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Chevrolet
Tahoe
2016
Go
Patrick Frawley
Automotive Editor - August 18, 2015

Expert Rating

4.6 (Excellent)
MPG
16 City / 23 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe OVERVIEW

The Chevrolet Tahoe is one of GM's crown jewels: a big, comfortable, extremely capable classic SUV that is consistently and deservedly the bestseller in its class. If you're into serious hauling -- an off-road trek to a hunting cabin, carrying bulky cargo, pulling a trailer, loaded for a cross-continent family adventure vacation -- the Tahoe will handle it all with broad-shouldered ease and all-American style.

What's New for 2016

The Tahoe was thoroughly refreshed for 2015 so changes are minor. An Enhanced Driver Alert package is available on the LS line; among other details it includes a forward collision scanner and lane-keeping system. An aircraft-style heads-up display is available on the LTZ, and Apple's CarPlay iPhone-integration software is bundled with the infotainment system on all three trim levels.

Choosing Your Chevrolet Tahoe

The Tahoe is among the last of its kind -- a full-size truck-based body-on-frame SUV -- but it has also evolved to be perhaps the best of its kind as well. Driving a Tahoe is something of an experience in an age of rationally-sized front-drive sedans and car-based CUVs, given that it weighs nearly three tons and is larger than some big-city apartments. All that size and bulk translates to serious capability: seating for up to nine, nearly 95 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the seats folded, and the ability tow up to 8,500 pounds.

Power comes from a 5.3-liter V8 that sends 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque to a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive with a limited-slip differential is standard, and four-wheel-drive is a $3,000 option available across the trim lines. GM's powerplant team has managed to coerce the Tahoe into returning decent fuel mileage: cylinder deactivation and variable valve timing contribute to EPA estimates of 16 mpg city and 23 (RWD) or 22 (4WD) mpg highway.

Those heavy-duty roots provide a solid foundation for the massive amounts of comfort, convenience and safety gear that is either standard or available on the Tahoe. What looks like a truck on the outside is actually a very refined, secure, well-appointed vehicle inside and throughout.

Standard equipment for all Tahoes includes automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, a sound system including SiriusXM and HD radio, preparation for trailering, and GM's OnStar telematics system.

The Tahoe is available in three trim levels:

LS

The LS shares the same mechanical parts and superior capability as the other trim levels but leans more towards sensible comfort than outright luxury. Seats are upholstered in cloth and the infotainment system is a bit simpler -- although phone Bluetooth and a rear parking assistance system are still standard. A number of functional and dress-up options, including a lane-keeping system and a choice of alloy wheels, are available. And for maximum passenger flexibility the front and middle captain's chairs can be replaced by bench seats with three seatbelts, allowing for a total of nine passengers.

LT

The LT brings both a long list of upgrades and greater availability of options. Leather seats are now standard, and the stereo sings through Bose speakers. The liftgate is power-assisted. Bluetooth compatibility is upgraded to the MyLink system. Lane-departure sensors and power-adjustable pedals are now included. Available packages include the Z71 off-road suite, the Sun, Entertainment and Destinations package (sunroof, navigation, rear-seat DVD player), and the Texas Edition package (navigation and special wheels and emblems; Lone Star State residency not required).

LTZ

The LTZ brings it all and then some. The leather seats are heated and ventilated. The second and third rows of seats fold at the touch of a button, and the liftgate has a hands-free function. Navigation and a Bose Centerpoint speaker array are included in the infotainment system and blind-zone scanners are built into the power folding mirrors. The chassis wears a set of GM's amazing Magnetic Ride Control shocks which provide an unbelievable blend of confident handling and smooth, well-controlled ride. Among the few significant options are adaptive cruise control, the Sun, Entertainment and Destinations package, the Texas Edition package, and power-retractable side steps.

CarsDirect Tip

Given how it provides a massive boost to off-road and slippery-weather capability at a fair price and a minimal fuel-economy penalty, the 4WD system is a must. Past that the smart money is on the LT; it strikes a great balance between the elemental LS and the pricey LTZ and offers the most useful range of options, including the Z71 off-road package.

Get your price on a Chevrolet Tahoe »

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