2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban: Which is Bigger?

Chevrolet’s largest SUVs are completely overhauled for 2021, all-new models that are also larger than ever.

There is a lot to digest about the new Chevrolet models, so we’ll explore the three main highlights. But first, a common question…

Is a Tahoe or Suburban Bigger?

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is bigger than the Tahoe. It has a longer wheelbase and overall length, providing more interior space, particularly for cargo and third-row seating.

The Chevrolet Suburban has an overall length of about 226 inches, width of 81 inches, and height of 76 inches, and a 134 inch wheelbase. It offers generous cargo space behind the third row, which is approximately 41.5 cubic feet. When the second and third rows are folded, the maximum cargo space expands to about 144.7 cubic feet. The Suburban’s interior is also spacious, with ample headroom and legroom in all three rows.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

On the other hand, the Chevrolet Tahoe is slightly smaller, with an overall length of around 211 inches but with the same width (81 inches) and height (76 inches) as the Suburban. The Tahoe has a 121 inch wheelbase. The cargo space behind the third row is about 25.5 cubic feet, and when the second and third rows are folded, the maximum cargo space is around 122.9 cubic feet.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Tahoe also provides a comfortable interior but with slightly less room than the Suburban, particularly noticeable in the cargo area and the third-row seating space.

Both vehicles offer substantial interior space for passengers and cargo, but the Suburban’s longer dimensions make it the bigger vehicle, especially for those who need more cargo capacity and third-row legroom.


The Chevrolet Tahoe (standard wheelbase) and Chevrolet Suburban (stretched wheelbase) are what make the bow-tie brand the top seller in a segment with few non-GM players, most notably the Ford Expedition. Count the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada as competitors as well, at least with the Tahoe.

We’ve been expecting new Chevrolet SUVs ever since GM updated its full-size pickup trucks in 2019. Based on the same architecture underpinning the Chevrolet Silverado (and GMC Sierra), the new SUVs roll out next summer. We’ll see new GMC Yukon/Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV models as well.

Production output for all three brands is handled at GM’s manufacturing plant in Arlington, Texas, which is under renovation to accommodate the new and larger models.

1. A new Rear Suspension

The most significant change for the Tahoe and Suburban isn’t the larger size, roomier cabin or expanded storage space, although the latter two benefit from the new independent rear suspension.

Gone is the live axle and leaf springs currently used, exchanged for an independent rear multilink suspension arrangement with coil springs. As a result, Chevrolet lowers the floor of its two large SUVs, which supplies additional cargo room and more space for the second- and third-row passengers.

The benefits of the new suspension system include superior ride and handling. It’s also beneficial for off-roading as this setup allows vehicles to flex better. True, you’re not likely to take either the Tahoe or Suburban on tough trails navigated by the Jeep Wrangler, but you should see improved movement on sandy surfaces.


2. Bigger and Roomier

How much larger are the two Chevrolet SUVs? The 2021 Tahoe will sit on a 120.9 wheelbase, up from 116 inches. Its overall length measures 210.7 inches, compared to the current 204 inches.

As for the Chevy Suburban, it’ll ride on a 134.1-inch wheelbase, up from 130 inches. Its overall length grows to 225.7 inches, up from 224.4 inches. Thus, the difference between the Tahoe and Suburban narrows slightly with the new model.

Inside, the cargo space increases appreciably, to a total of 122.9 cubic feet in the Tahoe and 144.7 cubic feet in the Suburban. One of the most significant changes in the Tahoe’s it its standard cargo space which measures 25.5 cubic feet behind the third row, up from the scant 15.3 cubic feet currently offered.

Another area where the Tahoe shines is with its third-row legroom. The current model offers just 24.8 inches and that’s suitable only for children. For 2021, the space measures 34.9 inches, which is tolerable for most adults. That’s also near the 36.7 inches offered by the Suburban.

3. Three Engine Choices

Every Tahoe and Suburban model except for the High Country come with a 5.3-liter V8 engine. The standard engine makes 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

As for the High Country, it gets a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The third engine choice is a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine, making 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. All three work with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

While the two gas engines are well known, the diesel is new to the product line and a first for the segment. It’s a niche engine for Chevrolet, one that could help the automaker improve its fuel economy ratings, especially if the highway numbers approach 30 mpg.

The Verdict

We haven’t driven the new Chevrolets yet, but on paper, the 2021 models offer compelling updates that should interest consumers. The current models start at $49,000 (Tahoe) and $51,700 (Suburban), plus the freight cost.

We expect a cost increase and we soon know just how much the turbo-diesel option adds to it.

See Also – 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe vs Suburban (Comparison)

Photos copyright GM Corp.

Matthew Keegan

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