- Serious truck-based SUV capabilities
- Maneuverable...for a truck
- V-8 engine power
- Access to tight third-row seats
- Ride height is high
- People using Tahoes as minivans
The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe stands out as a stylish, accomplished, and usable full-size sport utility vehicle.
The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe is based on the GMT900 truck platform and was introduced in its current form in late 2006 as a 2007 model. The 2008 Chevy Tahoe comes in LS, LT, and LTZ trims and either rear- or four-wheel drive. StabiliTrak stability control, ABS, traction control, and curtain airbags for all rows are standard on every trim level. These features, combined with the Chevrolet's curb weight of over 2.5 tons, should make you feel very safe and secure.
For 2008, the Tahoe engine lineup includes three V-8s: a 4.8-liter with 295 horsepower, an optional 5.3-liter with 320 horsepower V-8 and E85/flex-fuel capability, and a 6.2-liter with 380 horsepower. The smaller engines are offered with a four-speed automatic transmission, while the 6.2-liter gets a heavy-duty six-speed automatic. Our test vehicle was equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8, and this engine moved the big Chevy with authority. All engines feature fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, and this feature is totally imperceptible as it turns off cylinders when full power isn't necessary.
The big Tahoe rides smoothly on its coil-spring suspension, but be aware that as you move up in wheel and tire size, ride quality suffers. We vastly prefer 17-inch and 18-inch tires to the 20-inchers because of this. With the smaller rims, the Tahoe is as responsive as any 5,600-pound vehicle can be and feels much more maneuverable than it should.
Inside, the up-level Tahoe LTZ features a beautiful interior that could have been lifted from a premium German sedan. The overall quality of the materials is very good. The switchgear also works well and is easy to use. (GM's corporate non-navigation radio, by the way, is among the most intuitive and simplest to use--period.) Comfort for the first two rows is excellent, and a three-person front bench seat is available; however, the optional third row is not so great. Unlike in other SUVs, this seat is a pain to remove (it doesn't fold into the floor like the Honda Pilot's), and the remaining mounting tabs stick up from the floor and can scratch cargo.
A more work-oriented interior is fitted to the base Tahoe, so don't expect to find fancy faux woods in the LS editions. However, what the base interior lacks in visual appeal, it makes up for in everyday function.
If your favorite color is green, you can pony up some additional greenbacks to drive the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, an interesting study in the melding of enhanced efficiencies and environmentalism.
When facing off against the two full-size SUV imports, a properly equipped 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe can tow four tons, besting the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada in this important category. These imports are both larger than the Tahoe and could also be compared against the larger Chevrolet Suburban. With Chevy's improving excellence, don't write off the Tahoe because of quality concerns. This truck is designed and built to run among the best of the best.