There’s a lot riding on the ’07 Tahoe—much more than just a new body and revised chassis.
GM badly needs for its popular full-size SUV (and its shared platform stablemates, the new ’07 Caddy Escalade, GMC Yukon and the long-wheelbase Suburban) to hold the line against the burgeoning onslaught of large SUVs from Nissan (Armada) and Toyota (the coming ’07 Tundra/Sequoia), some of which have already made significant incursions into territory that used to be the exclusive domain of U.S. automakers. GM can’t afford to lose any more market share — most especially here, in the one area where it is still a dominant player. The Chevrolet Tahoe has been the best-selling large SUV since 2001 and alone accounts for 26 percent of the segment.
And so a lot of Deep Thought went into the ’07 Tahoe — everything from objective things like performance/capability/driving dynamics and features/equipment (including an available Autoride active damping suspension, power flip and fold second row seats, 20-inch rims, and a DVD navigation system) to things much harder to pin down, subjective things like the feelings and thoughts it evokes when you first look at it.
Instead of me-tooing the Tonka machismo exemplified by the Nissan Armada and the new Jeep Commander, Chevy stylists gave the new Tahoe the look of confident authority. This is still a very large vehicle — and yet, not overpoweringly so. The wife won’t fear it, but your buds will still be into it. It’s a nicer, subtler counterpoint to the Armada and others that may be getting a bit over-the-top for some buyers.
2000 Mazda MilleniaEnlarge Photo
You’ll notice things like no more colored plastic body cladding. Even base LT Tahoes now get very attractive body-colored bumpers that are themselves snugged tighter to the fenders (just a couple millimeters of gap between the panels) than ever before. And you’ll notice a wider stance, as the track of both the front and rear wheels is significantly wider than the outgoing Tahoe’s, by three inches up front and one inch at the rear).