Buy/Drive/Burn: The Cheapest Full-size, Truck-based SUVs in America for 2021

We continue the Cheapest Of series today on Buy/Drive/Burn, and check out the least expensive full-size truck-based SUVs on sale in America in 2021. And we’ve been generous today and equipped each of them with four-wheel drive to avoid any usability concerns. Today’s trio is very close in price but diverges elsewhere. Let’s go.

Chevrolet Tahoe

The Tahoe is new for 2021, is the cheapest vehicle here. This year it gains a host of updates including an independent rear suspension and some very in-your-face-styling. General Motors believes more trims are better, and offers Tahoe in LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country variations. At the lower end, an LS starts at $49,600, and a High Country is $68,200 before options. Unlike the others here, the power plant depends on trim and is provided via the stalwart 5.3-liter V8, a 6.2-liter V8 (High Country only), or a 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel. The 5.3 and diesel are both available at the LS level, and the V8 is slightly cheaper. A 4×4 LS is available in eight different free colors, most of which are grey-ish. Seats are covered in cloth here, but buyers can choose between Jet Black and “Very Dark Atmosphere,” or as you’d call it light gray. A bench seat can replace the front console, but that’ll cost you $250. With no options selected and after the freight charge of $1,695, the Tahoe asks $54,295.

Ford Expedition

Ford’s Expedition is F-150 based as you’d expect and has been on sale in its current guise since the 2018 model year. It’s available in five different trims presently: XL STX, XLT, Limited, King Ranch, and Platinum. Prices range from a base of $49,025 to nearly $74,000 for the Platinum. All trims feature the same 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6, which produces 375 horsepower. In XL STX trim, all six available paint colors are free of charge, and one of them is brown. All seats are covered in cloth at this level, and the only color on offer is Ebony. The 4×4 upcharge is added to the acquisition fee of $656 and the destination charge of $1,695 for a grand total of $55,385.

Nissan Armada

The most expensive entry of today’s trio is also the only one from Japan. The Nissan Armada in its current guise is sold as the Patrol elsewhere in the world and shares a body with the more expensive QX80 and a platform with the Nissan Titan. Available in four trims, S, SV, SL, and Platinum, the Armada ranges from $48,600 to over $65,000 before options. All trims share the same naturally aspirated 5.6-liter V8 used across Nissan’s truck line that’s good for 400 horsepower. Colors available for free on the SV 4WD trim include black and silver. Interiors are dark gray or tan, and the leather has an -ette at the end of it. The four-wheel drive and shipping fee add up for a base price on the Armada of $57,095.

Three big SUVs, all of them ask for around $55,000 of your dollars. Which one goes home with you?

[Images: GM, Ford, Nissan]

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