First Ride in the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe with New Independent Rear Suspension
Riding Shotgun With the New Independent Suspension
In a slightly unusual, but highly appreciated move, Chevy took a group of us out to the Milford Proving Ground ahead of the official debut of the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. What they had instore for us was a deep-dive into some of the engineering that went into the new chassis and suspension, along with a look into the vehicle's new electrical architecture. Most interesting, however, came from a fleet of camouflaged Tahoes.
Eager to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new independent rear suspension and adaptive air springs, Chevy first took us for a ride around the ride and handling loop at the company's Milford Proving Ground in Tahoe's closest competitor, the Ford Expedition. After what was a relatively decent ride across rough roads, large dips, broken pavement, and simulated rail crossings we took the same position in the still vinyl-wrapped Tahoe and set out on the same route.
The vehicle we were in was outfitted in top-spec High Country trim, fitted with the company's 6.2L V-8 engine, and riding on the air spring and Magnetic Ride Control suspension combo (the Expedition featured Ford's premium suspension as well). What we experienced was a noticeably smoother ride, with far less head toss and bounce. While we were thrown into the seatbelt stops twice in the Ford, we never experienced this violent of a motion in the Tahoe. Small road imperfections felt more isolated, and large dips and humps were tamed. From the middle row (we rode in both left and right seats) the Tahoe felt nothing but composed the whole way through, even when the ride and handling engineer at the helm put the vehicle in Sport mode for a spirited second lap of the course.
Obviously, it's difficult to get a true feeling for the vehicle from the passenger seat over such a short duration. However, the exercise certainly proved Chevy's point that the new independent rear suspension is better in almost every way (we had been riding in 2020 model Tahoe's prior to the program, giving a good comparison to the outgoing model as well). They also easily proved that the new Tahoe out handles the biggest competitor on their home field at least. We'll save our final judgment for when we get behind the wheel ourselves for a more in-depth test later this year. But for now we're believers.