People think Americans want fast cars, but that’s not true. Americans love big vehicles. What they really desire are big cars and trucks. If they are fast so much the better.
The 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD RST is one of a long line of big vehicles from General Motors that have dominated the market for full-size sport-utility vehicles for years despite some half-hearted challenges from Toyota and Ford, and more recently Stellantis. It easily accommodates three rows of seats in its rather spacious interior and also comes with a full array of comfort and convenience features.
The power comes from a 6.2-iiter “EcoTech” V-8, which is matched to a 10-speed transmission, so it has plenty of power for hauling a full-load of passengers, a boat or a heavy-duty trailer.
Tradition reigns supreme
There is really no way to disguise the Tahoe’s substantial bulk. There are no curves in the sheet metal or sloping roof applied to make the vehicle. Instead, GM designers have embraced the size of the Tahoe and its big, bold stance.
When it’s parked at a curb or a driveway or moving through traffic, the Tahoe looks imposing even on the road where big utility vehicles and pickup trucks commonplace. The Tahoe also comes with exterior touches such running boards, 20-inch wheels, an impressive grille, which sports Chevrolet’s bowtie insignia and carefully designed light fixtures both in the front and rear of the vehicle.
Not the same inside
One of the changes or evolutions in the automotive business over the years is the way manufacturers have come to emphasize the comfort for both drivers and passengers, using pickup trucks and utility vehicles.
The 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD RTS certain continues and embellishes the trend with interior that is spacious, comfortable and full of luxury touches, such as leather seats and the use of soft material on inner doors and wrapped around the instrument panel. The center stack is wide enough to type on you laptop or eat lunch, while the screens are big and vivid.
There is also plenty of storage space built in around the front seats. In the vehicle I drove, the Tahoe’s middle seats were equipped with screens for entertainment and the visibility from the driver’s seat was excellent.
The big Tahoe is equipped with multiple airbags to protect both the front and rear-seat passengers. It is also equipped with forward-collision alert, automatic emergency braking and rear pedestrian alert. It also comes with a long list of driver assistance features including rear-cross-traffic, blind-spot and lane departure alerts.
It also is equipped with adaptive cruise control, intelligent high beams and a heated steering wheel. The Tahoe also has a color touch screen, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a hands-free liftgate and LED headlights and daytime running lights.
Big power, low mpg
The 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe is equipped with General Motors 6.2-liter Ecotech V-8 engine, which is matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It is also equipped with stop-start feature, limited-slip differential, transfer case, four-wheel drive and four exhaust pipes.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD RST a combined fuel economy rating of sixteen miles per gallon, including 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. It is capable of towing 8,400 pounds.
Big car, not sports car
While equipped with power steering, the 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe is not the most maneuverable vehicle because of its bulk. The steering is responsive, and it is equipped with solid brakes, which is comforting given its size. But the Tahoe also is equipped with a “high-capacity suspension,” which helps deliver a smooth, comfortable ride. It also is equipped for off pavement travel on dirt or gravel roads.
The vehicle has plenty of power, although I found the transmission was bit sluggish so the torque did not seem to reach the wheels as quickly as the driver might anticipate. But the big engine delivers once it gets up to freeway speed.
No surprises, just goodness
Like I said at the outset, Americans seem to love big vehicles and the Tahoe has a lot of fans for good reasons. It can easily sit seven passengers with ease and even with all three rows of seats up there is still plenty of room for a full load of groceries or packages.
It also is a great vehicle for a family vacation. But it is large and bulky. It’s also expensive and its operating costs per mile are also expensive since the Tahoe only gets 16 mpg, according to the fuel economy rating from the Environmental Protection Agency.