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Edmunds Reviews '07 Tahoe

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pow    106

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...eline.promo.3.*

Vehicle Tested:

2007 Chevrolet Tahoe LT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

MSRP of Test Vehicle: $48,639 Price It!!

What Works:

Fantastic dashboard, excellent interior quality, fine drivetrain, sweet road manners, tight turning circle.

What Needs Work:

No folding third-row seat, lower body plastic panels vulnerable to damage, dull steering, still very thirsty.

Bottom Line:

Chevrolet's 2007 Tahoe is new and changed in practically every way. But is that enough for a world that's changed even more?

One of America's most popular SUVs gets a complete makeover

By John Pearley Huffman Email

Date posted: 01-09-2006

For you "red state" residents there's good news about the all-new 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe: It's bigger, bolder, more efficient, more luxurious, and more capable than ever! It's a confident expression of all that's right with America and the best full-size SUV ever built. No wonder the rest of the world really wants to live here.

For "blue state" dwellers here's the bad news on the same subject: GM is still addicted to full-size SUVs! Despite marginal improvements in efficiency, the new Tahoe is an indulgent, thirsty, oversized monster that threatens smaller vehicles while exacerbating America's dependence on imported oil and hastening global warming. So what if it's the best full-size SUV ever built? It's also why the rest of the world hates us.

For good or ill, this third-generation Tahoe is being born into a different America — or two different Americas — than the one the first-generation Tahoe entered in 1995. An America where, as this is written, unleaded regular sells for an average of $2.19 a gallon, car-based crossover SUVs have won buyers, and gas-electric hybrids carry a lot of prestige among a lot of high-income buyers.

However, the full-size SUV market is still thickly profitable, and GM had to change to stay in the game. All large-SUV sales have been hammered recently, but the aging second-generation Tahoe and its brother GM products have been among the worst hit.

This past November Chevy sold just 7,850 Tahoes — down nearly 20 percent from November 2004. Meanwhile, sales of the larger Suburban were off 43.6 percent, and open-bed Avalanche deliveries dove 31 percent. And that's despite incentive packages that have dealers knocking $9,000 or more off suggested retail prices.

"We're realistic, and we don't expect the segment to grow," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz told The Detroit News. "But there are people who want and need the capabilities of a full-size SUV."

The blue state hard-core is never going to embrace the new Tahoe. But the red state diehards will love it. At least those who can afford it. The sticker price of our loaded Tahoe LT test vehicle — which had such optional luxuries as a power liftgate, a DVD entertainment system and a rearview camera — was $48,639.

Familiarly unfamiliar

The Tahoe on sale this month is the first of 12 products — including the various versions of the Chevrolet Suburban and Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon — that GM will introduce this year based on the new T-900 architecture. It's better not because of any startling innovations, but because this time GM finally got the details right.

In general specification, the incoming Tahoe isn't much different from the outgoing one. It still rides on a ladder frame; the rear suspension is still a solid axle on coil springs; the front suspension is still upper and lower control arms; and there's still a 5.3-liter V8 in its nose feeding a four-speed automatic transmission.

Initially available only as a 4x4 (two-wheel-drive versions will come later this year), the new Tahoe is slightly bigger than the old one. The wheelbase carries over at 116 inches but overall length stretches from 196.9 inches to 202. Height is up from 76.7 to 77 inches and width has expanded from 78.9 inches to 79. But it looks more massive than that thanks to featureless flanks and a tall, blunt nose.

The chassis' evolution is subtle, but significant. The front torsion bars have been ditched in favor of suppler coil springs, recirculating ball steering gives way to a more precise (if no more communicative) rack and pinion system, and the ABS-controlled four-wheel disc brakes are upsized.

GM may have passed on an independent rear suspension (the market has been ho-hum about the IRS under Ford's Expedition and Lincoln Navigator), but this solid axle is well located with five links, and the ride is quiet and secure thanks to the unobtrusive standard StabiliTrak stability control. And the midline Tahoe LT's P265/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler HP tires are quiet and grippy (Tahoes also come in LS stripper and over-the-top LTZ models).

Is the handling sporty? No. This truck's reflexes are muted. But the turning circle is a tight 39 feet, so it's maneuverable, and aimed for the horizon on an interstate, there aren't many better cruisers. Even when the blind-to-reality navigation system recommended a shortcut across Santa Barbara County's unmaintained and rock-strewn Refugio Canyon Road, the Tahoe never lost its composure.

