Chevy thoroughly updated its Suburban and Tahoe SUVs for the 2021 model year, giving the two brutes new styling, new technology, and new underpinnings. The refreshed generation also saw the Bow Tie give the pair a new engine option – the automaker’s 3.0-liter inline-six Duramax diesel engine. It’s Chevy’s first full-size diesel-powered SUV since 1999, and the new mill should give customers a pair of torque-filled fuel sippers.
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe returns 21 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 24 mpg for the rear-wheel-drive model. Four-wheel-drive diesel Tahoes see a slight drop, returning 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. The larger rear-wheel-drive Suburban suffers slightly, returning 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. However, the four-wheel-drive Suburban has the same fuel economy rating as the four-wheel-drive Tahoe.
The 3.0-liter Duramax first appeared in the 2020 Chevy Silverado, and it has the same output in the SUVs – 277 horsepower (206 kilowatts) and 460 pound-feet (623 Newton-meters) of torque. Chevy did tweak the mill for the Tahoe and Suburban, adding a new engine control module and reducing engine noise. The mill pairs with GM’s 10-speed automatic gearbox, with the Suburban and Tahoe offering 8,000 and 8,200 pounds of towing capacity, respectively, when equipped with two-wheel drive.
Chevy will offer the diesel on the LS, LT, RST, and Premier trim for a $995 premium over the base 5.3-liter V8. However, those who opt for the diesel in the High Country trim receive $1,500 off the MSRP, which replaces the standard 6.2-liter V8 engine. Production is scheduled to begin this fall with Chevy saying that deliveries for the diesel-equipped Suburban and Tahoe are expected to begin before the end of the year.