Chevy builds the Tahoe in six trims: LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country. The first five come standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that pumps out 355 horsepower and 383 pounds-feet of torque, while the High Country gets a 6.2-liter V8 making 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque (this upgrade is optional on the RST, Z71, and Premier). There’s also an available 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine (277 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque) that all trims save for the Z71 are eligible for. All of these powerplants team up with a ten-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is available. With the 5.3L V8 and rear-wheel drive, the Tahoe can tow a maximum of 8,400 pounds.
According to the EPA’s official fuel economy estimations, the base V8 returns an EPA-estimated 15 mpg around town and 20 mpg on the highway, while the larger gas engine drops one mpg in the city rating. The most optimal fuel economy comes from the diesel engine, which is EPA-rated for 21 city/28 highway.
The LS is the sole trim that can be configured with a front-row bench seat to fit a total of nine people; a pair of front bucket seats is also available for an eight-person limit. As the base trim, it has cloth upholstery, along with some features for comfort and convenience: a 10-way power driver’s seat, an 8-way power front passenger seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hotspot, rain-sensing automatic wipers, a 12-volt power outlet, two 120-volt power outlets (one each in the center console and cargo area), a 4.2-inch color driver display, six USB ports (two in each row), black assist steps, LED headlights and taillights, and 18-inch Bright Silver aluminum wheels. The LT’s second row can be configured with a bench seat (total capacity of 8) or a pair of bucket seats (reducing seating capacity to seven). Its standard equipment roster raises the stakes with leather upholstery (first and second rows), heated front seats, a 10-way power passenger seat, a 12-inch color driver display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, wireless device charging, and a hands-free power liftgate. The optional Luxury Package will add a heated steering wheel, heated second-row outboard seats, position memory settings (driver’s seat, steering column, and outside mirrors), heated power-folding and adjustable side mirrors, and additional safety features (detailed below). The available LT Signature Package contains those items plus a panoramic power sunroof and 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels.
The RST shows off perforated leather upholstery, black roof-mounted side rails, and 22-inch bright machined High-Gloss Black wheels. The available RST Performance Edition Package will add the contents of the aforementioned Luxury Package plus a high-performance suspension package, sport pedals, heavy-duty front Brembo brakes, Torch Red calipers, a performance air intake system, a cat-back performance exhaust, power-release second-row bucket seats, and 20-inch Firestone Firehawk Pursuit blackwall all-season tires on high-gloss (black) aluminum wheels. It also deletes the roof-rack side rails for a sportier appearance. The Sport Performance Package will give the RST the larger V8, Magnetic Ride Control, and a dual exhaust with polished stainless-steel tips.
If you’re inclined to leave the asphalt in favor of kicking up some dust, look to the Z71, which adds a front skid plate, an upgraded suspension, red recovery hooks, and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels. Buyers can add useful features with the Off-Road Capability Package includes Magnetic Ride Control, an air-ride adaptive suspension, and an electronic limited-slip differential. The Off-Road Performance Package contains the more powerful V8 and a dual exhaust with polished stainless-steel tips.
A heated steering wheel, a power-sliding center console, a dual-outlet exhaust, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, and power-release second-row bucket seats are added at the Premier level, although the second-row bench seat can be optioned in. The High Country has the same second-row situation (standard bucket seats or optional bench), but it moves up to 22-inch Sterling Silver premium painted wheels. As far as options, it’s eligible for the High Country Deluxe Package for a panoramic power sunroof, power-retractable assist steps with illuminated perimeter lighting, and the air-ride adaptive suspension.
The RST is all about its outstanding appearance. It has black exterior trim and larger wheels, and its cabin is upgraded with perforated leather upholstery on the seats.
The Z71 gets standard four-wheel drive, but it’s not eligible for the DuraMax turbo-diesel engine. It has leather seats and black assist steps, plus some trail-focused attributes: a front skid plate, red tow hooks, a two-speed transfer case, a heavy-duty air filter, hill descent control, all-terrain tires, and a front fascia with a high approach angle.
The LS gets the Infotainment 3 System with an 8-inch high-definition touchscreen, wireless smartphone integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a 6-speaker sound system. The LT and above upgrade to the 10.2-inch Infotainment 3 Premium system with navigation and a 9-speaker Bose sound system. The Premier and High Country get the ultimate audio situation with a 10-speaker Bose Surround with CenterPoint system.