More powerful, more efficient

While the displacement hasn't changed, the engine certainly has. GM proclaims it as a new "Gen IV" version of the small-block V8. There's still a single camshaft in the redesigned cast-iron block bumping pushrods actuating two valves per combustion chamber in aluminum cylinder heads.

But the compression ratio has risen from 9.5-to-1 to 9.9-to-1, and combined with a new 32-bit engine control computer and more powerful ignition, that has knocked output up from 295 to 320 horsepower while adding GM's "Active Fuel Management" cylinder deactivation technology (formerly called "Displacement on Demand"). A similarly upgraded 290-hp, 4.8-liter version of the small-block V8 will come on two-wheel-drive Tahoes.

The Active Fuel Management system's operation is impossible to detect, the engine and transmission feel perfectly matched to one another, and GM claims best-in-class EPA-rated fuel economy of 15 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway. And the truck is decently quick humping to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds. But indulging that power will quickly sink mileage down into single digits. There are only so many ways to trick physics — this is a nearly 5,600-pound truck with a big V8.

Best. Fake. Wood. Ever.

After decades of lackluster GM interiors, the new Tahoe's is astonishing. The dashboard looks like it was lifted out of a 1998 BMW 740iL (a great dash), scaled up 10 percent, and shoved into this truck. The switchgear operates elegantly and the materials feel high-quality. It's hard to imagine better-looking real wood than the faux burl forest inside this truck.

For the first time, the Tahoe's inside door handles are high on the door where humans can reach them. The seat anchors have moved from the seats to the B-pillar where they can be adjusted to something approaching comfort. The new seats are well shaped and the plastic surfaces are well grained.

There aren't auto-up functions on the power window switches to go with the auto-down, and side-source sunlight can wipe out visibility of the center-mounted navigation and entertainment system monitor. But it's hard to find fault with where the first two rows of passengers sit.

And yet, the Tahoe lacks the disappearing third-row rear seat many of its competitors feature. And when the Tahoe's third-row seats are removed, they leave behind raised plastic mounts that prevent laying cargo flat against the floor. For such an otherwise well-executed interior, this is a misstep.

Form, function and towing

The eight-seat 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe doesn't have a big, practical advantage over crossovers like the eight-passenger Honda Pilot. Except, of course, for towing. Rated to haul 7,700 pounds behind it, the Tahoe can lug more than twice what the Pilot can and that's a bedrock virtue in red states where boats, campers and car carriers are part of the American dream.

Bob Lutz is right, there isn't much growth left in the full-size SUV market as people who have been buying them as minivan substitutes move over to crossovers or even — ACK! — minivans. And in some blue states the stigma such vehicles now carry may be a load many buyers would rather not bear.

But if you need this, this is as good as this gets.

Posted Image

Restrained use of chrome and a single roof-mounted antenna that handles satellite and terrestrial radio sources give the Tahoe a clean look.

Posted Image

Hidden just beneath the rear hatch's big gold "bowtie" is this small video camera that feeds an image to the dashboard's display screen when the truck is in reverse.

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Croc    268

Best. Fake. Wood. Ever.

After decades of lackluster GM interiors, the new Tahoe's is astonishing. The dashboard looks like it was lifted out of a 1998 BMW 740iL (a great dash), scaled up 10 percent, and shoved into this truck. The switchgear operates elegantly and the materials feel high-quality. It's hard to imagine better-looking real wood than the faux burl forest inside this truck.

I laughed out loud when reading this part!

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turbo200    6

And the truck is decently quick humping to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds.

My mind was already swaying when I read this, because of the talk of abandoned dirt roads in Santa Barbra, and then this came along, and I just busted laughing. WTH? When has that word ever been used in that context.

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turbo200    6

terrific review....there were no complaints anywhere aside from the lack of a flat folding rear seat. they praised the interior; I think it should prove to be a very high quality interior after all. the rest of the review was spent praising it for being nimble, luxurious, convenienty, ergonomic, quality, powerful, and they called it the best full-sizer ever.

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sciguy_0504    0

You like that Turbie? HAHA, j/k.

