle – especially when the forty-four ounce Diet Coke your wife ordered with her tacos suddenly encourages you to navigate those lanes at unprintable speeds lest you need to spend an inordinate amount of time detailing the car before it goes back to the fleet. No, I wasn’t drifting or doing anything seriously stupid, but driving briskly – and the Tahoe was planted at all times and at all speeds. Mind you – this RST trim doesn’t offer Chevrolet’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control, which would manage road imperfections even better than the standard damping here. Bravo, Chevrolet, for making a three-row, nearly three-ton (plus four Tonns) SUV do a two-step admirably.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe interior

Ably assisting this big rig in the cha-cha is the 5.3-liter V8, paired to a ten-speed automatic. While “everyone” says the 355hp engine is anemic compared to the 6.2-liter, 420hp engine available in higher trims, I was never found wanting for shove. I’m sure if I were towing regularly, I’d wish for the bigger engine – but I’m sure this will do the job nicely for most people. Shifts were quick and smooth both up and down the ‘box. The push-and-pull button shifter on the dash next to the touchscreen is a little weird when coming from column or console shifters, but it gets easier with time.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe front seat2021 Chevrolet Tahoe second row

That independent rear suspension pays off in another place – interior room. The third row of seating, while not stretch-out comfortable for taller folks, gives plenty of room for most. My kids, for example, were quite happy back there, though the optional captains’ chairs in the second row were preferred. Those chairs were nearly as comfy as those up front – if it weren’t for capacity concerns for both bladder and fuel tank, I’d be perfectly happy sitting there all day long.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe center stack

Chevrolet has been doing good things with their infotainment systems of late – the 10.2” screen here is no exception. It’s not perfect – the screen very occasionally lags behind a button push – but it’s intuitive and noticeably clear. Wireless capabilities for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (included in the $2,490 Rear Media and Nav Package) was a surprise to me, but they worked quite well. That rear media includes a pair of seatback-mounted 12.6” screens – my kids quickly downloaded the Miracast app and mirrored their phone screens to catch up on whatever quick-bake Netflix teen drama they’ve latched onto this week. A center-mounted HDMI port and 120V outlet nearly had the girls unhooking the Xbox from the living room screen for an afternoon of in-car Sims 4, but I nixed that plan.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe rear seat entertainment


One of the recent stories about trucks that have twisted some knickers is a review of the Tahoe’s Cadillac stablemate, the Escalade. Functionally identical in dimensions to this Tahoe, this reviewer decided that the tall grille height was “dangerously huge,” even posing a child in front of it to evoke Helen Lovejoy-levels of impending youth disaster.

Yes, I’m sure there are blind spots. And if you have a habit of driving in places where children literally materialize from the road surface as if they’re a dot on your old Nokia’s game of Snake, then you might consider an old VW Microbus to ensure you have maximum frontal vision. But if you’re a responsible driver at all, you will be cognizant of your peripheral vision and your environment. Driving quickly through the country among recently-harvested fields with vision all around? You can drive quickly. Through the city with wall-to-wall parked cars? Might want to slow it down lest a child run out.

Another journalist, in a review of another truck, decided to add to the pedestrian-killing narrative by taking automakers to task for – let me check my notes – building vehicles that people want. If consumers demand something, any business that wants to remain in business will use their resources to offer a product these consumers will buy. That’s called capitalism, and while wishing for socialism and a planned economy where everyone will need to enter a lottery to buy bread and — maybe someday after waiting for years — an electric-powered Trabant might be the ideal, we aren’t there yet. Right now, we have freedom of choice, and people who can afford to do so are choosing trucks and SUVs.

It’s just that some people like trucks. Yes, they do. But you know what’s more insidious than that? The truck position held by these journalists doesn’t have anything to do with public safety. It’s just that they don’t like people who do like trucks. They don’t like people.

Yes, I just riffed on a great line from The West Wing. Sorry. I’m just tired of the tribalism in this country. I can’t do anything about the politics. I can, however, talk about personal transportation – and for the people who need to move both many people and lots of stuff, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is a choice with few peers. Sure, many people can manage their typical transportation needs with a decades-old Corolla. Many other people, however, do indeed need something bigger and more capable. Who am I to tell them what they can and cannot buy?

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe logo badge

[Images: © 2020 Chris Tonn]

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103 Comments on “2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD RST Review – Nobody* Needs* This Big of a Truck...”


  • avatar

    I applaud them for the suspension and ride improvements, which were my prime criticism of the old version I rented last year.

    But for $68,000 I expect some wood trim and a GMC badge.

