2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Review

Roominess refined – better in every way, this 9-seater is still the most metal for money you can buy

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

The LT we had on test came in a striking red hue (pictures to come in another feature soon!), stacked full of kit, and sensible 18-inch wheels with generous sidewalls on the 265/65 R-rated tyres. These are the wheels (standard fit) I recommend you stick with, eschewing the optional 20s, if you buy a Tahoe LT, which you totally should if you’re looking for a mahoosive car to carry friends, relatives and most of your locality around in.

Chevrolet has overhauled one of its most iconic nameplates without deviating from the core values that has give Tahoe and its siblings a well-earned reputation in our region for vast space, solid value, distance-devouring ability and robust reliability.

Resisting the urge to revamp the format, GM stuck with the truck-like structure of the Tahoe, but as with its siblings from GMC and Cadillac, focussed all its uncompromising efforts on improving every detailed aspect of the car. I don’t need the PR and marketing bods to tell me this, and I don’t need a Chevy engineer to show me. After spending a weekend with the new Tahoe I could see it, feel it, experience it.

Design and styling

GM has tried to give each of its new big SUVs distinct faces, knowing that largely the architecture of the rest of the vehicle would be difficult to differentiate, apart from in the details. So the headlights have a unique kink in the sides, and along with the enlarged bow-tie badge in the centre of the grille, give the Tahoe its unique identity. Although the longer version, the Suburban also replicates this face.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

The rest of the car has crisper, sharper and more upright lines, giving it freshness and modernity without sacrificing its solid obelisk presence. A crease along the top of the waistline dilutes the slab-sidedness and adds character. The frame has been made stronger and there’s a wider rear track, it’s a little longer too, but about a person’s weight lighter than the outgoing car.

Inside it’s huge step up from the utilitarian previous car’s cabin. Decent materials, good fit and finishing, plus a properly styled dash, complete with the eight-inch MyLink infotainment system and configurable instrument panel brings everything bang up to date.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

Talking of up-to-date, you can have as many as six USB ports and electric power outlets to connect and power your electric toys, phones and gadgets. Lift up the massive centre console between the front seats and you discover… another seat! Hence making this a 9-seater. Admittedly with the dash impinging on legroom, it’s probably best for a small child, unless the other front passengers don’t mind getting intimate with someone’s splayed legs.

The second and third row seats fold completely flat – you can have power folding seats as an option, but they’re so quick and easy to operate just by pulling a handle, I don’t really see the point – and even with the seats all fully up, there is luggage space equivalent to a small hatchback. Of course if you need even more room, then go Suburban. Nonetheless it is comfortable, spacious, airy and very family-friendly in the Tahoe.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

Drive and ride

Up front you get a traditional 5.3-litre V8 putting out 355bhp and 382lb ft of torque, but now with cylinder deactivation (shutting down four-cylinders when you’re cruising to save fuel, and very effectively so) plus new engine mounts reduce noise and vibration to the point that you wonder if you’re being cheated out of a V8 entirely and actually they’ve sneaked in a smooth V6 when you weren’t looking. Then you put your foot down and hear the reassuring growl of a lusty lump, powering this behemoth more than adequately along.

And there is none of the lunge under power, or dive under stopping. This car doesn’t have the magnetic ride suspension as standard, that’s an option on the LT, standard on the LTZ, but with the aforementioned 18-inch wheels and the tyres offering some decent sidewall, the ride is soft and smooth, even when rough-roading.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

Interestingly they’ve even gone for slightly wider tyres to reduce tyre flex for flatter cornering. Not that this is a sporty SUV. You don’t want to be chucking around this building on wheels. Thought and consideration needs to be brought to bear when employing the ample performance, because despite the improved braking, it takes bit of effort to haul this thing to a stop too.

There’s just too much mass for the driver to take a cavalier attitude in regards to direction changes, that being so, it has decent response and good grip. But where the magic has been deployed is in the everyday drive. The electric power steering is light and easy, the turning circle suitable for side streets, the visibility is good – aided by a reversing camera – and the high, square-jawed bonnet makes it easy to place and even thread the car through gaps that didn’t initially appear big enough.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

It’s only after you’ve parked, gotten out and looked back at it, that you remember you’ve just successful anchored an ocean liner with wheels and barely broken a sweat. In addition to the camera there are plenty of other drivers’ aids, like the vibrating seats that work in tandem with the lane-keeping assist to warn you when wandering off the straight and narrow.

Also available is adaptive cruise, collision alert, rear cross traffic alert and seven airbags, including between the front seats to stop front passengers cracking open each other’s skulls in the event of a side impact.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

Tahoe is available as a rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, we’d opt for the latter, for that added reassurance – a knob on the dash allows you to select 2WD, 4WD or Automatic (let the car decide for you) and you have four-high and four-low ratios. For mild off-roading this is good enough, though desert duellers should wait for the Z71 off-road package.

Verdict

Chevrolet has successfully taken a formula that majors on being honest, versatile and hard working, and weaved in finesse, quality and refinement. It’s quieter, rides better, is handier with better toys and economy, yet without sacrificing performance.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe review

If you want the biggest available family car with the most number of seats and good comfort and toys, that can be driven and parked in the city – and crucially within shopping mall car parks – then look no further. This one comes highly recommend.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Review – The Specs

Prices:
2WD LS/LT/LTZ: AED157k ($43k) / AED173k ($47k) / AED223k ($61k)
4WD LS/LT/LTZ: AED168 ($46k) / AED184k ($50k) / AED232k ($63k)
Engine: 5.3-litre V8, 355bhp @ 5600rpm, 382lb ft @ 4100rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, Two-wheel drive & All-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 12.7L/100km
Performance: 0-100kph 7.8 seconds, Top speed 225kph
Weight:
2WD: 2479kg
4WD: 2577kg

Let us know what you think of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe below

4 responses to “2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Review”

  1. Mishari says:

    Fantastic review. Since this car shares plenty with my now I
    Discontinued Avalanche … I can appreciate these upgrades…but it also makes me wish there was a new Avalanche with the same features because then it would be near perfect.

  2. marc says:

    test-drove the LTZ in abu dhabi. they just offer one LTZ version that comes at AED 255k.

    are there differently spec-ed LTZ versions available wiuth ghandi in dubai since you report AED 232k for the LTZ?

    nice report btw 🙂

    • admin says:

      Those are the full set of Middle East prices given to us by the regional head office. Prices may vary from dealer to dealer, but the full range of six models (three in two-wheel drive, and three in four-wheel drive) should be available to order. We suggest you call up up several dealers in the UAE and request a quote for the exact model you’re interested in.

  3. marc says:

    thanks, mate

    although that is not what i am told directly at the various dealers.

    i now went to bin hammoodah (abu dhabi) and al ghandi (dubai).

    both offer exactly one LTZ version only, which is the full blown one with 22′ rims, etc. (eg also not the one you got which has the 20′ rims).

    hammoodah ask for 255k incl. insurance
    ghandi aks for 245k excluding insurance

    very odd..

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