2018 Chevy Tahoe Review
2018 Chevy Tahoe Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Senior Editor and Content Strategist, CarMax
Will Kaufman has worked in the automotive industry since 2017. He has written hundreds of car-related articles and reviews over the course of his career. Will is a senior editor and content strategist for CarMax at Edmunds. Will has been featured in the Associated Press and a number of major outlets on the topics of infotainment and vehicle data, vehicle subscription services and autonomous vehicles. Will started his career in online publishing by writing and editing standardized test guides, but he has a lot more fun writing about cars.
- Seating for up to nine people
- Impressive towing capacity from the standard V8 engine
- Quiet and nicely trimmed cabin
- Sluggish engine and brake responses
- High trunk floor reduces cargo space and makes loading items difficult
- Maneuvering in tight spaces is a challenge
- New RST Performance Edition model
- Part of the fourth Tahoe generation introduced for 2015
Most midsize and smaller SUVs have switched to more carlike unibody construction in pursuit of improved ride quality, driving experience and efficiency. But for large SUVs, truck-based body-on-frame construction is still king. The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe demonstrates some of the strengths of this approach, but it also has quite a few shortcomings.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Fleet 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 $3.57 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$233/mo for Tahoe Fleet
Avg. Large SUV
On the upside, the Tahoe boasts a stout towing capacity — up to 8,600 pounds — for pulling boats, campers and the like. There's plenty of power, too. A 355-horsepower V8 is standard, and an optional 420-hp V8 is new this year. A nicely appointed cabin — easy to use and to climb into and out of — is another of the Tahoe's strengths. We also like the quiet ride and robust air conditioning, which is more than a match for the large interior space.
However, the Tahoe's sluggish driving experience, along with the peculiarities of its compromised cargo space, are weaknesses not shared by most unibody SUVs. Chevrolet's efforts to improve the Tahoe's efficiency also compromise its usefulness off-road, particularly the low front air dam that limits ground clearance. Buyers looking to do anything but the mildest off-roading would be well-advised to opt for the Tahoe's Z71 package.
Buyers looking for large SUVs don't have many choices. The Ford Expedition has received some major updates, and its latest model promises lots of space and capability. There's also the Toyota Sequoia, an affordable alternative with superior cargo and passenger space. And if you don't plan on towing much, crossovers such as the Honda Pilot and Volkswagen Atlas offer plenty of room for three rows of adults to travel in comfort, and lots of technology tricks to boot.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.0 / 10
When it comes to SUVs that can tow heavy loads, the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe is an obvious and popular choice. It's got plenty of capability, thanks to its stout V8 engines and traditional truck-based design. But rival SUVs and crossovers outdo the Tahoe in versatility, comfort and fuel economy.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe LT (5.3L V8 | 6-speed automatic | 4WD).
|Overall||7.0 / 10|
The sluggish throttle tuning overshadows an otherwise stout 5.3-liter V8. The brakes are slow-acting, too, and the Tahoe feels large and heavy at all times. The Tahoe's towing ability is a saving grace.
In regular use, the V8 engine's response feels lethargic because the gas pedal must be pressed harder than expected. It does deliver solid thrust when the need arises, though. Our 4WD Tahoe test truck reached 60 mph in only 7.2 seconds with the optional 3.42 axle ratio.
The soft, long-travel pedal doesn't inspire confidence. Brake response, like the throttle and steering, is slow. The brakes are effective, though, halting the SUV from 60 mph in only 123 feet, a fairly impressive number for something this heavy.
Winding roads don't flatter the Tahoe's steering, which is lighter and slower than we'd like. It also skimps on road feel compared to most competitors.
There's no hiding the Tahoe's size when you try to hustle it. The old-school rear suspension becomes obvious on broken surfaces. Midcorner bumps easily upset the chassis. Drive the Tahoe moderately and it's fine.
The sluggish gas pedal and brake response dominate the Tahoe's character on public roads, though its slow gas pedal is good in tight, technical situations like you'll find off-road. The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly.
A low front spoiler and the lack of a standard low-range transfer case indicate it is not as off-road-focused as other SUVs. It's more geared for towing. Optional Z71 package brings the low-range transfer case, skid plates, knobbier tires and hill descent control, but clearance will hold it back.
