Chevy Tahoe: The Next Generation

May 15th, 2020 by

A black 2017 used Chevy Tahoe is parked in front of a glass building near Cincinnati, OH.

How can you improve on something that is already really good? Well, Chevrolet is going to try to answer that question this year when it unveils the latest edition of the Chevy Tahoe, one of the best three-row full-size SUVs on the market today. The current Tahoe seats up to 8 passengers with plenty of room for cargo or luggage and is considered one of the best vehicles you can buy. And for the 2021 model year, Chevrolet has seen fit to introduce a new generation. So what is coming for the next generation? Will it be better than the 4th? We are going to make a massive comparison today so that you can make that decision for yourself. And if you conclude that you are in the market for a 4th generation, used Chevy Tahoe, now is the best time to buy, since many people are waiting on the new 2021 model and will soon be turning in their old models. But before you jump to any conclusions, let’s take a deep dive into comparing the next generation and the 4th generation.

Which Generation Has Better Engines?

The Chevy Tahoe currently has two engine options. The standard engine is a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and can produce up to 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The top-of-the-line Tahoe Premier offers the option of a larger 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This engine can produce up to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

If you stick with the standard 5.3-liter V8, you will get 15 miles per gallon in city driving, 22 miles per gallon on the highway, and 18 miles per gallon combined with standard rear-wheel drive. This drops to 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 miles per gallon on the highway, and 17 miles per gallon combined if you opt for four-wheel drive. The fuel economy on the optional 6.2-liter V8 is slightly lower. With standard rear-wheel drive, this produces an estimated 14 miles per gallon in city driving and 23 miles per gallon in highway driving. The city estimate remains the same with all-wheel drive but drops to 22 miles per gallon in highway driving. Regardless of the engine, the Tahoe has excellent fuel economy for an SUV of this size and capability.

The 2021 Chevy Tahoe retains the two gas engine options and even makes the larger 6.2-liter V8 standard on the High Country. However, it has already announced better fuel efficiency for this model with the 5.3-liter V8, 16 miles per gallon in the city, 20 miles per gallon, and 18 miles per gallon combined. Chevy is also said to add an optional Duramax 3.0-liter I-6 turbo-diesel on all Tahoe trim levels except for the Z71. This diesel produces up to 277 horsepower and 460 pounds to feet of torque. Chevy expects this diesel to provide greater fuel efficiency than either of the two gas engine options, although the EPA has yet to rate the new 2021 Tahoe.

Chevrolet has also made the Hydra-Matic 10L80 10-speed transmission standard on all trims and engines. This should provide better control over the engines. However, besides the diesel option and the transmission, the engines remain basically unchanged in the new generation.

A grey 2021 Chevy Tahoe is parked in front of a modern home.

Trailering and Cargo in the Tahoe

The most recent 4th generation Tahoe has been rated to tow up to 8,400 pounds. In addition, the dimensions of the Tahoe provide for a great deal of cargo space. The trunk has 15.3 cubic feet for cargo, which expands to 51.7 cubic feet of space with the third row of seats folded down, and 94.6 cubic feet of space with both the second and third rows folded down. That is an impressive amount of cargo, and you can be sure you won’t have to leave any luggage behind.

It is looking like the maximum towing capacity for the next generation, 2021 Tahoe is going to remain the same at 8,400 pounds. However, Chevrolet hasn’t announced the towing capacity of the new Tahoe with the diesel engine, which should see a significant increase. Moreover, Chevrolet has incorporated many trailering technologies from its Silverado pickup series, including an optional Max Trailering package that includes a hitch guidance system with a hitch view feature, a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan, and an integrated trailer brake controller. This is intended to improve the towing experience, if not the maximum towing capacity of the Tahoe. As for cargo, there will be more space for transporting your stuff in the 2021 Chevy Tahoe. The trunk will have a capacity of 25.5 cubic feet. This will expand to 72.6 cubic feet with the third row of seats down, and 122.9 cubic feet of cargo space with both the second and third row of seats folded down. So the next generation seemingly has some great upgrades coming in this area.

Inside the Chevy Tahoe

The brown interior of a 2018 Chevy Tahoe is shown.

The 2021 Chevy Tahoe carries over the Chevrolet Infotainment System from the current 4th Generation model. This incorporates the driver information center, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot into an easy-to-use 8-inch color touchscreen. However, the new Tahoe will have a larger screen, 10-inches of all trims, with an optional 15-inch touchscreen with a head-up display. These improvements will make a huge difference as you will feel like you are driving a modern luxury vehicle.

Additionally, there will be more overall passenger space in the new Tahoe when compared to the 4th generation models. This will be seen primarily in the third row of the seats, which is important as third-row passengers always seem to be cramped, but not in the new Tahoe! The current Tahoe offers 42.8 inches of headroom in the front row, 38.7 inches in the second row, and 38.1 inches in the third row, and 45.3 inches of legroom in the front row, 39 inches in the second row, and 24.8 inches in the third row. The 2021 Tahoe will feature 42.3 inches of headroom in the front row, 38.9 inches in the second row, and 38.2 inches in the third row, and 44.5 inches of legroom in the front row, 42 inches in the second row, and 34.9 inches in the third row. As you can see, the most significant change is an extra 10 inches of legroom in the third row, which is important.

McCluskey Automotive

So, did Chevrolet improve on the Tahoe? It sure seems that way, but only time will tell with the next generation. Nevertheless, the 4th generation Tahoe is one of the best large SUVs and is still available as one of the best used SUV values on the market. If you are looking for a 4th generation Chevy Tahoe, consider taking your search McCluskey Automotive. And if you are waiting on the release of the 2021 Tahoe, come see us when it is released. Plus, even besides the Tahoe, we have an extensive lot with all different Chevy cars, trucks, and SUVs, so you are sure to find something you love. Visit our website or give us a call to see how we can set you up with the right vehicle for you.

Posted in Used Chevy Tahoe