2020 Tahoe: Our Best Look At Its Independent Rear Suspension34
With the launch of an all-new generation of models for 2020, the Chevrolet Tahoe and its long-wheelbase sibling, the Suburban, will be getting an independent rear suspension for the first time. Prototypes rocking the new rear suspension design have been spied testing publicly on several occasions now, and while General Motors at first took pains to camouflage the suspension, the automaker has been less guarded with subsequent prototypes.
Now, we’ve gotten our best look yet at the rear suspension design of the 2020 Tahoe and Suburban, courtesy of a prototype Tahoe spied earlier in the month. As you can clearly see in the images above and below, there is no solid, live axle spanning between the rear hubs. Instead, there’s a beefy, black suspension arm visible, tying each hub to a central subframe, and presumably, somewhere out of sight, a pair of constant-velocity halfshafts carrying torque from the rear differential to the wheels.
Why Do We Care?
That the 2020 Tahoe and Suburban are to feature an independent rear suspension instead of the usual live axle is significant, with likely implications for both comfort and performance. IRS setups tend to offer greater handling and stability than solid-axle designs, along with a smoother ride over rough driving surfaces.
Yet solid axles are often the favorite among those who find themselves towing or hauling heavy loads with any regularity, thanks primarily to their durability. They’re also popular among off-road enthusiasts, owing to their strength, serviceability, and articulation over difficult terrain.
By switching from a solid rear axle to an independent rear suspension on the all-new, 2020 Tahoe and Suburban, General Motors is essentially attempting to strike a new balance between on-road manners and hauling/off-roading abilities – one that’s a bit nearer the former ideal than in past iterations. It might also be taken as a bit of vindication for Ford Motor Company, whose full-size Expedition SUV has used an independent rear suspension since its second generation launched for 2003.
Stay tuned for more great Chevrolet Tahoe news and Chevrolet Suburban news as it breaks.
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Welcome to the 21st century. Ford did that nearly 20 years ago.
Oh yeah? How is that Expedition selling?
That was the old argument from the old GM. People will still buy our old crap, regardless, because we have the distribution. How did that work out for you?
I hate to be “that guy”, but the Expedition (and especially the new Navigator) are selling pretty well now… it’s on track to sell more this year than it has since 2007; about 65,000 units by averaging monthly sales out. Still not a huge threat to the GM SUVs, though.
The new Navigator vs the Cadillac Escalade is where things are gonna be dicey. There’s less information out since GM switched to quarterly sales reports instead of monthly, but it looks like the Navigator is at least matching Escalade sales.
Expedition isn’t selling well at all. Up until last month it has sold less than last year. Strong September sales moved it barely into green. Up 0.3% for the year. It has been outsold by Tahoe, Yukon and is only 7 units up on Suburban. It is overpriced with terrible interior quality.
Escalade outsells Navigator 2:1. 26,460 vs. 13,085. Not even close to ‘matching’ it. As a matter of fact. Land Rover, Mercedes and Infiniti outsell Navigator. No one is even close to Escalade numbers.
Yes, don’t be “that guy”. You’re spewing nonsense out here.
We’ve apparently got different numbers here, Greg. I’ve used a few different aggregate sources that pull the numbers fro manufacturer reports.
Expedition has absolutely been having a better year than last year, though this is mainly because of certain months that were far higher than last year. Otherwise, it appears to be generally slightly ahead. We’re still talking a 65,000 unit expectation here. This still isn’t any huge threat to the Tahoe’s ~101,000 unit expectation.
Again, GM changed their reporting structure for sales figures, so I’d be highly interested to know if GMAuthority’s numbers (especially for Q3) are exacting for this year or assumptions based on past years. I’d also be interested what accounts for the MASSIVE uptick in Escalade sales in Q2 – If you look at past data, there has NEVER been an increase in sales like that before. The reason I’m highly suspicious of the numbers here is that the ESV is listed as 0 in the USA after Q1 – I think they’ve been combined, which contributes somewhat to the confusion. I’m also unsure if Ford/Lincoln reports their long wheelbase versions separately or not.
There’s no question at all that the GM brands outsell Lincoln. There’s no question at all that they will continue to do so, so long as the new redesign doesn’t screw everything up. I fear that people will be just as split and unsure about the new Tahoe/Suburban as they are with the new Silverado 1500.
IRS or not. Suburban/Tahoe were always and still are the better choice when it comes to full size BOF SUVs.
