2016 Chevy Tahoe Review
2016 Chevy Tahoe Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Stout towing capacity
- available nine-person seating capacity
- quiet highway ride
- impressive interior quality.
- High cargo floor and load height
- unimpressive cargo capacity
- cramped kids-only third-row seat
- bumpy, trucklike ride without optional adaptive suspension
- no telescoping steering wheel for base LS
- lazy gas pedal responsiveness.
For 2016, the Chevrolet Tahoe features a new standard 8-inch color touchscreen interface, updated OnStar with 4G LTE WiFi hotspot capability, an improved Chevrolet MyLink system now with Apple CarPlay capability, and new safety features including lane departure intervention and forward collision warning. A head-up display with digital readouts and a reconfigurable instrument cluster are also available.
Though the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe is better than this popular model has ever been, rival SUVs are more spacious and mechanically sophisticated. Large crossover SUVs are also easier to drive and more efficient.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$204/mo for Tahoe LS
Avg. Large SUV
With its old-school, truck-based design and cutting-edge amenities, the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the rare vehicles on the market with one foot solidly planted in the past and one in the future.
Coming off a major redo just last year, the Chevy Tahoe benefits from improvements including a quieter and much higher-quality interior and a third-row seat that folds flat into the floor, a significant convenience feature it's been lacking for years (there's a caveat to this progress, but we'll get to that later). This is, of course, in addition to the reasons buyers look to traditional SUVs in the first place. The Tahoe boasts a 355-horsepower V8, four-wheel drive with low-range gearing, seating for as many as nine passengers and a healthy 8,600-pound tow rating.
With its strong V8 engine and long list of comfort and convenience features, there's a lot to like about the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe.
With so much going for it, there's no shortage of reasons the Tahoe is so popular. However, there are significant detriments -- and not just those indicative of any full-size truck-based SUV, such as ponderous handling and low fuel economy relative to large crossovers. That aforementioned fold-flat third row is a cheat of sorts, as its placement above the solid rear axle raises the cargo floor to an almost absurdly high level. Lifting luggage into the Tahoe is difficult, especially if you're short. The third row itself also only has enough legroom for small kids, whereas its competitors (and those large crossovers) can fit adults comfortably.
As a result of these issues, the Tahoe receives an Edmunds.com "C" rating and we highly recommend that shoppers consider its top SUV rivals: the 2016 Ford Expedition and 2016 Toyota Sequoia. One would also be smart to consider large crossovers like Chevrolet's own Traverse as well as the Dodge Durango and Honda Pilot. There's still an awful lot to like about the Tahoe, but we think that others get the job done better.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe comes fitted with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that generates 355 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel or four-wheel drive is available, and a six-speed automatic transmission comes standard on all Tahoes. The four-wheel-drive Tahoe has a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing.
Properly equipped, the maximum tow rating for the two-wheel-drive Tahoe is 8,600 pounds; max tow rating for four-wheel-drive versions is 8,400 pounds.
In Edmunds testing, a four-wheel-drive Tahoe LTZ hit 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, while a two-wheel-drive LT did it in 7.1 seconds. These are solid times, but the Sequoia is a bit quicker and the Expedition is nearly a second quicker. The EPA's estimated fuel economy is quite good for a full-size SUV at 18 mpg combined regardless of driveline (16 city/23 highway for two-wheel-drive models and 16/22 for four-wheel drive).
Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Chevy Tahoe includes antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control (with trailer-sway control), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. An airbag located between the front bucket seats (when so equipped) is also standard and aids in side-impact crashes. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard on every Tahoe.
Depending on the trim level, front parking sensors, forward collision alert, lane-departure intervention, a vibrating safety-alert seat, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are either optional or standard.
In Edmunds brake testing, a four-wheel-drive Tahoe LTZ came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, while a two-wheel-drive LT stopped in 121 feet. Both are short distances for vehicles in this class.
In government crash tests, the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe received four out of five possible stars for overall crash protection, with five stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection.
The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe's standard 5.3-liter V8 has more than enough muscle to move people, cargo or a good-sized trailer without really breaking a sweat. The six-speed automatic proves to be a good match for this engine, whether you're accelerating away from a stoplight or cruising down the freeway. The interior's low noise levels only add to this sense of quiet competence.
If there's a problem with this powertrain, it's the way Chevy's engineers have tailored its throttle response in an effort to boost fuel economy. Simply put, there is an uncomfortable delay when stepping on the gas both from a stop and at speed. It's frustrating and implies a feeling of lackluster performance that's not actually the case.
The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe's ride can be overly bumpy and trucklike, though the LTZ, with its special suspension, fares better.
