I’ve always liked the Chevrolet Tahoe, but I’m obviously not the only one since it’s still the best selling SUV in the country. Even though I no longer need to carry Little League baseball players or aspiring ballerinas to their appointments, I still appreciate the comfort and security provided by these spacious SUVs.
My recent test model was a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ, which came loaded with all the safety and security features as well as the latest technology. While I enjoyed driving it around town, it felt kind of empty and a little too quiet without anyone chattering (or yelling) from the third row. The Tahoe is meant to be enjoyed by more than just the driver!
A good remedy was picking up some friends to take on a drive out to Fair Park for lunch at the Old Mill Inn, followed by shopping in some eclectic spots we found in Deep Ellum. We especially appreciated the hand-free automatic lift gate that opened into the wide trunk space (with a maximum of 94.7 cu ft) for assorted packages.
Another hit with the group was all the technology, such as a conversation mirror in the overhead console that gives a panoramic view of the rear seats, the 8-inch color touch screen radio with next generation MyLink connectivity, and six USB ports and six power outlets for electronics (up to 12 charging locations). When one friend’s phone needed charging, she was thrilled to find all these outlets.
My special favorite toy for any GM product, however, continues to be OnStar, which allows you to find the nearest gas station, Mexican restaurant, or vintage clothing store around. It also gives turn by turn directions to any hard to find spot, and their friendly operators always seem happy to hear from us no matter what the problem is.
The 5.3 L EcoTec3 V8 engine with 6-speed automatic provided plenty of power to keep the Tahoe performing seamlessly on the road. The new engine also achieves a 10 percent greater highway efficiency than previous year models. Estimated mileage is 16 in town and 23 on the highway. The Tahoe’s 26 gallon fuel tank means fewer visits to the self-serve station, which is a great time saver.
The only downside for the Tahoe (at least for this driver) is its size. The Tahoe’s a little large to fit easily into downtown parking spaces, but thanks to the great rearview camera system and such alerts as blind side zone, lane change, rear cross traffic, forward collision, and lane departure warning we managed to squeeze into a parallel parking slot on Elm Street.
The test Tahoe LTZ was assembled in the Arlington, Texas plant, and the MSRP was $61,085. Added options included a power sunroof, rear seat entertainment system, and destination charges that brought the total to $64,540.
With all these additions, the Tahoe would make a great road trip companion for a family vacation.
Jo Ann Holt is a journalist and car columnist based in Dallas and a member of Texas Automobile Writers Association (TAWA).