This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Suburban-Tahoe line for Chevrolet, and with that achievement comes a complete redesign of the epic family hauler. The Suburban is the longest-running nameplate in automotive history.
“There are no vehicles like Tahoe and Suburban — which have starred in Hollywood movies, carried military heroes and world leaders, and helped create countless family memories,” said Barry Engle, executive vice president and president, General Motors North America. “We’ve taken what people love about these pioneering SUVs and made them even better — adding more room for people and cargo, more advanced technology and an unrivaled driving experience.”
This is so true, especially when you go back and look at the history of these two icons and how they have been used.
So, how did Chevrolet come up with new ideas implemented in the product rated the best in its class? They did it by using technology from their full-sized truck line and tailoring the already-existing luxuries to meet the needs of SUV drivers and passengers.
Being a full-sized SUV means these vehicles could be somewhat harder to maneuver around in, especially in tight spaces. Having owned a Tahoe for a number of years — back in 2007, when our family was all still at home — we became experts at navigating it into unusual spaces.
The first thing we noticed was how much easier it was to drive and get around in those tight spaces now, including when pulling into the garage and parking it, heading clear to the front like a truck left plenty of room in the rear for the door to go up, and to get things in and out of the back in a more comfortable environment.
This is definitely a big advantage over the Suburban, especially for us, as it fit easier into the garage.
The new Tahoe redesign has increased the size of the SUV versus last year’s model — by 6.7 inches — and added extra legroom to the second and third row of seats, three and 10.1 inches respectively. This was huge in the third row, making the ride way more comfortable for a full-sized adult.
The amount of cargo room behind the third seat was also increased by 10.2 inches, adding 28.2 cubic feet of storage space. The third row seat also folded down automatically in our test ride, which made for easier loading of large objects into the back cargo space.
A trip to Lowe’s proved to be easier than expected as we transported 8-foot long boards for a new table we were working on. Each board fit without much fuss, sitting on the center console.
Craig was also able to make a trip to Top Golf with three friends from around the neighborhood during the week of Christmas, and they all fit very well with all four bags of clubs being easily accommodated in the rear with the third row folded down.
There are some options this year with the new Tahoe — as far as the engine goes — including the new 3 liter diesel, a 6.2 liter V8 and the 5.3 liter V8 that our test ride came with. Our ride came with a powerful 355 horsepower while the larger V8 makes for 420 horsepower, however, if it is torque that drivers are looking for, the new diesel wins the pack at and amazing 460 foot-pounds.
There is also a full trailering system that is available, taken right from the Silverado playbook, that allows the Tahoe to pull up to 7,900 pounds, which it should do with ease as it slides through the 10-speed transmission that was so smooth we hardly every even noticed a gear changes.
There have also been numerous changes to the exterior sheet metal that have given the Tahoe a bolder look and yet have added a sophistication to the mix. We loved it, and we were not entirely sold on the previous look that seemed a bit too square, so hats off to the new designers for a new concept.
On the interior, things really started to shine as a new 10-inch, LED touchscreen is the center of attention in the console. It was easy to use and is the largest to date in the segment, and more importantly, it came complete with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These work seamlessly, even if we exited the SUV and left it running to grab a drink it would hook right back up.
Speaking of large screens, the Tahoe can come with up to five if desired, our test ride came with four, the large infotainment screen, an 8-inch center instrument cluster and two 12.6-inch screens in the rear for attaching any device to or used as multiples. They could play different things on each screen. These is also an available 15-inch, ginormous heads-up display for the front window, should be large enough to keep any one happy.
Safety wise, our test ride came equipped with most of the great features we have come to love, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist and departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.
About the only complaint we had was wanting to have adaptive cruise control for the longer rides we went on.
Of course, the front seats were heated and so was the steering wheel, which made Christmas week even better as temperatures dropped to the mid-teens in the mornings.
The new Tahoe turned out to be a great ride and would work wonderfully for any growing family that needs a larger vehicle for their stuff or to haul their toys around on the weekend. With the Z71 package included, there are not many places this vehicle would not venture to go.
Base price: $59,200
Price as Driven: $68,940