2022 Chevrolet Tahoe: No.-1 seller to face new Jeep Wagoneer, updated Ford Expedition

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe LS

by Chuck Giametta

What changes will make the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe different?

Perhaps yet another trim package, maybe new colors, but likely nothing major for America’s best-selling full-size SUV. We would, however, urge Chevrolet to make key safety features standard on every 2022 Tahoe, not just the most expensive models.

With seating for up to nine and three available engines, including the segment’s only diesel, the ‘22 Tahoe should return as an appealing blend of brawn, spaciousness, and variety. It’ll continue the look, dimensions, and engineering that came with its model-year-2021 redesign, which introduced the first all-new Tahoe since the 2014.

A cosmetic refresh around model-year 2025 is the next anticipated change of note. It shouldn’t fundamentally alter today’s Tahoe design, although some reports suggest Chevy could be considering the addition of a gas-electric-hybrid powertrain option.

It’s less clear where the Tahoe – and its stretched sibling, the Suburban, as well as the related GMC Yukon and Yukon XL – fits into General Motors’ move to electric vehicles. GM says the Cadillac Escalade, the upscale version of this full-size SUV family, will be exclusively electric by around 2030. That could be about the time the next-generation Tahoe is due.   

Meantime, the 2022 Tahoe will face off against some tough new competition, mainly the long-awaited Jeep Wagoneer, a similarly sized body-on-frame SUV. And the Ford Expedition, the segment’s No.-2 seller, will get a midcycle refresh for ‘22. The Nissan Armada was updated for 2021, and the Toyota Sequoia is due for a model-year-2023 redesign.

Should I wait for the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe or buy a 2021?

2021 Tahoe High Country

Buy a ’21. The core lineup will carry over virtually unchanged for 2022 and buying a ’21 helps you avoid almost certain price increases on an essentially unchanged SUV. Although some content shifting and even a new trim edition are possible, expect the same six model grades and option packages, as well as special editions such as 2021’s Texas Edition.

The ’22 and ’21 Tahoes will again share the all-new GM full-size-SUV design introduced for model-year 2021. Styling was modernized and the Tahoe grew, gaining 6.7 inches in length, 1.5 in height, and 4.9 inches in wheelbase (the distance between front and rear axles). That contributed to more cargo room and more significantly, to 40-percent more legroom for third-row passengers.

Just as important, the rear underpinnings switched from an old-school, pickup-truck-type solid rear axle to a more sophisticated independent suspension. The change lowered and flattened the rear chassis floor to the betterment of ride and handling and finally giving GM’s SUVs a feature long enjoyed by rivals.

Tahoe’s proven V-8 engines were retained from the fourth-generation model but teamed with a new automatic transmission, with 10 speeds rather than six. They were joined by GM’s Duramax 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder turbocharged diesel, also with the 10-speed automatic and also available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (4WD).

The ’22 Tahoe will reprise this powertrain lineup, which it’ll again share with the Suburban and Yukon. While some sort of electrification – a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or pure battery power — may be in its long-term future, power-hungry Tahoe fans can hope more muscle is in Chevy’s short-term plans. One scenario would be a Tahoe SS model with the 668-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 already in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and slated for the 2023 Escalade V.

2021 Tahoe Z71

A supercharged Tahoe SS isn’t likely for model-year 2022, though. Instead, expect the return of base LS and better-equipped LS models, along with the “street-inspired” RST, the off-road-tuned Z71, the tech-focused Premier, and the flagship High Country. For ’21, the 6.2-liter V-8 was exclusive to the High County but Chevy could attempt to take some starch out of the Wagoneer launch and Expedition refresh by making it available in other Tahoes for ’22. Perhaps that’ll be the motivation for an SS model.

Waiting for the ’22 Tahoe will let you evaluate those and other possible changes. Waiting is also a sound plan if driver-assist technology is important to you.

Every ’22 Tahoe will return with key safety features, such as autonomous emergency braking. But Chevy would do well to make important adjuncts, such as blind-spot and rear-crossover detection, standard on more than just the Premier and High Country. Even the least expensive 2022 Tahoe will retail for more than $51,000. No buyer in that price range should be required to pay extra for such useful assists. Chevy would also earn points by making adaptive cruise control available to every 2022 Tahoe owner. For ’21, this convenience was exclusive to the Premier and High Country.