This new Tahoe is about as quiet as SUVs get. The first two rows of seats are roomy and comfy, but the same can't be said for the third. Although the suspension is adept at controlling big bumps, seemingly insignificant ripples and road patches tend to give the cabin the shakes.
The front seats are wide and pretty plush. They do stay comfy for all-day road trips. The second row is quite flat and doesn't adjust much because of the seat-folding mechanism, but it's soft and comfy. The third row is thin and flat.
The solid-axle rear suspension cushions sharp impacts well and is resistant to large floating and bouncing motions, though competitors equipped with independent rear suspensions are still better overall. Small road imperfections can be felt in the cabin.
Noise & vibration8.5
Quiet ride. A big upside to traditional body-on-frame SUVs like this one is cabin isolation. There's little to no road noise, and engine noise is subdued.
The typically powerful General Motors air conditioning battles a heat wave with ease. No cooled seats in our tester, but it was hardly an issue. The big blower is noisy when it's moving a ton of air to cool the cabin after the truck has baked in the sun, but it quickly cools off and quiets down.
The first two rows of the Tahoe are excellent in terms of ease of use and access. Even the third row is fairly accessible. But the rear floor is high because of the solid-axle suspension, and that limits third-row legroom and cargo space.
Ease of use8.0
Straightforward controls are familiar and easily comprehended aside from a few tiny icons that can be hard to decipher at a glance. Instrument panel includes a handy configurable screen, while the MyLink touchscreen system is sound. Audio and climate control buttons and knobs are generously sized.
Getting in/getting out8.0
It's a big climb up into the cabin, though the running boards and rear grab handles help a lot. The door openings are tall but narrow, especially in the rear. The power fold-and-tumble second row makes for excellent third-row access.
The Tahoe offers a typical big SUV driving position with a wide range of seat height and fore-aft adjustment. The steering wheel's telescoping range is not great, but this is offset somewhat by the LT's power-adjustable pedals.
The first two rows offer abundant head- and legroom. Still, it's not as big inside as you might expect. Depending on the seat position, the driver's elbow may contact the large center armrest when steering. Third-row legroom is poor.
Thin windshield pillars help your view out the front, and the view to the sides is aided by tall side windows. But the outside mirrors are too small. At least the rear camera and rear parking sensors are standard on all grades.
Looks good at a glance. You'll find many soft touch points up front, but hard plastic pieces abound and invariably there are some sharp edges. Our test car had an occasional creak from the steering and one back seat that was stuck folded down.
Its 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space (behind the third row) is less than what's offered by competitors. Cargo space behind the second-row seat is similarly subpar. Even worse, the load floor is quite high and sloping. In-cabin storage is better, and the Tahoe has a strong tow rating.
You'll find a decent array of storage options, including a cavernous console bin, a cubby in front of the two front cupholders, two ample pockets per front door, and two flat slots on the transmission tunnel near your knees.
The cargo area has a high floor and a shallow space behind the third row, with only 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Handy power controls quickly fold the third-row seats, but the Tahoe's floor is much higher than those in rivals. Competitors can carry more, can swallow taller objects, and have lower load heights.
Child safety seat accommodation
All second-row seats have LATCH anchors and top tethers regardless of configuration. The third row receives top tethers, which can be used in conjunction with seat belts to secure a forward-facing seat.
A concealed 2-inch receiver hitch with integrated four- and seven-pin wiring comes standard. An integrated electric trailer brake controller and a rear leveling suspension are available. With the proper equipment, the 4WD Tahoe is rated to tow a maximum of 8,400 pounds.
It's up-to-date with today's consumer demands; its Apple CarPlay integration and a quick-acting touchscreen cover a lot of ground when it comes to daily use of the infotainment system. Some of the driver assistance features are mediocre in their execution.
Audio & navigation7.5
The screen graphics are on the cartoonish side, but the touchscreen responds quickly. Navigation prompts are intuitive and react quickly to touch. Fast load times. But the sound quality is somewhat canned-sounding.