It's a decent, if not glowing review. Edmunds just needs to realize that 1) full-size trucks and SUVs will never go away and 2) there is no way in hell they can operate on anything less than a V8 or high powered V6.

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cmattson    0

I told you the auto reviews would bash the lack of a flat-folding rear seat. There at least should be the option of IRS & fold-flat seat; if not on the Tahoe how about the GMC or GMC Denali, or Escalade?

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pow    106

I told you the auto reviews would bash the lack of a flat-folding rear seat.  There at least should be the option of IRS & fold-flat seat; if not on the Tahoe how about the GMC or GMC Denali, or Escalade?

Should be interesting how the market reacts... around here, all the Tahoes I see have third-rows, and the majority of them are used as soccer mom transport. I'd say Suburbans outnumber Tahoe, 2-to-1, and I suspect this trend will continue.

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caddycruiser    50

Should be interesting how the market reacts... around here, all the Tahoes I see have third-rows, and the majority of them are used as soccer mom transport. I'd say Suburbans outnumber Tahoe, 2-to-1, and I suspect this trend will continue.

True, but as a Suburban owner, I can say the 3rd row in this biggest of all truck is VERY comfortable, but even harder to get out than the Tahoe's 2 pieces, because it's just one big solid log, of sorts.

I've never understood anyone who bought a "shortie" Tahoe or Yukon with a 3rd row, as it just eliminates all cargo room and is too cramped and uncomfortable for anything human to occupy.

I think if they had figured out a way to emulate something like the Ford's AWESOME power folding flat third row that is both comfortable and has room behind it, these trucks would really be right out of the ball park.

Trucks or not, when it comes to what 98% of the buyers use them for, things like 3rd row seats are REALLY important issues.

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Newbiewar    1

well to comply with the review i drove my first ltz today with everything but 4x4 and a back up camera...

it was quite possibly the most awesome vehicle i've ever driven...

i hate suv's i like sports coupes, but this bad boy almost made me want one...

with the premium sound system and the xm radio i was in heaven with 320 hp at my disposal... and its comforting to watch as it goes to v4 mode and v8 mode... and you cant feel a thing...

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turbo200    6

well to comply with the review i drove my first ltz today with everything but 4x4 and a back up camera...

it was quite possibly the most awesome vehicle i've ever driven...

i hate suv's i like sports coupes, but this bad boy almost made me want one...

with the premium sound system and the xm radio i was in heaven with 320 hp at my disposal... and its comforting to watch as it goes to v4 mode and v8 mode... and you cant feel a thing...

nice to hear that, i know i would like one....a lot

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Newbiewar    1

nice to hear that, i know i would like one....a lot

well you better get it from me!

:P

haha... give me a ring, or a message either way with what you want and i'll be more then happy to help you.

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Newbiewar    1

Does it tell you when it switches?

yea it says...

the information screen said...

Instant Fuel Ecconomy 78 mpg v4mode

then you get on the gas...

and it says

Instant Fuel ecconomy 10 mpg v8 mode

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FUTURE_OF_GM    26
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...eline.promo.3.*

What Needs Work:

No folding third-row seat,

I'll give them that one.

lower body plastic panels vulnerable to damage,

Ok, so now after years of BITCHING about cladding, now the media is BITCHING about the 'lack there of'

still very thirsty.

But of course, gotta give Greenpeace something to whine about, lest they be completely trivial and un-needed.

Bottom Line:

Chevrolet's 2007 Tahoe is new and changed in practically every way. But is that enough for a world that's changed even more?

Typical built in "Detroit Disclaimer"

EXAMPLE: It's a fine truck, but will it be enough????? (Enter mysterious music)

For you "red state" residents

Automatically establishes an 'us verses them' vibe and cues those liberal Cali types into fighting/negativity mode. Why is a political view even relevant to an automotive evaluation? Because it can be used as a weapon... Red is out of favor, just like W and just like SUVs. He is using the comparison to cast negativity and an unpopular bias over the vehicle.

For "blue state" dwellers

With "red state" he says "For you" but here it is an implyed "For us" automatically making the Tahoe not "for us" because of the connotation to negativity he is about to make.

here's the bad news on the same subject: GM is still addicted to full-size SUVs!

And not only does he make Tahoe not "for us" he also makes GM not "for us" with this statement. Making it the typical "GM sucks because" argument or I won't consider GM as a whole because" spiel.

