Two large SUV models from Chevrolet lead the sales race against all other non-General Motors competitors. Over the years, the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Chevrolet Suburban have risen to the top of the hill, becoming two of America’s most popular models. However, in the first quarter of 2022, the Chevrolet Tahoe overtook the Suburban, nearly doubling the sales numbers of its larger stablemate. So what makes the Chevrolet Tahoe so popular?
The Chevrolet Tahoe vs. the Chevrolet Suburban
When comparing these two models, remember that Chevrolet designed them to meet the different needs of different families, not to win over the same buyers.
The Tahoe and Suburban offer the same engine and transmission options; choices are between a 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 with 383 lb-ft of torque or a 277-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel with 460 lb-ft of torque in the lowest LS trim level of each model.
Moving up a few trim levels to the rear-drive RST or four-wheel-drive Z71 adds the larger and more powerful 6.2-liter V8 option with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet pairs each engine choice with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a choice of two- or four-wheel transmissions.
The price difference probably isn’t the reason for the Suburban’s loss of traction over the Tahoe; just $2,700 separates the $53,696 Tahoe LS from the Suburban with the same LS trim starting at $56,395. Also, even in High Country trim with the 6.2-liter V8, the Tahoe costs $74,295 compared to the Suburban’s $76,995, maintaining the same $2,700 difference.
The metaphorical elephant in the room for this comparison is the difference in size between the two large SUV models. The Chevrolet Suburban measures 18 feet and 10 inches in overall length, which compared to the Tahoe’s 17 feet and 7 inches is only a difference of 15 inches. Almost all of the difference is in the Tahoe’s 13.2-inch shorter wheelbase, which translates to a two-foot tighter turning radius.
What does a tighter turning radius mean in real driving? This means it’s easier to navigate tight parking spaces, fast food lanes and parking ramps.
The Chevrolet Tahoe Compared to Other Large SUV Models
GoodCarBadCar has released Q1 2022 sales data that shows the Chevrolet Tahoe leading the large SUV segment by a wide margin. The closest non-GM competitor is the Ford Expedition, with 9,718 sales compared to Tahoe’s 23,978. Toyota Sequoia lags even further behind with just 422 sales compared to 2,037 in the same quarter of 2021.
The GMC Yukon is Tahoe’s closest competitor with 21,297 sales in the first quarter of 2022, also surpassing the Suburban’s 12,425 sales mark. Similar in size to the Tahoe, the Yukon’s popularity provides further proof that maneuverability plays an important role in people’s buying decisions.
Should you buy a Chevrolet Suburban or a Tahoe?
The answer is almost always; it depends. In short, both offer plenty of trim and engine options, seating up to eight people and plenty of cargo space. The Tahoe is more nimble and easier to maneuver in tight spaces, but the Suburban offers more cargo space.
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