By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT, MI – There’s no other way to say it, the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe was big. Our test vehicle had a 116-inch wheelbase, its overall length was 204 inches, it was 80.5-inches wide and it was 74.4-inches tall or six-foot two.
No matter what way you cut it, or looked at it, the new Chevrolet Tahoe, like the old one, was a serious sport-utility. Outfit it with bench seats for all three rows and it could carry nine people, though it would be better if those in the third row were smaller.
Our test vehicle had bucket seats in the front so we could only carry five adults and two or three kids in the third row, depending on their size and how they got along. Because we had a four-wheel-drive model, our test vehicle weighed 5,683 lbs. More than half that weight, 52 percent, was distributed in the front while 48 percent rested in the rear.
And even though the Tahoe had body on frame construction, Chevy engineers managed to lose some 1,600 pounds worth of characteristics. In other words, the Tahoe did not drive like it weighed more than two and a half tons.
It had an independent coil-over-shock; twin-tube shock absorbers; 36mm hollow stabilizer bar suspension in the front and a solid axle with five-link location and coil springs plus a 28mm hollow stabilizer bar in the rear suspension.
The only time we really felt the heft of our 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD LT was going over expansion joints on some of the expressway overpasses here. With a 5.3-liter V8 that made 355 horsepower and 383 pound feet of torque, the 2015 Tahoe was relatively nimble on the expressway.
Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a column mounted shifter, the Tahoe could tote 1,760 lbs. and tow 8,400 lbs. It had an automatic locking rear differential that could be manually set on four-wheel or two-wheel-drive. Our Tahoe got 16 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway and a combined 18 mpg.
We started to switch off the lane departure alert but decided to leave it on. The reasoning being we thought it wise to know when we drifted out of the lane. The rearview camera, with cross traffic alert as well as the blind side alert systems were all welcomed driving aides. The test vehicle also had a front collision alert system.
There was a lot of equipment geared towards making the driving experience easy and safe. Indeed, this 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe was chock full of creature comforts. It had adjustable pedals, heated seats in both the first and second rows. And the third row seats would fold flat and come back up with the push of a button, they were power.
Our test vehicle had 20-inch polished aluminum wheels; it had Chevrolet’s MyLink system with an eight-inch touch screen. There was a rear seat entertainment system, a navigation system, two 110 volt sockets, a semi smart key, remote start, heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist, a sun roof and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
A couple of USB jacks, an auxiliary jack, satellite radio, a slot for an SD card were all part of an entertainment package that would play or let you listen to just about anything on a premium audio system. And all of it was in a rugged sport-utility with real off road capability.
The Tahoe’s acceleration was good, it had nimble handling and even though it was bigger than most vehicles on the road, it didn’t feel that way. It cornered without a lot of body sway. It ran quiet and of course at that size it smoothed out the pavement no matter the ruts or warbles or potholes.
The seats were comfortable. Of course, sight lines were great. Our Chevrolet Tahoe was really quiet. About the only thing to quibble about was the lack of space behind the third row. There was some but not a lot. Still, since either side of the 40/60 third row seat could be lowered with the push of button that really wasn’t an issue.
At $53,000, the base price of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD LT didn’t seem out of line with the vehicle. Add a bunch of options that included what Chevrolet called a second row bench power release (the seat back released and folded forward by pushing a button in the rear), and the total of $60,855 didn’t seem bad either.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com
This column was printed in the October 5, 2014 – October 18, 2014 edition.