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- Highs Good power and towing capacity, decent handling, plenty of cargo room.
- Lows Bumpy ride over rough surfaces, child-size third row, poor fuel economy.
- Verdict The Tahoe is a capable full-size SUV for those who place utility above all else.
The Tahoe is the smaller of Chevrolet’s two full-size, truck-based sport-utility vehicles, the other being the iconic Suburban. The Tahoe is still plenty big, at 204 inches long overall on a 116-inch wheelbase. The latest generation, new for 2015, is the first Tahoe that doesn’t share its front-end styling and front doors with the Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Front suspension is independent, but the rear suspension retains the old model’s live axle and coil springs. Seating capacity is seven or eight, depending on whether you choose captains’ chairs or a bench seat for the second row, but either way, the third row is a cramped space.
What's New for 2017?
For the third model year of the latest Tahoe, Premier replaces LTZ as the top trim level. GM’s Teen Driving safety monitoring feature is standard on all Tahoes, and low-speed forward automatic braking is now available. The Tahoe’s front grille now has active aero shutters for better fuel efficiency. A new 22-inch wheel design is available for the Premier model. New exterior paint colors are Blue Velvet metallic and Pepperdust metallic.
- LS: $48,510
- LT: $53,750
- Premier: $63,435
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Tahoe offers just one engine choice, an aluminum small-block 5.3-liter V-8 with direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation, rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and a choice of rear- or four-wheel-drive is available across all trim levels. RWD Tahoes are rated up to 8600 pounds towing capacity, while 4WD drops that to 8400 pounds. The latest Tahoe’s body, with additional high-strength steel and a boxed frame, has vastly improved structural rigidity, and the SUV’s big, heavy body is smooth and well-controlled over most surfaces, though the ride can get choppy over bumpy roads. Magnetorheological shocks are exclusive to Tahoe Premier. Car and Driver recorded a 7.1-second 0-60 mph sprint, plenty quick for launching the big SUV into freeway traffic, and its 70-0 mph stopping distance of 176 feet is a respectable number for even a family sedan.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Tahoe’s trim levels, in ascending order are LS, LT and Premier, the latter of which can rival GM’s own GMC Yukon Denali for luxurious appointments. All trim levels come with a vinyl-covered dash, though unlike the Denali, the wood trim is not real. The Tahoe Premier does feature such luxuries as power-folding second- and third-row seats, as well as standard perforated leather seats, heated and cooled for the driver and front passenger. Too bad the tight third row isn’t suitable for adults. Cargo space behind the first row is a capacious 95 cubic feet. A newly available rear-seat entertainment package includes an HDMI/MHL connector, an additional USB port, digital headphones, and device projector with video voiceover for the visual and hearing impaired.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Tahoe's standard tech equipment includes the Chevrolet MyLink interface with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, and a six-speaker HD audio system with satellite radio. Options and higher trim levels bring such features as navigation, wireless charging, and a 10-speaker Bose sound system.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.