  • avatar
    boowiebear

    $68k. Truck/Big SUV prices are wild to me.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Nice clickbait. I don’t doubt that some people need something “like” this with similar capabilities. They have enough family members for a basketball team, have a boat or caravan to tow several times per year, etc, etc,….. that doesn’t really have anything to do with its inherent danger to pedestrian safety. I agree that a reasonably skilled and attentive driver can cure just about any design failing in terms of shape, heft or visibility. But who are we talking about here? This is soccer mom mobile that will be driven by a shorter segments of the population with smartphone in hand and kids yelling in the back seat. Its going through tight fast food drive through lines and shoehorning itself into mall parking spots. It’s a land barge plain and simple. You don’t really address the issues in those quoted articles, you simply attack the authors as being against choice and basically call them haters and un-American. Maybe they are, but that still doesn’t change the fact that these large SUV’s and trucks have reached proportions that are the antithesis to the safety and visibility of every driver of a non barge sharing the road and every pedestrian in range. The whole segment has become an arms race that will end in GMC Topkick sized commuter vehicles picking up junior from practice in the not too distant future. Sorry if I can’t get behind the red, white and blue aura that you try to foist on these vehicles because they don’t deserve it. You too, have been duped by the marketing among other things I am sure.

    • 0 avatar
      boowiebear

      We can’t fight the market. They want big trucks. They get them. Getting hit by a smart car or a Prius might be better for the pedestrian, but you can’t force people to buy things they do not want. I totally support and want less traffic deaths, full stop. How to get there is where the rub is.

      • 0 avatar
        statikboy

        “You can’t force people to buy things they do not want.” True. But you can refuse to supply them things that don’t make good social or environmental sense.

        • 0 avatar
          khory

          So you get to decide their needs for them?

          • 0 avatar
            thegamper

            Khory, there is this guy who owns a chrome plating shop. He is barely scraping by, trying to keep his employees on the payroll, but waste disposal charges and regulations are crushing his bottom line. It so happens that his business backs up to a creek. He “NEEDS” to dump this stuff in the creek to save some money and keep his business afloat. Who are we to decide what he “NEEDS”. He should probably just dump it in the creek right? Great choice.

            Or maybe your neighbor works the night shift but his leaves are really piling up. The only time he has to use his leaf blower is is between 1-3 AM. Thankfully your houses are packed pretty close together so you can get the full experience. He “NEEDS” to do it. What’s the big deal?

            We make choices for the public good all the time in every area of life. Do you think cars were better before seatbelts? Airbags? Tempered glass? Catalytic converters? I heard VW really “NEEDED” to cheat emission regulations. Is that cool with you?

            Trucks and full sized SUV’s have reached the tipping point where damage they do to society outweighs their usefulness.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            “Trucks and full sized SUV’s have reached the tipping point where damage they do to society outweighs their usefulness.”

            [citation needed]

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “We make choices for the public good all the time in every area of life.”

            That is correct. Sometimes I am for it. Sometimes I am not.
            In this case I am 100% against legislating truck or SUV dimensions. If that is something you want then run for office or find a politician with similar views. But you won’t be getting my vote.

            Overall your comment of “if you don’t want ‘X’ then you must also not want ‘Y’ ” is poorly argued.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Jack4x: Citation: NHTSA reports on multi-vehicle collisions involving pickup trucks and reports on single-vehicle crashes involving pickup trucks. In both cases the trucks are deadlier either to the passengers of the smaller vehicle OR to its own passengers in the case of single-vehicle crashes.
            https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/812907.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I think you may have given the incorrect link.

            The introduction states “However, it does not
            indicate a vehicle’s relative safety for occupants.” and nearly every truck on page 12 and 13 of the document has better than average ratings. The GM BOF SUVs (pg 15 and 16) were also listed as better than average on this scale.

            But beyond that “danger vs usefulness” isn’t something that I believe you can quantitatively record. Especially on a micro scale.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @Vulpine,

            Semi trucks are more dangerous to passenger cars in crashes too, should they be banned for that reason?

            Of course not, because they provide value to society that more than compensates for that added risk. The same is true (to me and most others apparently, given sales numbers) of full size trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @jack4x: Semi trucks aren’t driven by un-trained idiots, either. drivers of Semi trucks are required to go through a certain amount of training AND get a special certification before they are even allowed to drive one without supervision.

            Meanwhile, we have people from all ages and all walks of life, especially novice drivers on new, individual licenses, driving vehicles that are overpowered, unbalanced and weighing up to three tons as though they were sports cars. Your rebuttal is simply a diversion and irrelevant to the discussion. Worse, most of these modern pickups are pushing twice the horsepower of their 50-year-old forebears while even a turbo four is pushing what used to be a trucks maximum horsepower. My own non-turbo six is pushing over 300 horses, which is only a little under what used to be V8-only territory.

            And that’s also why insurance rates have gone so high on personal vehicles in general; at 150+ horses in something smaller than 2.0L, you’re talking about similar power to a 70’s-vintage V8 that used to reside in a much heavier car. Even a Fiat 500, at 101 horses (before the 2019 turbo-only model) is a very spritely car able to very quickly exceed 80mph on the freeway with a lot of pedal left to play with. Used to be the Fiat 500 couldn’t even REACH 80mph!

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            It really shouldn’t amaze me anymore that there are people on enthusiast sites who unironically advocate going back to power levels of the 1970s, but then here we are.

            It seems that despite living in a golden age for power, performance, fuel economy, safety, and technology, some cranks always have to find something to complain about.

