Vehicle SummaryThe 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe is certainly a large, full-size SUV, but it's not as big as it could be. Ever since its introduction in 1996, the Tahoe has given buyers most of the seating and towing capacity of the Suburban but packaged in a smaller footprint. Although an all-new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe will go on sale sometime early in calendar-year 2014, the 2014 Tahoe, which dates back to late 2006, soldiers on essentially unchanged for the 2014 model year.
OverviewIf the Chevrolet Suburban seems like a good fit for your family, but you're not quite enamored by the prospect of wheeling the 18.5-foot-long beast through crowded parking lots, you might like the 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe. The 2014 Tahoe is literally 90% of a Suburban -- same platform, same engines, same content, same seating capacity, but nearly two feet shorter. That difference in length may be enough to allow the Tahoe to fit in a garage that can't handle a Suburban.
Does that bobbed length affect the 2014 Tahoe's capacities at all? Hardly. Depending on equipment, the 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe can still seat up to nine passengers across three rows of seats. Second-row passengers won't notice the truck's shorter wheelbase and overall length, but third-row occupants might: they make do with 25.6 inches of legroom, while the Suburban offers a whopping 34.9 inches. Predictably, cargo space also shrinks due to the Tahoe's shorter length; behind the third row of seats, the Tahoe offers 16.9 cubic feet, some 28.9 cubic feet shy of the larger Suburban. Towing, however, remains largely unchanged, as the Tahoe can still pull trailers weighing more than 8000 pounds.
Despite its size, the 2014 Tahoe drives remarkably well. The vehicle's length is apparent only in tight parking maneuvers, but an available backup camera and park-assist system -- now standard on 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe LS and LTZ models -- helps in tricky maneuvers. Adaptive rear dampers are included on the Tahoe LTZ and are also paired with a self-leveling rear suspension. The 5.3-liter V-8 offers plenty of grunt when needed, and the six-speed automatic shifts smoothly. The EPA rates 2014 Tahoe models at 15/21 mpg city/highway. That's far from great, but it's expected from a truck that weighs nearly 6000 pounds; it's also better than the 14/20 mpg rating affixed to the competitive Ford Expedition.
Our biggest complaint with the 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe lies with its interior appointments. Even on top-tier LTZ models, trim materials feel inexpensive, and the design itself is showing its age. Even so, the 2014 Tahoe is available with modern niceties including Bluetooth hands-free phone pairing, a USB audio input, SiriusXM satellite radio, and GM's OnStar telematics service.
If an upscale interior is a must-have, consider waiting for the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe that's already been unveiled. But if a modern, vogue interior design isn't a primary concern but space and capability are, there's little reason not to shop for a deal on a 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe.
- As capable as a Suburban
- But not as thirsty or cumbersome
You won't like:
- Dated interior design
- Thirst at the pump
- Limited third-row legroom and cargo space
- Ford Expedition
- GMC Yukon
- Nissan Armada
- Toyota Sequoia