Looking for a truck-based SUV that can hold up to nine passengers and tow your average boat with ease? The 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
TRAVIS LANGNESS: I'm Edmunds editor Travis Langness and this is an expert rundown of the 2017 Chevy Tahoe. For 2017, the Chevy Tahoe gets a new collision warning system, teen driver management system, and a reminder to check the back seat for child occupants when you get out. You know, it's got all the great things going for it that you'd expect out of something that's this big. It can seat up to nine passengers, it can tow a lot, up to 8,600 pounds. It's actually got some pretty good off road capability, especially with the Z-71 packages. But, you know, as you'd expect with a big SUV like this, body on frame you're going to get something that's not necessarily as efficient as a lot of the crossovers that are out there. Fuel economy is going to suffer. And actually, when you consider how big this Tahoe is, it's not as roomy on the inside as you'd expect. The cargo capacity is a bit limited, that lift over height in the rear is kind of difficult to get big heavy items, strollers over, maybe when you're going out, you know, shopping, and picking up a lot of stuff at the store. Trying to put it in the trunk there's going to be a little bit harder. And also, that nine passenger configuration is only available on the base trim of the Tahoe. So as you see on the inside of this one, there's three seats in the third row, two in the second row, and two in the front. So you're going to be a little bit limited as to what standard and optional features you can get if you do want to have a car that seats nine people. Up front though, the fit and finish is good. The interior of the car feels nice enough. The Chevy MyLink system is a good operating system, works well with voice commands. There's a lot of small item storage. IF you've got a lot of kids, and you're going on a long road trip, there's a lot of places to store stuff in here. Up front the knobs, the dials, all work well with gloves on, big chunky steering wheel. But another downside of a vehicle this big, it's not as nimble, doesn't handle as well as some of the crossovers out there. Bottom line the 2017 Chevy Tahoe has a lot of space, room for up to nine, and big towing capacity, but it's going to be less refined than some of its rivals. You might want to check out competition like the Toyota Sequoia, or the Mazda CX-9. For more Edmond's expert rundowns click the link to subscribe.
The 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe is deceptive. It has a crisply tailored look, but don’t let that tuxedo-effect fool you because the Tahoe does not have Fred Astaire’s moves. Creases and chrome may make one statement but the cumbersome way this big, truck-based SUV negotiates a parking lot in suburbia makes another.
Maybe you need the utility it offers: seating for nine persons (in the base model), V8 power, impressive towing capacity, and significant off-road capability with the available two-speed transfer case. On those few weekends of the summer when you put the boat in the water, the Tahoe will yank it and the trailer back up the ramp and bring the whole crew home. All the other days of the year, be prepared to live with compromises, which go beyond the sluggish responses and swaying ride. This is a tall truck, which means forever depending on the standard side-assist steps to climb into the passenger compartment. There’s also a high lift to be made when loading cargo through the rear opening. You might be additionally surprised to find less cargo capacity inside than expected from such an enormous vehicle.
Another trade-off is fuel economy. The rear-wheel-drive Tahoe C1500 achieves an EPA rating of 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway) while the four-wheel-drive Tahoe K1500 gets 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway).
It comes as no surprise that the truck-based Tahoe drives much like a truck. Handling, comfort and maneuverability all take a hit from the emphasis on durability and utility. More modern crossover SUVs are based on passenger car platforms, which often make them drive more comfortably and get better fuel economy.
Even among other body-on-frame, full-sized SUVs, the Tahoe falls short, achieving only middling scores overall. As a result, we encourage shoppers to check out the Tahoe's competition before fully committing. Rivals include the Toyota Sequoia and Ford Expedition, both of which offer similar levels of capability along with a few other unique features.
Selecting a Tahoe is a straightforward proposition. Three trim levels are offered. The nicely equipped Tahoe LS is available with an optional front bench seat, upping capacity from eight to nine passengers. The Tahoe LT incorporates even more comfort and convenience features. Finally, the Tahoe Premier lives up to its very name and offers you a lot of luxury without a lot of ostentation.
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Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.