History of Tahoe
The first generation, or GMT400 (model years 1992-1999) was introduced as a full size, 2-door Chevy Blazer. It remained the same through 1994, then in 1995, the S10 Blazer model name changed to "Blazer" and the full size SUV, now available in a 4-door model, was named "Tahoe". The newly named Tahoe would win Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year award a year later.
The second generation, or GMT800 (model years 2000-2007) found two new engine options available to take the place of the old 5.7L (350) V8. Both engines were smaller, but produced more power and an "E85", "flex fuel" option was also available. "StabiliTrak" stability control was first offered in 2003 along with XM satellite radio.
The third generation Tahoe, or GMT900 (model years 2008 to present) have seen the most dramatic changes to date, both in style and technology. For example, the Tahoe Hybrid was introduced in 2008, which used the combination of an electric motor/generator with a Vortec V8 gas engine. The SUV could run on the electric motor alone, the gas engine alone, or a combination of the two. The new technology was the result of collaboration between GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW, winning the Tahoe the "Green Car of the Year" award in 2008.
Tahoe's Models and Amenities
Tahoe is available as a 4-door and will accommodate up to 9 passengers in 3 different trim levels. Available trim levels are LS, LT, and LTZ and are available in 2WD, or 4WD. Also offered is the Tahoe Hybrid which comes in 2WD or 4WD and has many luxury appointments similar to the LTZ, however at a much lower aerodynamic stance. The LS comes standard with:
- all the power equipment
- power front bucket seats
- tri zone manual climate control
- SiriusXM Satellite radio with USB port
- Bluetooth wireless technology
- first and second row leather seating with heated front seats
- automatic climate control
- Bose nine speaker sound
- remote starter
- locking rear differential
- power adjustable pedals
- 12-way power adjustable front bucket seats
- heated and cooled front seats
- heated second row seats with power release
- Bose 10 speaker surround sound
- power remote liftgate
- 20" polished aluminum wheels
- touch screen NAV with rear vision camera
- heated steering wheel and side blind zone alert
What's New with the Tahoe
Other than a few minor changes, the 2015 Tahoe is basically a carryover from the unbeatable 2011. Besides three new available color choices, the luxury LTZ model gets a heated steering wheel and a new 80 GB hard drive navigation radio. Side blind zone alert becomes a new standard option for the LTZ, while heated driver and front passenger seats are now standard on 1LT. Two speed active transfer is now included and only available with the off road suspension package and heavy duty trailering package on LS and LT. For 2015, Tahoe Hybrid gets a new color "touch screen" navigation radio with a USB port, hard drive storage and Time Shift Recording capability.
Tahoe's Power, Performance, & Economy
Tahoe might be that perfect vehicle to safely shuttle the kids around during the week and pull that boat out of the water on the weekend. All models come standard with the 5.3L V8 that produces 320 hp and is coupled with a 6 speed automatic transmission. This gives Tahoe an EPA rating of 15/21, city/highway. Properly equipped, Tahoe's V8 power enables a towing capacity of up to 8500 lbs!
The Tahoe Hybrid
The hi-tech story of course, is the Tahoe Hybrid. The Hybrid is available in both 2WD, or 4WD and uses a 6.0L V8 gas engine and two 60kw electric motors that constantly charge a 300 volt, nickel-metal hydride battery. The system can operate in two modes. In the first mode, the vehicle can run on either gasoline, electricity, or a combination of both. This system can yield a 30% increase in combined city/highway mileage estimates and a 50% increase in city fuel economy. Similar to other hybrids, the two mode system shuts the gasoline engine off at stoplights. The Tahoe is considered to be a full hybrid because it can run entirely on the battery for a limited distance up to 30 mph. When the vehicle reaches 30 mph and with the accelerator pedal pressed, the V8 engine kicks in to full operation. The second mode centers on the 332 hp V8 engine as the primary source of power. On the freeway, under light loads, the Active Fuel Management system can shut down 4 of the 8 cylinders and switch it to a 4 cylinder for better economy. The Hybrid is EPA rated at 20/23 city/highway and has the ability to tow up to 6200 lbs.
Safety and Tahoe
Key safety features on all models include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat and front-side airbags, side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers and of course OnStar technology. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are available at every trim level, while the LTZ now has a side blind zone warning system included as standard equipment.
Throughout each generation, the Tahoe has been a leader in the market. With GM's remarkable comeback and push towards the future, the Tahoe will continue to take the driver's seat in innovation and and performance.