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2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 4×4 Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Chevrolet, SUV, Test Drives

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Do you ever get that feeling that you will enjoy the latest iteration of a classic device that has been improved upon year after year? Just like the Apple iPhone, year after year we anticipate an improved version that we cannot wait for. Some cars are like that. I could name several that come to mind in the realm of sports cars. However, when it comes to the growing precedence of SUVs and crossovers, classically styled large body on frame variations are on a short list of anticipated, which includes my latest test drive review vehicle, the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe.


Year after year the Chevrolet Tahoe is an anticipated vehicle for those who desire the robust and rugged nature of what General Motor’s highly coveted body-on-frame SUV has to offer. With a long list of available trims, the Chevrolet Tahoe appeases to many who want to essentially customize their rugged SUV to fit their lifestyle. It just so happens that my 2015 Tahoe test vehicle is one equipped with the Z71 off-road package, back for this model year, employing off-road tires wrapped around darkened 18-inch alloy wheels, off-roading shocks and springs, black tow hooks, a 2-speed transfer case, and specialized underbody skid plates for those times that you must get down and dirty in the muck.

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe is powered by a tried and true 5.3-liter V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic transmission, another proven marvel in the General Motor’s fleet of rugged SUVs and trucks. The latest 5.3-liter V8 is an improvement over the outgoing generation, upping power by about 35 ponies and 48 lb-ft of torque. Transmitting power to the pavement through the automatic locking rear differential and electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system, my Tahoe Z71 4WD hits 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds.


Getting into the thick of things, considering the shear size and hefty 5,545 pounds to tote around, the Tahoe returns decently average EPA fuel consumption figures of 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Getting the 22 mpg highway figure does require use of the engine’s automatic cylinder deactivation to employ a V4 (4 cylinder) mode when under light load conditions or maintaining a steady cruising speed.

The ride quality of the latest Chevrolet Tahoe is surprisingly pleasant keeping unwanted body shake at a minimum and a nice planted feeling mostly thanks to a wider rear track and shear-style body mounts. Additionally, the use of the high-profile 18-inch off-roading tires equipped on my Z71-packaged Tahoe assisted to smooth out the ride, something that the optional 20-inch or massive 22-inch rollers may add harshness to.

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Handling and steering response takes on the expected traits of such a large body-on-frame SUV. Though, steering through the somewhat numb-feeling variable electric assist rack and lateral handling prove to be the most assuring of any Tahoe yet – taking that for what it’s worth. Towing abilities and cargo room continue to be in the upper echelon of its segment among other large body-on-frame SUVs with the ability to tow up to 8,300 pounds and pile in just over 1,700 pounds including up to 8 passengers.


The interior of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, as a newly designed model, has several soft touch surfaces with just the right amount of painted plastic trim pieces throughout. The Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system featuring its 7-inch color touch screen is a simplistic setup with large onscreen icon buttons and straightforward operation. The use of the built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi only adds to the value of my Tahoe Z71 test vehicle even if it does not have the optional navigation system. That’s what OnStar is there for – to download your destination to the system for turn-by-turn directions to wherever you desire to plant the Tahoe Z71’s four clawing off-road tires.

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In all, Chevrolet continues to stay on an even keel when it comes to their prided Tahoe SUV. The versatility with up to seating for 8 passengers combined with several creature comforts wrapped up in a no compromise large body-on-frame package capable of conquering small mountains, is the basis of the Tahoe that continues on in its best form yet. To boot, the value of the Chevrolet Tahoe keeps consumers returning without much of a guessing game for what they get with their money. My 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 4WD adding to its base mid-level LT trim level ($54,505) came to a comfortably-equipped price of $60,580 including a $1,195 destination charge.

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Copyright: 2015


  • Price: Base Tahoe 2×4 $47,000 est. / As-Tested Tahoe Z71 4WD $60,580
  • Engine: 5.3-liter V8 355 hp @ 5,600 rpm/ 383 ft-lbs torque @ 4,100 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed Automatic w/ tow mode
  • Drive: 4WD
  • Wheelbase: 116 in.
  • Total length: 204 in.
  • Total width: 80.5 in.
  • Total height: 74.4 in.
  • Ground clearance: 7.9 in.
  • Curb weight: 5,545 lbs. 4WD
  • Headroom: f-m-r-42.8/38.7/38.1 in.
  • Legroom: f-m-r-45.3/39/24.8 in.
  • Cargo volume: 15.3 cu.ft with all seats in place / 94.7 cu.ft. 2nd and 3rd row seats folded
  • Towing: Up to 8,300 lbs.
  • Fuel tank: 26.0 gallons
  • Turning circle: 39.0 ft.
  • EPA mileage: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway
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