Finally, waiting for the ’22 Tahoe may give you access to the SUV’s full complement of models and features. The worldwide microchip shortage forced GM to cancel some orders for full-size SUVs with the Air Ride Adpative Suspension and Max Trailering Package. Chevy, GMC, and Cadillac dealers could resubmit customer orders for ’21 models without those options. As of summer 2020, it was unclear how the shortage would ultimately affect availability of these and other features or what role it might play in the timing of the release of the 2022 Tahoe.

Will 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe styling be different?

2021 Tahoe RST

New colors are likely. And any new trim package would almost certainly get its own visual touches. But the 2022 Tahoe’s overall appearance and dimensions won’t change. It’ll retain the look that debuted with today’s fifth generation. It’s a familiar square-shouldered visage updated with Chevy’s latest themes in grilles, headlamps, tail treatments, and roof-pillar profiles.

Each ’22 Tahoe model will again have styling cues intended to convey its particular personality. For example, expect the ’22 RST to reprise a unique front fascia with a “black-ice” finish to the grille, plus black-themed exterior trim. The Z71’s exclusive one-piece-look grille will again be complemented by a lower fascia shaped to improve off-road clearance, red front tow hooks, and darkened trim. And the ’22 High Country will return with yet another grille style, this one with what Chevy labels a “Galvano finish and Godric accents.” You’ll call it bronze.  

The differentiation will continue with wheel design and size. All ’22 Tahoes will again come with alloy wheels, the ’22 LS and LT with 18-inchers as standard and 20s as options. The RST should again come with black 22-inchers, the Z71 with gray-tinted 20s. Look for the Premier to again have 20s as standard and 22s as optional, while the High Country again gets its own chrome-accented 22s.

All ’22 Tahoes will again come with three rows of seats. Two front buckets are standard, but a 40/20/40 split-front bench should return as an LS option to create room for nine passengers. (For ’21, the front bench was actually a $250 LS credit but deleted GM’s laudable inboard driver-seat-mounted airbag).

2021 Tahoe

All models will again have a power driver’s seat, with a power front passenger seat – and heating for both front seats, included on all but the LS.  Look for the Premier and High Country to again have heated and ventilated front seats. A power memory driver’s seat should remain standard on all but the LS. An enhanced system that recalls the outside mirror and power tilt/telescope column positions should return as standard on the Premier and High Country and available on the LT, RST, and Z71 with the Luxury Package.

A 60/40 split/folding second-row bench, for eight-passenger seating, should again be standard on all but the Premier and High Country. Two second-row buckets, reducing capacity to seven, should remain standard on those models and optional on all other ’22 Tahoes except the LS. A power release that automatically tips the second-row buckets for easier third-row access should remain standard on the top two models and included in options packages on all but the LS. Expect heated outboard second-row seating positions to follow the same availability protocol.

Every 2022 Tahoe will also return with a 60/40 split/folding third-row bench. Power-folding capability to expand cargo room should remain standard on the Premier and High Country and included in options packages on all but the LS.

A leather-wrapped steering wheel should remain standard across the board. The ’22 LS should return with cloth upholstery, all the other models with leather on the front- and second-row seats and vinyl on the third. Premier and High Country will again have perforated leather – the latter complemented by , while the RST gets specific black leather with contrast-color stitching.

All this will again make for inviting passenger accommodations, especially in the roomy and well-padded first- and second-row seats. There’s even enough shoulder room to for squeeze-free three-across seating on the second-row bench. The increased wheelbase also made possible larger rear-door openings, improving access to both the second and third rows.

This fifth-generation Tahoe’s expanded dimensions and the packaging efficiencies associated with the independent rear suspension erased a serious competitive disadvantage, finally giving GM’s big SUVs a livable third-row seat. Note that the Suburban, with its 13.2-inch-longer wheelbase and 15-inch-longer body, is roomier still (the same holds for the Suburban-sized Yukon XL and Escalade ESV).