In terms of ride and handling, the suspension under the LS and LT models tends to transmit even the smallest road imperfections to the passengers' backsides (especially with big 20- and 22-inch wheels). The LTZ model's adaptive suspension largely eliminates this complaint and delivers superior handling to boot. The electric-assisted power steering feels precise, something that's very welcome when piloting a vehicle this size. Even so, we need to point out that a large car-based crossover SUV is going to ride and handle better, as well as be easier to maneuver in parking lots and on tight streets.
The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe's cabin design and quality are substantially nicer than those of the previous generation. The look is handsome and the materials have a more upscale look and feel. Gauges and controls -- which can be reconfigured on upper trim levels -- are easy to read and intuitive to use. The graphics on the central 8-inch display screen are crisp and the menu-based commands are easy to navigate, and this year's new Apple CarPlay smartphone integration system is a cool feature. That said, there's sometimes a noticeable lag in the response time of the MyLink system's touchscreen.
Aside from a cramped third-row seat, the Chevy Tahoe's passenger cabin is attractive and comfortable.
Up front, most buyers will find the seats plenty comfortable even on long drives, though the lack of a telescoping steering wheel on the base LS model may make it harder for some drivers to find an optimal seating position. The second row, be it a bench or captain's chairs, is just as comfortable and spacious as you'd expect in such a large vehicle. The third row, however, is a different story. The available power-folding feature is handy, but the seat's low mounting position means anyone over the age of 12 is likely to find their knees tucked up under their chin.
When folded, the resulting load floor may be flat and you no longer have to lug a big, heavy seat out of the back, but it's quite high. Loading luggage or strollers can be difficult. As for cargo capacity, the Tahoe is disappointing given its exterior size. Behind the third-row seats you'll find just 15.3 cubic feet of space; fold those third-row seats down and you'll have a relatively meager 51.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row, which is considerably worse than that of midsize crossovers. Fold both of those rows of seats down and you end up with 94.7 cubic feet, which is less than other full-size SUVs and the Chevy Traverse crossover, which maxes out at 116 cubic feet.
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe models
The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe is a full-size SUV available in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ. Seating for eight is standard, but there are two optional seating arrangements. Second-row captain's chairs drop the seating capacity to seven, and an available 40/20/40-split front bench seat increases capacity to nine passengers.
The entry-level Tahoe LS comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, an integrated driver blind spot mirror, side assist steps, roof rails, rear privacy glass, rear parking sensors, cruise control, remote ignition, tri-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, power front seats (eight-way driver seat and four-way passenger seat, both with two-way power lumbar), a 60/40-split-fold second-row bench seat, a 50/50-split fold-flat third-row seat and a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel. Also standard are Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, the Chevrolet MyLink interface (which includes an 8-inch touchscreen, voice control, smartphone app integration, text-to-voice capability for MAP-enabled smartphones, Siri Eyes Free capability and Apple CarPlay for newer iPhones), a rearview camera, an enhanced OnStar package with a 4G LTE connection that provides WiFi hotspot connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radios, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, five USB ports (two with the front bench seat), a media player interface and an SD card slot.
If you want nine-passenger capacity, you'll need to go with the LS model, as the optional 40/20/40-split front bench seat is only available on this trim level. For the Tahoe LS, the Enhanced Driver Alert package includes automatic high-beam headlight control, power-adjustable pedals, forward collision warning, lane-departure intervention and a vibrating safety-alert seat.
The LT model includes the Enhanced Driver Alert package as standard and adds a locking rear differential (also available on LS), a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver memory functions, an eight-way power front passenger seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a nine-speaker Bose sound system.
Second-row captain's chairs (power- or manual-release) are optional for the LT. The Sun, Entertainment and Destination option package includes a sunroof, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-ray DVD player. The Luxury package gets you foglights, front parking sensors, a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, power adjustment and heating for the steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and wireless charging for compatible smartphones. The Z71 Off-Road package is available on four-wheel-drive LT models and includes 18-inch alloy wheels with off-road tires, an upgraded suspension, skid plates, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, hill descent control, a high-capacity air cleaner and assorted Z71-specific trim pieces.
To the LT's standard equipment, the LTZ adds the contents of the LT Luxury package plus 20-inch alloy wheels, a magnetic adaptive suspension, xenon headlights, ventilated front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and an upgraded 10-speaker Bose audio system. As on the LT, the Sun, Entertainment and Destination packages are optional. Other LTZ options include power-retracting assist steps, a head-up display and adaptive cruise control.
A Max Trailering package is available across all trim levels and includes specific gearing, a trailer-brake controller and air suspension with increased load capacity and leveling. And, of course, no full-size modern SUV would be complete without a variety of available 20- and 22-inch wheels.
