Highlight: According to the industry respected JD Power and Associates, a data mining company, the Tahoe ranks high in its segment, as it relates to initial quality.
What’s New: With the exception of a few new exterior colors, the Tahoe is a carryover this model year.
City/Hwy Mileage: 15/21
Engine/Horsepower: 5.3-liter eight-cylinder/320-hp
Price Range: $58,400 ($40,825 base LS model)
3 years/36,000 miles (bumper-to-bumper)
5 years/100,000 miles (powertrain)
Standard Safety Features: airbags (front, driver, side and curtain); a tire pressure monitoring system; and a stability control system
Standard Features (LTZ): 20-inch tires, leather seats; power front heated/ventilated seats; memory-controlled driver’s seat; second-row heated bucket seats; third passenger bench seat; a nav system; remote vehicle start; automatic rearview mirror; a heated steering wheel; a/c tri-zone climate system; rear park assist system; heated power outside mirror; running boards; a power adjustable driver’s pedal; a power liftgate; and OnStar
Standard Audio System (LTZ): a 10-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD with XM Satellite radio
Pros: For those looking for the ultimate versatile SUV, the Tahoe is here to answer the call. It’s capable of carrying up to nine occupants, 108.9 cubic feet of cargo, when the second and third rows aren’t in use and towing up to 8,500 pounds. Yes, this SUV does it all. The Tahoe is available in either a rear-wheel drive configuration or an all-wheel drive configuration. Yes, the vehicle is available as a hybrid, too.
In addition to the standard features we noted above, our Tahoe was outfitted with a power sunroof, a rear entertainment DVD system, a heavy duty trailering package and a trailer brake control system.
And, for those who desire to upgrade the Tahoe’s wheel package, a 22-inch inch wheel package is available in either an aluminum or chrome wheel set. Oh yes, there are two must-have features we wish were on our test vehicle: a power-retractable assist step and an electronic blind-spot system. By having this electronic blind-spot system, this will alert the driver of vehicles in its blind-spot, before changing lanes.
Moreover, this vehicle offers a great ride, although it’s based on a truck platform.
Furthermore, while we reviewed a fully loaded LTZ model, there is a more economical LS model, which is available for price-sensitive consumers.
Cons: Sales of fullsize SUVs have fallen drastically over the past decade. Many critics would say that it’s no longer politically-correct to be seen in this mammoth-sized gaz-guzzler. Unlike the car-base crossovers, which are the replacements for truck-based SUVs, fullsize SUVs are difficult to navigate, too. Moreover, in our truck-based SUV, a push-button keyless starter won’t be available, until the next- generation hits the scene.
Verdict: While fullsize SUVs, like the Tahoe, are no longer politically correct in today’s green environment, where ‘carbon footprints’ is the new buzzword. However, there is still a need for the Tahoe due to its versatility and towing ability.
For those who are willing to opt for a fullsize SUV, expect big discounts, since most folks who don’t need the towing capacity can opt for a more fuel-efficient car-based crossover. Furthermore, the Tahoe is based-off the same platform as the Cadillac Escalade. As opposed to paying for the premium priced Cadillac, consumers can opt for the high-end Tahoe LTZ.
Competition: Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Nissan Armanda and Toyota Sequoia
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.