2017 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV Review

by Edmunds
Edmunds Editor
The 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe is a throwback to the not-so-distant past when SUVs were based on trucks and the "utility" in SUV was paramount. So if you need a vehicle that can haul up to nine people and tow as much as 8,600 pounds, the Tahoe is the right kind of SUV. Most shoppers nowadays, however, are more concerned with comfort and everyday drivability, which are a couple of the Tahoe's weaknesses. 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 cars, which often makes 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. Standard safety equipment for all 2017 Chevy Tahoes include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. An airbag between the front bucket seats (when so equipped) offers additional protection in side-impact crashes. Also standard is a teen-driver management system, a reminder to check the backseats for child occupants, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and the subscription-based OnStar system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. Optional safety equipment includes front parking sensors, forward collision warning with low-speed automatic braking, lane departure warning and intervention, a safety-alert driver seat (which vibrates on either the right, left or both sides to warn drivers of danger), rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. In government crash tests, the Chevrolet Tahoe received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, five stars for front- and side-impact protection and three stars for rollover protection. In Edmunds brake testing, a four-wheel-drive Tahoe LTZ came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, and a two-wheel-drive LT stopped in 121 feet. Both are short distances for this class.

what's new

For 2017, the top trim level is now called Premier instead of LTZ. New features include low-speed automatic braking paired with the existing forward collision warning system, a teen-driver management system and a reminder to check the backseats for child occupants. Cooled seats have now been replaced with ventilated seats, and the rear entertainment system input has been updated.


The 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8 is certainly capable when it comes to hauling a full load of people and cargo. It has the potential to deliver authoritative acceleration, too, but the delayed responses from the gas pedal often make the Tahoe feel slower than its horsepower suggests.

At a time when car-based crossovers have taken over the SUV market, the Tahoe clings to its truck-based underpinnings, which is good for those who intend to tow trailers and boats. But anyone using the Tahoe as a daily driver will face trade-offs in comfort and drivability. The suspension ably smooths over larger road imperfections and undulations, but shakes and shudders are noticeable over smaller ripples and bumps. The available adaptive Magnetic Ride Control suspension might improve things a bit, but only marginally. On the plus side, the cabin does remain pleasantly quiet on the highway.

The Tahoe's truck origins are even more apparent when it comes to handling and maneuverability. It's best to take it slow around turns because there's simply no way to mask the size and weight of this vehicle. It's not very maneuverable in tight spaces either, so multiple-point turns are common.


Inside the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, there's a wealth of space for passengers in the first two rows of seats, and materials quality is above average for the class. Despite its size, visibility is decent, and the standard rear parking sensors and rearview camera reduce the stress of maneuvering in tight spaces.

Taller drivers will easily fit, but the base LS trim's lack of a telescoping steering wheel might extend their reach more than they'd prefer. The second-row seats, whether a bench or the optional buckets, are just as roomy, but the folding mechanisms limit the range of adjustments. The third-row seats are flat with thin cushioning by comparison, and the high floor significantly reduces legroom.

Cargo capacity isn't great for a vehicle in this class — there's only 15.3 cubic feet available behind the third row, 51.6 cubic feet behind the second row and a maximum of 94.7 cubic feet with both rows folded flat. Not only is the space limited compared to the competition, but the load floor itself is inconveniently high in order to house the folding third-row bench seats. This makes loading bulky cargo more strenuous, especially for smaller people.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.