The blows just keep coming in the Ford/Chevrolet rivalry. Here, Chevy's 2007 Tahoe LTZ and Ford's 2006 King Ranch Expedition--four-wheel-drive full-size SUVs, fully loaded--hash it out, nose to nose, mano a mano.
Power: The engines are well matched. Chevrolet's 5.3-liter Displacement On Demand V-8 was given healthy power increases for 2007. The Tahoe has 20 more horses, but has 25-pound-feet less torque. The Tahoe beats the Expedition--it has smoother, more responsive power delivery, and better fuel economy, and is almost a second faster to 60 mph. Winner: Tahoe.
Ride and handling: Both body-on-frame SUVs ride well, but neither has carlike canyon-carving handling. And they shouldn't: These trucks are built for work. The Ford's independent rear end would seem to have a natural advantage here. However, Chevrolet has done a fine job revamping the live-axle rear. Also, the Autoride suspension, which adjusts shock tuning to current driving conditions, gives the Tahoe a smooth ride in the straights and tightens it up in turns. Factor in a new, stiffer frame and a coil-spring front suspension replacing torsion bars, and Chevy has managed to make a live-axle truck handle more like one with IRS. While both feel comfortable on well-paved roads, on the rougher stuff, the Ford's showing its age--it feels more jittery over bumps and potholes.
But at the track the Expedition's IRS made its mark. Senior road-test editor Chris Walton observed that the Ford felt more confident and composed in the slalom, even though the Tahoe completed the course 1.4 mph faster (57.2 versus 55.8 mph). This was likely due to the King Ranch's Roll Stability Control, which couldn't be shut off during track testing. Non-RSC-equipped Ford Motor Company SUVs on this platform have been timed at 59.9 mph, considerably faster than the Chevy. Winner: Tahoe.