2018 Chevy Tahoe 4WD Premier
Fun fact – The Chevrolet Tahoe is the best-selling full-size SUV in America. In fact, General Motors essentially owns the category of full-size SUV sales in the U.S. With its three-headed monster – Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade – General Motors is the undisputed leader of full-size SUVs. But does that mean every full-size SUV offering is a home run? Not exactly. Case-in-point, the 2018 Chevy Tahoe.
Things we dig…
Strong V-8 engine
Wide range of options and trims
User-friendly infotainment design
Very comfortable front row
Vibrating seat for collision warning
Things we don’t…
No diesel or hybrid
Second row falls short
Third row is for kids only
Low overall value
The 2018 Chevy Tahoe’s exterior is where this vehicle absolutely shines. Chevy’s design team has continued to make subtle improvements to the 2015 model year redesign and it shows. The Tahoe is a true truck-based SUV in platform and powertrain but it’s beautiful design and urban assault vehicle vibe make that fact an afterthought. Our 2018 tester was the 4WD variant in Premier trim, only helping in it’s overall design appeal. Though General Motors has it’s higher-quality/trim options in the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade, a fully equipped Tahoe with all the extra feature boxes checked certainly this a Luxury SUV candidate. There are a wide range of options with LS, LT and Premier trims as well as a new optional RST (Rally Sport Truck) Package.
The Tahoe box-like design is clean with subtle design cues in all the right places. This isn’t an exterior that creates too much of a love-it / hate-it response and that’s exactly what I like about it. Though my personal design preferences skew more towards a more progressive feel, I appreciate how well the simple-yet-buttoned up design expresses confidence. HID headlights, a heavy-chrome grille and sharp 18-inch alloy wheels give the 2018 Chevy Tahoe will make any driver or passenger feel like they’re hopping into an executive-level SUV.
The 2018 Tahoe’s interior is where things get complicated. The overall interior has been upgraded with premium and soft-touch materials throughout, especially in the most-touched locations (think steering wheel, arm rests, seats, etc.) Driver and front passenger spaces are ample and our Tahoe Premier package included heated and ventilated seats. Controls are placed high up for driver/front convenience and the 8-inch touchscreen with MyLink infotainment system were as clean and easy to use. There is plenty of storage with a massive center console and glove box, as well as a powered infotainment screen that raises to reveal a hidden compartment with USB port. Speaking of USB ports, they are everywhere and will assure very little passenger arguments of who gets the charging cable next. Just don’t leave your cables at home!
For all the hits of the front row, second and third rows fall a little flat. Second row passengers get a satisfactory experience but have no forward/backward adjustability and are at the mercy of the person in front of them for legroom. The seats also didn’t have the same level of comfort as the front but they’ll do the job. Rear passengers will be limited to children and the vertically challenged. Because of the raised floor (due to a solid rear axle suspension design), taller rear passengers will find their knees at chest level which is no way to ride. The raised floor also affects rear storage, even when the third row is folded flat.
There is a underwhelming 15.3 cubic of space behind the third row, 51.7 cubic feet with the seats folded flat and 94.7 cubic feet with third and second rows folded flat.
Performance & Driving
The 2018 Chevy Tahoe’s power plant is a 5.3-liter V-8 that produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Our 4WD Tahoe Premium’s fuel economy is EPA-rated at 16 MPG city and 22 MPG highway, and 18 MPG combined. These are decent numbers for a full-size SUV weighing over 5,500 lbs thanks to a cylinder deactivation system that can run on half of its cylinders, effectively turning this gas-guzzling beast into a 2.65-liter V4 sipper. This happens only under low-load situations but is still an impressive feature that helps you get the most for your gas money.
While the RST performance package adds giant 22-inch wheels for fantastic looks, you will pay for it in feel and comfort when driving on anything other than perfectly-laid asphalt. And if you find a place this road exists, let me know…I’ll be moving there. Stick to the 17-inch or 18-inch offerings for best overall comfort and performance.
That said, we’d love to test out the optional 6.2-liter V8 (available only with the RST package) through some sweeping backroad hills and turns. (Hi, Chevy Press Team!)
The 2018 Tahoe has a wide variety of options and trims, starting at a $47,500 MSRP and topping out at nearly $80,000 for the RST Performance Package and a few extras. That’s almost twice the starting price. Ouch. Our Tahoe Premier tester was $65,200 MSRP.
For this much cheddar, there are certainly better, more cost-effective options with similar or better features. So why is the Tahoe so popular and how on earth does Chevy keep customers showing up and rolling them of the showroom floor? Answers are sure to vary but it’s my assessment that the strength of the design and continual improvements both to the exterior, interior and performance of the Tahoe keep it as top pick amongst SUV shoppers. The Chevy Tahoe has developed a loyal fan base and continues to grow it year after year.
The 2018 Chevy Tahoe knows exactly what it is and makes no apologies for it. Being the best-selling full-size SUV of year certainly helps.
See you on the road,