Chevrolet Tahoe

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe was completely redesigned for the 2015 model year, so for 2016 Tahoe carries over largely unchanged.

Tahoe is a full-size SUV capable of pulling heavy trailers or hauling lots of cargo or people or doing all those things at once. Staunchly upright in profile, the versatile Tahoe is closely related to the stretched-out Chevrolet Suburban, along with the GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade as well as the Silverado and Sierra pickups.

In addition to seating up to nine occupants, depending on seating configuration, the Tahoe possesses the muscle to carry a full load of passengers and all their luggage; and even to tow a boat in the process. Impressively capable off-road as well on the highway, Tahoe comes with four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. Today, most SUVs are built like cars based on front-wheel-drive chassis and do not offer the towing ability or off-road capability of the Tahoe.

Though still built like a truck, this latest Tahoe exhibits more carlike traits than the prior generation. Inside the cabin, too, passengers can enjoy considerably more quietness than in past generations. As for amenities, a Tahoe LTZ is equipped to rival the Cadillac Escalade.

All Tahoe models use GMs 5.3-liter V8, developing 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, mating with a 6-speed automatic transmission. In addition to efficient direct injection, the V8 incorporates a cylinder deactivation system that helps cut fuel usage by shutting off half of the eight cylinders, while cruising along with a light load. Because theres no vibration or clanking sounds, no one is likely to notice the switchover.

The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe has been updated with an enhanced Driver Alert package that includes power-adjustable pedals, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, and a Safety Alert seat that produces pulsations to warn of possible dangers. A new radio includes OnStar 4G LTE with a wi-fi hub. Phone integration technology in MyLink adds Apple CarPlay capability.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given Tahoe five-star ratings in frontal-offset and side-impact crash-testing, though a three-star rollover score shrinks the overall rating to four-star. Six airbags are standard, though bucket-seat models add a front-center airbag. Options include a lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and front parking sensors.


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe is new inside and out, with more power, more fuel efficiency and more refinement than before. All told, the 2015 Tahoes makeover is thoughtfully planned and nicely executed.

While chassis dimensions dont change, there are updates to the foundation. A stronger body structure uses more high-strength steel and the rear track has been expanded slightly, contributing to a smoother ride and quieter cabin.

Third-generation magnetic ride control automatically adjusts shock absorbers to road surfaces and driving demands in milliseconds, affording a blend of comfort and control we find remarkable in a vehicle this size. Its limited to the top of the line LTZ trim level, but trim levels with conventional spring and damping systems have been retuned and deliver better dynamics than the previous generation.

The sheetmetal has been reshaped from stem to stern, and while it takes an experienced eye to distinguish the 2015 Tahoe from the previous generation, the styling is crisp, with sharp angles and a strong character line running from front to rear just below the greenhouse. The front doors are unique to the Tahoe, no more sharing with the Silverado, and the B-pillar has been moved forward, enlarging the rear door opening for easier ingress.

The 2015 Tahoes interior is all new, with two welcome new options: a power liftgate and power-folding rear seatbacks. For 2015, GM made a substantial investment in noise suppression, with triple seals around the doors, acoustical laminate windows, and lots of sound-insulation throughout. The payoff is a big ute with luxo sedan interior noises levels.

Like the Suburban, the 2015 Tahoe is limited to a single engine, a 5.3-liter V8, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. That displacement is familiar, but this is a much different 5.3-liter V8: all aluminum, new block, new cylinder heads, new crankshaft, new pistons, higher compression ratio, direct fuel injection. More power: 355 horsepower versus 320 hp in the previous version, 383 pound-feet of torque. That torque provides the pulling power to achieve a towing capacity of 8400 pounds with four-wheel drive, 8600 pounds with 2WD.

And theres improved fuel efficiency to go with the increased thrust: 16/22 mpg City/Highway with 4WD, 16/23 mpg with rear-wheel drive.

Tahoe shares the Suburbans solid body-on-frame construction, and while it weighs a couple hundred pounds less than the big guy, at 5683 pounds with four-wheel drive its no wraith. Curb weights on the 2015 models are up by as much as 100 pounds, depending on equipment, and while the Suburban takes up even more room, a vehicle thats 204 inches long and 74.4 inches high still casts a lot of shade in a parking lot.

The Tahoe is 14.4 inches shorter than the Suburban, on a 116-inch wheelbase, versus the Suburbans 130-inch wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels).

We found the 2015 Tahoe behaves very well on the road. Dont expect car-like driveability; its a non-sequitur with vehicles in this size class. But the responses are prompt, an active safety plus for a vehicle thats likely to be loaded with kids. And its a smooth operator in terms of ride quality.


2013 Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Tahoe offers good towing capabilities and can haul up to nine passengers or two passengers and a mountain of cargo or anything in between.

Inside, the first two rows offer legroom and head room comparable to most sedans but more shoulder and hip room because of Tahoe's six-and-a-half foot width. Fold the second row of seats and remove the third row and the Tahoe offers nearly 109 cubic feet of cargo space.

Towing capacity is up to 8,500 pounds. Based on a platform similar to the Suburban and Silverado models, the Tahoe makes a stable rig for pulling trailers.

With its rigid chassis, the Tahoe feels taut for its size, steering is precise and responsive, and the brakes are capable and smooth. The ride quality is generally smooth, even with the available 20-inch wheels. At highway speeds, we found the Tahoe quiet and comfortable.

Engine choices are a pair of 5.3-liter V8s that feature GM's Active Fuel Management to save gas; you can't even feel the switch between four and eight cylinders, which generally occurs with your foot off the gas or steady-state cruising. The major difference between the two engines is that one has a cast-iron block and the other an aluminum block; each delivers 320 horsepower, is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and provides all the power and performance most customers will need. The engines are also E85-compatible, which means they will run on 85-percent ethanol fuel. EPA fuel economy ratings (on gasoline) are 15/21 mpg City/Highway.

The Tahoe Hybrid has a 6.0-liter V8 of 332 horsepower and a two-mode hybrid system, and works seamlessly. It offers drastically improved urban fuel economy and slightly more power compared to other models, but tows less, weighs more and costs more. The Hybrid model provides an answer for those who spend the week in city traffic but want to tow up to 6,200 pounds and bring the family on the weekend. EPA ratings for the Hybrid are 20/23 mpg City/Highway.

The available Autotrac four-wheel drive can be left engaged on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing. It comes in handy for rugged terrain and serious snow and ice, but it's also handy for yanking a boat up a slippery boat ramp or pulling a trailer out of a silty, sandy parking area, those momentary needs that can be so crucial.

Changes for 2013 are essentially limited to two new colors. The current-generation Tahoe was launched as a 2007 model.


 

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