We will see. The Suburban has been around the longest mileage vehicle on the road now for years from GM. That has equated to a reliable sales number. Now with the IRS if that reliability is going to match leaks, and vibrations of Cadillac, GM will be in more trouble. The engines and transmissions haven’t been exactly great in the past few years. Navigator has been selling around here like mad. My sister and her son both have one now. I can no longer convince my own family to buy GM. We have been test driving other brands for the first time in 37 years. What is going on at GM ?
And what vibrations and leaks might those be from Cadillac? In what ways are the engines/transmissions “not great”? I’ve seen plenty of incredibly high-mileage new body style Suburbans, Tahoes, and Silverado 1500s with the 5.3L V8 that drive essentially like new with minimal or non-existent major repairs.
The Suburban doesn’t sell purely because it achieves high mileage. It sells because it’s a large, capable, comfortable, technologically advanced, and overall extremely competent family vehicle that can tow 8000+ pounds.
Wyatt You are just more proving my point by saying “I’ve seen plenty of incredibly high-mileage new body style Suburbans, Tahoes, and Silverado 1500s with the 5.3L V8 that essentially like new with minimal or non-existent major repairs.” The reason IS NONE of the vehicles you listed HAVE the INDEPENDENT REAR SUSPENSION yet. Also I am NOT saying the Suburban sells PURELY because it achieves high mileage. But it IS a FACT that the HIGEST MILEAGE vehicles on the road in the USA ARE also the best selling vehicles in the USA. And if you think for ONE MINUTE when the vehicles you listed have the same reliability as Cadillac does, that they will still be selling in the same numbers long term, you are mistaken.
As far as vibrations and leaks from Cadillac. Do me a favor and search rear differential vibration or rear differential leaks Cadillac and you will quickly see what I am talking about. The solid rear end has WAY LESS moving parts. In FACT right now as I am typing I have the rear differential from our ATS apart on my shop bench. I am installing new bearings and seals which I can purchase. However the bearing cup or race is KOYO and special to GM and NOT SOLD SEPERATELY in the WORLD. GM built a $1400.00 throw away rear differential not to be rebuilt. You wait until you get that new Suburban with independent rear suspension and hit a rock hunting or fishing and bend the rear axle. You then drive it home from your trip vibrating and it has now developed a leak from the rear differential. You take it to get repaired and come to find out that you not only have to buy the new axle but a new rear differential also because the bent rear axle has ruined the seals and bearings in the differential. AND this is just ONE scenario of thousands of scenarios.
I would also bet the 8000+ towing capacity of the current model will be less on the new independent rear suspension model with all those balls in the axle joints wearing the axle boots wearing and leaking it is a FACT there in not ONE engineer that would agree form a reliability stand point that it will be better. However they will probably handle and ride better.
Just off the top of my head you went from 6 moving parts to 18 moving parts what could happen there.
Your ATS’s rear differential has next to no correlation or shared components with that which would be used in a truck, so please for the love of God throw that terrible mindset out immediately.
The Ford Expedition has proven that it can still tow just as capable with an Independent Rear Suspension as any solid axle SUV. In fact, it handily beats both the Suburban and Tahoe in towing capacity – mind explaining that one, chief?
Most Suburban owners never go off the boat ramp or gravel campground roads, so bending the axle on a rock is a bit of an extreme example, don’t you think?
Wyatt, are you serious about what transmission troubles . LOOK READ there are THOUSANDS of people righting about the terrible transmission troubles. Clunking, Chugging, Shuddering, Lurching. Bad torque converters, TERRIBLE programming of shift points, its never ending if you just READ at all. Just on Chevrolet, GMC, or Cadillac Face book sites alone, not one post isn’t filled with troubles from different REAL people voicing concern. Even the BRAND NEW Cadillac XT4 already has one customer at least having transmission troubles. READ.
Every brand has “transmission troubles” – if you can point me to a brand that has a perfect transmission, I’ll eat my hat, because as far as I’m concerned every brand on Earth has transmissions that occasionally clunk, gear-hunt, shudder, and lurch. If people don’t like the way the GM 6-speeds or 8-speeds shift, perhaps they should have test driven the vehicle a bit more. On top of that, GM has multiple software updates available that help the shift point issue.
Not something I’ve ever experienced working the last 2 years at a dealership that deals almost exclusively in new and used GM trucks, touching and driving hundreds of trucks of varying trims, drivetrains, mileage, and conditions during that time.
