2018 Tahoe New Car Test Drive
The Chevy Tahoe is a comfortable workhorse that can tow heavy trailers, transport up to nine passengers, haul large or heavy cargo, routinely traverse rugged terrain, or smoothly gobble up miles and miles of Interstate highway.
Tahoe comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 and a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, in five-, seven-, or eight-passenger configurations.
For 2018, Tahoe offers a new version of the base model that omits the third row of seats while offering desirable upgrades. The 2018 Tahoe RST Package (Rally Sport Truck) is a five-passenger model that includes a magnetic suspension, along with the option of 6.2-liter V8 or the 5.3-liter. Brawny 16.1-inch Brembo brakes also are available.
Last redesigned for 2015, the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe lineup is otherwise largely unchanged.
Most models come with GM's EcoTec3 5.3-liter V8 that develops 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, mating with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Tahoe RST may be opted with a 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission. The optional 6.2-liter V8 cranks out 420-horsepower and 460 pound-feet.
Unlike crossovers, Tahoes have a separate body atop a ladder-type chassis. A suitably equipped Tahoe is rated to tow as much as 8,400 pounds. Curb weight totals at least 5,600 pounds. Tahoe offers more ground clearance and its rugged construction and suspension enables it to endure routine pounding over rugged terrain that would wear out a crossover in a relatively short period of time.
EPA fuel economy for a 5.3-liter Tahoe 2WD is 16/23 mpg City/Highway, 15/22 mpg with four-wheel drive.
Suburban offers nearly the same fuel economy, with increased stability for towing and greater cargo capacity, but Tahoe is easier to park and takes up less space in the driveway. Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL take the basic Tahoe/Yukon package and stretch it by about 10 inches for greater room.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Tahoe four stars overall, but five stars for both frontal and side impacts. Resistance to rollovers earned just three stars, which isn't shocking for vehicles with a high center of gravity.
Several advanced collision-avoidance features are standard on Tahoe LT and Premier models, and optional for LS. They include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and automatic high-beams. In addition to audible alerts, the driver feels a buzz from the seat when a warning is issued. Adaptive cruise control is a Premier option.
The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe LS ($47,450) comes with rear-wheel drive and the 5.3-liter V8. Standard features include rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and wi-fi hotspot functionalist. A new Custom option omits the third row and substitutes 17-inch wheels. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $1,295 destination charge.
Four-wheel drive is available for each trim level ($3,000).
Tahoe LT ($52,580) upgrades with leather seating surfaces, heated front seats with memory, Bose premium audio, a power liftgate, forward collision alert, and lane-keep assist.
Tahoe Premier ($62,130) comes with heated/ventilated front seats, HID headlights, navigation, 20-inch wheels, and magnetic dampers.
RST includes 22-inch wheels, special trim, and the option of a 6.2-liter V8, Borla exhaust and Brembo front brakes.