If you have ever shopped for an SUV you know the Chevrolet Tahoe.
That is because it’s big, roomy and reliable. It also looks great — like a tank with smooth lines and modern instrumentation.
So how do you improve such an iconic machine?
Well, the 2021 edition is the most versatile and advanced Tahoe ever — with a bigger, more spacious cabin, better ride and handling, and a commanding presence that makes its presence known.
The All-New Tahoe features six trims, each offering eye-catching design and premium comfort. From the top-of-the-line comforts of High Country, to the street-inspired style of RST and the legendary off-road capability of Z71, each offers its own unique style and capabilities.
I’m focusing on the 4WD Z71, which starts at $60,500 and comes standard with a 5.3 liter V8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Immediately you get a feeling for its power from its 20-inch all-terrain blackwall tires and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with Technical Gray pockets. At the dealer, this would be my first pick for the tires because to me it speaks to the power of the truck and its dominance on the road when you are behind the wheel.
So let’s talk about why this machine deserves the mantle of being a top SUV for comfort and safety. The Tahoe Z71 comes standard with premium smooth ride suspension. Say it with me now — premium. Why is this important? The truth is that no matter what type of beast you are driving, you are always going to find uneven roads and potholes and god knows what. The premium smooth ride suspension is designed to offer passengers a more comfortable ride by isolating the interior cabin from rough pavement. Imagine yourself in your happy place, and that is what being inside the Tahoe is like when tooling around town or on the highway.
You also get the Stabilitrak electronic system with traction control, which automatically helps enhance control, particularly during emergency maneuvers, by adjusting the brakes and engine torque to help you stay on your intended path.
Traction Control detects wheel slippage and applies brake pressure and/or reduces engine power to help the driver maintain control when accelerating on wet or snow-covered roads.
This is 100 percent essential when I head north to the hinterlands and need my tiger-like reflexes to respond to a deer that decides to jump in front of my vehicle during any kind of snow. I like venison as much as the next guy, but I prefer to get them in the wild when they have a chance to get away instead of becoming a hood ornament for my Tahoe.
Finally, if you are sensitive to how much fuel it takes to keep this baby rocking and rolling on the roadway, and who isn’t these days. This model boasts 15 miles to the gallon in the city, and 19 miles per gallon on the highway. That’s pretty good for such a premium-size vehicle at the top of its SUV category.
For me, the Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 actually is in a class of its own that sets the bar in the industry for both comfort and luxury.