The Wait is Over, and the Wish is Granted: New 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe Get a Diesel Option

December 2019 News Diesel Technology Forum

Consumers will have another fuel-efficient diesel engine option to choose from in 2021, thanks to the announcement yesterday by Chevrolet that the new 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe will offer the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine option.

“The wait is over, and the wish is granted for all those searching and hoping someday for a diesel engine option in America’s most popular and iconic vehicles, the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe. Diesel and Suburban fans for many years have been calling and writing the Diesel Technology Forum about when they will be able to get a diesel option, and now we have an answer: mid-2021,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

“Diesel’s are a very natural fit for the full-sized SUV segment to enable manufacturers to provide consumers with a no-compromise vehicle experience; power, performance, driving range, reliability and more fuel efficiency. All told, there are nearly 50 diesel-powered choices for American consumers in 2019. Current diesel offerings range from light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans to crossovers and sedans.

“Like diesel engines, Chevrolet Suburban’s have been around for a long time, celebrating 85 years in 2021. That longevity doesn’t come by accident but from leaders delivering what consumers want, whether in the form of the continuous improvement in diesel engine efficiency and achieving near-zero emissions or the Chevrolet Suburban’s eight-plus decades of innovation that have dominated the vehicle segment and are part of the fabric of American history.

“Second only to full-size pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles are the most popular and fastest growing vehicle segment in the U.S., so the availability of a fuel-efficient diesel engine option is welcome news. These full-size SUVs provide an unmatched combination of utility, comfort and performance that consumers increasingly demand, and with the diesel engine option, Chevrolet is further pushing the envelope of efficiency as well. The all-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine option already has some impressive accomplishments in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck where the Duramax diesel posted EPA highway fuel economy performance of an amazing 33 mpg.”

New diesel options now available for consumers in America’s most popular selling vehicles – full-size pickup trucks - are delivering more benefits for their owners in the form of fuel savings and performance gains that turn into energy savings and clean air benefits across the economy. According to recent research from IHS Markit, commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum, consumers choosing a diesel engine option in full-size half-ton pickup trucks can achieve on average 33 percent more miles per gallon (24 mpg diesel vs. 18.1 gasoline, combined fuel economy) saving about 200 gallons of gasoline every year. Beyond the fuel savings, the diesel options have greater vehicle driving range before refueling. If all full-size pickup trucks in the U.S. were to be powered by a diesel engine, the research found that we would realize a savings of ~500 million gallons of fuel for one model year.

An added advantage of the diesel engine option is the ability to utilize blends of advanced biofuels including biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel, thereby further lowering their carbon footprint, beyond the fuel efficiency advantage over gasoline. American consumers value options, and the option of using biofuels will be an important one that boosts sustainability of their personal vehicle choice.

Check out more details on alternative-power vehicle sales in the United States with the Forum’s newest resource, the U.S. Vehicle Sales Dashboard:

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