2019 Tahoe New Car Test Drive
One of Chevrolet's old-timers, the full-size Tahoe has served for nearly a quarter-century as one of the most capable SUVs. Mixing traditional presence and body-on-frame construction with plenty of modern-day features, the familiar workhorse ? last redesigned for 2015 ? stands ready for rugged, reliable duty.
A new Tahoe is expected soon. Meanwhile, few changes are evident for the 2019 model year. Primarily, a new Premier Plus Special Edition package upgrades to Chevrolet's 6.2-liter V-8, adding 22-inch wheels, power-retractable steps, and black/brown leather upholstery.
Three trim levels are offered: base LS, LT, and top-line Premier. Nearly all Tahoes come standard with a 5.3-liter V-8 that generates 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The optional 6.2-liter V-8 whips up 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, working with a 10-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but any Tahoe may be fitted with four-wheel drive for additional cost.
Seven airbags are installed, including a central airbag that can prevent front occupants from colliding during a crash. An Enhanced Driver Alert package includes automatic low-speed braking and active lane control. Not only does the system deliver audible alerts, it vibrates the base of the driver's seat to signal a developing issue. Standard on LT and Premier trim levels, the collision-avoidance group is optional for LS models. Only the Premier edition can be fitted with optional adaptive cruise control. The Tahoe does not offer full-speed automatic emergency braking.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash-tested a Tahoe, but the federal government did so. The 2018 model earned five-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for both frontal and side impacts, but scored only four stars overall. For rollover resistance (a calculated figure, not based upon actual testing), the high-riding Tahoe managed only a three-star rating. NHTSA has not yet affirmed overall and frontal ratings for the 2019 model.
As is the case with other big, separate-body SUVs and trucks, the Tahoe's heft provides both benefits and drawbacks. The Tahoe's frame is borrowed from Chevrolet's Silverado pickup truck, but with rear coil springs.
GMC's Yukon is a near-duplicate of the Tahoe, with a more luxurious Denali trim option. For greater space, the Chevrolet Suburban and Yukon XL ride stretched wheelbases, adding about 20 inches to length. Cadillac's lush Escalade also shares many components..
Prices do not include $1,295 destination charge.
LS ($47,900 with rear-drive, $50,900 with four-wheel drive), the base model includes the 5.3-liter V-8, cloth upholstery, rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and 18-inch wheels.
LT ($52,900 with rear-drive, $55,900 with four-wheel drive) adds leather seat upholstery, heated front seats, Bose audio, a power liftgate, and safety features that include automatic low-speed braking, lane-departure and forward-collision warnings, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Premier ($62,600 with rear-drive, $65,600 with four-wheel drive) comes with heated and cooled front seats, navigation, HID headlights, front/rear parking assist, blind-spot monitors, and Magnetic Ride Control.
The new Premier Plus Special Edition package substitutes Chevrolet's 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic, adding rear-seat entertainment and a head-up display. LT and Premier versions can add an off-road Z71 package, including hill descent control, and skid plates..