By the Inches:
Chevrolet Tahoe v. Chevrolet Suburban

The Suburban is the larger of two big Chevy SUVs.

The largest of all utility vehicles are the various Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Ford, and Lincoln models based on their respective company’s full-size truck platforms. They’re among the most substantial passenger vehicles you can buy, prized for their passenger-carrying capabilities, storage space, power, and towing strength.

Chevrolet markets a pair of models under the Tahoe and Suburban names. The GMC equivalents are known as the Yukon and Yukon XL, while Cadillac markets the Escalade and Escalade ESV. In reality, the two Chevrolet models are nearly the same, although there are a few distinctions of note.

Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban

What’re the differences between the Tahoe and Suburban? Mostly, it has everything to do with size.

The Tahoe is big, but the Suburban is bigger still.

The Tahoe sits on a 116-inch wheelbase and measures 203.9 inches long. As for the Suburban, that same platform is stretched to 130 inches with overall length pulled out to 224.4 inches.

Storage capacity heightens those differences.

The 2020 Tahoe has 15.3 cubic feet of storage capacity behind the third-row seat. Behind the second row, there is 51.7 cubic feet. Fold down the second and third rows and there is 94.7 cubic feet of storage capacity available.

Of course, if you need maximum storage capacity, the 2020 Suburban is a clear choice. This one measures 39.3/76.7/121.7 cubic feet, which translates into a substantial increase in the standard and available storage space.


2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier with RST Performance Package.

Seating for up to nine.

You can choose your Tahoe in two seating configurations with room for seven or eight passengers. As for the Suburban, a third option is offered: seating for nine. The latter is achieved by choosing an available front bench seat. Happily, that seat can be converted to seat two with the center seat folded.

Third-row legroom.

Some of us cannot imagine sitting in the third row of any vehicle. Other than possible access and egress challenges, the seats are generally not as comfortable as found in the first two rows.

Importantly, legroom is often sacrificed. Here, the Tahoe offers just 24.8 inches of legroom to 34.5 inches in the Suburban. Thus, the Tahoe’s third row is suitable only for children, while the Suburban can hold adults.

That space is slightly roomier than the 33.5 cubic inches in the Chevrolet Traverse, which is the brand’s largest crossover utility vehicle with room for seven or eight.

More Alike Than Not

Nearly everything else about the Tahoe and Suburban is alike, including the exterior design, cabin layout, and mechanicals. Both come with standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel drive. The Tahoe starts at $49,000, while the Suburban costs $51,700. The Tahoe has a slight edge in towing, pulling up to 8,600 pounds to the Suburban’s 8,300 pounds.

Lastly, both the 2020 Tahoe and 2020 Suburban are set for a full overhaul for 2021. This follows the 2019 makeover of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, the two pickup truck models that share the architecture with the Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac models.


2020 Chevrolet Tahoe Specifications


Chevrolet 2020 Tahoe
Segment Full-size SUV
Price Range $49,000 to $71,225
Destination Charge $1,295
Engine No. 1 5.3-liter, V8
Horsepower 355 @ 5,600 RPMs
Torque (lb.-ft.) 383 @ 4,100 RPMs
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Engine No. 2 6.2-liter, V8
Horsepower 420 @ 5,600 RPMs
Torque (lb.-ft.) 460 @ 4,100 RPMs
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Seating 7
Curb Weight (pounds) 5,355 to 5,772
Wheelbase (inches) 116.0
Length (inches) 203.9
Width (inches) 80.5
Height (inches) 74.4
Headroom (f,r…inches) 42.8, 38.7, 38.1
Legroom (f,r…inches) 45.3, 39.0, 24.8
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 64.8, 65.1, 62.6
Hip room (f,r…inches) 60.8, 60.3, 49.3
Storage (cubic feet) 15.3, 51.7, 94.7
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) NR
Towing (pounds) 8,100 to 8,600
Payload (pounds) NR
Fuel Regular
Fuel Tank (gallons) 31
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway) 15/22/18 (5.3); 14/22/17 (6.2)
Manufacturing Plant Arlington, Texas

Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.


2020 Chevrolet Suburban Specifications


Chevrolet 2020 Suburban
Segment Full-size SUV
Price Range $51,700 to $75,320
Destination Charge $1,295
Engine No. 1 5.3-liter, V8
Horsepower 355 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 383 @4,100 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Engine No. 2 6.2-liter, V8
Horsepower 420 @ 5,600
Torque (lb.-ft.) 460 @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Seating 7
Curb Weight (pounds) 5,586 to 6,021
Wheelbase (inches) 130.0
Length (inches) 224.4
Width (inches) 80.5
Height (inches) 74.4
Headroom (f,r…inches) 42.8, 39.1, 38.5
Legroom (f,r…inches) 45.3, 39.7, 34.5
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 64.8, 65.1, 62.6
Hip room (f,r…inches) 60.8, 60.3, 49.3
Storage (cubic feet) 39.3, 76.7, 121.7
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) NR
Towing (pounds) 7,900 to 8,300
Payload (pounds) NR
Fuel Regular
Fuel Tank (gallons) 31
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined) 15/22/18 (5.3); 14/21/16 (6.2)
Manufacturing Plant Arlington, Texas

Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine; all rights reserved.


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Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.