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3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
We traded for our Tahoe LTZ after owning a 2012 GMC Yukon XL wanting a more nimble size and updated technology. The Tahoe has really met and exceeded our expectations. It is a very luxurious vehicle and is loaded with technology that exceeds any large SUV from Ford or Lincoln. In fact is has the luxury and technology of most expensive luxury cars. The Tahoe is extremely quiet inside … and the front and second row seats are quite comfortable. For four people, the Tahoe is a perfect touring vehicle, comfortable, capable and usable. The third row seating is useless however. Not only is there no room between the second row and third row seats, but the floor is also about 4-5 inches below the seat cushion. I question why GM did not utilize an independent rear suspension system like the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator to alleviate this problem. Also by building the foldable third row seat on top of the solid rear axle, they also lifted the floor of the cargo area in the back of the Tahoe to a ridiculous height to where it is difficult to lift luggage in and out. It also limits the amount of volume you actually have for luggage and cargo. Ford and Lincoln have been building their SUV's with independent rear suspensions for years and the result is lots of usable space with an actual comfortable third row seat. That is the biggest complaint we have with the Tahoe. But for driving, comfort for four and all the luxury they have, it is a hard SUV to beat. We test drove Expeditions and Navigators right along with the Tahoe and we chose the Tahoe. It drove and handled better and was much quieter on the inside. Also the unique ability to have OnStar and Wifi only cinched the deal for us. A close to perfect SUV but limited by design.
4 out of 5 stars
The TAhoe Owner
The Tahoe Owner, 02/22/2016
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
I have to admit GM did a good job with creating this 16 Tahoe, I originally had it is cousin the 2010 Yukon but got rid of it and I love it but figured it was time for a change; so I bought 2016 Tahoe LS; the other models were out of my budget. Overall, I am happy with the 16 Tahoe. I would have bought the 15 Tahoe but for a some reason General Motor thought it was a good idea to have … a cell phone like screen in the LS models and not a screen that we can actually see plus the fact that in order to really utilize a navigation app (which I may add did not come with) had to plug your phone into the cigarette lighter to project the navigation tool you want to use on this IPhone like screen. By far, in my opinion was FUBAR design. The 2016 Model however has a bigger screen and the navigation system however the navigation system is offered through ONSTAR which in a way is crazy because it forces you to really have a contract with ONSTAR; so in discovering this, I asked the question after the fact, what if you don't want to afford ONSTAR, there (dealership) said you can can plug it into a USB defice and project the visual on the BIGGER screen the comes with the LS models. Overall, that is the only flaw that I have with the 2016 models; however I did give it a passing thought about getting the LT and LTZ models but after really thinking about it and test driving the other two, there was not really a whole lot of differences, except for leather seats, a couple extra speakers and a tow package.
5 out of 5 stars
LS Model is a perfect fit for most people
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
UPDATE: One of the black plastic pieces on the outside of the door popped off from the wind. It was easily fixed with a stronger glue. No other issues since then. This is still a great vehicle and still recommend to others interested in buying a Tahoe. ORIGINAL: Before buying this SUV you should really come to grips that you are not purchasing a sports car or sports type SUV. With that … being said, I have purchased 11 vehicles over the years and I am completely satisfied with my purchase of the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LS. The only difference between the base LS and the top of the line models is basically leather and a few extra gimmicks such as heads-up display. If you can live without the extras, the LS is the way to go for price point. Superior comfort and the cabin is surprisingly quiet. I'm 6'4" and have plenty leg room in the front and rear seat of my Tahoe. If you're in the market for a nice large SUV with plenty of room and towing capacity, I recommend looking at all trim levels of the Tahoe before jumping at the LTZ or LT because the LS might be able to satisfy what you need and save you over $20,000.00.
2 out of 5 stars
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
The driver's seat is VERY uncomfortable. It's not something you notice on a 10 min. test drive, but you sure do the first week you own the truck and really start driving it in traffic. You can feel the side seat frame rails shallowly under the seat cushion protruding up. I complained to the dealership about it a week after having the truck and was told "that's normal." I also contacted … GM about it and never even got a reply. Aside from the seats, my truck also had to have the motor mounts replaced at around 5k miles to stop it from vibrating at idle. Now the transmission is starting to shift roughly too, so I have bring it back in for that now. This is my 3rd full size GM SUV and is the worst by far in terms of physical comfort and cargo room. Very disappointed.
2016 Tahoe Highlights
|Engine Type||Flex-fuel (ffv)|
|Combined MPG||18 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$204/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover22.9%