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2018 Chevrolet Tahoe

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2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Expert Review

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

KBB Expert Rating: 9.2

With acres of interior space, high-tech safety and infotainment features and V8 towing power, the stylish 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe continues to dominate the full-size category. It’s available with 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD, 4WD) with low range, and competes with other 3-row giants including the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia and its mechanical twin, the GMC Yukon. Three trim levels are offered, LS, LT and Premier, and several seating configurations are available including a front bench seat that expands capacity to nine passengers. The 8-passenger configuration is far more popular, and 2nd-row captain’s chairs, which turn the new Tahoe into a 7-seater, are also in demand. For 2018, Chevy is also introducing the Tahoe Custom, a 5-passenger model that deletes the third row for more cargo space. Pricing starts as low as $44,995 for a 2WD LS, while a fully loaded Premier can top $75,000.

You'll Like This Car If...

Spacious, luxurious and V8-powered, few vehicles are better equipped to get the kids to school, the team to practice or your RV to the campsite. The family-friendly Tahoe may be the ultimate road trip device, and its optional 4-wheel drive means it can take you places other SUVs can’t.  

You May Not Like This Car If...

There are less expensive and far more fuel-efficient 3-row SUVs available, including Chevy’s own Traverse. Some may also find the sheer size of the Tahoe to be intimidating and its girth can be hard to park in crowded lots. Although comfortable, some car-based SUVs provide a smoother ride.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 9.2
  • 9.1
  • 8.8
  • 8.9
  • 9.1
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#20

out of 24

Fuel Economy

#5

out of 24

Horsepower
View all rankings
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

New for 2018 is the Rally Sport Truck or RST special edition, which gives the Tahoe a street performance image with blacked-out trim, a body-color grille surround and door handles. A Borla exhaust system, larger Brembo brakes and a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission are options. Also joining the lineup is the Tahoe Custom, a 2-row, 5-passenger variant of the base LS model.

Driving the Tahoe
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Full-size SUVs like the 2018 Chevy Tahoe are still the kings of the urban jungle. Which is exactly what you feel like perched up high behind its leather-wrapped steering wheel....

... The big 5.3-liter V8 even roars like a lion. The days of the truck-like SUV that rides like a tractor are long gone. The new Tahoe is big, but it’s a pussycat from inside its luxurious interior. Visibility is excellent, its steering is light and its cabin is exceptionally quiet. The Tahoe also rides admirably, despite its antiquated solid-axle rear suspension. Order the 22-inch wheels and you will sacrifice some ride comfort, but with the available Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), which continually adjusts the shocks to the conditions, it’s a smooth ride, even in the way-back third row. The V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission work well together, and deliver acceleration and passing power that will make you smile.

CHEVY MYLINK
Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system is one of the easiest to use and quicker-responding systems available. With detailed graphics and an intuitive 8-inch touch-screen interface, the system offers onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, voice activation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. An easily navigated Navigation system is also available.

TEEN DRIVER TECHNOLOGY
Exclusive to Chevy’s products, this clever system sends you updates on your teen’s driving habits. It also disables the SUV’s sound system until the front-seat occupants have buckled their seatbelts, and it allows you to set a speed alert and a volume limit on the Tahoe’s audio system.

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Details
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The Tahoe’s comfortable driver’s seat adjusts multiple ways. Combine that seat with the standard tilt steering (and telescoping in LT and Premier trims) wheel and the optional power-adjustable pedals, it’s easy to find a sweet spot. The materials are overwhelmingly upscale, and the controls are easy to find and figure out. The large 8-inch touch screen is as easy to use as any smartphone. While the column-mount gearshift lever is oddly old-school, it opens up the console for massive storage. Adults will wish the second row adjusted fore and back, not just for seatback angle. The third row can handle adults but is best for kids. In the new Tahoe Custom, the third row is removed entirely, which opens up 54 cubic feet a space -- a couple more than standard models with the third row folded.

Exterior
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe photo

You immediately know it's a Chevy, with the big bow tie on the grille, and you immediately know it's a big truck. But you'd be forgiven if you didn't realize the new Tahoe was still based on Chevy's full-size Silverado pickup, as they share zero body panels. The Tahoe and GMC Yukon are also twins under the skin. We like the Tahoe’s sharp-edged styling, sculpted flanks, and new LED daytime running lights. The Tahoe looks wider than its GMC Yukon cousin thanks to the wide grille that blends into the headlights. Shorter drivers will love the available power running boards.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The standard engine in the 2018 Tahoe is a 5.3-liter V8 connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Opt for the basic LS and you still get a nicely equipped SUV. There are cloth seats, a 6-speaker audio system that includes Bluetooth streaming plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. There's also Teen Driver, which helps you monitor and set limits on your younger driver's activities. Along with airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control, the Tahoe comes standard with a full suite of OnStar automatic crash response and other safety features.

Optional Equipment

You can snuggle with your sweetie as you drive the 2018 Tahoe LS thanks to the available front bench seat. The mid-level LT can be equipped with almost everything available on the higher-level Premier thanks to the LT's Luxury Package, which adds leather seating and more. The Premier comes only with seats for seven, while the LT can still seat up to eight. Tech-based active safety systems like Forward Collision Alert, Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Alert and Safety Alert Seat are also offered. And of course, 4-wheel drive with a low range is available.

Under the Hood
2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Engine photo

Two V8 engines are available in the new 2018 Chevy Tahoe. Most are powered by a 5.3-liter 355-horsepower V8 with high-tech fuel injection that enhances both fuel economy and power; it also features GM's Active Cylinder Management, which imperceptibly shuts off half the cylinders under steady cruise to help preserve fuel. This engine works with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and while it's certainly smooth and seamless, we do wish GM would offer the excellent 8-speed automatic that's available in some Silverado pickup models. Order the RST special edition and opt for the Performance Package, and the Tahoe gets the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic from the Cadillac Escalade. Two- and 4-wheel drive with a proper low range for real off-road duty are available.

5.3-liter V8
355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (2WD), 16/22 mpg (4WD)

6.2-liter V8
420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (2WD), 15/20 mpg (4WD)

A rear-wheel-drive 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe LS has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $48,500, including the $1,295 destination charge. If you only need two rows of seating for five passengers, you can shave $3,750 off that price with the new Custom Edition package. The midgrade 
LT comes in at about $53,500 and its much longer list of standard features makes it worth the additional money. For all the leather and chrome glitz you can handle this side of a Cadillac Escalade, the Premier starts at about $63,000. If you want 4WD on your Tahoe, add another $3,000. That's quite a bit more than the Nissan Armada, and even the Toyota Sequoia; however, the larger and newly redesigned Ford Expedition has a higher starting price. Resale is another consideration; the Tahoe beats the Ford and Nissan, but generally isn't quite up to the Sequoia's. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Tahoe.

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