The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 are the two most off-road ready SUVs in General Motors‘ full-size SUV portfolio. With standard four-wheel-drive, a two-speed transfer case, a different front end treatment with a better approach angle and optional Air Ride Adaptive suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, the Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 come well-equipped to take on the elements right from the factory.
A serious off-road package like this is deserving of some solid off-road rubber. To that end, GM Authority has learned that the 2021 Tahoe Z71 and 2021 Suburban Z71 will be offered with aggressive Goodyear Wrangler TrailRunner AT tires, which are sized at 275/60R20. That’s right – these gargantuan SUVs come with 33-inch rubber form the factory – giving them the tires to back up their rugged, off-road-ready demeanor.
Goodyear describes the Wrangler TrailRunner AT as a “tough, dependable tire with a hardworking combination of on- and off-road performance.” These tires feature large interlocking tread blocks for increased durability, while the saw tooth block edges help with traction on loose surfaces. The multi-angle sipes also contribute to off and on-road grip in all weather conditions, making this a true all-season tire.
Goodyear provides a 55,000 mile (88,000 km) tread life limited warranty on the Wrangler TrailRunner AT.
By comparison, the last-generation, K2-based Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 used 265/65R18SL MT 114S Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, which are somewhat comparable to the TrailRunner AT rubber, in the sense that both were tires were designed to offer a combination of on- and off-road performance. Goodyear describes the DuraTrac as “a workhorse tire for rugged off-road terrain – including snow – that still offers a quieter ride on paved roads.”
Indeed, the DuraTrac tires have a more aggressive tread pattern and are more capable in off-road, muddy or more extreme snowy driving conditions. The downside, though, is that they have a slightly lower tread life of 50,000 miles (vs. 55,000 miles for the TrailRunner AT). Additionally, the more aggressive pattern on the DuraTrac tire might result in higher levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). In fact, GM’s official documentation surrounding the DuraTrac tires used on the K2-generation Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 states that the more aggressive tire tread may result in a higher level of road noise.
A quick gander at the DuraTrac and the TrailRunner shows the vast difference between the two tread types.
Ultimately, the Wrangler TrailRunner AT used on the 2021 Tahoe Z71 and Suburban Z71 features a less aggressive tread that enables it to deliver a quieter ride. That, in turn, makes it more appropriate for a road-going SUV while still delivering some offroad potential. The less aggressive thread pattern should also allow the TrailRunner to last longer than the DuraTrac. Plus, the TrailRunner is also about $85 less expensive per tire.
|Goodyear TrailRunner AT||Goodyear DuraTrac|
|Approximate Cost (per tire)||$99||$185|
|Description||A tough, dependable tire with a hardworking combination of on- and off-road performance||A workhorse tire for rugged off-road terrain – including snow – that still offers a quieter ride on paved roads.|
|Tread Life Limited Warranty||55,000 miles||50,000 miles|
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe start at $50,295 while the larger Suburban is priced from $52,995. The 2021 Tahoe Z71 starts at $60,495 while the 2021 Suburban Z71 starts at $63,195.