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Chevy Tahoe Z71 - The people’s champ!

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

By Tony C. Lesesne

Did you know that the Chevy Tahoe is America’s best-selling full-size SUV? More than twenty-five percent of the segment has made their choice. It’s redesigned, fifth-generation 2021 version of the Tahoe has more usable space (a 4.9-inch (125 mm) longer wheelbase) and a 6.7-inch increase in overall length. Bigger may be better as every single factor is often taken into account by savvy consumers.

This front engine or rear engine or four-wheel drive seven-passenger four-door wagon arrives at a base price of about $60,495 and caps out around $76,175.

The new Tahoe has several trim levels

LS $51,245

LT $55,945

RST $59,045

Z71 $61,141

Premier $64, 445

High Country $71,345

The Z71 we tested appears to have lots more style, swag and geared towards folks who have the greater sense of adventure, off-roading or just all out edgier. That takes us to the performance - so lets ride.


That V8 generates 355 hp 383 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm through a 5.3 liter engine that can hit 0- 60 in about 7.6 seconds. pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection. Plus the Z71 comes standard with four-wheel drive, exclusive off-road equipment and has an air suspension with adaptive dampers. EPA estimates for mileage for the Z71 is around 14 miles per gallon.

Fans just couldn't resist asking about it; total strangers brought together by the Tahoe

That V8 has a t10-speed automatic transmission with a two-speed transfer case that provides four-wheel drive carried on 20-in wheels with all terrain tires. There's an underbody protection for the scratches, bruises and damage that can occur when off-roading. The Z71 has air springs to support the off-road capability package for an additional $2,450 with magnetorheological dampers for enhanced steadiness that really shines when you dare to take it off road, which I would strongly advise if you love adventure. Those air springs increase ground clearance to up tp 10 inches from 8 inches.

Met another fan of the Tahoe Z71 at a gas station (pictured at left) who stared so hard, he had to give in and ask about it.

Kudos to Chevy engineers who were brave enough to make this vehicle longer and more comfortable for passengers and drivers alike while also focusing on both the ride quality and the off-road capabilities that enable it to be more versatile and more adventurous and at the same time be more than capable in urban environments. I kept wondering how a vehicle this good looking could be so tough and durable. Fans on the street made it clear that this big bold SUV is a very popular favorite among truck and SUV lovers,


Inside a cabin is quiet, I mean quiet enough to challenge that of a premium luxury brand. The steering is tight and the brakes are firm and capable, inspiring true confidence and a large vehicle like this. The interior has a classy, and even premium design interior with a mix of warm rich colors, The new rear-seat media system in Tahoe and Suburban will be the most advanced and capable in the full-size SUV segment. In addition to their 12.6-inch size, the rear screens are positioned for optimal view for both second- and third-row passengers. Each rear screen offers independent connections, so passengers can watch different content on each side. Additionally, rear passengers can share content from one screen to the other, mirror content from an Android phone to a screen and “send” navigation points of interest, like restaurant suggestions or pit stop locations, to the central infotainment screen up front.

The Tahoe has a built-in Wi-Fi® Hotspot with available 4G LTE data (3GB or 1-month data trial, whichever occurs first) Apple CarPlay6 and Android Auto7 capability, multiple USB charging ports. I loved the classy, large 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system that blends compliments the dash.

Another dynamic and innovative feature is the motorized, retractable center-console lid that makes it fun to simply store stuff. The interior had a mix of user options to control the setting, climate, operations of the sliding roof and rear cargo door via a combination of knobs, buttons switches, and touch enable preferences.

Inside the Tahoe has increased in volume that passengers can enjoy like forty percent more third-row legroom. We know that the third row is where so many of the complaints come from for anyone taller than five feet one. Another increase is capacity, and thus it has extended the cargo space more than sixty-six percent behind the third row. Those increases may seem to force the vehicle to be much longer, but that’s not the case. Chevy engineers were able to increase Tahoe’s overall length by less than 4 percent. The Cargo volume is 25 ft3, That’s quite an efficient achievement.

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