With the world opening up and summer rapidly passing us by, it was that time of year again to pack up the whole family, dogs included, and head to the New Hampshire coast for a week. This is an annual trip for us; last year we took the Ford Expedition King Ranch Max. This year though, we decided to go with the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country. Complete with its new looks, larger body, and even more updated chassis, we were in for a treat.
Nine days and about 1,100 miles later, we thoroughly tested this Tahoe’s new capability and expanded interior dimensions. The biggest change in this all-new Tahoe, the independent rear suspension, really shows its benefits in the third row and cargo area. The new rear suspension also allows our High Country tester to have the air suspension with adaptive dampers that can raise and lower automatically to improve aerodynamics or adjust for any sort of light off-road duty. That new body adopts the face of the new Silverado, but the design language works better here. Our High Country trim shows off its glamour with some bronze accents and polished 22″ wheels, plus High Country badges inside and out. The interior the Tahoe High Country is a bit of a mixed bag. At over $81,000 as tested, there’s some hard plastics in key areas and a few odd ergonomic choices that made us question what Chevy was thinking. The button and pull-tab gear selector takes a little time to get used to and the analog gauge cluster with small central screen is a bit of a letdown. The heads up display does mitigate that last complaint slightly, and the infotainment on the 10.2 inch touchscreen is top notch if not looking a little small inside such a large vehicle. After spending some quality time inside the Cadillac Escalade, the Tahoe’s cabin does feel like a bigger step down than it should in High Country spec.
But other than the screens and interior appointments, the Tahoe delivers in spades. The best parts of the Escalade experience are still here, despite not carrying the badge panache. Needless to say, it as just as quiet and composed on the highway and just as comfortable riding on its 22″ wheels and air suspension. If you have the means, the air suspension is absolutely worth it. The ride quality improvement over the previous generation, due to the rear suspension changes and air ride is immense.
Our ride to the coast consisted of a detour that we didn’t see coming. It led us to a wonderful road through northern Massachusetts that eventually dumped us back onto I-495 near the New Hampshire border. This showed one less-than-stellar quality of the Tahoe, its overall size. We’ve mentioned that it’s grown this generation, and it has with a new length of almost 211 inches. That size shows when you’re on a 55 mph road that has some serious twists and turns. The steering feels like a truck and the brakes are adequate for a few really hard stops but will eventually fade. When you want to get going, the plenty potent 6.2L V8 has your back, and the 10 speed automatic shifts so imperceptibly that you’ll never feel a gear change. Mind you, we didn’t push the Tahoe to the limit on these roads, but even at 70% you can feel that it’s not all too happy doing it, and neither was one of the dogs in the back.
All-in-all the Tahoe is absolutely sublime, and it was the ultimate vacation vehicle that we could have asked for. The ride kept us all-day comfortable, and the 6.2 paired with the 10-speed auto meant that we netted over 18mpg, which is excellent for something this large. The time has come, the full-size SUV market has been put on notice, and the Tahoe has taken its reign at the top.
|2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD High Country||$72,600|
|High Country Deluxe||$5,605|
|Rear Seat Media System||$1,995|
|Floor Console, Power Sliding Center w/ Drawer||$350|
|High Country Deluxe Package Discount||($500)|