San Francisco: Pulling
out all the stops on redesigning its fleet of cars and trucks, Chevrolet
is making it clear that it will not lose any more ground (nee, market
share) to any and all of its rivals by bringing more new product to life
this year. We got a chance to spend a week with the all-new 2007 Tahoe
and what a ride it is.
Redesigned from the
ground up, the Tahoe now has rounded lines and tight seems where it had
angular surfaces and plastic cladding to hide behind for the last 10
years or so it seems.
What the designers and
stylists have done is give the old girl a much-needed facelift and tummy
tuck. The lines have been smoothed out and the muscles are showing, not
bad for a vehicle that can trace its lines to the 1930s.
In stark contrast to
the ’07 GMC Yukon we recently drove, the Tahoe we were given to test was
tops of the line with four-wheel-drive, leather captains chairs all
around and three rows of seats, making this one a seven-passenger.
While this is close to
what you might get with a Suburban, the space behind that third row is
not very useful, where the extra inches the ‘Burb carries goes directly
to the cargo area, making it much more efficient at carrying all those
people and their stuff.
misunderstand, the Tahoe is no slouch at carrying seven passengers, as
long as the rearmost row is full of little people and they don’t need
silly things like clothes and toiletries.
The new look features
clean lines and softer styling, while keeping a similar look from years
past; think of it as an evolution not revolution.
Up front, the grill is
given the now-standard Chevy treatment of a strong crossbar with
integrated Chevy bowtie, tying the design with the other Chevy products.
Also, the domed hood and aggressive angles of the headlight clusters
give the new Tahoe a snarl that seems to say “get of my way or I’ll roll
As with the Yukon, gaps
are controlled and smaller, giving truck a more quality,
carved-from-one-piece-of-metal look. Add to that the all-black luggage
rack and running boards and the Tahoe seems to be moving uptown, with
interior accoutrements to back that assumption up.
Speaking of the
interior, the four captains chairs are comfy and make long rides
something to look forward to. Heated seats are always good and these
were well bolstered and much better than the bench in the Yukon.
The new dash design is
quite handsome and the materials were the best we’ve seen in a Chevy
truck. Everything also felt very familiar, like they updated the look
and feel, but didn’t stray far from the previous design. Again,
One thing we found
particularly neat was the rain-sensing wipers. These systems have been
around for a few years but we weren’t expecting it to show up on a
Chevy, let alone a Tahoe. We figured it out on a day when the rain was
spotty. We turned on the wipers to get the windshield clear and wondered
why they didn’t keep running every minute or so (as we had set the
intermittent interval for). Then, a few raindrops and the wipers sprang
to life! How glorious it felt to not have to keep adjusting the timing,
or to turn the wipers on when a little rain fell. Talk about a home run
for “America’s brand”.
And speaking of rain,
that same day, as we were out and about in a heavy downpour, we actually
got the big Tahoe into a four-wheel drift by hitting the go-pedal a bit
too hard and inducing wheelspin. The only non-fun part was the
intervention of the traction control system, which we immediately shut
off for some more good times.
Handling for such a big
vehicle is always in question and the Tahoe answers by giving good
feedback through the controls and keeping most body motions to a
minimum, as the laws of physics will allow. With that said, this new
truck with its improved structure with fully boxed frame, wider front
and rear tracks and a lower center of gravity handles like a vehicle
half its size. We found ourselves driving hard and fast through areas we
would never had thought to do in the old Tahoe, which brought us to the
conclusion that it’s a little big for rallying but what a blast it might
be out there!
Power is good enough to
get you moving to highway speeds without too much fuss (5.3-liter V8,
320 horsepower/335 lb.-ft. of torque), just not good enough to push you
deep into your seat. But with gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon,
it’s good to know that the Tahoe we drove, with Active Fuel Management
that shuts down four cylinders when at cruising speed, should save trips
to the gas man, just not as many as we’d like. The EPA rates the 5.3 in
our test Tahoe at 15 city and 21 highway, compared with 14 city and 18
highway for last year’s model.
Pricing on the Tahoe is
in the stratosphere for non-luxury SUVs, but you do get a lot for what
you pay. The base price on our four-wheel-drive LT was $37,665.00, which
included such niceties as four-wheel antilock disc brakes, the flex-fuel
5.3-liter V8 with active fuel management 17-inch aluminum wheels, a
review mirror with auto dimming, compass and outside temperature, tow
package, luggage rack and heated outside mirrors.
Add to the lofty price
our options (LT3 equipment group ($3650) - leather bucket seats; 12-way
power seats for driver and front passenger; radio with MP3-capable
six-disc changer, Bose speakers and XM; power adjustable pedals; head
curtain side airbags; rear parking assist; outside power folding mirrors
with auto-dimming and turn signals and triple-zone climate controls.);
three-passenger third row seating ($860); second row bucket seats ($490)
with heat ($200); power liftgate ($350); P265/70R17 all-season tires
($125); rain-sensing wipers ($95) and a destination charge of $875.00
and the as-tested price for our loaded Tahoe was $44,605.00. Whew!
James E. Bryson © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
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2007 Chevy Tahoe
Column Name: The New Tahoe Is Grand In Size And Price
Topic: The 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
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