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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
assembly quality on all models tested shows strong attention to detail
Attractive, high-quality materials and tight build quality
third row is "strictly for the SpongeBob set
Car and Driver
In either the 2010 Chevy Tahoe or the Tahoe Hybrid, seat comfort is a strong suit.
In standard versions, the first two rows have wide, cushy seats and plenty of head- and legroom for adults. Adding middle passengers in the front two rows isn't the best idea, despite the Tahoe's size and the availability of bench seat in front and in the second row. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com are very positive when it comes to front- and middle-seat comfort. ConsumerGuide says the "seats are supportive," and there is "generous headroom and legroom," especially up front. Cars.com remarks, "the heated leather front bucket seats offer OK comfort and thigh support."
There's a third-row seat available as well, and it's one of the more difficult of its kind. It's tough to clamber into, since the second-row seats only move forward a little, and legroom in the third row is slashed by the Hybrid's battery pack, which is mounted under the second-row seats. It's probably better left to kids (or pets); Car and Driver contends the third row is "strictly for the SpongeBob set." ConsumerGuide agrees, reporting the third row's "low-to-floor cushion forces knees-up discomfort" on adult passengers. In order to increase cargo volume, Car and Driver points out that you can fold "the third row forward" or "remove the row, although each section of the two-piece bench weighs 65 pounds."
For cargo space, the two-row Tahoe is a champion, with 60.3 cubic feet available. Flip up a third-row seat in either version, and the cargo space shrinks to 16.9 cubic feet. ConsumerGuide says cargo room in the 2010 Chevy Tahoe is "spacious with two rows of seats," but that falls to only "adequate for a single row of grocery bags behind the 3rd-row seat." In terms of hard numbers, Cars.com reports "with both rows stowed, maximum cargo volume is 108.9 cubic feet," but "with the third-row bench in place, cargo volume falls to 16.9 cubic feet." All Tahoes have a wide center console, a huge glove box, lots of door-panel storage, and cup holders that outpace the Brady Bunch in count and size. In addition to the rear storage, ConsumerGuide states that "cabin storage is enhanced by [a] large center console bin" and "roomy door pockets in front."
Refinement in the Tahoe's interior is greatly improved from the last-generation SUV. Kelley Blue Book notes that the 2010 Chevy Tahoe has "definitely moved up a notch or two when it comes to interior refinement and luxury, as befitting a vehicle that can cost $40,000 or more," also commenting that their reviewers are "struck by the Tahoe's quiet cabin and its inviting, upscale interior." More praise flows in from Car and Driver reviewers who feel that the interior graining pattern "wouldn't look out of place in a BMW" and point out that "gaps between parts have shrunk to just about nothing, and the Tahoe [they] drove was squeak- and rattle-free." ConsumerGuide reports "assembly quality on all models tested shows strong attention to detail," adding that "most interior materials feel high-grade, though soft-touch surfaces are scarce." However, the "look and texture as well as the fit of the plastic panels is fine," says AutoblogGreen, and "the quality of some of the materials seems lower than you might expect in a vehicle costing over $50,000."
The 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe has supersized interior space and storage, but a clunky third row almost spoils the party.