New for 2015
The Chevrolet Tahoe has been heavily revised for 2015, gaining updated styling, an upgraded interior, longer equipment list, a more efficient engine, as well as a quieter and more comfortable ride.
The Chevrolet Tahoe is a three-row SUV that offers seating for nine passengers, an 8,500-pound towing capacity, and new safety features that set it apart from the competition. The mechanically identical Suburban sits on a longer platform and loses some towing capacity, but gains significantly more cargo capacity and rear passenger space. Among Chevrolet’s three-row SUVs, the Tahoe sits below the Suburban and above the less expensive Traverse crossover.
The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe is motivated by a 5.3-liter V-8 that makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, and gets paired with a six-speed automatic. Rear-drive Tahoes are rated by the EPA at 16/23 mpg, and 16/22 mpg in four-wheel drive. The capabilities remain a capable 8,300/8,500 pounds in 4WD and RWD models, 15.3/51.6/94.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third, second, and first rows. Throughout the interior there are a number of particularly useful features, such as an 8-inch infotainment screen that hides a lit storage area, power folding rear seats, hands-free programmable power liftgate, available wireless charging for personal electronics (inductive, requires a special case for the device), available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (requires a subscription), a rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch screen, Bose premium audio system, and hands-free keyless access with push-button start.
The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe introduces a suite of safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and a side blind zone alert with lane change alert. The Safety Alert Seat is a recent innovation introduced on several GM products that warns drivers of threats with vibrations on the right and left of the driver’s seat bottom cushion. Instead of the typical beeping from a backup sensor, the seat will vibrate to alert drivers when pulling into a tight parking spot, or when the Tahoe’s sensors detect a potential collision, such as when a turn signal is activated and a car is detected approaching from the passenger side; the seat will vibrate on the right.
The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), but has not been evaluated by the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Tahoe is the smaller of the two full-size Chevrolet SUVs, with a 14-inch shorter wheelbase and 20-inch shorter body than the Suburban. That shorter body, however, gives up a significant amount of cargo capacity and third-row comfort (10-inches less legroom for the way back passengers). Unlike the Suburban, the Tahoe draws a much closer comparison with three-row crossovers, with towing capacity being the only major advantage. Fuel economy is good in the segment, but when cross-shopped with capable three-row SUVs it doesn’t compare well.
In a Driven review of the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban, we said, “It’s harder, though, to make a case for the Tahoe. Chevrolet’s own Traverse has significantly more cargo space (behind any of its three rows) and a much more usable third-row seat in a similar-sized package. The only real advantage for the Tahoe is trailer towing, where the V-8-powered, body-on-frame SUV puts the V-6 Traverse crossover, well, on the trailer.”
When compared to the slightly less efficient, but more capable Ford Expedition the Tahoe begins to lose some allure. The Ford raises towing capacity to 9,200 pounds, while providing a more usable third row. Unless you’re willing to step up to the bigger Suburban, the Tahoe will remain a brand-loyalty purchase over the Ford. With a towing capacity of 5,200 pounds, a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse also makes a compelling argument for light-duty towing with a full load of passengers. Buyers needing passenger, cargo, and towing capability ought to look to the not-much-more-expensive Suburban or the Ford Expedition.
Despite the negatives, the 2015 Tahoe is an improved SUV, combining the attributes that made it successful in years past with greater efficiency and a more luxurious interior. We noted, “The dash has greater dimension than before; there are fewer hard plastics; and well-padded surfaces cover the door panels and armrests.” We also said “the large console creates a vast amount of storage space; there is also an abundance of power points and USB outlets. We were more impressed, though, with the well-thought-out switchgear.” The Tahoe’s smaller footprint makes it easier to maneuver in an urban environment, so if use of the third row is kept to short trips, the smaller Chevrolet makes a compelling alternative to the capable, but gargantuan, Suburban.
- More fuel efficient than before
- More confident drive
- High-quality interior
You Won’t Like
- Cramped third row with high floor
- Less cargo and towing capacity than Ford Expedition
- Mechanically related Suburban isn’t much more expensive
- Ford Expedition
- Toyota Sequoia
- Nissan Armada
- GMC Yukon
- Chevrolet Traverse