The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe marks the last year of the current generation with a new top trim, while retaining its truck-based utility, a pair of muscular V8s, a luxurious interior, and an abundance of options. Holding it back is the lack of a diesel or hybrid model, an oddly high cargo floor, and truck-like handling.

Best Value

Prices for the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe start at $49,195 for a rear-wheel-drive LS, but rises to over $81,000 for the new Premier Plus Edition with all the trimmings. Two engines are offered. Most models feature a 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, while buyers who opt for either the RST Premier Edition with the Performance Package or the Premier Plus edition will find a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V8 under the hood mated to a 10-speed automatic, as well as Chevy's Magnetic Ride Control suspension.

Base LS models come with a boatload of standard features, including third-row seating, 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, power front seats, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, three-zone automatic climate control, 4G LTE and available WiFi hotspot, a rearview camera, and rear park assist. Drivers with cargo to haul should appreciate the standard locking rear differential, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, seven-wire harness, trailering hitch platform, two-inch receiver, trailer sway control, external oil cooler, and hill start assist.

Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and automatic headlights with high-beam assist are optional on the LS and standard on the LT and Premier trims.

Most 2019 Tahoes will exit the Arlington, Texas factory equipped with the 5.3-liter V8, and the typical advice when shopping for a Chevy applies – go with the mid-level trim. This leads to the LT, which adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, and the aforementioned safety gear for a reasonable $54,195. Aside from four-wheel drive, we'd pass on optional extras, as they don't really contribute any must-haves to the Tahoe equation. Here’s how we’d build it:

  • Model: 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe LT/span>
  • Engine: 5.3-liter V8
  • Output: 355 hp / 383 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
  • MPG: 15 City / 21 Hwy
  • Options: Four-wheel drive ($3,000)
  • Base Price: $54,195 (including a $1,295 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $57,195

Performance

Chevrolet Tahoe

Featuring a truck's character and more ground clearance than most of the competition, the Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8 is strong and pairs well with the six-speed automatic transmission, and can run on four cylinders in low-load situations – a boon to fuel economy.

Mated to a smoother 10-speed automatic, the 6.2-liter V8 offers 28 additional hp and, more importantly, 254 additional lb-ft of torque at a penalty of just one mile per gallon city, while highway and combined mpg is identical. Coil springs improve the outgoing Silverado-based solid rear axle's ride quality, while models with 17- and 18-inch wheels ride the best, with good body control and a relaxing ride. Towing is firm and level, while the tow/haul mode prevents the gearbox from downshifting too quickly – an advantage when towing smaller trailers.

But compared to competitors, handling is ponderous, with optional 20- and 22-inch wheels firming up the ride without improving handling. And, despite nearly eight inches of ground clearance, the Tahoe's overall size hinders its off-road capabilities.

Style

The Tahoe continues to share its underpinnings with GMC's Yukon and Denali models as well as the Cadillac Escalade, with a design that's the most conservative of the four. A chrome-laden grille and semi-split headlights offer more style up front than the plainer rear fascia, and it's wrapped around a voluminous interior (15.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 52 cubic feet when it's folded, and a total of 95 cubic feet with both rows folded). The feeling is upscale with a slick-looking dashboard featuring high-mounted controls, and all-day comfort buckets up front. The second row's middle seat is fine for two on extended trips, while an optional set of captain chairs offers easier access to the third row.

Second row outboard passengers will find adequate head room and leg room, although a middle passenger makes things tight. Opting for the more comfortable middle row captain's chairs lowers passenger capacity, but allows easier access to the third row, although only children will find it comfortable for long trips. Finally, picking the third row delete option won't result in more cargo capacity since, oddly, removing it doesn't affect the height of the load floor.

The Best and Worst Things

The Tahoe's strong engine lineup, comfortable interior, and smooth ride are offset by its immense dimensions, truck-like handling, and poor fuel economy due to the lack of a diesel or hybrid drivetrain.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chevrolet Tahoe

A comfortable, spacious interior, day-long ride comfort, and available safety features should appeal to family buyers.

At the same time, the Tahoe's dismal fuel economy – though impressive for its class – is sure to turn off eco-conscious buyers.

The Bottom Line

Despite a smooth ride, strong V8 choices, impressive interior room, and the addition of a more luxurious top trim, the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe only manages a mid-pack score due to truck-like handling, large proportions, and fuel economy numbers that fall short of equally spacious crossover SUVs.