Chevrolet has opened up its configurator for the new 2021 Tahoe. The full-size SUV is all-new this year with updated styling, a redressed interior, and an independent suspension at the back which is said to offer a better ride with increased space inside for passengers and cargo.

In GM’s hierarchy, the Tahoe and Suburban are the least expensive full-size SUVs compared to the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. In this case, least expensive is relative because a fully decked out Tahoe gets uncomfortably close to $90,000. With the configurator up and running, let’s see exactly how Chevrolet gets us from base model to something not far away from six figures.

The Tahoe starts at $55,095 for an LT model with two-wheel drive and 5.3-liter V8 under the hood. That includes $1,295 in destination charges, and though a cheaper LS model should be available, it's not currently listed in the configurator. The range-topping trim is High Country with a whopping $70,895 starting price, and yes, that’s still with two-wheel drive. It does include the 6.2-liter V8, but bumping to four-wheel drive takes us to an already-pricey $73,895.

A wide range of colors are no-charge options, but two – Cherry Red Tintcoat and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat – cost a bit extra. The pearl finish is the more expensive of the two at $995 so that’s what we’ll go with. Two no-cost leather interior color options pair with that so we choose the attractive two-tone black/mocha treatment. We are now at $74,890 before any packages

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Specifically, four packages are listed for the High Country but in typical fashion, adding packages and options can become a confusing mess. The Premium Package lists for $4,605; the Technology Package is $3,355 and Max Trailering Package costs $465. An Advanced Trailering Package is offered at no cost, but clicking it automatically adds the Max Trailering Package at its advertised price. Chevrolet, why do you even list this "no-cost" package separately?

Gallery: 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe

Ultimately it doesn’t matter, because adding the Premium Package automatically adds both trailering packages as no-cost additions. That just leaves the Technology Package, which only adds the rear seat media system and removes the Premium Package, meaning you can’t have the big panoramic power sunroof or the power-retractable side steps with rear-seat entertainment – that is, until you get to interior options. We’ll cover that soon, but with the packages all selected we’re now at $79,495.  

Moving to exterior options we grab the 22-inch chrome wheels for an additional $1,995, illuminated black bowtie badges for $450, trailer tire pressure and temperature sensors for $50, and a highway safety kit for $95. Factory mudflaps can’t be installed with the power side steps, so we leave the exterior options portion of the configurator at $82,085 and head for interior options, bank account be dammed.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Most Expensive

Now we can add the rear-seat entertainment system into the mix, effectively giving us everything from the Premium and Technology packages but as a stand-alone feature it costs $1,995. With the packages covering everything else, we’re only left with Chevy’s familiar nickel-and-diming on small stuff you’d expect to be included for free on an $80,000 vehicle. Chevrolet charges $295 for all-weather floor mats at all three rows of seats, and a rear cargo net is another $70. By the time all the other small-change boxes are checked, we’re at $85,180 with accessories still to go.

As you’ve no doubt surmised, there are no additional accessories currently offered, which brings us to the fully-optioned Tahoe price of $85,180. That’s some serious coin for a Chevy SUV and easily exceeds the $76,195 base price for a Cadillac Escalade, which leads us to this very important question for you, reader. Would you consider buying a decked-out Tahoe over an Escalade with a few optional extras?


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