2021 Tahoe High Country

But today’s Tahoe has a full 10 inches more third-row legroom than its predecessor. And for the first time, its second-row seat can slide, adjusting 5.5 inches forward or rearward. The result is a third row generous enough for teens and suitable for medium-sized grownups who can abide the seat’s relatively parsimonious padding.   

Carrying space also benefits and the ’22 Tahoe will return with cargo volume at the top of its competitive set. There’s 25.5 cubic feet behind the third row, 72.6 with the third row folded, and 122.9 with both rear rows stowed. By comparison, the fourth-generation’s cargo volumes were 15.3, 51.7, and 94.7 cubic feet, respectively.

2021 Tahoe: some controls will remain to the left of the steering wheel

The ’22 Tahoe will also carry over the new dashboard that arrived with the model-year-’21 redesign. Most buttons and dials are situated, sized, and marked for ease of use, but you’ll need to look low and left of the steering wheel to find some key controls, such as those for the 4WD system, headlights, electronic parking brake, and trailer-brake adjustment.

The transmission will again be shifted by dashboard buttons to the right of the steering wheel. A little acclimation is required. It’s more difficult to reconcile removing your hand from the steering wheel to operate other nearby buttons that enable manual-type gear control.  

2021 Tahoe transmission controls

Expect a 4.2-inch instrument cluster to remain standard on all but the Premier and High Country. Standard on those models and optional on the Z71 with the Off-Road Capability Package ($2,450 for model-year 2021) is more detailed instrumentation on an 8-inch field. A useful and well-designed head-up display should again be standard on the High Country and optional on the Premier as part of its Enhanced Display and Alert Package ($1,625 for ’21). The multi-color 15-inch projection of vehicle and navigation data is clear and useful.

Standard again will be up to eight USB ports, including Type-A and Type-C: two in the central dashboard, two and SD-card reader in the front center console, two in the second row on rear of center console, and two in third row.

Every ’22 Tahoe will also sport a 10.2-inch central dashboard touchscreen. Expect LS through Z71 grades to return with Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 Plus system with wireless support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available Alexa Built-In in-vehicle apps, and, on all models except LS, wireless smartphone charging with charger cooling.

Chevy’s Infotainment 3 Premium system should again be standard on the Premier and High Country and optional on the LT, RST and Z71 with the Rear Media and Nav Package ($2,490 for ’21). This includes imbedded navigation that doesn’t depend on a cell signal to deliver real-time GPS mapping, plus enhanced voice recognition and additional memory.

With the Surround Vision feature, the dash screen can display up to nine camera views covering the Tahoe’s full perimeter – a true aid to maneuvering this big rig in tight places or lining it up with a trailer hitch. Expect Surround Vision to return as standard on the ’22 High Country; as a part of the Luxury Package ($2,820 for ’21) on the LT, RST, and Z71; and in conjunction with the Enhanced Display and Alert Package for the Premier.

The Enhanced Display and Alert Package should also again include an inside rearview mirror that can show a wide-angle view aft, letting drivers “see through” rear passengers or tall-stacked cargo. The camera mirror should return as standard on the ’22 High Country.

2021 Tahoe rear-entertainment touchscreens

Optional again for all but the 2022 Tahoe LS should be dual 12.6-inch LCD touchscreens mounted to the front seatbacks. Viewable by both second- and third-row passengers, each screen offers independent connections and can deliver different content on each side. Rear seaters can share content from one screen to the other, mirror content from an Android phone to a screen, and “send” navigation points of interest, such as suggestions for restaurants or pit stops, to the dashboard infotainment screen.

Also returning would be a front center console that powers rearward up to 10 inches to expand storage and make it accessible to second-row passenger. It also reveals a hidden drawer that can be secured through a Valet mode. Unavailable on the LS, the $350 option should again require the Luxury Package and second-row buckets on LT, RST, and Z71 models, and the Premium Package ($4,485 for ’21) on the Premier. Unfortunately, the power-sliding option eliminates the console’s USB ports.

Any 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe mechanical changes?

2021 Tahoe Z71

As mentioned, Chevy might liberalize availability of the top-dog 6.2-liter V-8, perhaps attaching to a new or existing trim. But the 2022 Tahoe’s mechanical specs almost certainly will carryover from the ’21 model.

