“Combining the segment’s best fuel efficiency with increased space inside of the vehicle compared to the previous generation equals a Tahoe ready for the next long road trip or family adventure,” said truck marketing director Bob Krapes. Better still, the fuel-sipping Duramax I6 is pretty affordable as well.
At the time of writing, the full-size SUV starts at $50,295 including freight for the 5.3-liter V8 and rear-wheel drive. The straight-six turbo diesel adds $995 to the sticker price of most trim levels, and in the case of the High Country, you actually pay $1,500 less than the standard 6.2-liter V8 engine.
Having mentioned two small-block V8s, it’s important to mention that the Duramax tops 460 pound-feet (623 Nm) of torque just like the 6.2-liter option. The only difference is that maximum torque is developed at 1,500 rather than 4,100 rpm, which should improve acceleration and towing.
At most, the Tahoe 2WD with the compression-ignition engine can pull 8,200 pounds (3,719 kg) while the family-sized Suburban can’t do better than 8,000 pounds (3,628 kg). As far as the payload is concerned, expect 1,717 and 1,625 pounds (778 kg and 737 kg), respectively.
Also available in the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, as well as both versions of the Cadillac Escalade, the inline-six motor is shared with half-ton pickup trucks like the Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500.
Made from lightweight aluminum, the block is complemented by aluminum for the cylinder heads, forged steel for the crankshaft and connecting rods, as well as powdered metal/sintered lobes for the camshafts. The only tranny available with the 3.0-liter Duramax is the Ford-developed automatic that General Motors calls the Hydra-Matic 10L80.
According to the biggest of the Big Three in Detroit, customer deliveries for the Duramax-engined Tahoe and Suburban will begin before year’s end.