This pickup-based, 5,700-pound family-sized assault vehicle has it all: Four-wheel-drive. A 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 engine. Magnetorheological shocks. Six USBs. Rain-sensing wipers. Auto fold-flat seats. Adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring system. Eight-inch nav screen. Front spoiler. Towing capability of 8,400 pounds. An automatic rear liftgate.
In 2013, the Tahoe and its bigger brother Suburban captured more than 50 percent of the large SUV market (the Tahoe alone more than doubled the sales of the Ford Expedition). The Chevy twins are part of a GM stable that dominates the large truck market. Built on GM’s proven, body-on-frame pickup architecture, they are only getting better.
The LTZ is the Tahoe nameplate’s flagship. The whole enchilada. The showcase for everything Chevy is capable of putting in a truck. Its power and size make it wildly versatile.
Has GM thought about selling it as commercial living space? The LTZ’s interior is bigger than most Manhattan apartments. Its leather seats and climate control amenities are more comfortable than most living rooms.
Approach the driver door — and the LTZ unlocks, sensing the key in your pocket. Open the latch and an automatic step swings out to ease entry. Step out of the vehicle at night and the door-mounted mirrors instantly fill the ground below with perimeter lighting to aid your step.
Plush is the new language of truck interiors and the LTZ is no exception.
Once inside, acres of gorgeous upholstery accented with wood and chrome stretch to the horizon. Front and second row heated bucket seats beckon. The transmission selector is located — pickup-like — on the steering column, opening the center console to a variety of useful spaces from cup holders to an arm rest compartment that could hide a file cabinet.
As big as this truck looks, it feels much smaller on the road thanks to some impressive engineering under the skin. The Tahoe’s athleticism defies the ocean liner stereotype.
Where pickups ride like bucking broncos on rear leaf springs, the Tahoe gets a multi-link suspension with coil springs and shocks. And not just any shocks — but the same magnetic system that undergirds the ferocious Stingray. Controlled by a CPU, twin electromagnetic coils at the end of each shock piston can change the viscosity of the magnetorheological fluid within. When the LTZ leans hard, the system instantly stiffens the suspension.
2015 Chevy Tahoe
Vehicle type: Front-engine, four-wheel-drive, seven-passenger sport utility vehicle
Price: $45,890 base (LTZ trim: $71,375 as tested)
Power plant: 5.3-liter, direct-injection V-8 engine
Power: 355 horsepower, 383 pound-feet of torque
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Performance: 0-60 mph: 6.9-7.1 seconds (Car & Driver est.); towing capacity: 8,400 lbs.
Weight: 5,683 pounds
Fuel economy: EPA 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway/18 mpg combined
Highs: Comfortably seats your entire offensive line; sure-footed handling