“More Canadians go for GMC and the US loves Chevrolet, the complete reverse…”
The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe is part of a full suite of large trucks from General Motors. These range from the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and Denali and the Cadillac Escalade. Something of interest is the preference Canadians have for the GMC brand over the Chevrolet trucks, which are the most popular in the United States. More Canadians go for GMC and the US loves Chevrolet, the complete reverse. Regardless, all of these GM trucks represent the majority of full-size truck sales in Canada. GM kind of has a lock on big vehicles able to move a large family, tow a trailer and now do it with much greater efficiency. These are all based on the award winning full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks that arrived in 2014. GM has taken much of what made those some of the most comfortable vehicles to drive and baked it into the Tahoe and others.
In the Chevrolet family the Tahoe is the short wheelbase version and the Suburban is the longer wheelbase model, with much more cargo space behind the third row of seats. Some might find the new design direction from GM to be a bit too slab-sided, with squarer edges and boxy shapes but I prefer the modern take on the classic design. The Tahoe sits very high off the ground so the power side step is a wonderful addition along with a power tailgate and backup camera. How did we ever live without these amenities before? The biggest change is the front lighting package GM has used on this Chevrolet. LED daytime running lights make a statement and the monster grille with the big Chevrolet bowtie looks rough and ready.
One of the biggest changes in the full-size pickup trucks is the level of refinement and ride quality and this has migrated into this Tahoe, the cabin is quiet and refined. This is done through a number of advancements; one of the biggest is the way the doors wrap into the roof to help shut out road and wind noise. The next big advantage is the attention to detail in the front cabin. There is a big screen, front and centre, with easy to use and access rotary dials and switches. There are USB plugs along with regular power outlets just under the radio and more USB plugs inside the glove box and yet another behind the radio screen that slides up and away to reveal a hidden compartment. The back seats have an available flip and fold feature that automatically lowers or raises the second and third row of seats. What is surprising is the lack of cargo space behind the third row when it is in use, the bigger Suburban might be the way to go for really large families.
The two-wheel drive Tahoe is the value leader in the GM line of full-size trucks, starting at $51,900– the GMC comes with a $2000 premium over the Chevy. Yes, this is an expensive vehicle but keep in mind that towing is a big reason why people purchase such big trucks. With a towing capacity of 3856kg (8500 lbs.) in two-wheel drive trim and 3765 (8300 lbs.) with four wheel drive, the Tahoe is up to the task of towing most pleasure boats and family campers with ease. The Tahoe uses the same 355hp 5.3L V8 engine found in the full-size pickup trucks. It uses direct injection technology and has the ability to switch off half of the cylinders to help save fuel. There is a small indicator light on the instrument cluster that tells the driver when the engine is running on just 4-cylinders. This helps the driver feather the throttle to keep the engine in this fuel saving mode as long as possible. When more power is needed, the engine automatically reverts to all eight cylinders for maximum power. These tricks help improve city fuel economy by seven percent and highway consumption by ten percent.
The Tahoe tested was the top LTZ trim with the magnetic ride control, the same system used in the Corvette Stingray. This system monitors the road condition up to 1000 times per second and adjusts the shock absorbers up to 100 times per second to improve ride and handling. This along with the smooth engine and quiet ride makes the Tahoe feel like a big, luxury sedan. It is no wonder that people who have these big trucks love them. One thing to consider when choosing which truck to buy is the available engine. The GMC Denali and Cadillac Escalade trucks have a larger 6.2L V8, which is much quicker and more capable. This Tahoe is just part of the full-line of trucks from GM that dominate the market, and for good reason. These are well-designed, well-made and supremely comfortable vehicles for a large family.
Power: 5.3L V8 with 355hp
Fill-up: 14.9L/10.1L/100km (city/highway)
Sticker price: $51,900-$71,150