Monday, December 31, 2012

Chevrolet Tahoe test drive.

 This will be the last thing I drive in 2012.
I drove the Hybrid version earlier. But never this "regular" one.
Which isn't really different.

The look is familiar as the current model has been out for about 5 years. An all new one is due in a little over a year. And this next one will be based on the recently introduced 2014 Silverado pick up.
Which looks pretty horrible.
Let's just hope the Tahoe will not borrow too much visually from it's messy pick up cousin...
 The interior has that 80's GM feel to it. It was actually nice 5 years ago. But now, the "hard plastic everywhere" look and feel is quite dated.
Especially in my $57 000 test car. Yes, $57 000 .
Which makes the $55 000 Infiniti JX I tested last month feel like a bargain.

 Something else that is really dated is the column shifter. With useless "manual" mode.
 At least the interior is roomy. And feels really solid.
The drive is of course very trucky. It is always moving, up and down, sideways etc...
The suspension achieves the unwanted goal of feeling soft, and uncomfortable at the same time.
As most bumps are not absorbed very well.

The transmission is smooth. But not very responsive to most downshift requests.

The big 5.3 Liter V8 engine is quiet and smooth. And very thirsty.
GM claims 15/21 MPG. 15 in the city seems an impossible goal, as my best number was about 12.
But I had no problem getting 25 on the freeway.

As I mentioned before, $57 000 is a lot of money for a truck based SUV with a rather cheap looking interior and driving dynamics of a 1980 LTD wagon.
The Infiniti JX's design isn't for everyone. But the interior is miles ahead of the one in the Chevrolet.
For less money. (You can even save 1000s more by getting its Pathfinder cousin.)
And it seems a lot roomier, especially the trunk where the rear seats fold flat. Unlike the Tahoe.

Its car like ride is also vastly superior. And it easily gets about 20MPG in the city. Which is almost twice as good as the Tahoe!

I don't own horses, don't ever have to tow anything, so I have no use for a truck based dinosaur.
Like 90% of people who buy these things mostly to carry their kids to school.

But somehow, there seems to be quite a market for these as I see many around every day.

Go figure...


Anonymous said...

BEHEMOTH... this thing is huuuuuge.

Anonymous said...

I've driven the GMC and the Escalade versions of this, so I'm assuming they're similar. It definitely doesn't feel car-based, which is a good thing for a vehicle like this. The interior is nicely designed, but it's five years old and about to be replaced by an all new car. I wouldn't consider the ugly JX under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...


Guys over 6 feet and weighing over 250 pounds are the ideal customers for this truck. I am neither, but I rented one and I have to admit that I enjoyed cruising in it, but I would not drive it aggressively for the reasons you went over. The competition is miles away. GM has a lot of catch up to do.

Anonymous said...

"The competition is miles away."

REALLY??? WHAT Competition? The Navigator? Expedition?

Because there simply is NO competition from anywhere else. I love the latest Mercedes GL and the Jeep GC Overland--but they really don't compete with the GM (or Ford) Surburban-type vehicles in terms of max towing or even max cu.ft. cargo space. I'm curious to see what the next-gen Surburban will be like, being as it's just around the corner.

Anonymous said...

I see alot of women driving them. Probably notice this as I sit and wait for them to try and park it at the grocery store.

Anonymous said...

One of my friends bought one for his wife, because she wanted it. It was sold after a year and a half.

It has a GARBAGE interior. Vince, it wasn't even nice 5 years ago, it was always a typical GM parts bin junkpile.

It has no redeeming qualities other than its towing capacity.

I, too, would take the JX over this thing.

Education Project said...

I don't know what moron who never has two or more people in the car and never tows anything would buy this.

If you need a people mover, there is the Infiniti JX, Land Rover LR4, and Mercedes GL to accommodate extra passengers comfortably. Most people can get by with a Mercedes E-class wagon, and it's funner to drive if you also need a little extra room.

I don't mind practical utilitarians who make the most use out of their Tahoe or Expedition, but prefer some nicer amenities. 80% of big SUV owners, however, do not.

Carl said...

Lol!! Yeah I love the comment about waiting for women to back these things up at the grocery store that made my day.

Anonymous said...

Save your real opinion for when the 2014 Tahoe shows up for you to test it out. I work for Chevrolet and the 2014 Tahoe is going to be Awesome! They have fixed all the issues that customers complained about or wanted to see in the new Tahoe. I do agree that I hope the Tahoe only has the same design theme with the Silverado...and not the SAME grille. A Tahoe should be more refined for a family and not so much like the in-your-face Silverado front end....we shall see.