All I’m going to say to EVERY brand has transmission troubles is I AGREE to a point. However the QUANTITY of troubles doesn’t compare. That’s like saying the ALLISON transmission in all 3 of my HD Duramaxes never had trouble BUT someone some where HAS had trouble with the ALLISON transmission.
ITS THE NUMBERS.
HOW do you test drive a vehicle long enough to break it in and develop transmission troubles. ITS NOT POSSIBLE. That’s what warranty is for. However when you break it in and it changes for the worse to GM its normal operation even if it didn’t start out that way. In this scenario there is NO WAY to test drive a vehicle and find out if you like it or not. NO WAY.
With the only notable exception being a brand-new clean sheet first-year release, why wouldn’t somebody take a used example of the vehicle for a quick spin? I’ve gone out of my way to test drive high mileage examples of every vehicle I’ve ever purchased because I feel it’s important to know how they hold up as the miles grow and years go by.
We had a 2015 Suburban with 89,000 miles come in that still drove like it was brand new. A 2014 Silverado 1500 with 154,000 miles that was in shockingly fantastic condition and drove near-new. A 2015 Silverado 1500 with 95,000 on the clock that… big shocker… drove like new! These trucks tend to hold up pretty good in my experience.
Again I would agree with everything you just said. BUT think of this. When we test drove the ATS I asked the sales man if Cadillac changed the transfer case design because we put a chain in our SRX transfer case at 78,000 miles and I didn’t want to deal with that at under 100,000 miles. The sales man and service manager replied, we haven’t seen any transfer case issues with the SRX. I then said I know of four people personally who have had to replace the chain and all around 80,000 miles give or take a few. So the moral of that story is the dealer NEVER knows most of the issues do to the FACT that MOST vehicle owners where I live would NEVER take there vehicle to a dealer for work unless it is warranty work, so how would the dealer know.
I also agree with the NEW MODEL rule, especially after our 2014 ATS, new model, 2015 CANYON, new model, 2017 Denali HD, new model drive train. The ATS quit the 6 speed transmission in 16. The Canyon quit the 6 speed in 16-17. BOTH do to the TERRIBLE SHIFT. Don’t take my word for it, it is a FACT, GM doesn’t make that combo any longer. AND to top that off GM has made the transmission tune better for those models but now the customer has to pay for it because most are out of warranty.
My grandpa always told me NEVER buy a new car. Find what you want with 30,000 miles and buy it. That way someone else pays for the troubles. He would buy a new to him, 30,000 mile car, make the dealer put a new set of tires on it to close the deal and drive it until the tires were worn out and buy another 30,000 mile car again, same thing until the day he died.
So let me get this right. You as a dealer sales man are telling me the customer NEVER buy a NEW MODEL vehicle because you simply can’t test drive it with mileage on it. I would agree. However I bet GM and the owner of your dealership would NOT.
I will have a 2017 Denali HD $71,000.00 truck with under 15,000 miles next year to trade on the 2020HD. Just to get the center steering wheel, softer better quality seats, rear air vents, and that POS DEF tank off the ground and out from under the hood. I wonder if GM wants me to wait until I can drive one with 30,000 miles plus and see how I like it , or buy a new one.
You entirely, 100%, completely, and totally misunderstood my point.
Here were my exact words: “why wouldn’t somebody take a used example of the vehicle for a quick spin” – that is, take a used example on a test drive – if possible – before you pull the trigger on a new example.
Say you wanted a new 2018 High Country. I virtually guarantee that your dealer has a couple, say, 2016 High Countries on their lot that you could take on a quick drive just to see if they have any major drivability issues after they’ve got some miles and time on them.
I DONT WANT A 2018 HIGH COUNTRY. I WANT A 2019 Cadillac XT4, a 2020 GMC Denali HD, and a 20 whatever Cadillac CT5. BUT I will wait for 3 to 5 years now just to see what there problems are. I sure hope not ALL GM customers do that . I’m pretty sure that is what MOST Cadillac customers are doing. And that’s because GM has NO CUSTOMER SERVICE. They leave ALL customer service issues to the dealership UNLESS it is a safety concern and GM is FORCED to do something.
I would totally agree with you if you want a OLD model vehicle. BUT who does that leave to buy the NEW model vehicle?
People with more money than sense. It’s a good thing there’s plenty of them out there.
Personally, i’ll always choose to wait at least a year after something is released until it has (1) reached full production capacity and (2) had time to work the kinks out at the factory – but that’s especially true with something like DFM that is absolutely bound to go wrong at some point.
