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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Chevrolet’s iconic large(r) Tahoe and Suburban step-in

Both models are longer and wider than their predecessors with the Tahoe measuring 170 mm longer for an overall length of 5 334 mm, while Suburban measures a mere 33 mm longer for a total overall length of 5 732 mm

With the wraps having come off of the Silverado last year, Chevrolet parent company General Motors (GM) has revealed the all-new Tahoe and its iconic large SUV sibling, the evergreen Suburban at a special launch event in Detroit.

Often GM’s most profitable models in the United States, the Tahoe and Suburban are new both inside and out with the switch from the GMT K2XX platform to the new GMT T1XX also used by the Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin, seeing the introduction of aluminium body panels in an attempt to cut weight and a first time independent rear suspension layout.

As a comparison, both models are longer and wider than their predecessors with the seven-seat Tahoe measuring 170 mm longer than before for an overall length of 5 334 mm, while Suburban, the oldest nameplate in the world today having been around since 1935 and the recently the first car to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, measures a mere 33 mm longer for a total overall length of 5 732 mm.

In terms of wheelbase, the switch to the T1 has seen the Tahoe grow by 124 mm to 3 048 mm and the Suburban by a massive 104 mm to 3 406 mm. The main benefactor is of course boot space with the Tahoe able to swallow between 722 to 3 480-litres of luggage, while the Suburban’s cargo hold measures between 1 163 to a humongous 4 097-litres.

Aside from the exterior that once again takes after that of the Silverado, the interior has been completely redesigned with a ten-inch touchscreen infotainment system standard on all models, along with an available eight-inch instrument cluster display, an optional 15-inch Heads-Up Display and dual 12.6-inch screens integrated into the rear headrests.

In addition to the new tech, the assortment of safety and driver assistance system are just as extensive with both getting Automatic Emergency Braking as standard, as well as  Rear Park Assist, Hitch Guidance when pulling a trailer, IntelliBeam automatic headlights, an HD rear-view camera,  Forward Collision Alert and Front Pedestrian Braking. Also offered is a new surround view camera system, an enhanced Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert system, Rear Pedestrian Alert Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning.

Model-wise, both the Tahoe and Suburban are offered in six trim levels; LS, LT, RST, the off-road focused Z71 that boasts a restyled front facia, black chrome detailing and a low range transfer case, the luxury Premier and the flagship High Country.

Distinguishing themselves from the former pair, the Premier and High Country are equipped as standard with GM’s new Magnetic Ride Control system that alters the dampers continuously using sensors, while the Z71 joins latter in featuring the Air Ride Adaptive suspension that can rise the overall ride height by 101 mm and drop the entire body by 51 mm to aid passenger entry.

Up front, a choice of three engines are provided; a 5.3-litre V8 on the LS, LT, RST, Z71 and Premier that produces 265kW/519Nm and a High Country exclusive 6.2-litre V8 that delivers 313kW/623Nm, all mated to the new push-button operated 10-speed automatic gearbox co-developed with Ford that replaces the outdated column-shift lever.

Returning after last being offered on the eighth generation Suburban and first Tahoe made from 1991 to 1999 is a turbodiesel engine, in this case, the same 3.0-litre straight-six Duramax that debuted on the Silverado in June.

In spite of being more than half the size of the 6.5-litre Detroit Diesel V8 that preceded it, the Duramax is more powerful with an output of 206 kW compared to 132 kW, while torque is rated at 624 Nm compared to the Detroit’s 583 Nm. Somewhat oddly, all trim levels bar the Z71 can be specified with the oil-burner.

As before, the Tahoe and Suburban will be built at GM’s Arlington Plant in Texas with sales commencing in early 2020, but neither are expected to arrive in South Africa soon.

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