The sports utility vehicle or SUV has changed a lot over the years, going from supersized powerhouse to sleek, streamlined, and compact crossover. With more and more compact SUVs joining the field, it can be easy to believe that the age of the classic powerful SUV is long over. In some ways, their popularity appears to be decreasing while the compact SUV is dominating the market. That said, there are a number of full-sized SUVs that stay true to their roots providing drivers with more than just utility, but the power and size they need. One of these vehicles to enter the market this year is the 2020 Chevy Tahoe. True to its foundations the Chevy Tahoe is a blast from the past, while at the same time delivering modern bells and whistles that allow it to keep up with what’s out there. That said, does it uphold to its promise, or is the Chevy Tahoe too outdated?
Judging a Book by its Cover
The 2020 Chevy Tahoe is huge, a whole 7-8 passengers big. The moment it rolls onto the road, you’ll get an idea of what the SUVs of the past were known for. Although, while the 2020 Chevy Tahoe is in every way a classic, it doesn’t adopt an old design. With the sharp modern upper and lower grille and the dazzling array of headlights, the face of the 2020 Chevy Tahoe is just as on-trend with its more compact counterparts.
The 2020 Chevy Tahoe is entirely customizable, offering three fantastic trim options: the LS, LT, and Premier. Each of these trim options can come in either rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive, lending to an added level of customization. Sticker prices start at $49,000 MSRP, which can be quite a large bill to swallow for drivers looking for a full-sized SUV on a budget. That said, for some, the added expense may just be worth it.
A Classic SUV Performance
Considering the size of the 2020 Chevy Tahoe, one should be able to expect a truly robust engine layout, and fortunately, this heavy-duty SUV does not disappoint. The Chevy Tahoe base model comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that is paired with a seamless 6-speed automatic transmission. This starter V8 engine turns fuel to 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft worth of torque, with a remarkable max tow-rating of 8,400 lbs when it is fully equipped. As mentioned prior, all trim options of the 2020 Chevy Tahoe can come with a 4×4 drivetrain lending to a next-level driving experience, and the option to take your beast of an SUV off onto the dirt.
While the 2020 Chevy Tahoe may seem to be the ultimate adventure-ready vehicle, this SUV does have some drawbacks. Unfortunately, fuel economy is abysmal, earning only 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. These numbers show why the compact SUV has so much appeal as they walk the line between fuel economy, power, and utility. On the other hand, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe also offers a 6.2-liter V8 engine which is a little more fuel-efficient. This larger engine comes in at 14 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for the rear-wheel drive model. It drops to 14 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway for the four-wheel-drive model. This larger engine is more fuel-efficient thanks to intuitive cylinder deactivation technology, which allows you to turn this beefy V8 engine into a fuel-sipping four-cylinder.
What makes the Chevy Tahoe truly remarkable is its Chevy Silverado pickup frame, which makes the ride more similar to a pickup and truer to the classic SUV. This is a refreshing characteristic, especially since modern compact SUVs tend to utilize more of a unibody design, making them drive more like crossovers and sedans. This durable chassis is supported by a sturdy suspension, also lend to the Chevy Tahoe’s incredible off-road versatility. And if you decide to upgrade your Chevy SUV with the Z71 package, you can expect to find even more add-ons like skid plates, recovery hooks, and all-terrain tires that are ready to take on even the most challenging trails.
While performance is a key factor in determining the latest Chevy Tahoe’s overall value, it is far from being the only one. Part of being a reimagining of a classic SUV means giving drivers and passengers plenty of interior comforts
Smart Design Inside and Out
Stepping into the 2020 Chevy Tahoe, you’ll find no shortage of extra spacing. With all rear rows of seats folded, drivers can take advantage of up to 95 cubic feet of cargo space. With just two rows of seats, cargo space is still an impressive 52 cubic feet. More than enough room isn’t the only thing that you’ll find in the 2020 Chevy Tahoe. This full-sized SUV is also packed with plenty of infotainment and safety tech to bring a classic into the 21st century.
Base models of the 2020 Chevy Tahoe get a well-covered infotainment package, including features like dual-zone climate control, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen system that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, five USB ports, and Bluetooth connection. Moving up the trim option ladder to the LT, drivers can expect to find heated leather front seats, a Bose audio system, and a power tailgate. Moving to the top, drivers can expect cooled leather seats, a rear-seat entertainment system, power-folding seats, a heads up display, and magnetically-damped suspension which results in a drive so smooth it can feel as though you’re floating on air.
Safety is also a huge deal for the modern SUV driver, and we mean more than just seatbelts and airbags. The 2020 Chevy Tahoe must compete with a wide variety of smaller competitors that offer features that are seamless, automatic, and give drivers a next-level degree of road awareness. Fortunately, the Chevy Tahoe lives up to the challenge. Sadly, the base model starts pretty bare, with only airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control considered as standard. Although, with a bit of extra cash, you can add safety features such as automatic emergency braking, active lane control, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control to your base model Chevy Tahoe. Some of these features are also found as standard on the LT and Premier trim options.
This entire suite of technology lends for a driving experience that is as modern as the Chevy Tahoe’s competitors. While classic in look, feel, and size, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe has some great modern bones.
Our Verdict on the 2020 Chevy Tahoe
Nowadays the SUV is king, and the 2020 Chevy Tahoe is at the front of the pack. Large and in charge, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe brings a lot to the table that is worthwhile to all kinds of SUV drivers. While fuel economy is a huge drawback for the Chevy Tahoe, with such large sizing, it is hard to get around the drag and weight factor. Besides, anyone looking for an SUV this big should already be willing to commit to a much shorter fuel range. Between the level of power, amount of cargo space, and the added benefit of off-road capability, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe is a remarkable SUV that is bound to impress every corner of the SUV-fanbase.