        • 0 avatar
          smartascii

          There was a time, long, long ago, when conservatives were busily telling everyone else how to live, because they knew better, were more moral, and anyway, “those” people, who made “those” choices were ruining things for the decent folk. When, exactly, did liberals decide that that was too good a strategy not to adopt?

          • 0 avatar

            Did he just pine for the malise era ?
            Are you kidding ?
            I was there. All we had was a few old legit V8s, so we knew what was lost. It took a while for technology (thank you fuel injection)to give us power. I’m NOT nostalgic for a 225 hp 400 cu engine.

            Most folks don’t use the power their car or truck has anyway…sit at any stoplight.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @boowiebear: “… but you can’t force people to buy things they do not want.”

        — Obviously you can, since the truck I’m driving is pretty close to 20% larger than I wanted, in overall dimensions. Nobody makes a proper “small” truck for the US market as yet and hasn’t done so for almost 20 years. For that matter, push it out over 30 years and I would have been much happier with the D-50/Courier/LUV-sized model, extended cab-standard bed model. What I have is the rough equivalent to full-sized back then, even coming close to the same width and as long as the long-bed model of the day.

        And of course, the first “compact” model for the modern day will be a Ford, unless Stellaris (or whatever that name is) somehow comes out first with a Strada for the US market. Of all the brands, my luck has been the worst with Ford than any of them.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          So they forced you to buy that @Vulpine? Did the salesmen “make you an offer you couldn’t refuse?”

          You weren’t forced. You could have likely purchased an older truck that has the form factor you desire and had it completely gone through and repowered for what you paid. Or just said screw it and not purchased anything and kept waiting for a compact truck.

          Not offering exactly what you want does not equal forcing you to buy something you don’t want.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandalay: Irrelevant question, my friend. They forced it on me by simply not making what I wanted available. I was given the choice of too big, bigger and biggest. What I wanted was truly small–1980s compact, not what they’re calling “small” today. Clearly building something the size of what I want is possible… the Strada is almost exactly the size I want–in extended-cab form. Yes, it is possible to get one… in South America. Even GMC and Chevy have something that size… again, in South America under the names Tornado and Montana. But they refuse to bring them here to the States, despite the obvious demand for them.

            And as I’ve said many times before, I don’t buy used. Of all the used vehicles I’ve purchased in the past, only ONE proved reliable for any length of time. The rest were nothing but money pits.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Yet Ford has announced just such a truck, but you won’t buy that either @vulpine.

            You won’t buy it because nobody is forcing you to do so. Again, you may have preferred a different form factor, but nobody put a gun to your head either.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandelay: “Yet Ford has announced just such a truck, but you won’t buy that either ”

            — While I admit I don’t like Fords due to multiple bad experiences with the brand, that doesn’t mean I won’t own one IF that’s the only brand that makes what I want. I would, however, hope that Ford brings in the Maverick against already-existing competition. I don’t expect it, mind you, but I can hope; just as I HOPED the Colorado would be much, much smaller than it did when it was re-released in ’14.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        The manufacturers are making them because they are profitable. They are not making sedans or small economy cars because they are not profitable. With interest rates at near zero, the monthly payments can be made almost palatable.
        As long as enough people buy them, the automakers stay in business. GM doesn’t care to dominate the market any more, they just want to make money. They’d rather turn a profit at 10% market share than lose money at 20%.
        If there were more sedans, hatchbacks, coupes and wagons available at under, say, $17,500, they would be big sellers and would suddenly appear to be what the public wants.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        “We” seem to have done a bang-up job fighting decent cars like air-cooled 911s; open wheeled, light weight, quick handling two stroke singleseaters; Class 8 commuting vehicles with reasonably home like comforts and decent towing capacity; Hilux’ with belt guns in bed, properly armored and kited genuine Humwees, and all manners of other vehicles which “The Market” also very much wants….

        Not that I much mind Suburbans. Just pointing out that the US hasn’t had much in the way of a “Market” economy for the last century. And it has got progressively less of one, and at an accelerating pace as well, over that entire century.

        As for “sensible” regulations: Once you introduce artificial knee points, you get artificial clustering right at those. Meaning, once you insist on arbitrarily classifying a 5 ton truck the same as a 1 ton Miata, but a 5.1 ton truck as something entirely different, you end up with a vast overweight of 5 ton trucks, compared to anything any “market” would demand on its own. Ditto, in the opposite direction, when equally arbitrarily classing trucks above 4.39 tons as except from all makers of costly thismathat. In both, as in all, as in all possible, such scenarios, all you end up observing, is not any effect of any “market” at alll, but rather just an echo of your own myopic, always poorly conceived and destructive regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      Mackie

      Hear! Hear! SUVs are BS. I saw one of these pull into the parking lot today. Obnoxiously massive—only ONE person in the vehicle, as usual.

      • 0 avatar
        jh26036

        You’re telling me we should all own cars like shoes, one for every occasion? Am I disallowed to operate something I bought even when it isn’t optimally used? Commie.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a 2015 BMW X3 SUV. It, like I think a pretty high percentage of vehicles at this level, has parking sensors which make a horrible screeching noise whenever the car feels it’s about to hit something.