Apple CarPlay connects quickly and works as expected, as does Android Auto. Initial Bluetooth pairing took two attempts, but it was still very quick and easy. The cabin includes multiple USB jacks.
The Safety Seat, which issues lane departure and forward collision warnings as vibrations only the driver can feel, is interesting, but the systems that feed into it tend to be overly sensitive. Fortunately it can be switched off. The backup camera has a rather low-resolution display.
The voice controls require a rigid input structure and took two attempts to navigate to an address.
Which Tahoe does Edmunds recommend?
We think the LT strikes the best balance between cost and features. The telescoping steering wheel allows it to accommodate more drivers, and buyers, especially shorter ones, will appreciate the power liftgate. You also get seating for eight, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and access to most of the Tahoe's available options
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe models
The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe is a large three-row SUV that comes in three trim levels: LS, LT and Premier. All trim levels come standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine (355 hp and 383 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive and a single-speed transfer case are available for all trim levels. Seating for eight is standard; an optional 40/20/40-split middle-row bench seat increases passenger capacity to nine, but it is only available on the base LS trim.
Standard features for the LS include 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, remote keyless entry, remote ignition, rear parking sensors, a trailer hitch receiver with wiring harness, side steps and roof rails. On the inside, you get tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding second- and third-row bench seats and a tilt-only, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Standard tech for the LS includes a teen-driver monitoring system, OnStar communication (including a 4G LTE connection and a Wi-Fi hotspot), a 110-volt power outlet, Chevy's MyLink infotainment system (with 8-inch touchscreen), a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, five USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio.
The optional Enhanced Driver Alert package adds forward collision warning with low-speed automatic braking, automatic high beams, lane departure warning and intervention, and power-adjustable pedals.
The LT trim includes all of the above, along with a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions, an auto-dimming rearview camera, a universal garage door opener and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.
The optional Luxury package adds a hands-free tailgate opener, power-folding mirrors, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, foglights, front parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and ignition, heated second-row seats, power-folding second- and third-row seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with heating, and a wireless charging pad. The Texas Edition package is equipped identically (minus the charging pad) but adds unique badging and crossbars to the roof rails.
The Premier trim includes the Luxury package and adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, adaptive suspension dampers, ventilated front seats, second-row bucket seats (reducing seating capacity to seven), a navigation system, 12-way power front seats and a 10-speaker Bose premium surround-sound upgrade.
The LT and Premier trims are eligible for the Sun, Entertainment and Destinations package that includes a sunroof, navigation for the LT trim and a rear-seat entertainment system. Adaptive cruise control, power-retractable side steps and a head-up display are also available on the Premier trim.
New for 2018 are the RST Edition and RST Performance Edition packages. The RST Edition is an appearance package for the LT and Premier trims that adds blacked-out exterior pieces such as wheels and badging. The RST Performance Edition, available only on the Tahoe Premier, adds a 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque), a 10-speed automatic transmission, a trailer brake controller, a sport-tuned suspension and, on four-wheel-drive models, a two-speed transfer case.
Offered on all trims are 22-inch wheels as well as the Max Trailering package that includes a different rear axle ratio, an electronic two-speed transfer case (on 4WD models), a trailer brake controller, and an auto-leveling suspension for vehicles without the magnetic suspension. The Z71 Off-Road package is available only on the LT trim and adds all-terrain tires, unique cosmetic elements, tubular side steps, underbody skid plates, an off-road suspension, an electronic two-speed transfer case, hill descent control, front parking sensors and rubber floor mats.
Many features offered on higher-trim models are available on supporting trims as options.
