The best seller of GM’s full-size SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe has long been an easy go-to choice for families seeking a roomy, cozy car suitable for towing and off-roading. It’s almost 2 feet shorter than Chevrolet’s otherwise similar Suburban, which makes it more manageable in urban driving. The Tahoe is a corporate twin of the GMC Yukon, and the two differ only in equipment levels and front fascia trim. For 2007, the Tahoe is completely redesigned and gets more of everything that’s important in the large SUV segment: power, cabin space, convenience features and safety equipment.Alongside newer competitors, the previous-generation Tahoe was increasingly outclassed in its later years. The 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe rectifies most of the 2006 model’s deficiencies. Interior fit and finish is now excellent as soft-touch materials, tight gap tolerances and stylish design are present. On the outside, the 2007 Tahoe’s slab-sided exterior styling is clean, but in profile it looks more Ford than Chevrolet. A major benefit of the new look is improved aerodynamics — with a 0.36 coefficient of drag (Cd), the Tahoe slices through the wind as efficiently as some sports cars.Under the skin, the 2007 Tahoe is still a traditional body-on-frame SUV with a solid rear axle. But the chassis’ evolution, though subtle, is significant. Chevrolet says that body stiffness has been increased significantly, and the old front torsion-bar suspension has been ditched in favor of a more supple coil-spring layout. Recirculating-ball steering has given way to a more precise rack-and-pinion system and the ABS-controlled four-wheel disc brakes are larger than they were before.Because of its seating for up to nine, inviting cabin and powerful standard V8 engine, we suggest that consumers in need of a traditional, full-size SUV take a hard look at the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. Other vehicles in this class, such as the Dodge Durango, Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada, still offer a few advantages. The Expedition, in particular, betters the Tahoe with its fold-flat third-row seat and more cozy ride. However, don’t count the Chevy out, as we also feel the Tahoe, with its classier cabin and well-sorted powertrain, still deserves serious consideration.
Even a 4WD Tahoe is fairly quick, getting to 60 miles per hour in just 8.6 seconds. However, the Tahoe doesn’t feel nearly so quick when carrying a load of passengers. Plus, dipping into the power will quickly pull mileage down to the low teens. There are only so many ways to trick physics: This is a 5,500-pound truck, after all. A new suspension with coil-over shocks up front and a five-link setup out back along with rack-and-pinion steering improve the Tahoe’s handling dynamics and drive quality compared to the previous generation. The Tahoe doesn’t feel particularly nimble around corners, though its 39-foot turning circle makes it fairly maneuverable in the city. When towing a heavy trailer, the Tahoe performs admirably. It’s able to maintain speed up long grades, albeit with some gear hunting and rather loud exhaust noise.
Read our Chevy Tahoe Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test
There are three well-equipped trim levels in the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe full-size SUV family: base LS, luxurious LT and sporty LTZ. Most folks should be happy with the well-stocked LS, which counts stability control, full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, an MP3-capable CD player and a trip computer as standard features. The LT actually comes in three sub-levels: LT-1, LT-2 and LT-3. The LT-1 adds steering wheel-mounted sound controls, bucket seats with console, foglamps and color-keyed exterior trim. The LT-2 adds leather seating, a six-disc CD changer, power adjustable pedals, remote car starting and rear parking assist. Move up to the LT-3 and these features are added: side-curtain airbags, heated front seats (with 12-way driver adjustment) and a Bose sound system with XM satellite radio. Setting the LTZ apart are 20-inch alloy wheels, heated second-row seats, a locking rear differential, power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding second-row seats, a third-row seat and the Autoride rear air suspension. Major options for the Tahoe include a navigation system, a rearview camera and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Those used to past Tahoes won’t recognize the 2007 version with its high-quality materials, fine fit and finish and logical control layouts. Depending on how you equip your Tahoe, anywhere from five to nine passengers can be transported, and maximum cargo capacity stands at 108.9 cubic feet — around 12 cubes more than a Nissan Armada and roughly the same as a Ford Expedition. (Toyota’s Sequoia has 19 more cubic feet of capacity, but only if you unbolt its second-row seats from the floor.) Although the Tahoe’s second row is available with a power folding feature, the third-row seats must still be removed manually to optimize cargo space, and based on our experience, those seats are heavy and difficult to maneuver.
Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on all Tahoes, as is stability control and a tire-pressure monitoring system. A three-row side curtain airbag system with a rollover sensor is standard on the LT-3 and LTZ and optional on all other Tahoes.
Chevrolet offers two V8s on the Tahoe in 2007. Standard on all early-build Tahoes is a 5.3-liter V8 with 320 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with GM’s cylinder deactivation technology, this V8 earns a 16 miles per gallon city/22 miles per gallon highway EPA rating on two-wheel-drive trucks and a 15/21 rating for 4WD trucks. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard. Maximum towing capacity is 7,700 lbs. Later in the model year, a 4.8-liter V8 with 290 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque will become standard on 2WD Tahoes, with the 5.3-liter available as an option.
Attractive interior with solid materials, smooth drive quality, smooth V8, cozy seating, accommodates up to nine passengers.
It’s a little heavier than we’d like and it still doesn’t have a fold-flat third row, but the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe is much more refined than the previous truck. Among full-size SUVs, it’s a compelling choice.