SAN FRANCISCO: Funny that Chevrolet would title the top of the price sheet for the Tahoe
"Current Generation." Just what does that mean? Maybe the Generals a
little touchy because Dodge & Ford have brought out all new trucks recently while
Chevy has to soldier along with what amounts to as yesterdays product. But still,
yesterdays product is pretty decent. Ive got to admit, and this comes from an
avowed Ford guy, that the Tahoe, especially in the LTD version, is one heck of a nice
looking truck. Better looking to me than the Ford Expedition.
The Chevy Tahoe LTD that I drove was painted a stunning Onyx Black that seemed to
diminish its bulk. Add in the lack of chrome and the Tahoe almost became stealth (as much
as something this size can). One of the items that I appreciated about the Tahoe was its
height, or rather lack of height. I know that ground clearance is of supreme importance to
real off-roaders but come on. Why should you need a stepladder to get into a vehicle that
is only going to be used on the same roads as your Impala? Reminds me of that Audi
commercial with the lady in a very tight, short skirt trying to get out of Paul
Anyway, back to the Tahoe. The Tahoe came with the 5.7-liter, Vortec V8 (Vortec is the
new, small block Chevy engine) with a four-speed automatic transmission. Unlike a Chevy
pickup I drove last year with this combination, the Tahoes transmission was the
epitome of decorum - nice, crisp shifts that were never harsh, and instant downshifts,
always into just the right gear. Just what I want an automatic transmission to do.
One thing this Tahoe LTD did not come with, and I certainly did not miss it, was
four-wheel-drive (4WD). As far as Im concerned 4WD is vastly over-rated. Oh sure, if
you happen to live somewhere, far off the beaten track, you may find 4WD reassuring, maybe
even helpful. But if you live where the majority of North Americans live, deep in the
heart of suburbia, then you might need, really need, 4WD about once in a lifetime. And it
will probably be the one time you dont have it.
So the Tahoe LTD did not have 4WD. Of course it still had those big, meaty, 4WD looking
tires on all four corners. So when you get to that place on the highway where the
Gendarmes want you to put on chains or have 4WD, you just hold up four fingers and drive
on by. Just remember to drive sensibly and youll have no trouble at all.
No matter what the weather is like on the outside, inside the Tahoe LTD youll be
all comfy and cozy. Standard luxury features include keyless remote locking system,
solar-ray tinted glass, and six-way power driver seat. The Limited package adds such
nicetys as two-tone, custom leather high back buck seats (front); rear air
conditioning; locking rear differential; unique alloy wheels; and special ground effects
(yeah, its a race truck). All of this stuff is at no extra cost.
It took me a little while to find a comfortable driving position in the Tahoe LTD. I
just could not seem to get the seat back at the right angle. That and the fact that the
seat cushion seemed to be so overstuffed that even my big butt did not make a dent in it.
But I finally settled in to where even after a two hundred mile round trip didnt
Complaints? Surprisingly few. The remote locking system did not seem to have the range
of others Ive used (maybe the batteries were low?) and it was difficult to get the
rear hatch to unlock with the keyless. The rear door was way too heavy, so maybe its
time to replace it with plastic? There was also a rattle when you shut any of the doors.
Thats about it.
Surprisingly, I was able to get very near the highway fuel economy rating of 18 mpg on
a trip where I ran a steady 70 - 75 mph. I would imagine that the rating of 14 mpg in the
city is similarly realistic. But lets not fool ourselves - 18 mpg is not great,
its just good for this type of vehicle.
Price out the door for the Chevrolet Tahoe LTD was $35,626. Chevrolet should be
congratulated for including the California emissions package at no charge. While Im
no big fan of overly large SUVs, I will admit that the Tahoe LTD was a very nice
package. By Bruce Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Chevy Home Page
Byline: By Bruce Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Column Name: Chevy's "Current Generation" Tahoe SUV
Topic: 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe Limited SUV
Word Count: 776
Photo Caption: 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV
Photo Credits: Chevrolet Truck PR
Series #: 2000 - 9
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