      I would think such a feature would make it extremely difficult to actually hurt someone unless you were deliberately trying to.

      If you are concerned about this issue, I think you should push for mandating this kind of feature in any car with this safety defect. It would solve the problem without limiting customer choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @David Dennis: I’ll give you a brief idea:

        Where I live, many people own full-sized pickup trucks. Parking in most cases is off-street but being a townhome community, the cars all come right to the curb down the entire length, with exceptions for gaps between buildings and fire hydrants. There are also a few (very few) locations available for on-street parking. Moreover, there are a LOT of children in the neighborhood.

        The problem is that most of the people in the neighborhood tend to drive well above the posted speed limit–despite even having speed humps installed in places where it is impossible to detour around them. With all of this, we still have children and animals get hit at least twice per year and in nearly every case it has been a full-sized pickup or full-sized SUV that has struck the child/animal. Why? Because the vehicle is so tall and blocky that when child/animal pops out from between parked vehicles, the truck is simply too close for the driver to even see the child. Your sounder would simply alert far too late IF… you were driving the way they do.

        And that, again, is my problem with full-sized pickups in particular and really any of the larger vehicles like that; the driver gets a sense of power and invulnerability when behind the wheel and loses all touch with driving defensively–not for their own safety but for the safety of others. Kind of similarly to the reason so many refuse to wear masks during this covid issue… they believe it can’t happen to them so why should they bother.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “With all of this, we still have children and animals get hit at least twice per year and in nearly every case it has been a full-sized pickup or full-sized SUV that has struck the child/animal. Why? ”

          Sorry it has absolutely nothing to do with the vehicle and everything to do w/the driver. I can see a kid jump out in front me just as easily & react just as quickly behind the wheel of my Tahoe as I can my Volt. Actually better in the Tahoe.

          Borderline asinine to have a conversation that a Chevy Tahoe endangers kids lives. Give me a [email protected]#$ing break. I don’t believe your comment for a second that the majority of kids getting hit in your neighborhood are by FS PU’s & SUV’s. Just some crap you pulled out of your butt to push your BS narrative.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Carlson Fan: “Sorry it has absolutely nothing to do with the vehicle and everything to do w/the driver. I can see a kid jump out in front me just as easily & react just as quickly behind the wheel of my Tahoe as I can my Volt. Actually better in the Tahoe.”

            — Might I recommend reading the environmental issue again? Keep in mind that today’s typical vehicle is taller than any kid. Hell, they’re taller than most adults! Moreover, most people park nosed into their parking spaces, meaning the tallest portion of the vehicle is closest to the street. This makes it virtually impossible to see a kid popping out from between parked cars. Your height offers NO advantage and your tall fenders are still taller than most kids. Your Volt has the advantage by letting you see them as they emerge while you may not see them at all in your Tahoe until it’s too late to even attempt to swerve.

            My argument has to do with situational awareness and far, FAR too few drivers seem to have it today… especially those driving the big pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            ” Keep in mind that today’s typical vehicle is taller than any kid. Hell, they’re taller than most adults! Moreover, most people park nosed into their parking spaces, meaning the tallest portion of the vehicle is closest to the street. This makes it virtually impossible to see a kid popping out from between parked cars. Your height offers NO advantage and your tall fenders are still taller than most kids.”

            You are the kind of person that would blame the gun for people getting shot and forks for people getting fat.

            Oddly enough though, when someone hits another person in a vehicle, the police don’t charge the vehicle, they charge the driver. When a gun shoots someone, they charge the person holding the gun, not the gun itself. And who pays the bill for obesity? The fork or insurance companies?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @EBFlex: Thank you for finally acknowledging that the problem is the people buying, not the vehicles themselves. Pickup trucks wouldn’t be so big if the OEMs didn’t pander to the STATUS SYMBOL that is the modern pickup truck.

        • 0 avatar
          statikboy

          Another problem with these proximity systems: my friend’s Model 3’s proximity alert goes off constantly if he drives past a row of parked vehicles. Would it specially distinguish a child appearing?

          Makes me wonder if he had active steering, would it steer him back and forth between parked rows (on a narrow residential street) or just refuse to move?

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Perhaps your issue is on-street parking then @vulpine? I live in Truck Mecca and can count on no fingers the number of kids that get hit in my neighborhood. As you seem to want everyone to rearrange their lifestyle, perhaps you should move somewhere where the houses aren’t packed in like sardines and people can park on these new and exciting things called driveways.

          Parking on the street is a far bigger nuisance and hazzard than pickups in my opinion. As such I live somewhere where people don’t do that. See how that works?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandalay: Ummmm…. No. I made it quite clear that the parking is off-street. In fact, I gave a full description of the parking and made it quite clear that on-street parking space is extremely limited. Of course, this also means that the roadway is wide enough to allow drivers to significantly exceed the posted speed limits as a result, despite added speed-controlling obstacles that cannot be bypassed.

