Tested: 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71

The Chevrolet Tahoe has a well-earned reputation as a multi-purpose workhorse.

It, and siblings wearing GMC and Cadillac nameplates, excel at carrying people and/or cargo over long distances – for many years. The frosting on this cake, thanks to truck genes, is that they can also serve as a capable tow vehicle. Not only can Mom and Pop take all their friends or offspring along, but they can also take all the associated luggage and haul the adult toys on a trailer.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Garry Sowerby

 

The 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe: A no-compromise vehicle or a lesson in excess?

Some may think of it as a no-compromise vehicle.

Others might argue that a 2,700-kilogram (6,000 pound), 5.4-metre-long vehicle, is a lesson in excess. They obviously do not feel the need for the Tahoe’s attributes, and are not concerned about size, and operating costs.

The Tahoe is a big truck.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Garry Sowerby

 

The body-on-frame ute grew even larger in its most recent makeover. The benefit of this increased bulk is greater space inside. The main benefactors are third row occupants. They get an additional 25-cm of legroom.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

They will also be much more comfortable than in previous versions of Tahoe. This latest generation boasts an independent rear suspension. Instead of having to clear the giant lump of a centre differential, the third row seat can be lowered, resulting in a much more amenable setup.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

Cargo space also gets a boost in this latest Tahoe.

Already one of the most spacious vehicles in the class, the new Tahoe boasts an amazing 722 litres of cargo space behind the third row. Fold that one down, and you have access to more than 2,000 litres of space. Want or need more? With second and third row seats out of the way, how about almost 3,500 litres?

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

There are LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier and High Country trim levels spanning a range from $59,000 to $80,000. The tester was the mid-range Z71 model.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

What moves the 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe?

In addition to a variety of trim levels, the Tahoe is available in seven or eight-passenger configurations. You can pick from 5.3 or 6.2-litre V8s, and a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel for motivation. All are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and can be had with two or four-wheel-drive.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

Depending on trim level, and options selected, it can pull 7,600 – 8,400 behind.

The tester came with the standard 5.3-litre bent eight. With 355-horsepower, and 383 lb. ft. of torque, performance is adequate, but hardly exciting with three tons to move when empty.

Anyone contemplating a regular load of a few people and/or towing would be wise to opt for the bigger (420 horsepower, 460 lb., ft)) V8. If towing is to be a regular habit, the diesel might be your best bet, since it produces the same amount of pulling power (torque) as the big eight – but at 1,500 rpm instead of 4,100.

 

A pleasant ride on independent rear suspension

Not only do third-seat occupants benefit from the independent rear suspension- everyone can enjoy a much more pleasant ride on all surfaces and the driver will appreciate a dollop of additional feel through the steering wheel. This massive hunk of metal sure as heck ain’t no sports car, but it handily outpaces its predecessor and competitors with a solid rear axle.

The tester’s Z71 trim brought lots of visual hints about offroad prowess. A unique front bumper provides a better approach angle, but it has the same amount of ground clearance as the other trim levels.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Garry Sowerby

 

Whether on or offroad, occupants are treated to lots of elbow, leg and headroom regardless of where they sit.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

A 26-cm infotainment screen is augmented by actual buttons or knobs for most major functions. Wireless connectivity, Bluetooth streaming, six USB outlets, a pair of 120-volt outlets and voice recognition should satisfy most techno-fan needs. Audio needs at this trim level are met by a nine-speaker Bose audio system.

 

2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

Generally speaking the fit, finish and quality of materials is worthy of the price point. There are a few signs of cost-cutting, such as sharp plastic surfaces, but they are out of sight.

In the market for a tough vehicle with plenty of room for people, packages and the ability to tow some serious weight? Check out the Chevrolet Tahoe.

 

FACTS & FIGURES – 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Z71

 

PRICE

Base: $78,603

As tested: $86,548 including freight

 

SAFETY

Three years of OnStar Safety and Connected service, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, following distance indicator, front pedestrian braking, LED headlights and automatic high beams, rear seat reminder,  Teen Driver and Buckle to Drive systems, front and rear park assist,

 

INFOTAINMENT

Nine-speaker Bose audio system, 26-cm HD touchscreen, Google built-in, Bluetooth streaming for audio and most phones, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, voice recognition, in-vehicle aps, personalized profiles for infotainment and vehicle settings, six USB outlets, two 120-volt outlets,

 

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

20-inch machined alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, power programmable liftgate, keyless start, heated leather-appointed front seats, two-person driver seat memory, tilt & telescope steering wheel, remote start, automatic cruise control, universal home remote, three-zone automatic climate control,

 

SIGNIFICANT OPTIONS

Dual pane panoramic sunroof, $1,725; illuminated front door sill plates, $745; Sport pedal covers, $245; rear seat media system, $2,295 (dual 32-cm LCD HD touchscreens, wi-fi wireless projection capability, two Bluetooth headphones, two HDMI ports); cargo security shade, $325; engine block heater, $415.

 

MECHANICAL

5.3-litre V8, 355-horsepower, 383 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel. Ten-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway):

 

DIMENSIONS

Length, 5,352 mm; width, 2,057 mm; wheelbase, 3,070 mm; weight, 2,518 kg.

 

COMPETITION

Ford Expedition, Hyundai Palisade, Jeep Wagoneer, Kia Telluride, Toyota Sequoia

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