What's New for 2001
Two new exterior colors and OnStar availability are the only changes for 2001.
Chevrolet is calling their new Tahoe a "real" sport utility, implying that sport-utes are more about getting things done than doing them in style. With nearly every automaker offering an SUV these days, it takes a lot of effort to be unique. However, despite differing opinions of what does and what does not constitute a good SUV (i.e., BMW's X5), the 2001 Tahoe has a whole lot going for it.
Built on the same platform as GM's full-size trucks, the Tahoe inherits the strength and durability of its workhorse brethren. A full redesign last year gave the Tahoe new sheetmetal with enhanced corrosion protection and stronger dent-resistant steel. GM engineers further enhanced Tahoe's sturdiness with redesigned door hinges that last four times as long, while a unique front-end crush cap allows easy replacement in the event of a slow speed crash.
Under the hood, the 2001 Tahoe comes with Chevy's powerful Vortec V8 engines, offering 275 horsepower from the 4.8-liter motor on the base model and 285 horsepower from the 5.3-liter motor on the LS and LT models. All that power runs through an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Even with class-leading levels of power, these engines lead their competition in fuel economy and are compliant with low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards, making them safer for driving in Mother Nature's backyard.
The powertrain underwent extensive improvements last year with the addition of a more durable rear axle, a strengthened differential case, and stiffer axle shafts. But Chevy didn't bump up its off-road durability at the expense of the highway drive. With a 400 percent increase in body-mount structure stiffness and a five-link rear suspension, the redesign provides a smoother, quieter and more stable ride on virtually all road surfaces.
Inside is an innovative 50/50 split third-row seat that provides superior cargo flexibility and the possibility to boost passenger capacity to nine. Those eight other people will be better protected because this Tahoe has a host of advanced safety features, including four-wheel, ventilated disc antilock brakes, front-seat side-impact airbags, seat-mounted safety belts in the first- and third-row outboard positions, and an energy-absorbing foam on the interior surfaces, reducing the chances that your less-than-bright friends will hurt their heads while exiting. Hardcore off-road enthusiasts can order the Z71 off-road package, which gives the sturdy Tahoe an even greater assortment of protective equipment. A specially tuned suspension with larger shocks and jounce bumpers are added along with underbody skid plates to shield vital components. A locking rear differential and aggressively treaded tires aid in the traction department while a roof rack and special "Z71" appearance badges give it a distinctive look. All Z71 Tahoes also come standard with the OnStar vehicle assistance system just in case you venture a little too far from civilization. This Tahoe is one tough truck that can still handle itself well about town. With a roomy and comfortable interior, it makes for a great weekend-getaway machine. If you want a sport utility that can handle passengers and cargo as well as it does a backcountry road, the 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe should be on your short list.