2021 Chevy Tahoe RST Diesel delivers mileage for the masses
Words + Photos. Angus MacKenzie
Sporting one of the most handsome vehicular SUV faces on the market, the new 2021 Chevy Tahoe RST diesel impresses on a number of levels.
On the visual front the Tahoe proclaims a strong presence in the parking lot. Standing tall with aggressive lines it carries the signature GM design language without apology. Window proportionings work to offset extensive side panel showings. Headlights incorporated into a blacked out grille are a fine example of restraint. Going with 8.5 / 10 for a robust, substantial cohesive design on this one.
Powering the RST is a torquey inline 3.0L six running under the diesel program. Delivering only 277 hp isn’t ideal but the 460 ft.lb of torques is the same as the much larger 6.2 L gas engine. Diesel powerplants have their quirks but in this arrangement the straight-6 showed excellent power and pull from initial acceleration through to highway speeds. Quiet cruising attributes and inner city idling also score highly for the diesel. I actually prefer this arrangement over one of GM’s similar gas engines.
Where the diesel really pulls away from traditional gas powerplants is in mileage. GM had a program where journos were asked to record and submit their best mileage over 250 km. Numbers coming back were in the 6.5 – 7.5 per 100 km range. Compare those numbers to a similar gasplant and you’re looking at figures in the 11s. This and general increased longevity ads up to a strong case for the diesel route.
Running the Tahoe RST through the secret inner city testing grounds showed the AWD drive system to be up to the task. While that task wasn’t exactly challenging it made for sweet photo opps. Tire options were not ideal in the mud to be honest. But in wet gravel and on slick grassy paths, with proper drive mode selected, the Tahoe had no problem mucking about.
Inner city handling and road manners were excellent. A new independent rear suspension significantly improves rear end response while also providing additional room for rear passengers. Straight line manners and ride at highway speeds have been dialed in nicely. Tahoe’s ride is firm with some expected jounce on rougher sections. Overall a very adept and well mannered SUV throughout our testing.
Whereas the Tahoe base prices out at $69,000 CAD, our tester priced out at just under $83,000. This included a $1250 credit for the 3.0 Duramax diesel option.
While the outside might come across as large and imposing, inside things are business comfy. After hopping up via the retractable running boards, passengers are greeted with a swack of headroom, legroom and storage room. With rear seats down there’s more than enough space for most weekend get outs or in-town duties. Decked out in black with tan/orange trim the Tahoe’s interior is functionally appealing. Quality viewing is made possible by extensive green space and a high seating position.
Opinion. The 2021 Tahoe RST, in diesel trim scores big points for ride quality, expansive power range, refined diesel tech, mileage and style.