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The grille of a grey 2021 Chevy Tahoe High Country is shown in closeup.

The 2021 Chevy Tahoe: Cheapest Option Versus The Most Expensive Option

Chevy Tahoes are fancy SUVs that are great for towing and traveling. The Tahoe has been around since 1995, and its newest models come in multiple different trims. However, today we’re only looking at two 2021 Chevy Tahoe trims, and the differences between them.

The 2021 Chevy Tahoe’s price ranges from $50,295, all the way to $73,895. This is a big chunk of money. So, it’s valid to ask, “what’s the difference?” Let’s go over the most important differences between the base-level LT trim, and the premium High Country trim. You’ll be able to see which one works best for you, or you may even find out that you’re somewhere in between these two trims. Either way, it should all make much more sense by the time you finish reading.

First off, let’s go ahead and state what these exact trims are. We’re looking at the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, LT 2-wheel drive (2WD) trim, and the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, High Country 4-wheel drive (4WD) trim. We’re analyzing one of the cheapest versus the priciest 2021 Tahoe options. Let’s get into it!

Mechanical Differences

Engines

A grey 2021 Chevy Tahoe LT is driving past grassy hills.

The LT 2WD Tahoe has a smaller engine than its pricier counterpart. It’s still a V8 engine, but it’s a 5.3 liter (L). That sounds large, yet the High Country 4WD Tahoe has a bigger 6.2L V8 engine. That’s almost one liter bigger than the LT’s. Additionally, the LT has 355 horsepower (HP) at 5,600 rotations per minute (RPM), and 383 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 RPM. Conversely, the High Country has 420 HP at 5,600 RPM, and 460 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 RPM. Both engines are powerful, but the High Country obviously packs a bigger punch. This extra strength does impact the fuel-economy, but only by 2 MPG. To elaborate, the LT gets around 18 MPG combined, while the High Country gets 16 MPG combined. If the power is worth those two extra miles, then the High Country is a good option. If you don’t care so much about the engine power, it’s not a bad idea to go with the LT to save some cash.

Other Mechanical Aspects

Both trims have a 10-speed automatic transmission, a 220-amp alternator, and heavy-duty 800 cold-cranking amps batteries. They also both have trailer sway control and trailering equipment. So far, it looks like they’re packing a similar punch. However, the LT does not have automatic emergency braking or hill descent control, but the High Country trim does. Of course, the High Country can also tow heavier weights thanks to its larger engine and the fact that it is 4WD. All in all, the LT still comes with great standard assets, but the High Country is stronger, and it has more safety and technological assets.

Interior Options And Differences

Both trims have Infotainment systems, 4G hotspots, 7 airbags, visors with illuminated mirrors, LATCH systems (which aid in child protection), power windows, and overhead assist handles. However, while the LT has 10-way power driver and front passenger seats, the High Country has 12-way power driver and front passenger seats. The High Country’s Driver Information Center system is larger by 4 inches. Additionally, the High Country comes with an automatic heated steering wheel, a Bose 10-speaker surround sound system rather than 9 speakers like the LT, and a power 60/40 split-folding third-row bench seat. So, most of what you’re paying extra for is on the inside of the cab rather than under the hood.

Technological Advantages And Disadvantages

The truth is that the High Country comes with so many tech advances that the LT does not have. In fact, while you can add some of these to the LT during build mode, others aren’t even available as add-on options for the LT at all. This is important, so let’s look at the main tech differences.

The High Country comes with a power tilt/telescoping steering column. In short, this allows drivers to move the steering wheel in and out, not just up and down. This is important for those who aren’t average in size or height, especially in a larger vehicle. The High Country also uses driver memory to recall the main driver’s preset seating adjustments. This tech trend bleeds over into the safety aspects, too. The High Country comes with rear cross-traffic alert, and it even has something called a safety alert seat, which helps drivers predict potential crashes through vibrations or beeping. The LT does not have lane assist/lane departure warning and direction, but the High Country does. Ah, yes. It looks like we’re starting to see where that extra $20,000 is going.

Tech differences can make or break a purchase, depending on the individual. Some prefer all the technology, while others don’t even want power windows. If you’re on the latter team, you’re in luck when it comes to price. If you’re interested in the 2021 Tahoe, then the LT is a great choice for you. You’ll save around $20,000, and you’ll still get to cruise around looking stylish.

A grey 2021 Chevy Tahoe High Country is driving past a lake.

Aesthetic Customization Options

If you’re considering these two trims, you probably want to know if there are any differences between the models visually. The answer to that question is yes and no. Yes, because there are a few customization options that are standard for the High Country, and sometimes exclusive as well. No, because just the same, there are a few packages that are only available on the LT. This is where it gets complicated. It’s like the whole downloading a game versus purchasing the disc debate. There are exclusive options for both, so how do we pick which route to go? Let’s go over some examples to help clear the air.

Okay, so the Texas Edition package is actually only available for the LT trim. This state-themed package includes large, 22” rims and Texas Edition badging. If you’re originally a Texan, this could be a deal-breaking reason to get the LT over the High Country. Otherwise, it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s one of those exclusive package deals that attract a select number of Chevy-lovers. However, the option for chrome door handles with a body-color strip is only available with the High Country trim. This is something that more people are apt to desire. Those are just a few of the customization options in the Tahoe’s diverse catalog. There’s a lot to deciding what trim to get. It’s all a matter of weighing what pros and cons work best for you.

Conclusion

While there are some major mechanical differences between these two trims, most of the variances lie within technology and safety add-ons, followed by customization. That roughly $20,000 is slightly about the engine, but mostly about tech. It is possible to meet Chevy halfway by trying a trim that’s in between, or by customizing your preferred trim to fit your specific needs. Overall, the base-level LT trim is best for the minimalists out there, while the High Country is for the most luxurious cautious folks. Both options are viable choices for any car owner. It’s really a matter of whether or not the extra features are worth it to you.

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