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.
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).