The interior of the Chevy is its greatest disappointment. Despite front seats that staffers ranked high for comfort and support, GM cost accountants showed little mercy as they nickeled and dimed other Tahoe fitments. With toylike switchgear and cheesy plastic material choices, the build quality of the rest of the cabin doesn't measure up to $40K expectations.

Packed to the gills with options such as a Bose stereo with six-CD in-dash changer, OnStar communications, XM Satellite Radio, power-adjustable pedals, first- and second-row leather seating, electric sunroof, trailering package, side-impact airbags, and much more, our Tahoe stickered out at $46,575, several thousand dollars pricier than the other test vehicles. For that kind of money, we'd like our Tahoe to have had butt-saving features such as StabiliTrak dynamic stability control (extra cost) and head-curtain airbags (not available).

Midpack among our five-way group in acceleration, braking, lateral grip, and just about every measure of performance, the Tahoe neither embarrassed nor distinguished itself at the track. But the generic Chevrolet shape's getting a bit stale, and, despite the fact that the Tahoe remains a strong seller, we think there are competitors that offer a higher level of driving enjoyment, a better-crafted cabin, and more features for the dollar.