            And again, it is because those trucks are so large and so over-powered that their drivers are hitting children and pets.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Most neighborhoods do not in fact have multiple children struck by vehicles over the course of a year no matter what the vehicle of choice is among the populace. Most dont have a single child hit. If your neighbors are mowing down multiple kids a year @Vulpine, then perhaps it is time to take a look in the mirror and address the loose nut behind the wheel rather than blaming the vehicle. If you aren’t full of it and you in fact have multiple kids being struck, it is time for some of your neighbors to move out of your neighborhood and into a state prison for a while.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandalay: Strange how you just echoed what I just said, albeit with different words.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Your last paragraph resonates with me. I’ve generally lurked around this site since shortly before Farrago was on his way out. There used to be an author who received emails asking about what cars they could buy in a given segment. In the emails would be listed preferred transmission types, preferred body styles and wants or needs. The comments sections would invariably devolve into telling the OP why their preferences were somehow incorrect, or why they should be looking at something else altogether. Or there would be the financial education which wasn’t asked for. I’m probably guilty of a certain amount myself, but as I’ve gotten older it’s been less interesting to insert my preferences into the commentary, except to say that I do or do not like something.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    This is a welcome tone that I don’t often see.

    Someone who actually enjoys a truck and appreciates its virtues.

    Nice review.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    So much money for so little real-world practicality. I’m not even sure this would fit in my garage.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      ” I’m not even sure this would fit in my garage.”

      Give me break, you don’t have a garage you have a shed made for parking bicycles & lawn mowers in……LOL

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    To heck with practicality, function, etc. In my lottery win/dream driveway would be a ‘full sized’ preferably body on frame, 7 (or 8 Passenger), v8, domestic SUV.

    Yes I realize that a minivan would probably perform about 90% of the daily functions better, but still.

    In regards to the Tahoe reviewed, I do have an issue/complaint. With all that instrument panel and space why the tacked-on ‘tablet’ style screen?

    Not only are they ugly. They demonstrate that too many auto designer have little to no experience actually driving/operating vehicles. And if they don’t present some sort of interior hazard then why not return to the pre-Sammy Davis Jr accident days of including all kinds of sharp and hard objects on the instrument panel/interior?

  • avatar
    jmo

    It would be better if you focused more on the truck and less on your own personal musings about automotive journalism. We really don’t care what you think of other journalists. We care about the truck.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Price is relative. I bought a 2018 Silverado LTZ Crew Cab (MSRP $54,000.00) transaction price $10,000.00 less than that amount. I traded in a GMC Sierra SLT for $25,000.00.

    Yea-there wasn’t a whole lot left to finance.

    People that buy these things are not trading a Nissan Versa or Toyota Corolla.

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    So if nobody “needs” a truck this big, I guess you won’t be checking out a Suburban.

  • avatar
    mor2bz

    What truck?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Must everything be political? The Tahoe has been the go to vehicle for people who have stuff they need to haul to the four corners of this country for as long as anyone can remember. They’re big, powerful and now more comfortable then ever.

    Even at $68K a Tahoe never comes across as a status vehicle, but a vehicle for people who need to do a lot of stuff in a lot of different places and since a Tahoe can easily go 250K miles and more, not a terrible investment

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      “ Tahoe never comes across as a status vehicle,”

      Hahahahaha hahahahaha. Thanks! I haven’t laughed like that in a while.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Really? Escalade or Denali, yes, but your basic Tahoe is pretty much the standard all weather/all terrain family hauler around where I am. Very much like a Ford F150 or Chevy Silverado in standard trim packages

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    God help me, I love these things. There’s a handful of vehicles that on paper, don’t perform especially well, but have undeniable charm – these are one of those vehicles.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The latest issue of Hot Rod has an engine dyno test comparing the 5.3 LS port injection vs direct. The DI motor really does have a big advantage, especially in torque. And there wasn’t much they could to to improve it, the design is really well done.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Horsepower and torque would most definitely be improved with an aftermarket Cold Air Intake.

      (Source: thousands of used car listings on Craigslist.)

      Stancing it and putting a subwoofer where the back seat used to be increase the resale value, too.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The L83 has always done good on dyno tests but the stopwatch doesn’t lie.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The stop watch has the current 2019-2020 Silverado/Sierra pickups with the DFM variant of the 5.3 at about 6 seconds 0-60 in a 4 door 4X4 truck which is about the same time a like equipped Ram does with the bigger Hemi and optional 3.55 or 3.93 gears so I would say the 5.3 does pretty well for itself.

        My friend has a 2016 Tahoe with the 3.08 rear gears and the older 5.3 AFM and 6 speed and it never lacks for power and easily blasts past slow moving traffic. The new 2021’s are quicker still with the new 10 speed and std 3.23 rear gears. It would be nice if Gm offered a 3.73 rear gear like they used to for the heavy towing crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I wonder if they have gone more agressive with the camshafts on the newer ones? You can get 100 HP from a Cam Swap on the early 5.3’s. The rectangle port heads outflow the older cathederal port ones typically as well. GM left a ton on the table performance wise with the early versions.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    “And if you have a habit of driving in places where children literally materialize from the road surface as if they’re a dot on your old Nokia’s game of Snake”

    Oh, you mean like any suburban street where kids pop up out of nowhere? These outsized vehicles are exactly why North American companies are fading in world relevance as vehicle makers. They’ve never been able to do anything well except big body on frame barges.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    It’s not as ugly as the current generation face on the Silverado, but it’s close enough to where you’d want to back it into the garage so you could minimize the amount of time you spent looking at the grille.

