What's New for 2000
All old-style Tahoes are dropped, except these two four-door special editions. The 4WD Z71 is for off-road use, while the 2WD Limited appeals to on-road customers.
A new Tahoe is in town. Based on the redesigned Silverado pickup platform, the new truck is more powerful, more efficient, more sturdy, and roomier to boot. The Z71 and Limited are not a part of this equation. These two special-edition Tahoes are based on the old C/K platform that's been the foundation for millions of vehicles since 1988.
Produced in the same Arlington, Texas, assembly plant as the Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Yukon Denali (all carryover models for 2000), Chevy concocted the Z71 and Limited to appeal to buyers who like the old styling better than the new, and to take up some slack in the production schedule while the Texas plant prepares to change over to the redesigned Caddy and GMC. So if you like what you see here, 2000 is your only chance to snag one.
Let's start with the Limited. Based on the 2WD Tahoe, it's powered by the evergreen 5.7-liter Vortec V8 that makes 255 horsepower and 330 ft-lbs. of torque at 2,800 rpm. The standard equipment list is long, and includes all the goodies from last year's leather-lined LT model plus high-gloss black monotone paint, beautiful five-spoke polished aluminum wheels, sporty ground effects and a front air dam, integrated front fog lights, and two-tone leather seats. Options are, uh, limited to a 3.73 rear axle ratio, a trailering package, and a comfort and security package that includes heated dual power seats, HomeLink transmitter and electrochromic heated outside mirrors.
The Z71, like the Limited, has the Vortec 5.7-liter V8 and the contents of last year's LT trim level. But it's based on the 4WD Tahoe chassis, costs $5,000 more, and gets macho off-road garb in the form of a brush guard, taillight protectors, side rails, recovery hooks, color-keyed wheel flares, and a roof rack. Chrome wheels, fog lights, and a monotone paint treatment in one of four different colors round out the appearance package. Options mirror the Limited's, except the 3.73 rear axle ratio is standard.
Inside, both models are lined with leather and nearly every option available. You get front and rear air conditioning, deep-tinted glass, self-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature display, combination CD and cassette deck, cruise, tilt, and a bunch of power operated doo-dads. Rear cargo doors are standard, but if you don't like that center pillar blocking your view, you can opt for a conventional fold-down tailgate at no charge.
Tahoes, even the oldie moldy ones, are pretty decent trucks. They're adequately powerful, adequately comfortable, and adequately reliable. Just the right size inside for a family of five, they're still more manageable around town and in the woods than a hulking Expedition or Suburban. But with the newly redesigned and greatly improved versions sharing showroom floor space in LS and LT trim, you'll likely want to skip these leftovers for more modern machinery.