Deciding on a family car is no small feat. From safety to space to handling and all the technological bells and whistles available in new models, there’s a lot to weigh. I recently had the chance to test-drive the new 2021 Chevy Tahoe, the best-selling full-size SUV in the country for the past 19 years. We took the Tahoe on a day trip with the kids and not only is it very roomy but it also has a long list of features you and your kids will love starting with a pair of touch-screens in the second row that’ll keep your kids happily entertained.
Here’s what I love most about the Tahoe:
It’s spacious enough for long road trips.
All three rows of the Tahoe feel open and generously roomy. A wide center console in the first row slides so you can make the most of your space to store your things. The console can automatically slide back 10 inches and offers a hidden storage drawer for your valuables. It’s the little things like two roomy cup holders that accommodate my jumbo-size water battle that I appreciate.
My kids loved the feel of the roomy second-row bucket seats that have plenty of space between them (so no need for arguing siblings to draw a dividing line). The new Tahoe also offers a generous amount of legroom in the third row–40 percent more than previous models—so the vehicle comfortably seats 7. There’s also plenty of cargo storage for luggage and gear.
Despite its large size, it handles like a smaller SUV.
I’ve always been wary of driving big vehicles because they don’t handle the same as a sedan or small SUV but the Tahoe offers a very smooth ride. For a full-size SUV, the handling is quite good. It feels stable at highway speeds even with a fairly high crosswind on the day we were driving it on the highway. The adaptive air suspension was comfortable and did not feel loose or unpredictable. For an SUV of this size and weight, the steering was precise, linear and had good on-center feel. I love that when parked, the vehicle can be lowered to make getting into and out of it easier. I also love that it’s an exceptional winter vehicle that handles very well in the snow thanks to the fact that it’s a 4-wheel drive and has generous ground clearance.
Your kids will be entertained (and quiet) throughout the ride.
My kids were obsessed with the second-row media system which has 12.6-inch diagonal LCD HD touch-screens for each seat. The screens can display your own content and you can also share content from one to another or share navigation points with front-seat passengers by sending them through Tahoe’s infotainment system. If your kids (or anyone else in the middle row) have a cell phone, they can easily display apps from their phone on the Tahoe’s screen display using touchscreen or voice commands. You can plug in a USB or Amazon Fire Stick (or even Apple TV) to stream your shows, movies or games. The Tahoe also has built-in 4G Wi-Fi and Wireless Apple CarPlay and Wireless Android Auto compatibility.
It has solid safety features.
An easy-to-read display can project directions, safety alerts, incoming calls and more onto the windshield so you can keep your eyes on the road. The Tahoe has nine camera views that give you visibility from every angle which is a must when driving such a big SUV. Other safety features include a blind-spot monitor, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert and a following distance indicator.
It’s a lot of vehicle for the money.
The Tahoe feels luxuriously appointed. It has very comfortable seats and a surprisingly good performance and feel. The main con of the Tahoe is its fuel economy, averaging about 17 miles to the gallon for city and highway driving. Its size, of course, makes it not the most fuel-efficient vehicle but on the plus side, it gets you and the kids where you need to go both comfortably and safely.
I test drove the 2021 Tahoe 4WD Z71 which is priced at $68,940 and includes all the safety and entertainment features mentioned above. The standard Tahoe price starts at $59,200. Either way, the Tahoe wins on cost, offering a more affordable sticker price than its large SUV competitors, the Ford Expedition and the GMC Yukon. Overall, it’s a great purchase if you’re looking for a spacious and comfortable SUV for your family.