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Original MSRP: $33,980 - $38,545
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2007 Chevrolet Tahoe Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe was new.

Most reviewers agree that the Tahoe delivers excellent overalll performance. U.S. News' Rick Newman says, "this truck is easy to drive," and adds that it "glides through curves, rather than forcing the driver to muscle it through."

Parking lot handling has long been a problem for full-sized SUVs, but not for the 2007 Tahoe. Motor Week writes, "the tight spot maneuverability of this still large SUV is simply amazing." Though it may not drive like a truck, the Tahoe can perform like one when needed, thanks to a powerful V-8 and the ability to tow 8,200 pounds when properly equipped.

Acceleration and Power

The base LS 2WD Tahoe comes equipped with a 4.8 liter V8, producing 295 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. Optional on the LS and standard on the other trims is a 5.3 liter V8, making 320 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque at 4200 rpm, which gives a respectable jump off the line and has an 8.6-second zero to sixty time. That power doesn't just go for speed, though. The Tahoe's engine is about efficiency as well as power. As the Boston Globe notes, "the 5.3-liter V-8 engine features displacement on demand. That means that with a cautious foot on the gas pedal, or during smooth highway driving, you can switch from a V-8 to a V-4 and save fuel." Thanks to displacement on demand, gas mileage is respectable for a full-size SUV: an EPA estimated MPG of 14 city and 20 highway.

Green buyers can opt for a 5.3-liter V8 that can run on regular or E85 fuel. However, when using E85, the fuel economy drops to an EPA estimated MPG of 10 city and 15 highway. If green buyers are willing to wait until 2008, the Tahoe will be available with a hybrid engine.

Reviewers say if there is a problem with the Tahoe's engine, it's how the power is translated by the transmission. A four-speed automatic is standard but, according to Newsday, "is unimpressive at a time when five-, six- and even seven-speed units are commonplace, but at least the tester's performed smoothly and responded quickly to requests for a downshift issued with a jab of the accelerator pedal." Car and Driver summed up their problem with the Tahoe's transmission by giving Chevy a recommendation: "The four-speed automatic should be replaced by the six-speed from the Escalade and Yukon Denali."

Handling and Braking

The majority of reviewers feel that the 2007 Chevy Tahoe delivers good handling. "The handling of the '07 Tahoe sets a new high-water mark for full-size SUVs," noted The Car Connection. Newsday felt the same way, reporting that "steering feels more responsive, the brakes seem better, the vehicle has less pitch and roll. Overall, even with a load of several hundred pounds, the Tahoe's performance envelope -- within which the driver feels securely in control -- extends further than its predecessor's, well beyond any American speed limits."

Despite its size, the Tahoe drives like a much smaller vehicle, giving drivers full-size SUV performance in a manageable package. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says, "On winding roads, the Tahoe certainly is no sharp carver of turns. But it handles as well or better than other big trucks, despite some lean in corners." Motor Week reports, "steering feel is impressive with first-time rack-and-pinion steering.... With all-vented discs and stiffer dual-piston calipers, the Tahoe also stops like a much smaller utility."

The good maneuverability the Tahoe offers is complemented by a nice ride. The Chicago Tribune says that during their test drive, the "ride was smooth without floating or being hard to manage. The suspension absorbed most of the road irregularities. Generously sized and well-cushioned seats helped, as did a couple inches wider track front and rear to reduce, but not eliminate, roll motion," while the Orlando Sentinel simply says, "On pavement, the Tahoe rides exceptionally well."

Powerful four-wheel disc brakes with ABS make the Tahoe easy to stop, despite its size. New Car Test Drive reports that "the brakes are responsive and smooth." Operating them is easy as well, with Car and Driver saying the "brake pedal feels firm."

Off-Roading

Opting for a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe with four-wheel drive means opting for an extremely capable vehicle, say reviewers. Though four-wheel drive does have a negative impact on the Tahoe's fuel economy, it adds an impressive amount of utility. L.A. Splash Magazine thinks "high-riding a 2007 Chevy Tahoe into the rough stuff of the Arizona desert is something that everybody should do at least once in their lifetime." The Car Connection found the Tahoe to be capable on and off-road. "It's one of the most un-trucky rides I have ever driven that still has very trucky toughness where it matters, including an even tougher hydroformed and fully boxed bolt-on steel frame."

Towing

With four-wheel drive and other equipment, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,200 pounds, making it an SUV that has a firm grip on both sport and utility.

Performance Options

Chevrolet Tahoe LS

The two-wheel drive Tahoe LS comes with a 4.8-liter V8 engine. With four-wheel drive, the LS has a 5.3-liter V8 engine. E85 flex fuel capacity is available for both engines. Each engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet Tahoe LT

The Tahoe LT is available in three trim levels: the LT1, the LT2, and the LT3. All trims are available as a two or four-wheel drive vehicle. Both drivetrains have a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ

The Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ is available with both two and four-wheel drive. Either option has a 5.3-liter Vortec V8 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission.

Review Last Updated: 5/6/08

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