Difference Between 2020 and 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe interior

What's better? The newer model or the old one?

When a new vehicle is introduced, one of the first things that pops into your mind, is “What’s new and what’s better than the old one?”. The new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is no exception.

We were preparing to put the new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe on our system. As we worked through it, I noticed that the price of the 2021 Tahoe is the same as the 2020 Tahoe, as far as the base price (U.S. MSRP) of the entry level trim goes:

  • 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe 2WD LS – A/T 6: $49,000
  • 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 2WD LS – A/T 10: $49,000

Which got me thinking.

Chevrolet has introduced a new Tahoe on a redesigned platform, with improvements like moving from a 6 speed transmission to a 10 speed transmission and a higher towing capacity (6,600 lbs to 7,900 lbs). The 2021 Tahoe is bigger all around, with the bonus of even more cargo space over the 2020 model. Shouldn’t the price go up?

So what’s going on? How does Chevrolet make these kinds of changes, yet maintain the same price as last year?

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe: Common Equipment Summary

If we look at the Common Equipment, there’s still an extensive list of equipment which you’d expect in a vehicle starting just shy of $50K. Things like automatic temperature control with dual zone modes, rear a/c to keep the kids cool, a powerful V8 with lots of torque for towing, an independent suspension for a smoother ride are just the start. On the surface, this is a very feature rich list of Common Equipment.

The Common Equipment list is really long, so I won’t include it here. You can easily generate it yourself by using the Automobl Comparison Tool.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe: Feature Difference

It’s what Chevrolet has given up, that helps them keep the price the same. Let’s look at what we found on the Feature Difference comparison.

2020 versus 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Features

Here’s the starter list of changes from 2020. Wood and gloss trim now only comes in on the higher models. Move the cargo net to the accessory list. Simplify the gauges while keeping the essentials like oil pressure and voltmeter. Save a few dollars on the window switch for the passenger, because it’s the driver that you mainly have to satisfy. Move OnStar services to paid subscription only, leaving the basic system to send updates to your customers for service and vehicle status. Increase the number of USB ports because we don’t need as many 12V accessory outlets these days. The rear lift gate glass is now fixed. Who plays CDs anymore? Into the dust bin with it. Since we’re streaming our devices right to the vehicle through Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, we don’t need to fiddle with a mini-audio jack and cable.

That takes care of the price.

Lucy, you've got some splainin' to do.

Take all of those things out, and GM can help finance the new model. Except that’s not only what Chevrolet did. They added a host of features that will appeal to buyers wanting more safety features, because, after all, many full-size SUVs are transporting entire families. Automatic emergency braking, rear seat occupant alert and pedestrian detection are now standard. Then they added touch points that would appeal specifically to the driver. A proximity key makes it much easier to get in the vehicle after a trip to the mall. LED headlights with high beam assist and a telescoping steering wheel will make the driver’s life a little easier. Let’s throw a bone to the front seat passenger who picks up two more power controls for their seat.

By the time we look at all of the additions and subtractions, the new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe offers just over $2,000 in Automobl Value than the 2020 model. 

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe: Measurement

2020 versus 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Measurements

Biased to the 2021 model much? This is a really big SUV. Look at the additional cargo volume. Time was, once you filled the seats with passengers, you didn’t have any room in the cargo area. Not any more. There’s 25.5 cubic feet, 10 more than last year.

As a bonus, you’ll save another $400 in annual fuel costs. On the surface, that looks odd. Horsepower and torque is the same as last year. The overall fuel economy is really close to last year’s numbers. Yes, there’s now a 10 speed transmission versus last year’s 6, but that doesn’t explain the whole story.

Go back to the Feature Difference, and you’ll see the Automatic engine stop/start feature. It’s a high value item in Automobl terms. But it really demonstrates the reduction in fuel costs from 2020 to 2021. Turn the engine off and you don’t burn fuel. That’s $400 per year in your pocket over the 2020 Tahoe. Yes, we do spend that much time idling.

The Upshot

As you shop for close-out 2020s, keep in mind the Automobl Value of the new 2021 Tahoe. You may find it the better value for the next four to seven years of ownership over a heavily discounted 2020 close out model.

Check out other similar 2020 to 2021 models on our site using the Automobl Comparison Tool. It’s an easy way to help you get the value you want in your next new vehicle.

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