Recipe For Success

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe - All Photos by Jimmy Dinsmore
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe – All Photos by Jimmy Dinsmore

A Victory & Reseda review of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Before we dive into this review, let V&R introduce you to a veteran of this business and a friend of ours – Jimmy Dinsmore. Based in Cincinnati, Dinsmore's work has appeared in the Dayton Daily News, the Austin American-Statesman, Springfield (OH) News-Sun, Car Fanatics and Car News Cafe. He has gone freelance, along with is new site, Driver's Side. V&R have known Dinsmore for over a few years now and we can vouch for his style and his breadth of his work. We welcome Dinsmore to our team and please follow him on Twitter via his handle @driverside and his Facebook page. Now, enjoy his first review on V&R…

When you have a successful recipe or formula, you don't mess with it. Anyone remember New Coke? Exactly! So, for General Motors to completely redesign the Chevrolet Tahoe for the 2015 model year was a risk. The Tahoe is the best-selling full-size SUV on the market. It, along with the Suburban represent almost 50 percent of the full-size SUV market.
And since GM is not having the best of years (understatement), they need a success story. And with the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, they may just have one.

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe shows that General Motors is listening to customers by making vast improvements and improving fuel economy. The Tahoe has always been a big seller for GM. The Tahoe was a horse of a vehicle; guzzling gas and not very accommodating when it came to cargo room due to a cumbersome third row. Times have certainly changed. While the formula has been updated, the recipe, so to speak, is still the same.

Completely redesigned for 2015, the Tahoe now has modern looks, improved interior and much-improved third row versatility.

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An all-new exterior boasts updated looks. Inlaid doors enhance the handsome appearance of the Tahoe. Make no mistake the Tahoe is all SUV (that is it is very truck like). There’s nothing frilly or crossover-like about the Tahoe, even with its updated looks.

As a stalwart in the full-size SUV category, Chevrolet hasn't messed with their winning formula. They’ve just tweaked the recipe a little.

One new "ingredient" is a brand-new fuel-efficient engine. The Tahoe is powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine with Active Fuel Management. This new fuel-efficient technology includes variable valve timing and direct injection, which offers a 10-percent increase in the Tahoe’s fuel economy. The engine is also E-85 Flex Fuel capable. It makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb./ft. of torque.

A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. It would've been nice to see an updated tranny as well for the Tahoe, where many vehicles are going with seven or eight gears now. But, the transmission does an adequate job of shifting and it’s hardly noticeable, but GM could've maybe squeezed a little more fuel savings out of such a transmission.

The ride quality of the Tahoe is as good as any on the market, even high-end luxury SUVs. A magnetic ride control suspension package gives passengers a flowing, calm and quiet ride. There’s certainly nothing truck-like about the Tahoe’s suspension and ride quality. It’s like riding on air. And the road noise is negligible at most.

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Kudos to the GM engineers for offering such a calm driving performance. It's very similar to the GMC Yukon that I recently drove (and thoroughly enjoyed) on a road trip. The Yukon comparison doesn't end at the ride quality.
Much like the Yukon, the interior of the Tahoe is high quality. The touch points are soft and interior styling shows an attention to detail. It is very similar to the Yukon, which is considered more of a move-up brand from Chevy.

My tester had the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that integrated with GM's MyLink system. As far as infotainment systems go, MyLink is on par with the others. It’s fairly intuitive and results in good voice commands, and eyes-on-the-road maneuvering. The sound system is excellent. With the additional entertainment package ($3,200 add on), you get a rear seat DVD system, improved navigation and more speakers, as well as a sunroof.

Anyone who had previously experienced a Tahoe will speak of the downright frustrating third row seat manipulation. To get more cargo room, Tahoe’s third row had to be removed. This frustrating feature is no more with this new generation Tahoe. Now, with the push of a button, the third row seat folds flat.

Cargo room is still limited however for a vehicle of this size. With all seats upright, the Tahoe only offers 15.3 cubic feet behind the third row. Fold the third row flat and it increases to 51.6 cubic feet. Fold the second row seats flat and the total cargo room is 94.7 cubic feet. If maximum cargo room is something you require, there may be better options than the Tahoe (including the aforementioned Yukon).

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Fuel economy is much improved as well. In today's outrageous gas prices, this is a winning formula. The Tahoe has an EPA rating of 16 city and 22 highway. This represents a 10 percent bump in highway miles, making this a nice vehicle for family vacations, as well as for towing.

The Tahoe has a towing capacity of 8,400 pounds (in four-wheel drive).

Three trim levels are offered for the Tahoe – LS, LT and LTZ. My tester was the top-of-the-line LTZ. Some features exclusive to this trim are 20-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, ventilated front seats, and adaptive cruise control. Standard price for the Tahoe LTZ is $62,000. With options, my tester had a final MSRP of $71,375.

Don't mess with success is usually a good plan to follow. But, the Chevrolet Tahoe needed to be upgraded and have some features changed and add some modern elements added to it. The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe has a winning formula and a recipe for success.

DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by General Motors

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