2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Diesel: Overview
General Motors (GM) is committed to an electrified future. Early this year GM announced their plans to go carbon neutral by 2040 and offer 40% of the company’s US models as battery electric by the end of 2025. This was a $27 billion initial investment in the next five years. However, today’s reality is different. American companies in particular including GM are still very much dependent on big trucks and truck-based SUVs for their profitability and survival. And those vehicles that are capable of carrying and towing a lot, need big gasoline (or diesel) engines. Electrifying this category at a large scale will take time. And big, internal combustion engines still have room for improvement they disappear in the history of automobiles.
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Diesel: Engine and Powertrain
Our tester, the Tahoe Premier had a Duramax Turbocharged 6-cylinder, 3.0L diesel engine which delivers a whopping 460 lb-ft of torque and 277 horsepower. And only a diesel engine can generate this maximum torque at only 1500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 10-speed transmission. Except for heavy vehicles, diesel engines do not have the same popularity in North America as in Europe. And the VW Diesel Scandal five years ago also helped to tarnish the image of this technology. Realistically speaking, diesel engines make sense for big utes like the Tahoe where torque matters most to move people and stuff and tow big “toys” from boats to trailers. Due to their working principle, diesel engines have a much higher compression ratio (20 plus) and deliver high torque at lower revolutions. This principle brings the benefit of lower consumption.
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Diesel: Interior
Tahoe is a very big vehicle (even if there is an even larger version of it that we call Suburban) with excellent visibility. It offers a comfortable ride for seven people. The biggest improvement for the current generation is the space-saving multilink rear axle that also provides a more comfortable ride.
The dashboard and the instrumentation are well designed and executed. You still feel the distance to the higher positioned GMC Yukon and absolutely to the luxury Cadillac Escalade. However, the build quality of the Tahoe is light years better than, let’s say, 10 years ago.
The non-digital instrument cluster is very easy to read, with most buttons and controls you can use even with gloves. The 10.2″ HD colour, touchscreen infotainment system delivers crystal clear pictures is not so distracting like two generations ago. As with late-model GM vehicles, you can switch the rearview mirror into a rearview camera. There is no shortage of storage space with the big centre console, the big glove compartment and door pockets.
Second-row captains chairs with 1,066.8 mm legroom are very comfortable
Rear Seat Media System includes dual rear seat-mounted 12.6″ diagonal colour-touch LCD HD screens, Wi-Fi wireless projection capability, two 2-channel wireless infrared digital headphones with 2 HDMI ports on the back of the centre console; compatible with Bluetooth headphones.
The front and second-row seats are very comfortable with the 2nd-row captain chairs. Access to the third-row bench is relatively easy. however, when all seats are occupied, the cargo volume drops to 722 litres which may be too small for the luggage of seven occupants. This is where you may consider the Suburban, Tahoe’s bigger cousin.
You can read our review of the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country here:
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Diesel: Driving Impressions
For me, a turbo-diesel engine is the best match for a big SUV. And this combination works very well with this Tahoe. The powerful engine, the 10-speed, torque converted transmission and all-wheel drive ensures continuous, uninterrupted delivery. Obviously, this big ute is neither a sports car nor a midsize sedan. The magnetic ride control, which is standard in the Premier package provides ride comfort similar to a big sedan. Nicely, with a vehicle that weighs 3,447 kg and can tow up to 3,628 kg, we reached an average consumption of 10,7 litres of diesel.
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Diesel: Pricing and Equipment
For details of pricing, equipment and options, please see the window sticker of our tester below.
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier Diesel: Conclusion
GM’s family of big SUVs consisting of Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac has always been vitally important in terms of market share and profitability. These vehicles are powerful tools for limo and VIP services, public agencies and customers, who want a powerful and spacious workhorse to travel and tow. And with the new generation, these SUVs got only better. The Chevrolet Tahoe is the starting point of this SUV family. Until we reach the point of full electrification, the Tahoe is a solid choice, particularly with a long-lasting, torquey and fuel-efficient diesel engine.
For more information, please visit: http://www.chevrolet.ca