    It ranks up there with the Lexus gaping maw, the Acura buck tooth, and the Subaru Tribeca not even going to describe it grille as standing out by being unpleasant to look at.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    After looking at the pictures again I see the RST badge on the tailgate. Since I’m not well versed in GM nomenclature, I don’t know what that means. Is that an appearance package on top of the other options packages, or is there going to be a version that gets the 4 cylinder from the Silverado and this is a stock photo of that?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    These do nothing for me because I don’t tow. If you tow, sure, this is a good tool to get the job done.

    But let’s be honest – most of these are towing nothing but kids to Target or to Habit Burgers or to their friends’ houses.

    Anyone still dogging minivans at this point needs to shop around. Those will run 15-20k less than this. That’s still stupid money – $50k – for a minivan, but at least it’s more reasonable than this for kid duty.

    Even better, got get a TransitConnect for $35k loaded.

    These rigs are really nice, but you are paying through the nose for it.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      And if you need a ginormous pick up truck for some specific rare or occasional task, rent one. Far cheaper than buying one.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “But let’s be honest – most of these are towing nothing but kids to Target or to Habit Burgers or to their friends’ houses.”

        Some truth to that , but I know what I see at the thousands of boat landings and camp grounds in MN &,WI and when I’m up in the UP of MI snowmobiling I know what I see pulling the all the v-nose enclosed trailers up there as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “These do nothing for me because I don’t tow. If you tow, sure, this is a good tool to get the job done.”e

      You got that right. My ’07 ‘Hoe has pretty much been relegated to towing duty only. It pretty much never leaves home without a boat, snowmobile or utility trailer hooked to the back of it. The day I no longer tow is the day I won’t need a 1/2 ton truck.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Each of these rigs sold adds 17K plus to Mary Barra’s triple zero fantasy future and assure an even larger than previous 22M bonus for her!

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    That’s called capitalism, and while wishing for socialism and a planned economy where everyone will need to enter a lottery to buy bread and — maybe someday after waiting for years — an electric-powered Trabant might be the ideal, we aren’t there yet. . . . . . .

    Nice ideological hyperbole there. Pardon me, but that wording sounds like some one who is stuck in Piaget’s second of four stages of childhood cognitive development. A lot of us, including President Stable Genius with Great and Unmatched wisdom are stuck in this the pre-operative stage, 2-7 year old range, who have never grown up. I want it, because I want it. I, I, I, me, me, me.

    Here is my counterpoint. The Trabant was the product of a system that outlawed private ownership and was controlled entirely by bureaucratic fiat of a totalitarian government. Government ownership of the economic means wealth creation. Of course it failed. That is what is called socialism-the actual definition of the word.
    Please name any organization or persons who are currently openly advocating 100% government take over and operation of the all privately owned companies. I’m waiting.

    IMHO Free enterprise is an indispensable component of an advanced, first class, high standard of living society. There is everything right about protecting free enterprise and private ownership. It is essential. That said it is an extremely powerful force, and like wild horses, or nuclear reactors, or fire, if left to its own, it will run wild and harm and kill people. It needs to be harnessed and incentivized to in order to build a first class nation and society.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    There is everything right and proper for an elected democratic government of, by, and for the people creating a body of law, enacting regulations, and structuring taxes in order to advance our collective society.
    Are we all mutually cannibalistic sharks, every man for himself, I got mine f**k you? Or are we fellow citizens helping each other in the advancement of each other, our society, and our nation?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “It needs to be harnessed and incentivized to in order to build a first class nation and society.”

      There are very people that advocate for no lines at all. The tricky part is getting people to agree on where the lines belong.

  • avatar
    tinbad

    When these “trucks” MSRP’d in the low 40’s (and could reliably make it to 200k miles with little maintenance) they made a lot more sense but at 70k, highly questionable reliability and GM fit & finish quality, leasing a much more refined/luxurious X7 (or GLS for that sake) seems a much better proposition.

    Being the target demographic (4 kids, frequent road trips, 70-100k budget) we ended up with an X7 in our driveway. It’s much nicer to drive, the dealership experience is miles above Chevy and it can still fit 6-7 comfortably and tow 7500lbs!

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      tinbad-

      No….just no. You can’t tow 7,500 pounds with 6 or 7 people in the vehicle. You can’t even tow a trailer in excess of 25 feet (Or you shouldn’t due to wheelbase limitations). You are not aware of towing limitations and a THING CALLED PAYLOAD.

      You are a perfect candidate for the X7 you bought. And thankfully didn’t buy anything bigger.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “You can’t tow 7,500 pounds with 6 or 7 people in the vehicle. You can’t even tow a trailer in excess of 25 feet (Or you shouldn’t due to wheelbase limitations). You are not aware of towing limitations and a THING CALLED PAYLOAD.”