All but the High Country would again come standard with a 5.3-liter V-8 rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque (consider torque the key ingredient in acceleration and towing capability). The ’22 Tahoe High Country would return with a 6.2-liter V-8 of 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

Both V-8s will again feature GM’s impressive Dynamic Fuel Management technology that can automatically deactivate up to six cylinders to optimize engine efficiency across a broad range of driving conditions, including when towing a trailer. The V-8s also feature automatic stop/start technology.

A 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel should again be available on every ’22 Tahoe model except the Z71, where the unique front fascia is incompatible with the engine’s intercooler piping. Expect 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Well-suited to towing and more fuel-efficient than the V-8s, the turbodiesel cost a very reasonable $995 for model-year 2021 (it actually reduced the cost of the High Country by some $1,500). About 6 percent of ’21 Tahoe buyers and 8 percent of Suburban buyers ordered it.

Every 2022 Tahoe will again come with a limited-slip rear differential. The ’22 Z71 will again include GM’s Autotrac 4WD and most buyers of other Tahoe models will continue to order it. The system includes dedicated settings for rear- and four-wheel-drive, low-range gearing for off-roading, and an Auto mode that automatically shuffles power between the front and rear wheels to quell tire slip. Hill descent control for added confidence off-road should remain standard on the Z71 and on 4WD Premier and High Country models. 

2021 Tahoe High Country

Standard towing ratings start at 7,600 pounds but a Max Trailering package will again allow Tahoes with the 5.3-liter V-8 and the turbodiesel-six to pull 8,400 pounds in rear-drive form and 8,200 for 4X4s (with the 6.2-liter V-8 ratings are 8,300 and 8,100, respectively. The Max Trailering package ($465 for ’21) includes enhanced cooling, an integrated trailer-brake controller, and Hitch Guidance and Hitch View camera angles. It should also continue to incorporate the Advanced Trailering Package that features a predeparture checklist and a trailer tire-pressure monitor.

Magnetic Ride Control should remain standard on the ’22 Tahoe Premier and High Country and available on Z71 models equipped with the Off-Road Capability Package. Designed to reduce the bouncing, body roll, and vibrations that can often resonate in a large SUV, it uses sensors to continually “read” the road and alter the damping rate of the shock absorbers almost instantly.

Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive suspension should return as part of the Off-Road Capability Package on ’22 Tahoe Z71 models and the Max Trailering Package on High Country models. It delivers automatic load-leveling and ride-height adjustment. In highway driving, the system automatically lowers the ride height ¾-inch to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. A driver-selectable setting lowers the suspension 2 inches to aid passenger entry and exit when the vehicle is parked. Drivers can also raise the body to increase off-road ground clearance to 10 inches, from the standard 8 inches.

Expect the ’22 Tahoe to again offer some intriguing dealer-installed options, such as the Performance Upgrade Package for the V-8 engines ($2,295 for ’21) that includes freer-flowing air intake and exhaust systems. Similarly, the Front six-piston Brembo Brake Upgrade ($3,495) would again include higher performance front brake calipers, with a red finish to both front and rear calipers.

Will 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe fuel economy improve?

2021 Tahoe with the 3.0L Duramax turbodiesel

Probably not. Expect 2022 Tahoe EPA ratings to repeat those for the 2021 models. That would leave V-8 Tahoes about even with direct rivals of similar power. It would also maintain Tahoes with the Duramax diesel among the most fuel-efficient SUVs in the competitive set , although they could be challenged for the top spot if reports that Ford is adding a gas-electric-hybrid option to the 2022 Expedition prove true.

With the 5.3-liter V-8, 2022 Tahoe EPA ratings should repeat at 16/20/18 mpg city/highway/combined with rear drive, 15/19/16 with 4WD. With the 6.2-liter V-8, expect ratings of 15/20/17 with rear drive and 14/16/19 with 4WD.

Expect ’22 Tahoes with the diesel to return at 21/28/24 mpg with rear drive and 20/26/22 with 4WD.

The 5.3-liter will again run on regular-grade 87-octane gas. Chevy recommends premium-grade 91-octane gas for the 6.2-liter V-8. The diesel engine would use a Diesel Exhaust Fluid that requires periodic refilling, though it would not require a dealer visit to do so.

