These two Chevy SUVs both make for great all-purpose family vehicles.
Sometimes you need one vehicle that does it all. If you want one all-purpose SUV that can serve as a family hauler, a commuter and a rugged workhorse without skipping a beat, then a big Chevy SUV might be the right vehicle for you. The Chevrolet Tahoe and the Suburban have long been trusted family-movers and they continue to be popular for big families who need truck-like capability.
Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities of the Tahoe and the Suburban and see which one is right for you.
It takes a second look to spot the difference between the Tahoe and the Suburban aesthetically. These two full-size SUVs have identical styling all around with the only difference being length. The Suburban is 20 inches longer than the Tahoe, which means the Suburban is a bit more of a garage hog.
Both SUVs have styling that looks modern while using plenty of traditional design cues like their overall boxiness. They both have a few special editions that can change their looks, making your SUV stand out like the sporty RST edition, the classy Premier Plus edition and the blacked-out Midnight edition.
The interior of both of these SUVs resembles their exteriors in the sense that it’s both modern and traditional. It has some old-school truck like cues like a column shifter, while packing in modern technology like standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and other available tech like 4G LTE WiFi and a head-up display. While these SUVs can get pretty luxurious, they always still feel like a truck on the inside, for better or worse. They both offer either seven or eight seats depending on your choice of second-row bench or bucket seats.
The 20 inches of extra length on the Suburban over the Tahoe gives it more room for all of the passengers behind the driver and more cargo space behind them. The second row only gets about an extra inch of legroom, but third-row passengers are treated to almost 10 more inches of legroom compared to the Tahoe. If you’re going to be using that third-row often, whoever is riding back there will appreciate the Suburban more than the Tahoe.
As for cargo space, the boxy profiles of both of these SUVs make for a lot of room for everyone’s stuff. Obviously, the Suburban has more room thanks to its extra length. When all of the seats are folded up, the Suburban’s cargo space is more than double that of the Tahoe’s. Like with any SUV, the more seats you fold down, the more cargo space you have. Although the Suburban has a lot more room, the Tahoe is still plenty roomy for most families. For hauling a lot of people and a lot of stuff simultaneously, the Suburban is the more spacious choice.
As they have been since the beginning, the Suburban and the Tahoe are mechanically identical. They ride on the same platform and come standard with rear-wheel drive with four-wheel drive being optional for better traction in bad road conditions and more off-road capability.
2019 Chevy Tahoe and Suburban Engines
5.3-liter V8; 355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque; 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway
6.2-liter V8; 420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque; 14 mpg city/23 mpg hwy
Both of these SUVs offer the same strong V8 options, and despite the Suburban being bigger, its EPA fuel economy ratings are identical to the Tahoe. The base 5.3-liter V8 is a good, well-rounded engine and upgrading to the 6.2-liter unit gives a pretty significant boost to performance without using much more fuel. Like with any truck or SUV, 4WD brings a slight fuel economy penalty compared to 2WD.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, the Suburban is more expensive than the Tahoe due to its extra girth. The Tahoe has a starting MSRP of $47,900 and the Suburban starts at $50,600. Both of these SUVs can easily be optioned into the $70k range when you get into the higher trims and upgrade to the bigger V8. Luxurious appointments in the higher-priced Chevy SUVs include leather seats, navigation, rear entertainment systems and GM’s fantastic magnetic ride control.
These two SUVs are so similar that one isn’t really better than the other. The Suburban is just bigger and more expensive. Like we said earlier, if you need to haul a lot of people and a lot of cargo at the same time, then the Suburban is the rig for you. If you don’t need quite that much interior room, the space in the Tahoe is more than sufficient for most families.