Despite marginal improvements in efficiency, the new Tahoe is an indulgent, thirsty, oversized monster that threatens smaller vehicles while exacerbating America's dependence on imported oil and hastening global warming.

BINGO! And the "for us" is heightened into an anti-SUV euphoria... And with a lot of opinion to boot. Even throws the THEORY of global warming in there.

So what if it's the best full-size SUV ever built?

Resist it regardless is the message here.

It's also why the rest of the world hates us.

A mighty big and wrong assumption.... I'm sure allah land doesn't hate us because of what we drive... And france doesn't hate us at all for our president.... Nah... ALL of it is the Tahoe's fault. I'm sure the oil producers hate us for driving Tahoes and I'm sure the Japanese hate us for driving big SUVs and trucks too.

What's sad is I'm sure every greenie and extreme leftie out there is buyin this garbage hook, line and sinker...

For good or ill, this third-generation Tahoe is being born into a different America — or two different Americas — than the one the first-generation Tahoe entered in 1995. An America where, as this is written, unleaded regular sells for an average of $2.19 a gallon,

WOW!!

40,000-60,000 for an SUV and we're whining about a GALLON of gas for $2.19

and gas-electric hybrids carry a lot of prestige among a lot of high-income buyers.

Okay.... That's why, Rolls, Bentley, Lambo, Ferarri, Cadillac, BMW and MB are all SCRAMBLING to make hybrids :rolleyes:

The blue state hard-core is never going to embrace the new Tahoe.

Or an american car in general... Oh wait, I forgot... Aparently Camry's are american cars now. Can't support 'the man' now can we.

Familiarly unfamiliar

The Tahoe on sale this month is the first of 12 products — including the various versions of the Chevrolet Suburban and Avalanche, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon — that GM will introduce this year based on the new T-900 architecture. It's better not because of any startling innovations, but because this time GM finally got the details right.

I thought it was pretty innovative, but I'll give him this.

Initially available only as a 4x4 (two-wheel-drive versions will come later this year), the new Tahoe is slightly bigger than the old one. The wheelbase carries over at 116 inches but overall length stretches from 196.9 inches to 202. Height is up from 76.7 to 77 inches and width has expanded from 78.9 inches to 79. But it looks more massive than that thanks to featureless flanks and a tall, blunt nose.

I think this is a good thing.... It's all about perception and IMO the reason Toyotas sell so well is because they all, although not always attractive, look very substantial. It reinforces the value for your money think.

The eight-seat 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe doesn't have a big, practical advantage over crossovers like the eight-passenger Honda Pilot. Except, of course, for towing.

Oh, of course (Sarcasm) And umm how about off road prowess???

and that's a bedrock virtue in red states where boats, campers and car carriers are part of the American dream.

Again, I don't understand why this is nessecery. I guess Democrats can't afford such luxuries or something. (I didn't say it, he did)

And in some blue states the stigma such vehicles now carry may be a load many buyers would rather not bear.

Which of course, was the reason for the red/blue context anyway. Right?

But if you need this, this is as good as this gets.

No obvious praise, of course..

*** I love how all of these high riding, SUV loving 'journalists' all of the sudden have become such GREEN MACHINES now that it's the popular thing to do...

They're just like immature high school students, they buy into the popular trends so that people will like them. Or, I guess they just found another way to cost Detroit a few more sales and carpe diem when the time was right.

Restrained use of chrome and a single roof-mounted antenna that handles satellite and terrestrial radio sources give the Tahoe a clean look.

Hidden just beneath the rear hatch's big gold "bowtie" is this small video camera that feeds an image to the dashboard's display screen when the truck is in reverse.

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Satty    338

FOG, you're trying harder to find a flaw in this review than any member of the media has ever tried to find a flaw in a car or truck from GM. And the "bias" you do find is such a stretch no rational person would buy into your view of it. Get some meds man, its getting old.

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Flybrian    0

FOG, you're trying harder to find a flaw in this review than any member of the media has ever tried to find a flaw in a car or truck from GM.  And the "bias" you do find is such a stretch no rational person would buy into your view of it.  Get some meds man, its getting old.

I do think he has a valid point in that the political commentary in auto reviews is way, way, way past its prime. It was mildly amusing at some point, but its plain annoying now and simply adds to how lousy a read most Edmunds reviews are. Agree, disagree, whatever, their commentary ("SRTness") is so sad.