Will there be new 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe features?

2021 Tahoe High Country

The ’22 Tahoe will carry over such a remarkably long list of standard and optional features it’s difficult to identify what new could be added. Marketers have largely succeeded in packaging models and offering specific extra-cost equipment that meet buyer expectations. Most likely is that existing features would be mixed and matched with unique visual touches to create any new trim package.

We’d suggest Chevy begin by making Tahoe’s full slate of safety features standard on every 2022 model. As mentioned above, every model will again come standard with autonomous emergency braking designed to automatically stop the SUV to mitigate a frontal collision with another vehicle, object, or pedestrian. The system incorporates following-distance alert, which can display the gap time in seconds between your vehicle and a detected vehicle in front. Automatic high-beam headlamps will also return as standard.

However, for model-year 2021, only the Premier and High Country came standard with lane-departure warning with automatic lane-maintaining steering correction, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic detection, and front-and rear obstacle detection. On all other ’21 Tahoes, these useful assists required the Driver Alert Package.

The package cost a reasonable $790. But making it standard on all 2022 Tahoes would extend its benefits to buyers who might not recognize the package’s value, who don’t realize it’s available, or chose from a dealer’s inventory a model without it.

We’d also suggest Chevy include on every ’22 Tahoe adaptive cruise control that can maintain a set distance from traffic ahead. For ’21, this convenience was standard only on the High Country and available on the Premier as part of the Enhanced Display and Alert Package.

Otherwise, expect a wide range of performance, comfort, and convenience items to return. In addition to those features already noted, look for the 2022 Tahoe LS to again come standard with heated power mirrors, LED headlamps and tailamps, and keyless entry with pushbutton start.

To that, expect the ’22 LT to again add a hands-free power liftgate that helpful projects onto the ground a Chevy logo as a target for your foot kick, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, and an integrated garage-door opener.

2021 Tahoe Z71

The ’22 RST would again duplicate the LT’s equipment while adding the 22-inch alloys plus its specific exterior and interior appearance items. Similarly, the 2022 Tahoe Z71 would again mirror the basic LT content while getting the exclusive visuals and off-road enhancements already described.

Expect the 2022 Tahoe Premier to again include its aforementioned features, plus dual exhausts with polished stainless-steel tips; power-folding outside mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, puddle lamps, and driver’s-side automatic dimming; a 10-speaker Bose system, power lumbar control for the front seats, and a power instead of manual tilt/telescope steering column.

In addition to features already discussed, such as the 6.2-liter engine, special trim, and 22-inch wheels, the ’22 Tahoe High Country would again build on the Premier with details like a rear camera-mirror washer.

Among notable options, expect a dual-pane panoramic moonroof with power sunshade to remain available as an option on all but the ’22 Tahoe LS. The option cost $1,500 for model-year 2021, although it was included as part of some LT option groups, such as the $5,685 Signature Package.

Will 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe prices be different?

2021 Tahoe LS

They’ll almost certainly increase, although Chevy may exercise restraint to attract non-Bow-Tie loyalists who might be tempted by the new Wagoneer or the refreshed Expedition.

For reference, here are 2021 Tahoe base prices, including the $1,695 manufacturer’s destination fee.

The ’21 Tahoe LS started at $51,295 with rear-wheel drive and at $54,295 with 4WD. The ’21 LT was priced from $55,995 with rear drive and from $58,995 with 4WD.

Base price for the 2021 Tahoe RST was $59,095 with rear drive and $62,095 with 4WD. With 4WD standard, the ’21 Tahoe Z71’s base price was $61,195.

Base price for the ’21 Tahoe Premier was $64,495 with rear drive and $67,495 with 4WD. Base prices for the ’21 High Country were $71,395 and $74,395, respectively. As noted, the Duramax turbodiesel was a $995 option available on all but the Z71 model.

When does the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe come out?

2021 Tahoe Z71

Barring delays from Covid-19 plant shutdowns, microchip shortages, or other factors, expect a 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe release date in fall 2021.

Best 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe competitors

Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Jeep Wagoneer, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]