2007 Chevrolet Tahoe – Review: The current generation Chevy Tahoe is so much better than the vehicle it replaces, it’s hard to believe they both came from the same company. Improved dynamically, stylistically, and in virtually every subjective and objective measure, Chevy’s full-size sport ute leaps to the head of the class, outdone only by its GMC and Cadillac stablemates. It’s not perfect, and the faults it has can be glaring, but overall, if you’re a boat-towing, motorcycle-hauling, big family-having, don’t-give-a-damn-about-gas-prices type, it’s hard to find a better overall choice. The biggest shame, of course, is that this best Tahoe ever may be something of a swan song, as the popularity of full-size SUVs is fading in light of politics and gas prices.
What We Drove
Our test vehicle was a loaded 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ, with few if any options left unchecked. The basic LT costs $39,320 (including a $900 destination charge), for which you get air conditioning, power everything, tilt steering, a 5.3-liter flex-fuel V8 engine connected to a four-speed automatic, and a towing package. The $8,860 LTZ package adds a power rear liftgate, leather upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control, 20-inch wheels and chrome grille and exterior trim among many other features. Our test vehicle also featured the $2,250 navigation system, the $1,295 rear seat DVD entertainment system, a $995 sunroof and the exceptionally helpful $250 rear view camera system. The total came to an eye-popping $52,970.
The 5.3-liter flex-fuel engine in our test Tahoe musters a respectable 320 horsepower and 340 lb.-ft. of torque. Floor it and you get acceptable acceleration, and there’s enough grunt down low to keep you pretty satisfied, but the problem is the old-school four-speed automatic. Though once four speeds were plenty, today Chevy’s lagging behind the five and six speeds of other manufacturers; a six-speed is coming, and it can’t happen too soon. The transmission is slow to downshift, and when it does, it’s with more lurching than today’s standards allow. Although this V8 features GM’s active cylinder management, which shuts down half the cylinders under light throttle and deceleration, we still recorded lousy economy of only 13.3 mpg.