        Considering that the X7 has a wheelbase 1 inch longer than the Tahoe and this RST trim will be within 100 lbs of the BMW for payload I don’t think he really have up much capability.

        Outside of some configurations of 1-ton trucks there aren’t many vehicles where you can load up the interior with people and still max tow.

      • 0 avatar
        tinbad

        My point was that if you need to tow the occasional toy, an X7 or GLS seems perfectly capable. I doubt the majority of these “soccer mom mobiles” end up towing much at all, let alone 25ft trailers. No doubt there are people out there using these to their Intended/max capability (and probably opt for the larger Burb anyway) but for everyone else, the “true luxury” options seem a much better proposition IMO.

        Besides, having towed anything more than a few toys in my (2019) 1500 Silverado also didn’t inspire too much confidence. If one really needs to haul a serious trailer/camper a “proper” heavy duty truck seems the way to go.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Once your German machine is out of its 3-year warranty, you’ll probably want to sell it before it kills your pocketbook with expensive repairs and/or maintenance. When you decided to sell it, you’ll take a greater depreciation hit than if you would have spent the same $$ on a Yukon or Tahoe. And you find repairs on the GM products are cheaper than on the Germans’, both parts and labor. There’s a reason that leases represent the overwhelming share of transactions on new BMW/Mercedes/Audi vehicles.
      Here’s a recent true-life example: I just completed my 6th cross-country trip pulling my 28 foot Airstream trailer with the 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 in my avatar’s photo. While a small town in northwestern Missouri, the starter failed (the truck has 110,000 miles). The local mechanic replaced it with a rebuilt one for $350, all up. Think you could do that with your X7? Probably not.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        “Once your German machine is out of its 3-year warranty, you’ll probably want to sell it before it kills your pocketbook with expensive repairs and/or maintenance. When you decided to sell it, you’ll take a greater depreciation hit than if you would have spent the same $$ on a Yukon or Tahoe.”

        Exactly, I couldn’t imagine trying to keep a 13 year old BMW or Mercedes SUV w/180K running that’s had to soldier through as many salty MN winters. With the 2007 ‘Hoe I never give it a 2nd thought if it will get me to where I need to go every weekend. Still reliable as the day is long and not once since I drove it off the dealer lot 13 years ago has it EVER left me on the side of the road. This is my 3rd GM FS truck and there will be a 4th.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        My friend has a 2016 Yukon with the 5.3/6 speed auto and well over 100K on the clock. So far all he has done is tires, brakes, a smog pump belt and recently an alternator because it was making a little noise and as he is a perfectionist replaced it right after just to be on the safe side. Otherwise it has been 100% reliable and he would get another without hesitation.

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      Like most GM vehicles, the MSPR is fake. Stacks of cash will be on the hood in short time. A base Tahoe starts at $49k MSRP. The trim reviewed here is fairly high spec.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    I think some of these posts-seethe with jealously-not socialism………………

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t have a problem with a Tahoe or Suburban but I don’t want one. If there are people that are going to buy these regardless of price then GM should raise the price. Instead of 68k raise it to 90k and above. People that want these will either finance or lease. I am with Vulpine in that if you want a smaller truck you are forced to buy a midsize which are closer in size to what full size trucks were 30 years ago. The compact trucks that will be coming out will be crew cab only with 4 foot beds. I don’t want a 4 foot bed but I want and need a compact truck with at least a 5 foot or more bed.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t have a problem with a Tahoe or Suburban but I don’t want one. If there are people that are going to buy these regardless of price then GM should raise the price. Instead of 68k raise it to 90k and above. People that want these will either finance or lease. I am with Vulpine in that if you want a smaller truck you are forced to buy a midsize which are closer in size to what full size trucks were 30 years ago. The compact trucks that will be coming out will be crew cab only with 4 foot beds. I don’t want a 4 foot bed but I want and need a compact truck with at least a 5 foot or more bed.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      They are a $100K and above in Escalade or Denali trim, just like any truck can get to a $100K if you want it to, but even in basic form Tahoes are a pretty much do anything vehicle especially if you haul, hunt, tow on any terrain other then a paved hwy.

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Every Saturday I take my daughter to balet. Since it only lasts one hour, I just sit in my modest, little car and observe all the mothers dropping off their precious girls. All without exception drive Suburbans, Expeditions, Tahoes, Armadas, Cadillac Escalades and Sequoias. All seem to be 5’2 to 5’4 tall and all exhibit different degrees of difficulty backing up. I did see a father drop off his daughter but he was driving a Pacifica.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Suburbans do make great limos. When I went to Cancun you could reserve a Suburban to go back and forth to the hotel–it cost more but well worth it with the comfort and the room. Plenty of room for baggage. Wouldn’t want or need to own a Suburban or Tahoe but they have their place.

  • avatar

    In a typical burb, if you do cart around the soccer team or baseball team or lacrosse team or hockey team, you do actually need this much space, especially adding equipment bags. My Third row has been used many times. The ability to swallow a 4×8 standard size building material is very helpful if you are a homeowner.

