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Chevy Tahoe/Suburban: More tech, more screen, more engine choices

Henry Payne, The Detroit News on

Published in Automotive News

WARREN, Michigan — For its 12th generation in 2021, the Chevy Suburban (and sister Tahoe) mega-SUV went to the gym. In a complete body makeover, the pickup truck-based twins shed 300 pounds, gained 10 inches of length, an off-road Z71 model, and acres of interior room thanks to a space-saving independent rear suspension.

For their mid-product cycle update for 2025, the buff SUVs have loaded up on tech.

Slip into the Suburban/Tahoe and the driver’s cabin has been transformed with big, double instrument and infotainment screens stretching across the dash similar to their Silverado and Silverado EV stablemates. The infotainment screen is angled towards the driver (shades of the mid-engine Corvette) for better access to Google Built-In, an elegant interface similar to your smartphone. Icons can be moved around the screen, and the navigation app is familiar to anyone with a phone.

The longest-running badge in the industry (since 1935), the Suburban — along with shorter-wheelbase Tahoe — has long dominated the large-ute segment along with its GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade siblings. But this decade has brought competition beyond its traditional Ford Expedition rival. The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer cannonballed into the SUV pool in 2023 and Toyota has also upgraded its Sequoia offering based on an all-new Tundra pickup foundation.

Despite those new entries, Tahoe/Suburban own 40% of segment sales, but the pressure to maintain that lead — especially in a profit-rich segment at a time when electric vehicle investment is sucking cash — is urgent.

Thanks to its sheer size and crucial 2021 IRS update, Suburban’s cargo space is massive, with a 20-cubic-foot advantage over the Wagoneer with their third rows folded. But the Chevy interior upgrades will address criticism that the models lagged behind. “The interior styling and materials are ho-hum,” shrugged Car and Driver of the outgoing Tahoe/Suburban. No more.

The tech-tastic Suburban-Tahoe upgrades also shore up the SUVs’ standard safety systems, long a soft spot in GM’s lineup. Where the last-gen mega-utes didn’t make adaptive cruise control standard until its top-rung High Country model, ACC and blind-spot assist are now part of a suite of standard safety offerings including emergency braking, interior occupant detection and rear camera alert. Optional goodies include a 15-inch head-up display and auto, hands-free power liftgate that activates when you round the rear corner.

With the increased standard features, expect the starting price of the $56k Tahoe and $59k Suburban to rise for ‘25. Pricing will be announced when they hit dealerships late next year.

GM has been a leader in semi-autonomous transit with its hands-free Super Cruise driver-assist feature. The 2025 Tahoe and Suburban option it beginning with the LT trim so you can relax during long trips on divided highways.

 

New electronic goodies include a Connected Camera feature so you can monitor the vehicle for security breaches and an internal radar that tracks if anyone has been left in the car. Some three-row vehicles like Hyundai’s Palisade connect their third row to the front passengers with a microphone, but the Chevy twins do not offer that feature.

Ergonomically, Chevrolets receive high marks and third-row access is easy with collapsing second-row seats. The middle row also benefits from a sliding center console that brings, say, cupholders closer to rear-seat passengers.

The 2025 refresh also gains from Chevy’s experience with its off-road Z71 trim, which — following market trends — outdoors-focused consumers snapped up in large numbers.

Some 20% of Tahoe/Suburban buyers opt for the Z71 package with its standard all-wheel-drive, rugged looks, raises height, 33-inch all-terrain tires, and underbody skidplates. Chevy rewards those customers with another engine option for 2025 in addition to the 6.2-liter V-8 — a stump-pulling, 3.0-liter, inline-6 cylinder diesel with 460 pound-feet of torque and a sippy 24 mpg to assist buyers who want to load 8,000-plus pounds of, say, all-terrain vehicles on a trailer.

The diesel is part of a robust lineup of gas engines that carries over from 2024 models and includes a base 5.3-liter V-8 making 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque and the aforementioned 6.2-liter boasting 420 horsepower/460 torque. All engines are operated via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

High Country models come with more blingtastic options like 24-inch wheels, air-suspension (so that the big elephant will kneel to help you gain entry) and magnetic ride shocks. The latter trickles down to the RST and ZR71 models.

You’ll know the new Tahoe/Suburban by its mid-fascia-mounted headlights, a design detail increasingly common in the industry. The new headlight position allows for less glare when the elephant stomps into the rear-view mirror of a smaller car — but also more flexibility for designers on surrounding LED running lights. All six Tahoe/Suburban trims — LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier and High Country — get their own unique fascia.

The mega-utes are built at GM's Arlington Assembly plant in Texas.


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