The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is the most fuel-efficient full-size SUV in its class and the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban isn’t far behind. Further behind are the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Nissan Armada, and Infiniti QX80, the two chief rivals of the models.
The best-in-class figures are courtesy of General Motors’ 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-dielse engine. That engine is new for the 2021 model year in the Tahoe and Suburban. Rear-wheel drive Tahoes get 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined. Four-wheel drive models get 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe has been completed redesigned.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet
Chevy’s 2021 Suburban gets 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined when equipped with front-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive Suburbans get 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined when equipped with front-wheel drive.
The diesel power plant is the first diesel engine offered in GM’s full-size SUVs since 1999. It first appeared as part of the GM lineup in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado. In that application it quickly earned accolades for its quiet operating noise and fuel efficiency, as well as its near-immediate delivery of power.
In every application, the Diesel engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The 2021 Tahoe’s engine gets 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the engine. Diesel-powered front-wheel drive models have a maximum towing capacity of up to 8,200 pounds and a max payload of 1,717 pounds. With the same engine under the hood, the 2021 Suburban has a maximum towing capacity of up to 8,000 pounds and a max payload of 1,625 pounds.
The 3.0-liter turbo-diesel is a relatively new addition to the GM lineup.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet
“The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel brings responsive torque and a smooth driving experience, ideal for those who tow or spend many hours behind the wheel,” said John Barta, assistant chief engineer for the 3.0L Duramax. “Not only is the 3.0L Duramax a refined engine, but the total experience benefits from the efforts to deliver enhanced driving dynamics in Tahoe and Suburban through the independent rear suspension and available Magnetic Ride Control and Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.”
The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel is available on the LS, LT, RST and Premier trims with an MSRP of $995 over the base 5.3L V8 gas engine. It is also available in the High Country trim as a $1,500 MSRP decrease over the standard 6.2L V8 gas engine.
The first customer deliveries of the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban with the available 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel are expected to begin before the end of the year.