Facing stiff competition from rivals with all-new models either currently or soon to be on showroom floors, like the Nissan Armada and Ford Expedition, Chevy just took the unusual step of removing features from its 2018 Tahoe.
SUV sales are back in a big way—they’re up 7 percent this year. But not everyone needs seating for more than five.
DON’T MISS: Do you really need a three-row SUV?
Meet the 2018 Tahoe LS with the optional Custom Edition package. It’s a more affordable (read: pared down) version of the SUV, starting at $44,995 including a hefty $1,295 destination charge.
For those keeping score at home, that represents a drop of $2,300 from the least expensive 2017 Tahoe LS, more than enough to undercut the aforementioned Nissan. The Custom Edition package available on the Tahoe LS is intended specifically for those who demand all the rugged capability and cargo room that comes with full size SUV territory, but don’t feel the need to tack on the modern luxuries like ventilated seats and head-up displays that tend to accompany the price point. After all, it's possible to spend upwards of $75,000 on a fully loaded Tahoe.
ALSO SEE: Read our 2017 Chevy Tahoe review
Cargo space is increased thanks to the removal of the third row seat, which frees up a little more room—with an asterisk. It’s up from 15.3 cubic feet with the seats up, or 51.7 cubes with the seats folded, to 54 cu ft in the Custom. But nearly 3 cubic feet of that is “hidden” storage below the cargo floor. So if you were hoping for a lower load floor than the standard Tahoe’s oddly high shelf, you won’t find it here.
The Custom distinguishes itself from the LS with 18 in. wheels and a chrome grille, and still comes standard with 4G LTE, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and GM’s Teen Driver Mode, which lets you track your child’s driving habits. It hits dealerships in September.
If the Tahoe Custom isn't enough for you, consider the sporty Tahoe RST with its buttoned-down suspension and beefy brakes that's also new for 2018.
-- by Aaron Miller