2007 Tahoe New Car Test Drive
Whether families with children, empty-nest couples with active lifestyles or individuals who simply have cargo to carry securely or trailers to tow, some people really do need the all-weather practicality provided by a full-size sport utility vehicle. Since 2001, the Chevy Tahoe has been the best-selling vehicle in the category, accounting annually for more than 25 percent of all full-size SUV registrations in the United States.
For the 2007 model year, Chevrolet rolls out its all-new and next-generation Tahoe, a vehicle that promises to be updated and improved in seemingly every aspect, including fuel economy. Chevrolet boasts that its 2007 Tahoe is the first full-size SUV to break the 20-mpg barrier in the federal government's combined fuel economy ratings, a feat the Tahoe achieves with both its two- and four-wheel-drive models.
Tahoe can accommodate five to nine passengers, the latter when ordered with the available front bench and third-row seating. All three rows offer spacious seating. Even adults can sit in the third row, but most we wouldn't want to spend a lot of time back there.
Out on the road, the new Tahoe feels taut for a full-size SUV, and the steering is precise and responsive. The brakes are responsive and smooth. At highway speeds the Tahoe is quiet and comfortable. The available 5.3-liter V8 engine features GM's Displacement on Demand technology to save gas, but we weren't ever able to feel it switching between four and eight cylinders whether on the highway or around town.
With the second row in its flipped and folded position, the Tahoe provides 108.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity. With power provided by one of two V8 engines, the Tahoe can tow as much as 7700 pounds.
Chevrolet promises that the new Tahoe models will carry more standard equipment, with several new options, yet will be priced at or below comparable 2006 models, which range from less than $37,000 to around $50,000, depending on the model and its specific content.
The all-new 2007 Chevy Tahoe is available in three versions, LS, LT and LTZ.
The standard engine is a 290-hp 4.8-liter V8. Tahoe 4WD models come standard with a 320-hp 5.3-liter V8 that features GM's Displacement on Demand technology that quiets four cylinders in many normal driving situations. A version of this engine also can run on either E85 ethanol-blended fuel as well as on regular unleaded gasoline.
The LS ($33,115) is the base model and should account for about 15 percent of sales. Standard equipment includes dual-zone air conditioning, cloth seating for five people, with power adjustment for the driver's seat, 17-inch wheels, a tire-pressure monitoring system, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock technology, StabiliTrak stability control designed to keep the vehicle on the driver's intended course and to reduce the possibility of a rollover when the vehicle leaves that course. Also included as standard equipment are a steering column that tilts, intermittent windshield wipers, power locks and mirrors as well as windows, side assist steps, an eight-speaker audio system with CD player and a year of OnStar service.
The LT ($34,865) is expected to be the most popular version, accounting for 65 percent to 70 percent of sales. To simplify ordering, the LT offers three variations for the 2007 model year. The LT-1 package adds a cargo shade, floor console, color-keyed door handles, heated exterior mirrors, fog lamps, custom bucket front seats, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls and a sound system with rear audio controls with headphone jacks. The LT-2 adds dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, a remote starter system, leather seats, an audio system with a six-CD changer and MP3 capability, Ultrasonic rear parking assist and a universal garage door opener. The LT-3 adds power folding rearview mirrors with turn signals, side-curtain airbags, 12-way power driver's seat with memory, power-adjustable front passenger seat, Bose Premium 9-speak audio with subwoofer and XM Satellite Radio. Based on choices made by current Tahoe owners when they bought their vehicles, Chevrolet expects the LT-3 to be the most popular version.
The LTZ ($43,140) comes with 20-inch wheels, Autoride air-assisted rear suspension, heated windshield washer system, heated second-row seats with a power release to enhance access to the cargo area or standard third-row seat, a locking rear differential, power rear liftgate and rain-sensing front wipers.
Optional equipment for the Tahoe includes an auxiliary transmission cooler, engine block heater, navigation system, rear-seat video entertainment system, rear-view camera system, sunroof and a third-row that seats two people in buckets or three people on a bench. Accessories include specially styled wheels, brush guards for the grille and tail lamps, roof rack cross rails, a cargo tray, deep-ribbed rubber floor mats and hitch-mounted bike and ski carriers.