Staying powerIt's easy to dismiss the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe as a relic from a bygone era. The SUV premiered when gas cost a buck a gallon, and its best years coincided with the first term of President George W. Bush. Yet General Motors managed to sell 83,502 Tahoes in 2013 along with 28,302 GMC Yukons. That's nearly equal to the U.S. sales of the similarly priced BMW 3-/4-series. No wonder GM deemed the vehicle worthy of another round of investment, resulting in the new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe.
Big is beautifulChevrolet says the Tahoe's redesigned exterior is more aerodynamic, an accomplishment considering it looks more like a brick than ever. That's not to say it's overwrought. The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe strikes us as a nice update of the cleanly styled, ruggedly handsome Chevy trucks of the 1990s. Several bystanders walked over to pay compliments as we parked for photography.
White-collar workThe 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe has a price tag to match its big and bold design. The truck starts at $45,890, which makes it more expensive than any of the cars in Chevrolet's lineup aside from the Corvette. Our loaded, four-wheel-drive Tahoe LTZ came in at $69,130.
For that price, the leather-trimmed interior has virtually every comfort and convenience feature one can think of -- rear seat entertainment, an eight-inch touch screen, power everything, heated everything. The interior design takes another step away from work truck toward luxury car, but some of the trim still falls short of expectations.
The main functional change inside is that the third-row seats now fold flat at the touch of a button. But they don't tuck into the floor and can't be removed. That means this big truck is far from ideal for hauling bulky items.
We've got the muscleGM trucks have long been shockingly good to drive, and the new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe only gets better. The steering, now electrically assisted, feels better than what you'll experience in most cars, as does the firm brake pedal. One place where the Tahoe can't hide its big truck bones is over rough pavement, where even the magnetic dampers (standard on the LTZ) can't keep occupants from jouncing about.
Chevrolet has managed to squeeze more fuel from the stone that is the small block. The standard 5.3-liter V-8, now direct injected, manages 18 mpg combined in EPA testing. That's only 1 mpg shy of what the smaller, aluminum-bodied Land Rover Range Rover Sport gets with two more gears and two fewer cylinders. The 2015 Ford Expedition promises more power from its turbo V-6, but we'd venture to guess that among most truck people the word "V-8" still reads as an advantage rather than a detriment.
A nice truck for people who like nice trucks"Truck people" is the key demographic for the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe. There's been no attempt with this redesign to win back the thousands of former customers who now drive large crossovers. For them, the Tahoe will feel like a blast from the past. But for that sizable core audience that genuinely desires the capability, style, and brute power of a large SUV, the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe confidently says, "I'm here to stay. "
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD LTZ Specifications
|Price as tested||$69,130|
|Power||355 hp at 5600 rpm|
|Torque||383 lb-ft at 4100 rpm|
|Cargo capacity (behind 1st/2nd/3rd row)||94.7/51.6/15.3|
|Fuel economy||16/22 mpg city/highway|