This means it would be easy to adopt this to the Silverado and Sierra pickups in future model years.
I think a better step for the half tons would be to go with a coil spring rear suspension as Ram uses. Remember Chevy was the first with a coil spring rear suspension on a pickup way back in 1960.
It should also lower the load floor and have a true fold flat floor.
Most importantly, it might actually give us some legroom (red: foot room) in the 3rd row. That’s what even the Suburban desperately needs, but ESPECIALLY the Tahoe. If I had a few inches to place my feet under the seats of the 2nd row, especially in the Tahoe, I could actually semi-comfortably ride in the 3rd row for a few hours.
I also sincerely hope they introduce a sliding 2nd row. If nothing else, helps proportion more room if you’re hauling a lot of cargo and proportion more legroom if a lot of people.
is the 4cyl eng standard in 2019 silverado?? i really want one.
The 4cyl engine is simply dumb by GM in these full size trucks. Now that engine in the Colorado or the small SUVs…not bad.
Just like with Ford, the gas mileage is no better than the basic V8 in real world driving. Not to mention towing.
Say what you will about the 3.5L EcoBoost; it’s clear they designed that engine for power and less for fuel economy. I still see a lot of 3.5L EB owners getting fairly good fuel economy, and the things can certainly haul ass towing.
It’s the 2.7L EcoBoost that was designed for efficiency, and it wins. Most normal drivers manage to get at least 20 MPG from it; some are far higher. People who tow or haul around a lot of people/stuff will obviously have a lower average, but that’s expected out of any V8 too.
GM’s 2.7L I4 was really designed for fleets and construction companies – uses that generally have dedicated heavy-duty trucks for towing, while their normal 1500-series light trucks are generally just to get people and tools around. That’s where this engine will shine.
Well up until now the Tahoe and Suburban were the only full size SUVs with legit heavy duty rear ends. Welcome to the 21st century lmao dude with a full size Chevy SUV you could actually get a truck rear end on it. These are going to be nothing but tar babies now. Psshhht …. I’ll take my g80 over this nonsense any day.
Just about every other large SUV has IRS rear suspension. Handling and improved ride , along with a lowered floor in the rear will make these new vehicles post much better comp numbers.
They cut significant weight out of the new pickups. I’d bet that these new SUVs will also show meaningful weight loss.
We continue to see much higher levels of technology in all of the new GM products.
This better not affect the lug pattern of the wheels so everyone can put 2020 wheels on their 1995 with rust spots and paint damage etc lmao
BTW IRS sucks ass I like being able to lift or lower a truck without snapping axles
so basically they are butchering it into another expedition CUTE
and next model will get rid of the frame and go full unibody. towing capacity: 600lbs downhill!
what a joke GM! but im sure base price will still jump 10k at least….
Chevy is dead to me. It’s #MoparOrNoCar from here on out.
Congrats GM, you just lost a fourth generation customer.
The day Ford moved to IRS, I purchased Suburban as our ultimate family vehicle that could Tow our our camping trailer, get 8 people on board, load our stuff, take off highway and show some medium off road skills anytime of the year. Trust me you need that solid axle ground clearance when exploring for that amazing view.
I remember when driving on i-95 we drove over an alligator, thanks to a high ground clearance of the rear suspension we did not roll over or hurt ourselves. God that thing hold up well. When stopped and saw some chunks of the alligator back parts scrubbed. Now, with the new GM IRS we are not sure if the lower parts of the suspension can give us the same GC. Look at those hanging lower parts (compare to previous generation). They are pretty low, and easily can brake off when angled or hid a rock. Don’t look at the space in the center, GM hopes you are a master to drive thru an object centered perfectly. The sides are where most objects hit the suspension and now they are totally sedan like low. I’m going to look into Toyota 4Runner for solid axles. Sorry GM, I’m not going to shop for your new Suburban or Tahoe anymore. The sales will of course go up for a moment (it’s called a number trick). But, now that ford and GM have no difference the market will be shared by Ford and GM vehicle 40% and 40%.
GM had a lead because people who were comparing both always opted in for solid axles for more reliability, durability and dependability. Now, GM pretty much gave FORD large SUV’s a chance to shine.
Well, I’m sure GM large SUV sales will go south in the next 5 years. The ratings will collapse and Ford will be selling at 27$ per share. I’m buying ford shares people!