The Chevy Tahoe has long been enormous on the outside and surprisingly small on the inside, especially if you had the misfortune of being assigned to the third row. The seat was so close to the floor that your knees could inevitably serve as a chin rest. By contrast, the Ford Expedition’s third row has been one of the most spacious found in any vehicle that can’t be described as “shuttle” or “bus.”
The reason for this difference was the solid rear axle the Tahoe continued to possess long after the Expedition and other competitors switched to an independent rear suspension (IRS). Among other benefits, an IRS lowers the floor, making it possible to mount the third-row seat in a way that doesn’t force your head onto your knees, or conversely, into the ceiling. For 2021, the all-new Tahoe finally has an IRS, and although the new styling, high-quality interior and available diesel engine will get a lot of attention, nothing makes a bigger difference. Not only is the Tahoe’s third-row seat actually useable, it joins the Expedition’s as being one of the most spacious, period. It’s not quite as spacious as the Ford’s, and the seat itself is a little flat, but beggars, choosers, etc.
The second-row seats are also worthy of praise, if also pretty darn flat. As the above video shows, they cleverly flip and fold for a lower load floor and easier third-row access. Their LATCH anchors also couldn’t be easier to find or use. I managed to affix the base for my Chicco infant car seat in seconds.
In terms of available features, the Tahoe can be equipped with mammoth touchscreens attached to the front seat backs. Sitting back there made me misty-eyed for the before times when we traveled in these things called “airplanes.” I suddenly yearned to be greeted by Delta’s CEO and told where the emergency exits were. Each of those screens gets its own HDMI port, while there are four USB-C ports (two for the second-row in the back of the center console, and one on each side of the third row).
In total, the Tahoe’s rear seating area is finally as generously sized as its exterior would imply while boasting plenty of extras to make it more than just a huge boxy area with some seats.
(Oh, and if you’re wondering about the dog in the lead image above, well, pictures of back seats are boring. I needed a prop to spruce things up and Nellie was willing.)