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A red 2021 Chevy Tahoe RST is driving under a city bridge at night.

Spot the Difference: 2021 Chevy Tahoe vs 2020 Chevy Tahoe

A new year is bringing about a newly restyled SUV from Chevy that is perfect for large families. So today, we are going to break down the differences between the new 2021 Chevy Tahoe vs 2020 Chevy Tahoe. If you thought last year’s model was the best, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. Bigger and more comfortable than ever before, the upcoming Tahoe is here to impress the families of America. So, let’s explore the unique features that separate these two SUVs.

Size Matters

The new 2021 Chevy Tahoe is quite a bit bigger than the 2020 Chevy Tahoe. Starting with the wheelbase, the upcoming model measures 120.9-inches long. That’s 4.9-inches longer than the 2020 model. What this means is that you will have more space for passengers and cargo. And because the wheelbase has gotten longer, the overall length for the 2021 model has also increased. Adding a whopping 6.7-inches, the new measurement for the upcoming Tahoe altogether is 210.7-inches.

The interior space has also increased for both passengers and cargo. For the passengers, the new version gets 18.2 cu.ft. of extra volume. This increase brings the total to 179.7 cu.ft. If you have young children, there will be plenty of growing room inside. As they become teenagers, they will not be cramped for legroom or headspace. In the second row of seating, there are an extra 3-inches of legroom for a total of 42-inches. For the third row of seating, the 2021 Tahoe gets 10.1-inches of extra legroom, bringing the total to 34.9-inches. Your kids can stretch out their legs during a road trip. The shoulder room has also been increased to accommodate a growing family. Front-seat passengers have gained 1.45-inches of shoulder space, while the second- and third-row passengers get 0.15-inches and 1.15-inches of extra wiggle room.

And now that you know there’s plenty of space for growing youngsters, we can get started on the cargo room improvements. This part should get you excited. One of the main complaints with the 2020 Chevy Tahoe was the lack of cargo space behind the last row of seating. At just over 15 cubic feet, it wasn’t nearly enough to handle backpacks, groceries, and sports gear. Chevrolet listened; the upcoming 2021 Tahoe has gotten a makeover in the cargo hold. Behind the third row, 10.2 cu.ft. of extra storage space has been added. This brings the total cargo area with all the seats upright to 25.2 cu.ft. That is a great improvement, but it isn’t the best improvement. What could be better than over 10 extra feet of cargo space? We are glad you asked! The maximum cargo area has grown from 94.7 cu.ft. to a staggering 122.9 cu.ft. That is an increase of 28.2 cu.ft.

Overall the 2021 Tahoe offers far more passenger and cargo space than the 2020 model, which is a fantastic improvement on Chevy’s part.

A gray 2020 Chevy Tahoe is shown from the side while driving in a city.

A Revised Suspension

Replacing the 2020 Tahoe’s live-axle suspension system is a sparkling new multilink rear suspension system. It features an anti-roll bar, coil-over springs, a longitudinal arm, and a trio of lateral arms. This allows the rear load floor to be lower, and it also helps to minimize vibrations. If you are already familiar with the 2020 Tahoe, then you know about Magnetic Ride Control. This advanced feature enhances the shock absorbers’ abilities to perform damping. It comes standard on the Premier and High Country trim levels, and it is optional on the Z71 trim. Overall, it helps to reduce the amount of bouncing and rolling.

In the 2021 model, there will be a brand new Air Ride Adaptive Suspension that gives you an adjustment range of 4-inches when you raise or lower the SUV. It features automatic load-leveling and ride-height adjustment for the smoothest experience inside the cabin. When you hit the highway, the 2021 Tahoe, with the new suspension system, will automatically lower by 0.75-inches to improve the overall fuel-efficiency and aerodynamics. This system also makes it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle, meaning, this is yet another improvement.

The Engine Lineup

The standard powertrain for the 2020 Chevy Tahoe is a 5.3-liter V8 EcoTech3 engine mated with FWD and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Generating 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, this vehicle has a fuel economy set at 18 MPG combined (15 city/22 highway). The optional powertrain that can be fitted onto the top-tier Premier model is the 6.2 V8 EcoTech3 engine. This one pushes out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The towing range for the 2020 model is somewhere between 6,400 and 6,600, depending on which engine you pick.

As for the 2021 Tahoe, the engine lineup remains the same, but the availability changes. The 5.3-liter V8 is standard on the first two trims. The 6.2-liter V8 becomes the standard engine for the top-tier High Country model. Another notable difference is the transmission. The previous 6-speed automatic transmission has been swapped out for a 10-speed automatic transmission. Due to the size increase, the average fuel economy drops slightly to 17 MPG combined (15 city/20 highway). However, that difference is small in comparison to all of the improvements being made to the vehicle.

A silver 2021 Chevy Tahoe Z71 is parked on a cliff overlooking mountains. This trim is one of the differences in the 2021 Chevy Tahoe vs 2020 Chevy Tahoe.

Extra Trims

Another significant change between the 2020 and 2021 Tahoe models are the trims. While the Tahoe was only offered in three trims (LS, LT, and Premier), the 2021 Tahoe will be available in six unique trims (LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country) and these trims will offer different things. The 2021 Tahoe LS base model gets a larger standard touchscreen that measures 10-inches. Also, the older 4.2-inch instrument gauge cluster can be upgraded to a larger 8-inch unit. As for the top-of-the-line trims, dual screens can be added to the backseats for entertainment. These two screens are 12.6-inches, and the kids will love watching their favorite shows during long rides.

Now that we’ve covered the major differences, let’s take a closer look at the new 2021 trim lineup. The LS rides on 18-inch wheels, and features LED headlights, forward collision mitigation, and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Next, the LT trim adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, wireless charging pad, and a hands-free liftgate.

Rolling on 22-inch wheels, the new RST trim comes with contrasting stitching on the cabin upholstery and black exterior trim. The next new trim is the Z71 model. It’s got a restyled front fascia and a low-range gearing two-speed transfer case. Other features that help make this model better at off-roading include all-terrain tires, hill-descent control, skid plates, and tow hooks.

The luxury level Premier gets some nice upgrades as well. Included in this model are heated/cooled seats, Magnetic Ride Control, an 8-inch digital instrument cluster, a Bose stereo system with ten speakers, and extra safety systems like blindspot monitoring and lane-keeping assist. Finally, the top-of-the-line, all-new High Country model comes with the bigger engine, a unique grille with bronze accents, a surround-view camera parking system, and a head-up display. A rear pedestrian alert system has also been included.

There are also optional add-ons for the 2021 Tahoe, including the Max Trailering package, a rear entertainment system for the kids, a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension system. In general, the 2021 Tahoe has many more options than the 2020 model.

Take a Drive

There have been so many improvements made for the 2021 Chevy Tahoe. With more space, better performance, and new options, the newly designed SUV is something to behold. While it has not been released for sale yet, it is set to do so soon. And when it does, consider taking it for a test drive; it truly is something special!

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