12 Best Family Cars: 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
The full-size SUV segment’s perennial bestseller by an overwhelming margin, the Chevrolet Tahoe follows up its recent win in our latest KBB Best Buy Awards competition by maintaining its spot in our 2017 Best Family Car awards field, as well. While some of its rivals may excel in certain individual performance criteria or offer less refinement for a lower price of entry, the 2017 Tahoe still represents the single best total execution of a large SUV thanks to its superb combination of style, comfort and capability. Available in LS, LT and a new Premier trim that replaces the previous LTZ grade, as well as rear-drive or 4-wheel drive configurations, this versatile hauler steps up its appeal even further for the new season, adding several comfort/convenience features that increase its already formidable attractiveness to real-world buyers who want or need a family car with the kind of large-scale competence the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe offers.
Structure that melds the best of strength and civility
Despite using a fair amount of the same basic body-on-frame construction design that underpins Chevy’s full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup, the Tahoe enjoys a host of focused upgrades that put their own distinctive comfort and control-enhancing spin on the hardware. In our latest full review, we noted those changes result in a driving experience that “pushes the limits of what is possible with this type of architecture.” The key to that people-centric transformation centers around a retuned suspension setup that includes the availability of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control adaptive damping system, which is standard on the range-topping Premier variant.
Beyond an engagingly compliant ride and better body control, especially when the roads get twistier, the Chevy Tahoe adds communicative steering and capable, confident brakes that further burnish its dynamic character, as well as Hill Start Assist and StabiliTrak. And while maneuvering in close quarters still leaves no doubt you’re behind the wheel of a full-size SUV, the Tahoe’s standard rear-vision camera and available front/rear park-assist systems make negotiating crowded parking lots far less challenging.
A bounty of family-friendly features
Whether you’re traveling across town or across the country, the Chevy Tahoe offers first-rate accommodations for up to nine in a cabin that’s designed to be equally appealing to the driver and to passengers. Standard features in all trim levels include welcome items like tri-zone climate control, Chevrolet MyLink with 8.0-inch color touchscreen, OnStar with its array of services plus available 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay support, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a huge covered center storage bin plus a selection of ports and inputs. While the Tahoe’s comfortable front buckets are the best seats in the house, the second row – whether occupied by a split-bench or captain’s chairs – is fully adult accommodating. Although its third tier is definitely scaled for smaller family members, the aft seats in all Tahoe variants fold flat to expand the basic 15.3-cu ft cargo area to a 94.7-cu ft max spec.
The Tahoe’s family-centric feature set expands as you move up through the LT and Premier grades to add things like leather upholstery, Bose premium audio systems, navigation, wireless charging for mobile devices and Keyless Entry while expanding available options to include a power sunroof, power tilt/telescoping steering column, hands-free power liftgate and an enhanced rear-seat entertainment system that adds a new HDMI/MHL connector, an additional USB port, digital headphones and device projection plus a new video voiceover feature that can help visually or hearing-impaired passengers. New this year, the Tahoe lineup adds the Teen Driver feature that helps parents coach and monitor behind-the-wheel behavior of younger, less-experienced operators, plus the industry’s first Rear Seat Reminder that prompts the driver to check and confirm that a small child or pet isn’t inadvertently left inside when the vehicle is parked.
A personable performer
The sole engine in the 2017 Chevy Tahoe is GM’s well-proven direct-injected 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8. Fitted with efficiency-enhancing Active Cylinder Management and backed by a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission, it develops a solid 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, sufficient to let the Tahoe tow up to 8,600 pounds (8,400 pounds in four-wheel-drive versions). Tahoes with four-wheel drive also boast a dual-range transfer case to help when off-roading, while all versions come with a heavy-duty locking rear differential that can improve traction on any type of challenging terrain. The Tahoe also either features or offers a full array of the latest in safety systems. The long list includes Forward Collision Alert with Low-Speed Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Front/Rear Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, a vibrating Safety Alert Seat, and front, head-curtain side-impact and seat-mounted side-impact airbags.
More 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
To learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, you can read our full review. If you’re ready to take the next step, build and price your own Tahoe to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more.