|144.7||Cargo Capacity (cu.ft.)||129.9|
What’s the Difference Between the 2021 Chevy Suburban and the 2021 Chevy Tahoe?
Buyers shopping for three-row SUVs may find it a challenge to wade through all the options and features of every vehicle. Chevy alone has two large three-row SUVs, which may seem nearly identical when it comes to what they offer. To help buyers choose between the options, a comparison of the 2021 Chevy Suburban vs 2021 Chevy Tahoe may help clarify which SUV is better for you. Both SUVs have a lot in common, but there are subtle differences, which can determine which SUV suits your lifestyle best.
Overall, the 2021 Chevy Tahoe and the 2021 Chevy Suburban share many of the same features and attributes, with the biggest exception being the size. If you plan to tow a trailer, the Tahoe is most likely to be best suited for the job. For long-distance driving and travel, the Suburban is more likely to be comfortable for passengers, especially a group of adults. The Suburban will also fit more luggage or equipment in the trunk area when all the seats are in position for occupants.
No matter which vehicle you choose, both the Tahoe and Suburban are equipped with engines that have better fuel efficiency than in the past, and there is more tech inside than any other previous models. Add to the list all the safety features, and you can’t go wrong with either vehicle. It’s a matter of space or towing capacity that will be the deciding factor. Which vehicle is right for you will boil down to the preference of the buyer’s needs.
First, let’s look at the drivetrain. Both the 2021 Suburban and Tahoe share the same engine options. Each SUV’s less expensive trims come standard with the 5.3-liter Ecotec3 V8 engine, which makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a 10-speed transmission, and averages 18 miles per gallon. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive optional.
With rear-wheel drive, this engine will tow up to 8,400 lbs under the hood of the Tahoe, and will carry a payload of 1,834 lbs. Equipped with four-wheel drive, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,200 lbs and can carry a payload of 1,746 lbs. The same engine in the 2021 Suburban will tow 8,300 lbs with the standard rear-wheel drive, and carries a payload of 1,750 lbs. The four-wheel drive takes it down to 8,100 lbs max, with a payload max of 1,759 lbs. For buyers interested in towing a trailer, the Tahoe will make a better choice in the case of this engine, as the Suburban on its own is heavier and will not tow or haul as much weight.
Equipping the optional 6.2-liter Ecotec3 V8 will gain more horsepower and torque, while maintaining the same fuel efficiency. This V8 engine makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, and is paired to the same 10-speed transmission as the 5.3-liter option. For both the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban, this engine comes equipped on the High Country trim, but can be added as an option to the less expensive trims.
Towing and payload ratings for the 2021 Tahoe equipped with the 6.2-liter and rear-wheel drive are a max of 8,300 lbs for trailering and 1,671 lbs of payload capacity. Four-wheel drive reduces that capability to towing 8,100 lbs and hauling a max payload of 1,616 lbs. The Suburban with the same engine will tow a maximum of 8,200 lbs with a payload max of 1,612 lbs when paired with the standard rear-wheel drive. Equipping four-wheel drive will reduce the towing capacity for the Suburban to a max of 7,900 lbs with a payload of 1,612 lbs. Again, the Tahoe is the SUV best suited to towing and hauling for buyers who expect to hook up a trailer.
The final engine option available for both SUVs is the Duramax 3.0-liter turbo-diesel, also paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency ratings are not yet available for this engine, and it is marked as an option only for late availability, according to Chevy. For now, the data available is that the engine will put out 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The difference between the gas-powered and diesel is most likely to be seen in fuel efficiency, as the diesel should have better gas mileage. Both the Tahoe and Suburban share the same trim levels, and are making this diesel option available on the following trims: LS, LT, RST, Premier, and High Country.
Depending on whether or not you plan to travel long distances with your SUV, each of the three-row seating arrangements will afford plenty of space and convenience to make travel more comfortable. While the 2021 Tahoe will offer better towing and hauling capacity, the Suburban has more interior space available for both legroom in the third row and cargo space in the rear.
