2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Review
By Phil Shuyler
The Chevy Tahoe is currently in its third generation is America’s best-selling full-size SUV. I like to think it’s both a beauty and a beast. The styling is attractive, interior comfortable, and both V8’s roar like a lion. It’s easy to see why the Tahoe has done so well as it represents all that is good about full-size SUVs. It has tons of power, feels big and tough, and has the ability to go just about anywhere.
Lets jump right into the powertrains. You can choose between a 5.3L V8 or a 6.2L V8. Both are available in any of the 3 trim levels (LS, LT or Premier) and can be either 2 or 4-wheel drive. The 5.3L engine has 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque and the 6.2L has 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Our test vehicle was fitted with the 6.2L, which had all the power you need and the growl to go along with it. Oddly enough, the 5.3L has a higher maximum towing capacity (8,600 lbs vs 8,400 lbs) than the 6.2L.
Fuel economy is 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for the 6.2L 4WD and 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the 5.3L 2WD. Those are good numbers for such a powerful V8 that’s carrying well over 5,000 lbs when empty.
Out on the road, the ride is smooth and controlled with the Premium Smooth Ride suspension (standard on LS and LT) or the Magnetic Ride Control (standard on Premier). Both help make the truck based vehicle feel much more like a car than a stiff, rigid pickup. Those wanting an even more supple ride can opt for smaller wheels (18” standard on LS and LT, 20” standard on Premier). And if you prefer to make the suspension work a little harder, the Tahoe has 8, that’s right, 8 different 22” wheel designs available. In total, Chevrolet offers 14 different wheel options for the Tahoe.
Some of the available safety equipment includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control. There is also a Safety Alert Driver Seat that alerts the driver with vibrations in the seat rather than audible alerts. This is helpful when you don’t want to alarm your passengers that you’re not a very good driver.
On the inside, the options list goes on and on. Some of the highlights include built-in 4G Wi-Fi, up to 7 total USB ports, available wireless phone charging, remote start (on all trims), tri-zone automatic climate control (on all trims), available rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-ray player, 110V power adapter in second row (on all trims), and a standard rear-view camera (on all trims).
In front of the driver, there’s an available head-up display and a standard 4.2” multi-color Driver Information Center between the gauges. For those wanting even more, there’s an 8” customizable enhanced display available on Premier models. All trims receive an 8” infotainment touch screen that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Music lovers will want to upgrade the standard 6-speaker sound system to the 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system.
If you have an enormous family or you decide to take the entire team to soccer practice, you’ll be pleased to know the Tahoe can seat up to 9 people. Keep in mind that capacity is only with the base LS model as it’s the only one with a bench seat available up front (bucket seats are also available on the LS). That base trim is also only available with cloth seats – no leather. In the second row, LS models can only have a 60/40 bench while the LT and Premier models can have either the bench or captains chairs. All models include a third row. They go up and down manually in the LS and LT trims and are powered in the Premier.
Total cargo capacity behind the front seats is 94.7 cu. ft., which could fit a small circus if needed. As a comparison, the Suburban (the Tahoe’s big brother) has 121.7 cu. ft. of total cargo capacity.
One cool feature we’re seeing more and more is communicating with your vehicle via your smartphone. The myChevrolet Mobile App allows you to lock and unlock the doors, start or stop the engine, set parking reminders, send destinations to your vehicle’s navigation system, and view a variety of vehicle diagnostic information. Pretty handy stuff for many people in their everyday lives.
The 2018 Chevy Tahoe starts at $47,900 and can push $80,000 if you check all the boxes. For those needing a lot of space for people and cargo, the Tahoe is king of the hill.