2003 Tahoe New Car Test Drive
The 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe is packed with new features and engineering improvements. America's best-selling full-size SUV, the Tahoe is just the right size for many folks. Big enough to haul busloads of people and boatloads of cargo, the Tahoe is more manageable than a Suburban. Chevrolet claims the 2003 model brings more than 40 major changes. Some of the new features are dazzling, some of the changes are subtle, and some are quite technical. It all adds up to a safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable vehicle that builds on the Tahoe's excellent platform.
Safety improvements abound: GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability program is available for improved control on slippery surfaces. New airbag systems are designed to better protect children and adults of various sizes. Adjustable pedals are available for improved safety for drivers of smaller stature. The brakes have been improved.
New features dazzle: XM Satellite Radio delivers CD-quality music, radio, sports, and other programming coast to coast. A rear DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones keeps the kids busy. Second-row bucket seats are available. Improved controls for audio and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) along with an enhanced driver information center make life in the Tahoe a little more convenient.
The Tahoe is the perfect size for many people. It carries a lot more cargo than a compact or mid-size SUV like the TrailBlazer. It can carry a lot of cargo and four or five passengers at the same time. Third-row seats are available to increase the capacity to seven passengers. Pulling a trailer is no problem with the optional 5.3-liter V8 and the Tahoe's stable platform. Yet the Tahoe is far more maneuverable than a Suburban, important in crowded parking lots, underground garages, or when parallel parking. And it'll fit in more garages.
On the road, the Tahoe is smooth and stable, a rock. It has plenty of power and its brakes work well. The cabin in the 2003 model is comfortable and familiar, friendly and functional, better than the 2002 models. Turn off the highway and the Tahoe handles gravel, rugged two-tracks, mud, and snow. It's a great choice for someone who needs real carrying capacity.
The 2003 Chevy Tahoe is available in LS and LT trim, plus there's a Z71 off-road package. Two V8 engines are available, the Vortec 4800 and the Vortec 5300. Two- and four-wheel drive is available. All models come with a four-speed automatic transmission.
LS ($33,605) comes standard with the Vortec 4300 V8, six-way power driver and passenger front seats, fog lamps, assist steps, heated outside mirrors with ground illumination, a rear heater and rear window defogger and Homelink universal transmitter for opening your garage door. The Vortec 5300 ($700) is optional. Tahoe LS 4WD retails for $36,305.
The LT package ($4,010) turns the Tahoe into a luxurious truck with leather seating surfaces, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, 60/40 split folding middle bench seat, Bose nine-speaker AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer, rear audio controls with dual headphone jacks, color-keyed door handles, power heated mirrors with turn signals and ground illumination.
LT comes standard with the Vortec 5300 V8 rated at 285 horsepower, which is 10 more than the Vortec 4800. More important is the difference in torque: The 4800 is rated at 290 pounds-feet of torque, while the 5300 is rated at 325 pounds-feet of torque. Torque is that force that propels you away from intersections and it is especially important for towing or hauling weighty stuff, like people.
Z71 ($5167) is a premium package specially equipped for off-pavement driving and is only available for 4WD models. Z71 includes the off-road suspension with gas shocks, off-road jounce bumpers, high-capacity air cleaner, Z71 badge, Driver Information Center, 60/40 split middle bench seat, Bose nine-speaker AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer, rear audio controls with dual headphone jacks, steering wheel audio controls, special air dam, tubular assist steps, front painted bumper, rear panted step bumper with pad, color-keyed door handles, round fog lamps, color-keyed grille, black roof rack with cross rails, dark gray lower rocker moldings, P265/70R17 tires, 17-inch cast aluminum wheels, power heated mirrors with turn signals and ground illumination, heavy-duty locking rear differential, 3.73 rear axle ratio, aluminum underbody shield, oil pan skid plate, differential skid plate, steel transfer case skid plate, wheel flares, Trailer Package with heavy-duty hitch platform, seven-lead wiring connector and external transmission oil cooler, OnStar, A95 leather seat package with front reclining buckets, adjustable head restraints, inboard armrest, heated driver and passenger seat cushions and seatbacks, power bolsters, two-position driver-side memory and storage pockets.