The Tahoe is not a reason why "the world hates us." Its as valid as saying every Frenchman, Frenchwoman, and Frenchchild should burn in hell because that Menage coupe has more overhangs than an Avis lot of Grand Prixs.

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Member55    0

FOG, you're trying harder to find a flaw in this review than any member of the media has ever tried to find a flaw in a car or truck from GM.  And the "bias" you do find is such a stretch no rational person would buy into your view of it.  Get some meds man, its getting old.

X2

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FUTURE_OF_GM    26

FOG, you're trying harder to find a flaw in this review than any member of the media has ever tried to find a flaw in a car or truck from GM.  And the "bias" you do find is such a stretch no rational person would buy into your view of it.  Get some meds man, its getting old.

My point is as blatantly simple as your avatar Satty...

There is no need to make an auto review into a divided political debate, just as we here at C&G have a no politics policy.

His job is not to determine how buyers of Tahoes will vote, it is to review the vehicle. His political affiliation most certainly got in the way of a 100% fair review.

And frankly, I really don't give an d*** about the politics of this country anymore, everyone is corrupt, blue people suck, red people suck, I don't care to b8tch about a country that is past it's prime and falling and I'm over it. That said, I'd prefer for it not to slither it's way into one of my hobbies.

Anyway; sure I'll admit that I was having a lot of fun nitpicking. :D

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usa1    0

Every article on the new Tahoe has been the same so far.

There is praise for the vehicle in every way. However, there is an overriding theme in the stories on politics (like this one) or oil prices (Carn and Driver and MotorTrend).

Where is this fuel economy obssession with ANY other vehicle?

What is so politically charged about a Tahoe?

How is its significant improvement in fuel economy anything but good news?

Why the stupid and relentless spin?

You have to litterally wade through all the garbage to get to the net results: the new Tahoe is great.

Typical anti-GM, anti-Detroit bias.

Mark

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Shantanu    0

I stopped reading when they went into politics in about the third or fourth line. Waste of my time.

For "blue state" dwellers here's the bad news on the same subject: GM is still addicted to full-size SUVs! Despite marginal improvements in efficiency, the new Tahoe is an indulgent, thirsty, oversized monster that threatens smaller vehicles while exacerbating America's dependence on imported oil and hastening global warming. So what if it's the best full-size SUV ever built? It's also why the rest of the world hates us.

Maybe people in California think like that, but having lived in other blue states like famously Democratic leaning New York, only a handful of whackos actually think things like that.

Plus it's such an ignorant comment, it leads one to wonder about how little the author actually knows about cars and the auto industry. The Tahoe line was due for a replacement and does the author think that GM should simply walk away from hundreds of thousands of unit sales, costing many people's jobs? And the man on the Arab street does not hate America because of the Chevy Tahoe (in fact big American SUVs are quite popular in the Middle East). Nor does the arrogant European despise America because of the Chevrolet Tahoe. I sometimes wonder what kinds of morons they hire for these writing jobs these days. Or maybe something is wrong with the public school system. ^_^

Edited by Shantanu

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Newbiewar    1

one thing i noticed... someone said it doesnt have folding third row seats and it does, they just dont fold into the ground...

umm... but let me get this straight they are complaining about the fuel ecconomy?

okay... let me get this straight, they are complaining that in 2006, when the Tahoe is class leading fuel ecconomy with 15-20 mpg... and they continue to complain when they increase (the already leading fuel ecconomy) the highway efficency by 10% to be even better on gas?

and they are still complaining these are gas hogs? its the best in the industry why dont they make fun of Toyota for having the worst?

2007 Chevrolet Tahoe "EPA est. mpg: 17city/22 hwy"

2006 Chevrolet Tahoe "EPA est. mpg: 16city/20 hwy"

2006 Ford Expidition "EPA est. mpg: 14 city/19 hwy "

2006 Dodge Dakoda v8 "EPA est. mpg: 14 city/19 hwy"

2006 Toyota Sequoia "EPA est. mpg: 15 city/ 18 hwy"

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sciguy_0504    0

Considering that most cars are more efficient on the highway rather than on city roads, I'd rate the Expedition and Dakota (though it's not a large SUV) as the worst of that bunch.

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