CHEVROLET’S 2015 TAHOE BIGGER, MORE POWERFUL SUV
By Tom Crosby
It was rumored the new Tahoe would be available in 2014 but Chevrolet waited until 2015 to market a new, bigger, more powerful SUV that gets better mileage than its predecessor.
Tahoe is one of Chevrolet’s big money makers and test-driving the LTZ four-wheel drive model quickly revealed Tahoe will remain at the top of the big SUV food chain, along with its Chevrolet twin sibling, the less expensive and not as luxurious Suburban, also newly made over for 2015.
The LTZ is the top Tahoe model, following the base LS and LT, all of which use a more powerful V8 Ecotec engine with 35 more horsepower and 35 more ft.-lbs. of torque using regular gasoline and Active Fuel Management that deactivates engine cylinders when not needed, adding an extra mile per gallon city or highway driving.
More power is generated using E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gas) fuel for a cleaner exhaust but it reduces miles per gallon.
Towing capacity exceeds four tons, properly equipped. Already a huge vehicle, Tahoe grew two inches this year, adding leg room in the second row and easier access/egress, and improved interior versatility with fold-flat second and third row seats. Third row seats previously to be removed to increase cargo space. A spare tire hangs below the underbody.
Tahoe now includes an array of safety features, some standard, some optional, that include forward collision alert; lane departure and blind spot warnings; adaptive and addictive cruise control, and rear camera with cross alert.
With seven occupant capacity, safety aids become essential for helping pay attention to the driving environment. A conversation mirror in the overhead console also provides a panoramic view of the third row.
The ride is remarkably smooth – less bouncy than a truck – with third-generation magnetic ride control that dampens the suspension in five milliseconds when needed.
Handling was speed-related responsive, braking sharp and quick, and leans minimal for the vehicle’s size in turns.
The Tahoe looks muscular but not showy, with minimal chrome, a huge chrome grill with the embedded gold Chevrolet bow-tie logo and 20-inch wheels pushed out to the fenders.
Inside, noise is minimal while appointments are plush. Our 8-inch dashboard screen with Chevrolet’s Mylink displays simple icons; gauges are easy to read; front seats heat and cool; leather is accented with wood trim touches and knick-knack spaces are plentiful and subtle.
LIKES: Power, interior comfort, space, versatility, safety, quiet
DISLIKES: Fuel economy
BOTTOM LINE: Moneymaking Tahoe will continue to be a best-selling SUV
- Base price w/destination fee $58,655
- Vehicle curb weight 5,683 lbs
- Wheelbase 116 inches
- Length 204 inches
- Width 80.5 inches
- Engine specs 5.3-liter V-8, SFI, FlexFuel
- Horsepower 355-hp at 5,600 rpm
- 380-hp at 5,600 rpm (E85)
- Torque 383 lbs.-ft. at 4,100 rpm
- 416 lbs.-ft. at 4,410 rpm (E85)
- Transmission 6-speed automatic
- EPA Rating 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy
- Range 26-gallon tank, regular or E85
- Performance 0 to 60 in just over 7 seconds