    The SUV looms large (sorry) in the minds of the city dwelling anti-car set, who unfortunately has taken over via regulatory capture the NYC DOT. This mindset is all cars=bad, and big cars=big bad. SUV ownership in the city is rare for commonsense reasons…most are CUV on smaller frames. Car ownership self regulates via parking costs, which can match a studio apartment in a smaller city. NYC DOT has assisted the private parking industry through poorly done re striping of roads and parking elimination. Six lanes become one with truck deliveries….by design.

    One day, those anti car zealots will realize that the Brooklyn apt is…small, and they can’t afford the big 2 bedroom that costs more than a three bedroom house in XXX, so maybe they should look at that house…with yard….hmmm covid……and will last about a month bicycling and attempting to sustain the lifestyle in the city they swore they’d continue when they moved. I’ve seen it more than once.

    Subaru or Prius tends to be the gateway drug for these folks.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      I just moved out of a city with a population of 3 million and had the 550sqft high rise condo. The car I had for the duration of my stay there was a fiat 500 abarth but that’s now in storage and I have a 4runner. Best part was it could be used as a garage as space and storage was almost non existent. I also use it for what its meant for, went camping 5 times, cottage, road trips, off roading etc. Most useful vehicle I’ve ever had. I love the new GM’s but they are overpriced, GM has admitted they have 10-20K tacked onto the price to fund EV development. NO thanks!

  • avatar
    ajla

    People are free to have their own opinions about things but I hope all you anti-large vehicle and anti-high power folks bother to show up with the same comments in reviews for products that aren’t built by GM, Ford, or FCA. I don’t see why an X5M or Sequoia should get a pass.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Actually if I were to buy a large vehicle like this I would buy a used Sequoia or Lexus. Scotty Kilmer has had several of those on his webcast that were bought used and could go a couple of more 100ks. Scotty says if you want a used Chevy GMC Suburban, Yukon, and Tahoe get one built 2002 and before because they are better built.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Scotty is an annoying shill though

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      Jeff S

      The Japanese just don’t get the full size SUV segment-they may have reliable powertrains-but quite frankly the remainder of whats left just stinks. Ride, ergonomics, just about everything else.

      Hint-my son worked for a very large high volume Toyota Dealership-they sold one Land Cruiser a year-and the Sequoia’s were not much better.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Using Scotty Kilmer logic one customer of his supposedly had a Silverado with an A/C condenser that failed at 110K miles and he had a hard time fixing it so they are all junk and you should never buy one. People call in all the time with issues with there Toyota’s and Honda’s and he gives them a free pass every time no matter the issue. He is just another in a long line of GM/FCA haters that would never say a good thing about any of their products even if someone paid him. He recently called the new Silverado junk because GM is offering a turbo 4 cylinder as an option. So how does that make them all junk Scotty?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Scotty might be annoying but he is usually right. I would rely on a mechanic with over 53 years of hands on mechanical experience more than a writer on long term reliability of a vehicle. Having owned older GMs and newer ones there has been a noticeable decline in quality from the late 90s and early 00s to recent GM products especially after the GM bailout.

    I was never a worshipper at the altar of Toyota and Honda until the last few years of GM and Ford cost cutting at the expensive of quality. Air conditioning evaporators moved from under the hood to inside a dashboard that make repairs more expensive and timing chains and belts enclosed with water pumps are among some of the things that have made me less a fan of domestic manufacturers. I tend to keep my vehicles but for some that lease and don’t keep a vehicle more than 3 to 5 years and don’t know what type of engine they have under the hood then it doesn’t matter. Toyotas are ridiculously priced but Toyota has at least keep some quality. I don’t blame the workers for the quality as much as the CEOs in the race to use the cheapest parts at the expensive of quality.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Some I keep, some I don’t but frankly I’d lease a Toyota if I had to have one because they have good residuals due to high resale and I can’t see wanting to live with one long term. As such I’d rather just lease something enjoyable.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Different strokes for different folks. I tend to keep my vehicles for over 10 years. Lately with Covid-19 I don’t drive that much so owning the latest vehicle is not as important especially since it spends more time parked in my garage than on the road.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The Tahoe LT with luxury package and towing group if desired seems to be the sweet spot if I were to buy one of these. The MSRP on this combination is about 61K sticker and maybe mid to high 50’s discounted. It’s a lot of truck for that price range. But almost 70K is a bit much for something with dulled out trim and dark wheels and virtually zero brightwork and no visible exhaust outlets!

  • avatar
    Avid Fan

    Wow, we’ve all become so enlightened we’re now blind. Get your wrists off your foreheads ladies and unclutch those pearls whilst your at it. Tell those Kardashian drenched pedestrians to put the phone down and open their eyes.
    Oh, who could possible “need” such a truck as this? Really?! Why don’t you go rub your Biden/Harris lapel pins and wish them away. Who needs a house with more than one bedroom. Hell, who needs a house. Who needs more than $10k dollars a year. Who needs military grade assault weapons (I do). Why do you read automotive web sites then bitch about cars. If I had the funds I’d pop for the big engine, turbo it and go hunting for Cayennes. So relax, kids when the Old Major, Napoleon and Snowball are finally seated they will keep them for their very own and thus save us from ourselves.

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