Kelley Blue Book Best Buys of 2017: Full-Size SUV
Chevy’s primo hauler turns a hat trick with another Best Buy award
Playing from its ongoing position of strength, the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe returns for a third consecutive year as our Kelley Blue Book Best Buy winner in the Full-Size SUV Category. Although the competition in this arena continues to grow stiffer and even more formidable, the Tahoe still resonates with us for the same reasons it remains the overwhelming best-seller among buyers of these ultimate high-function haulers. This Chevrolet has a compelling blend of design, comfort and day-to-day versatility coupled with an extremely attractive cost-to-benefit ratio that makes it a total-value proposition with appeal that endures long after the new has worn off.
Features galore and now even more
Offered in LS, LT and a new Premier trim that replaces the LTZ to bring it into line with Chevrolet’s current vehicle naming system, the Tahoe adds an extra measure of polish to the mix for 2017. Although its stylish exterior carries over unchanged, active aero shutters up front now let the Tahoe present an even tidier face to the wind at higher speeds. A new Teen Driver feature that encourages safer behind-the-wheel behavior by less experienced operators also becomes standard as does a new Rear Seat Reminder to ensure even younger members of the family are never inadvertently left behind. And low-speed automatic braking joins the available lane keep assist, forward collision alert and rear cross-traffic alert systems on the 2017 driver-assist option roster. Even the Tahoe’s available rear-seat entertainment system gets a makeover that adds greater functionality and new digital headphones.
A great inside game
Without question, one of the most endearing aspects of the Chevy Tahoe is its well-designed and well-isolated passenger compartment. Matching contemporary visual character with an outstanding level of user-friendliness, it offers legitimate luxury touches that rival those found in far more expensive premium SUVs. Beyond great basics like highly legible gauges and logically arrayed controls, we love the Tahoe’s outstanding MyLink infotainment system, available 4G LTE Wi-Fi, tri-zone climate control and bounty of front/rear ports and power outlets -- not to mention plenty of stow space including a positively huge covered center console bin that can be crowned with a wireless charging pad. The Tahoe features comfortable and accommodating front buckets and a second-row split bench or optional captain’s chairs. While its third-row seat is admittedly scaled for smaller occupants, both the second and third row offer a slick power-folding function that eases access and creates a flat-floor bay that can hold nearly 95 cu-ft of cargo.
One smooth operator
Although sharing a good deal of its basic platform architecture with the highly regarded Silverado pickup, the Tahoe’s suspension has been specifically tuned to deliver an even better balanced mix of comfort and control under all driving conditions. This is particularly true in the top-line Premier that comes standard with GM’s Magnetic Ride Control adaptive damping system. Nicely weighted steering and confidence-inspiring brakes also impress with their feel and feedback while adding even more dynamic appeal to the Tahoe whether you’re journeying across town or across the country. And for those close encounters with less-than-wide-open spaces, the Tahoe’s first-rate rear-vision camera and available front/rear park-assist systems make it easier to maneuver in and out of tighter confines.
While the Tahoe gets its motivation from just one engine, the direct-injected 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 residing underhood is a genuinely impressive piece. Fitted with variable valve timing and GM’s Active Fuel Management system that allows it to operate on just four cylinders when the Tahoe is cruising along under light loads, this V8 develops a solid 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Backed by an equally seamless electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode, the engine also earns an impressive 16 mpg EPA city rating in both rear-drive and 4-wheel drive configurations with the former returning 23 mpg on the highway -- the best open-road number of any full-size SUV -- and the latter netting a still noteworthy 22 mpg mark. In addition to being a master of efficiency, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,600 pounds when fitted with the Max Trailering Package, or go heading for adventure where the pavement ends when optioned with its Z71 Off-Road Package and available dual-range transfer case.
Although it’s possible to find a full-size SUV for less than the Chevrolet Tahoe, we’re convinced that for most families, it continues to reflect the most desirable blend of assets and accommodations for the money.
More 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
If you think the Chevrolet Tahoe might be right for you or just want to learn even more about it, check out our 2017 Tahoe full review. And when you're ready to start looking at the numbers, build and price your own Tahoe to unlock this week's Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.
KBB Video: 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
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