In fact, the 2021 Suburban is rated as “best-in-class” for cargo volume, with up to 144.7 cubic feet available with all the seats down. In comparison, the Tahoe is still massive with 129.9 cubic feet total, but clearly the Suburban is the SUV for traveling with large groups or lots of equipment and luggage. It should be noted that both these SUVs were expanded on the interior for the 2021 new designs.
Seating in both the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban can be configured for between seven and nine passengers, depending on the trim level and seat options, though the Suburban offers more room overall. Leg room in the 2021 Suburban now allows 44.5 inches in the front seat, 42 inches in the second row, and 36.7 inches in the third row. The Tahoe has the same leg room for the front and second row seats, but the third row is slightly smaller at 34.9 inches. If the back seats are intended only for kids, this is plenty of room; for adults, the Suburban will be much more comfortable.
Convenience features are plentiful with both the Tahoe and the Suburban, with standard amenities like keyless open and start, remote start, automatic tri-zone climate control, electronic precision shift, leather-wrapped steering wheel, powered accessories, and a cargo management system. Options available for upper trims include a driver’s memory seat, heated front and second-row seats, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a powered sliding center console between the front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Both SUVs embrace a comfortable driving experience with seating and convenience options, with the most notable difference being the size of the interior space available.
As with the conveniences of the interior, the technology available for the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban are virtually identical. Both SUVs are well-stocked with technology for both entertainment and ease of driving, with features like a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB ports in all three rows, a WiFi hotspot, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, OnStar services, Satellite Radio trial subscription, Chevy Infotainment 3 system, and HD radio all as standard equipment.
Upper trims will come standard with or have the option to include features like the rear seat media system, which places two 12.6-inch screens on the backs of the front seats so that second- and third-row passengers can view a variety of entertainment options. The screens can be synced to watch the same program or video, or can watch different media at the same time. Rear seat passengers can also share information from the rear screens to the front infotainment screen, such as directions. A Bose nine- or ten-speaker audio system is another optional feature for upper trims, and the option for the technology package will include the max trailering package, the rear seat media system, and adaptive cruise control.
Every 2021 Tahoe and Suburban will come standard with a wide range of safety features, from design and mechanical additions to driver-assisted technology. Every Tahoe and Suburban will have a system of airbags, StabiliTrak for electronic traction and stability control, a LATCH system for child safety seats, rear child safety locks, hill start assist, and a rear HD camera as part of the in-vehicle safety.
Driver-assisted safety features will enhance the driver’s ability to stay safe when vehicles may be in the driver’s blind spot, when another car follows too closely, or to help avoid impact if the vehicle senses an impact is imminent. All trims for 2021 will come with a long list of driver-assisted features like auto emergency braking, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, and front pedestrian braking. A rear seat reminder will tell you when a little one may still be in the back seat, and teen driver allows parents to program features to inhibit unsafe driving when they can’t be in the car. Lane change alert with side blind zone alert, front and rear park assist, and lane change alert with lane departure warning are options that can be added for all trims.
Another feature accessible for all trims is the OnStar access. When enabled, it has several features, which add to the safety of the vehicle. OnStar automatically calls emergency services when the vehicle has been in an accident, getting potentially life-saving assistance if the passengers are unable to call for help. Additionally, a head-up display is often touted as a convenience, but it is actually more of a safety feature to keep the driver’s eyes on the road to avoid having to look down at the instrument cluster. This feature is a large 15.2-inch colored display on the windshield and is available on the top two trim levels for both the Tahoe and Suburban.
Upper trims also have the option of HD Surround Vision, which is a 360-degree camera view of the entire vehicle to provide real-time visuals of what is around you before you pull out of a parking space. Other features that come standard or as options for upper trims are trailer side blind zone alert, a safety alert seat, rear pedestrian alert, and rear cross traffic alert. Enhanced auto emergency braking is available only as an option for upper trims.