2020 Acura MDX vs. 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/23

The MDX’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Tahoe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the MDX uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Tahoe uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the MDX and the Tahoe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 153 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tahoe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The MDX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Tahoe’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Tahoe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Tahoe ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The MDX’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Tahoe’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/23

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the MDX have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Tahoe.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The MDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/23

The MDX offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Tahoe doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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The MDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tahoe’s standard 65 series tires. The MDX A-Spec’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Tahoe’s optional 50 series tires.

Chassis

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The MDX is 1 foot, 2.5 inches shorter than the Tahoe, making the MDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The MDX is 8.5 inches shorter in height than the Tahoe, making the MDX much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction lowers the MDX’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Tahoe uses body-on-frame design instead.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Tahoe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 21% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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The MDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Tahoe’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the MDX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Tahoe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the MDX to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Tahoe doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

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