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
2018 Tahoe reviews after 2 mos, 1yr, 3yrs, 4yrs
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
I have owned a 99 Yukon, 99 Suburban, 2005 Suburban, and 2013 Tahoe, and all served me well. This has so much great new technology for driving, like blind spot, cross alert traffic when backing up, backup camera (which I have had and enjoyed since I put the first one in my '05 Subby) front collision alert, lane keeping, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, & heated steering wheel, … which all came with the luxury option as I recall. It is worth it! I wish they would not make the front seats and backs with the edge bolsters on the new vehicles. It is not as comfortable for sitting as my '05 or '13, and feels narrower. Headlights got low grade because I am shopping to replace the low beam bulbs with ones that give more light and more distance. It is not an easy job since I will have to remove the air filter box on passenger side to get to bulb, but once I find ones that will last a while, (based on reviews) I am doing that upgrade. Now the good news. The wipers cannot be heard while running which is a great update. Maybe better soundproofing in the glass, but appreciated! Quiet ride, handles very well, and great tech options for phone, etc, in 8" display. Multiple displays of your choice in small screen under the speedo are also great. The one problem I am having is loud vibration in back end at low speeds. I actually took it to local Dlrship to see if they had not filled tranny at factory. New tranny oil is clear and hard to read. They said it was OK. I got an appointment to have car looked at, and on the day I went in, after 90 minutes of waiting they told me they knew my problem without bringing it in the shop. Pressure problem in fuel line going from tank is causing loud vibration of the line. Sounds like noisy rear air ride compressor running intermittently, and a lot at low speeds. They had another one just like it with same problem last week. They found TSB #17-NA-304 that explained that fuels lines need replacing. I went yesterday and had the fuel line & fuel hose replaced to fix it, and it now sounds great!. Car has just 2,100 miles. This is my 14 month, @ 13,000 mile update- Jan 2020: There have been no problems with the Tahoe, and it has performed well. I am pleased with my latest large Chevy SUV. I do want to add that the only real safety concern I have is the inability to see to the left and right in the evening, and at an intersection that is not well lit, like my residential neighborhood. The headlights do nothing to cover those areas, especially the right side, where I worry that as I turn right in the dark, I could come upon a pedestrian that I could not see walking. This big rig needs cornering lamps that illuminate when the directional is on to be safe in those situations. Turning on the fog lights helps a bit, but it should not have to be needed to make a turn in darkness. My 2001 Lincoln Town Car had them, and that was 19 years ago! January 2021- 3 yr 3 month update @ 34,000 miles: The Tahoe does great in all facets. I did upgrade the OEM Michelin Energy Saver tires (treadwear rating of 480) at 30K miles for Michelin Defender LTX, which have great tread. OEMs were worn down more than I liked in terms of heading towards hydroplaning issues in water and I am happy I made the upgrade. My main complaint remains that I cannot see forward at night when taking turns, or even on dark road trying to see if anyone is walking on the shoulder. Headlights project straight forward only and not near the car. It is worst when cornering, and I worry that someone could be run over if walking in the dark because there is no visibility. I try to turn on my fog lights at night for that reason because it does help a bit with widening the lighted profile just in front of the vehicle to each side. Cornering lights would be a necessity for me to consider getting a new Tahoe. Mechanically, the Tahoe has been perfect. I average 20-21 mpg highway, and have overall 17.8 mpg since purchase (I have not reset trip 1 indicator since I did it on the test drive with 19 miles, and I use trip 2 for fill up resets. The overall MPG would be much better, but in the summer, I sit in car with A/C on while I am parked at the ocean, and do same thing with heat on in winter. This car has been everything I had hoped for (except cornering lighting issue) and the luxury package gave me all the tech I needed. I am seeing used 2018 Tahoe LT's like mine at car dealerships with similar or higher mileage that are selling for as much of more than I paid when new 3 yrs and 3 months ago, with the $10k year end discount I got. JULY 2022- 3 yr 9 months review: Mileage just turned 39,000. Only maintenance since last review was two more synthetic oil changes at local Chevy dealer, and an alignment after getting new Michelin Defender LTX tires at 30K miles when OEM Michelins were too worn for my liking. I did replace the original battery in July 2021 (@33 months) without checking on any remaining warrantee. Otherwise, this car has performed very well. I am impressed with the ongoing quality and the comfort in the Chevy large SUVS, and after recently driving our daughter's 2019 Mercedes GLS450 while in Colorado, I prefer my 2018 Tahoe by a long shot. July 2023, 4 yr 9 month review--- Air Conditioning unit lost all coolant and failed due to leak at a weld of fitting for the ac line to the condenser in 11/2022 at 41k miles. Condenser and new AC lines and freon had to be put thru on my non GM extended warrantee, even though there was a GM recall on several Tahoe model years up thru 2017 for exact same problem. At same visit, also had torn boot on left front axle, so axle was replaced under GM power train warrantee. Otherwise, the Tahoe keeps on going without other problems. It has 48K now in 7/2023, and is on original front and rear brakes. (My '05 full time AWD Suburban went 73K before I had to have the brakes and rotors done.)
