2018 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe is essentially an enclosed pickup truck with three rows, bolstered by the useful space and handy towing capability such a design brings. Despite its relatively poor fuel economy and rich price, this hefty Chevy continues to be a popular seller. There are two V-8 power trains available with rear- or all-wheel drive, with a sporty special edition featuring a robust 420-hp V-8 and a new 10-speed automatic transmission for setting cul-de-sac lap times. The Tahoe also brings excellent infotainment integration and a serene cabin. However, its truck roots cramp its third-row space and are immediately apparent on patchwork pavement. Still, don’t confuse it for a lifted minivan. The Tahoe is a proper truck underneath.

What’s New for 2018?

For the first time, the Tahoe is available with GM’s 6.2-liter V-8 and new 10-speed automatic transmission as part of the all-new Rally Sport Truck (RST) 6.2L Performance package. On the mid-level LT trim, the RST Edition retains the standard 5.3-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic but adds sporty cosmetics such as blacked-out badging and 22-inch wheels. The top-tier Premier version can be had with the RST’s eye candy as well, yet it has sole rights to the performance upgrades. An optional brake package adds six-piston Brembo front calipers and larger rotors. The Tahoe’s base LS trim also gets a Custom Edition, which adds features and deletes the third-row seat. Other updates include Satin Steel Metallic paint in place of 2017’s Champagne Silver and Black Currant, and the standard tire-pressure monitor receives a fill-up alert.

What Was New for 2017?

The 2017 Tahoe lineup added new equipment, and the Premier replaced the LTZ as the top trim level. Every model received downloadable apps for the MyLink infotainment system, a customizable rear-seat reminder, active grille shutters for improved aerodynamic efficiency, and General Motors’ Teen Driver system, which allows helicopter parents to monitor their kids’ driving habits. The Tahoe’s options list also adopted low-speed automated emergency braking, new 22-inch wheels, and illuminated bow-tie emblems. The optional rear entertainment system received an upgrade with an HDMI connector, an extra USB port, digital headphones, and the ability to project media from a personal device to the drop-down screen. A new Midnight Edition appearance package included black exterior accents; Blue Velvet Metallic and Pepperdust Metallic joined the paint palette.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

We’ve previously outfitted an all-wheel-drive 2017 Tahoe LT with the Z71 Off-Road package for about $59,000. While that’s a reasonable price for the content, what if you want to maximize your money? The base Tahoe LS has plenty of satisfying standard features, such as remote start, rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control, and an 8.0-inch MyLink touchscreen with a 4G LTE mobile hotspot and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. All of that starts at $48,745 with rear-wheel drive; add $3000 for all-wheel drive. We’d also tack on:

• The Max Trailering package with a trailer-brake controller and a quicker rear axle ratio ($580; $780 with all-wheel drive)
• The Enhanced Driver Alert package with low-speed forward automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beams, and power-adjustable pedals ($695)

The trailering package unlocks the Chevy’s maximum towing capacity, and the additional active safety features are family friendly and affordable. The front bench seat might be a faux pas compared with the standard buckets, but it saves money and makes the front row feel more spacious—and converts the Tahoe LS into a nine-seat rig for a budget-minded $49,770 with rear-wheel drive; the all-wheel-drive alternative is $52,970.

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