For the first time in decades, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban will not have a column shifter that’s historically been shared with their pickup truck cousin, the Silverado. As with the loss of a live rear axle, the new 2021 Tahoe and 2021 Suburban full-size sport utility vehicles have shed a few traditional elements in favor of a more modern theme, and the interior space is vastly improved because of it.
Some of you like it, some of you don’t. Regardless on where you stand, we’re all a little curious about the switch in the shifter.
“We looked at several options,” Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe Interior Design Director Michael Stapleton told MC&T. Stapleton said that the design team evaluated options such as a rotary dial, a la Ford Expedition, for the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2021 Chevrolet Suburban. The determining factor was the ease of use and the muscle memory that quickly followed, versus a dial design.
The column shifter is totally phased out, even on the most basic trim levels.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban see minimal, marginal gains on the outside, with massive improvements on the inside. Beyond the shifter, the cabin can now be piled high with tech toys such as a 10-inch diagonally measured center stack touch screen, high resolution 12.6 inch diagonally measured touchscreens in the second row, and it’s all powered by GM’s new Global B electronics architecture that allows for super slick displays, with an incredible capacity to process 4.5 terabytes of data per hour.
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban sees a 4.1-inch (105 mm) increase in the wheelbase and a lower cargo floor, thanks to the integration of an independent rear suspension. No longer is a live rear axle encroaching on interior space. With that, the new Suburban has the most passenger and cargo space of any SUV, with maximum cargo volume expands 19 percent to 144.7 cubic feet even though the Suburban’s overall length increases less than 1 percent.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe sees a 4.9-inch-longer (125 mm) wheelbase and a 6.7-inch (169 mm) increase in overall length to bring 40 percent more third-row legroom a 66 percent increase in cargo volume behind the third row, with max cargo room increasing by a figure of 30 percent.
You can see a specs breakdown comparing the new utility vehicles to the Ford Expedition, as well as the outgoing Tahoe and Suburban here.