5 out of 5 stars
Just bought Tahoe
Christina E, 03/03/2017
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
Honestly. We haven't bought a GM product in over 7 yrs. which my husband has had 2 Ford leases and I personally have had Honda minivans. We since bought a Tahoe and I am so in love. I am 4'11" and he is 6'4.5". I have test drove one a few years back and decided not to get it. The braking is amazing. It doesn't feel like I'm driving a big truck, which is a big deal to me. It also is such … a smooth ride im impressed. The touch screen is super responsive, acceleration is a bit slow but that's the v8. But this also shifts down to a v4 at stop lights. (So cool) and when you shut off the engine it tells you to look in the back seat (kids safety). We searched for a second row bench (we have 3 kids) and all the seats are the same size. Meaning the middle seat is also very wide (and could fit an adult). I just had to say how much I am in love with this vehicle, they have done such a great job and we are not regretting buying it at all!
3 out of 5 stars
Nice, but choose options carefully
Jeff K, 06/09/2018
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
I had, and loved, a 2007 GMC Yukon years ago, and recently traded my 2014 Durango with loads of miles for this Tahoe. I love the exterior appearance. The front and middle seats are SUPER comfy, but the third row sits too close to the floor to accommodate anyone but kids. I don’t mind the trade off of the truck ride for the truck capability, but wouldn’t get the 22” wheels. They help … with handling, but they make the ride a little harsh. Turning radius is amazingly tight for a big vehicle, making it easy to turn around. The rear view camera and parking sensors help infrequent drivers of the Tahoe more comfortable parking it. The lane departure system is a little obnoxious, nudging the wheel to put you back in the lane. Chevy/GM has done a nice job of improving the gas mileage over the years, but I feel like I’m filling the tank a lot due to the mileage and gas tank size. I didn’t have that issue with the Durango. The loading height at the rear hatch is pretty high. I’m tall, so no big issue, but I notice my wife struggle with it when she borrows it. The instrument panel and controls are well thought out, and all of the electronics are easy enough to figure out and use. I bought this to haul people and stuff, and tow a trailer once in a while. If I didn’t need to tow the trailer, I’d consider another V6 Durango or maybe the Traverse.
5 out of 5 stars
Dan Brown, 06/29/2017
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
Excellent choice for full sized SUV. Very nicely equipped and well appointed on the inside. Only downside is the very poor design for the third row seat. There is no leg room what so ever as the seat cushion sits on the floor. Otherwise, a very nice vehicle. We traded our 2016 Tahoe LTZ for this new Tahoe Premier as we wanted a second row bench seat. We are much happier with the … bench seat than the buckets from before. Our only regret is that Chevrolet has stopped installing "cooled" seats in favor of just "ventilated" seats now. They are just not as effective. An obvious cost cutting move but regrettable on a $70000 plus vehicle. Otherwise, it's the same as the 2016 version. Update: We still own the Tahoe and for the most part we are pleased with it. Winter is when we travel and are about to do some long distant trips in the next few months. The new and updated Chevrolet Traverse looks like it could easily replace the current Tahoe in that it is roomy, lower, has useable third row seat and costs on average $15-20000 less.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe, so we've included reviews for other years of the Tahoe since its last redesign.
2018 Tahoe Highlights
|Engine Type||Flex-fuel (ffv)|
|Combined MPG||19 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$233/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
Our experts like the Tahoe models:
- Forward Collision Alert
- Warns the driver to take action to avoid colliding with a vehicle or other object in front of the SUV.
- Lane Keep Assist
- Alerts the driver when the SUV drifts out of its lane, and delivers steering input to keep the vehicle in its lane.
- Safety Alert Driver Seat
- Vibrates the driver's seat cushion when a safety alert occurs.
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%