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2021 Tahoe: 5.3/6.2l gas or Duramax?

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2021 Tahoe: 5.3/6.2l gas or Duramax?

Old 09-29-2020, 08:16 AM
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C3D
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Default 2021 Tahoe: 5.3/6.2l gas or Duramax?

Pretty much decided on a new 21 Tahoe to replace my beloved 2014 Mercedes diesel SUV.

For towing capabilities, wanted to seek opinions on which engine will work best. The Duramax will not be available until later this fall and so Chevy has not released the towing figures for that version. Trying to decide if it's worth waiting to find out, or if I should pull the trigger now.


Engine and Transmission: 5.3-liter V-8 - 10-speed automatic transmission
Power: 355 hp/383 lb-ft of torque
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Max Towing: 8,400 pounds (RWD); 8,200 pounds (4WD)

Engine and Transmission: 6.2-liter V-8 - 10-speed automatic
Power: 420 hp/460 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 15/20 mpg (RWD); 14/19 mpg (4WD)
Max Towing: 8,300 pounds (RWD); 8,100 pounds (4WD)

Engine and Transmission: 3.0-liter turbodiesel I-6 - 10-speed automatic
Power: 277 hp/460 lb-ft



Curiously the towing spec drops 100 pounds if you pick the more powerful V-8 engine, I would assume because of the additional engine weight.
Old 09-29-2020, 08:19 AM
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You are correct, motor weights more. Chassis/suspension/brakes all the same. Just cause you have more power doesnt mean you can pull more, you will just get there quicker.
Old 09-29-2020, 08:21 AM
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What are you towing. Won't tell you not to buy a Tahoe...but at least test drive a Suburban first. 20" roughly of extra length which makes it a much more versatile vehicle, and the longer wheelbase is better for towing. With all the cameras and sensors on them, they are not a big deal at all to park/drive. Know quite a few people that have gone Tahoe to Suburban, and nobody that has gone the other way.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:24 AM
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Next year they will offer rear diff ratio options that will bump towing significantly for the diesel and 6.2.

Using the 5.3 to tow 8k would really be pushing that little motor.
Old 09-29-2020, 08:27 AM
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my wife has the 6.2 and it is great! interstate traveling routinely see low 20's MPG. around town 17-18mpg.

i would not even consider the 5.3 after having the 6.2! have no experience with the 3.0 duramax, how ever i think the 6.2 pretty much eliminated the need for a diesel in an SUV! unless your towing fairly heavy and very often. if that is the case, im not sure the 3.0 duramax would be up to that challenge!
Old 09-29-2020, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I would love a Suburban, but it's too big for the garage - the Tahoe makes it only by a few inches

@gotboosteddvr6m interesting point on the rear differential changes. I am going to research that.
Old 09-29-2020, 11:55 AM
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I don't think the 3.0 diesel will have an increased tow rating over the gas engines; it doesn't in the 1500 series trucks. However, I would wait as long as you can. Right now the 6.2 is only available in the top trim levels. In the Silverado and Sierra trucks, however, the 6.2 and the 3.0 diesel are available across many trim levels (I have a mid-grade Silverado 1500 RST with the 3.0, for example). If you can eventually get the 3.0 in the Suburban RST, I think my wife would jump on that.

Old 09-29-2020, 12:02 PM
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6.2L gas. Best engine GM makes, next to the 6.6 Duramax.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:42 PM
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Our 2016 Yukon XL has the 8speed trams and 6.2 and just got back from short vacation towing 6500lbs through the mountains and got 13mpg! Local 17-18 and 22on open road not towing.
Old 09-29-2020, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe View Post
6.2L gas. Best engine GM makes, next to the 6.6 Duramax.

Silverado 2500 with 6.6 Duraxmax has a 35,500 pound towing capacity!
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:15 PM
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6.2 needs premium fuel so just keep that in mind. It’s also a $2,500 upgrade on the 1500 trucks not sure what it is on the SUV’s. The diesel sounds pretty cool but still an upgrade as well.
Old 09-29-2020, 01:29 PM
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I can't imagine owning a GM full size SUV with anything except the 6.2L.
Old 09-29-2020, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Pipo6007 View Post
6.2 needs premium fuel so just keep that in mind. Itís also a $2,500 upgrade on the 1500 trucks not sure what it is on the SUVís. The diesel sounds pretty cool but still an upgrade as well.

If that's the case then it's the Duramax for sure.
Old 09-29-2020, 03:11 PM
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I have a 2018 Silverado LTZ Crew cab with the 5.5ft bed. The truck has a 5.3L. I would not recommend it for towing. The truck is nice, rides well but she's a dog. If it was my every day vehicle I would have traded it in for duramax or the 6.2.
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:19 PM
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What are you towing? Iím no 5.3 fan, but with the 3.42 gearing especially, and weights under 5k that donít catch the wind, itís not horrible. Not my choice at all for regular heavy towing, especially on the interstate,
Old 09-29-2020, 05:58 PM
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What are you towing? My 2009 2500 Suburban with a 6.0 engine has less HP and less torque than the 6.2L. It will maintain interstate speeds up mountains towing 6,500 pounds and that's with 7 people inside and the air conditioning on. I don't see the need for anything greater.
Old 09-29-2020, 06:24 PM
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Its not terrible. But I have a 21ft Mako with a TTop on a tandem trailer and a dump trailer thatís used for mulch,gravel, and firewood. She gets a workout once in a while.
Old 09-29-2020, 06:29 PM
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6.2 hands down.
Old 09-29-2020, 06:39 PM
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Need to make a 3/4 ton Suburban like they use to. Put the 6.2 in it and get a tow rating of 10K or more.

I know not a Tahoe.
Old 09-30-2020, 07:55 AM
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C3D - I don't know where you got all your numbers. Some look right others are wrong. For example, my 2019 Tahoe, with the 5.2L, 4WD, and Max trailering pkg., is rated at 8,400 lbs., same as the new ones. Just double check your numbers, that's all.

Oh, and get the Tahoe, you won't be disappointed.

2021 Chevy Tahoe Towing

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