While the long-lived Chevrolet Tahoe does not have the glamorous appeal of its GMC Yukon Denali twin or the Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet remains an inveterate reminder of the success of the American SUV. A workhorse at heart, the Tahoe competes with the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia and, rather than reinvent the wheel, Chevrolet chose to sharpen the Tahoe for the 2010 model year.
The 2010 Tahoe comes in four models: the LS, LT, LTZ, and Hybrid. To simplify the ordering process, Chevrolet has cut down on the total number of engine offerings. Gone from the Tahoe's spec sheet are the 4.8-liter LY2, 5.3-liter LY5, and 6.2-liter L9H V-8 engines, which had their final hurrahs with the 2009 model. Their departure leaves buyers with two `09 holdovers: the LC9 and LMG Vortec V-8 mills.
The all-aluminum LC9 features a 5.3-liter overhead valve design with variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management, giving it 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque on gas. Conversely, filling the fuel tank with E85 boosts the power figures to a slightly more stout 326 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The LC9 is the standard engine for all rear-drive models and defaults to the XFE package, which is included with the rear-drive-equipped LS and LT trims. Fuel economy is rated at 15/21 mpg city/highway.
The LMG Vortec V-8 uses the same design and features, but links an iron bottom end with an aluminum head. While power output is the same as its all-aluminum brother, fuel economy rates lower for the rear-drive model at 14/20 mpg city/highway, while the four-wheel-drive model scores 14/19 mpg city/highway. The LMG is equipped on four-wheel-drive Tahoes, comes standard on the LTZ, and is also available for the LS and LT trims.
The transmission of choice for all non-hybrid 2010 Tahoes is the Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic, which is mated to a 3.08 rear axle standard. For those looking for more grunt, a 3.42 rear axle is available with the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package, which affords the Tahoe a maximum towing capacity of 8400 and 8200 pounds with rear- and four-wheel drive, respectively. With the 3.08 rear axle, towing capacity tops out at 5400 pounds with both rear- and four-wheel drive. An optional two-speed case complements the standard single-speed transfer case.
Of course, the Tahoe would not be a Chevrolet without an available Z71 off-road package. The suspension package includes off-road jounce bumpers, specially-tuned springs, gas-charged monotube shocks, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, and other bits and pieces unique to the Z71 name. The off-road package is available with the LT trim.
Also available for the LT trim is a new Luxury Package, which adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, front bucket seats with leather-appointed seating, heated front and second row seats, heated power-adjustable, power-folding side mirrors, a rear power-operated liftgate, and Universal Home Remote.
Fear not, because the LS model has not been neglected. Both an Exterior and Interior Plus Package have been made available for 2010. The Exterior Plus Package adds front foglights and luggage cross bars, while the Interior Plus Package includes Bluetooth, tri-zone automatic climate control, front bucket seats with premium cloth, rear sound system controls, and Universal Home Remote for increased bang-for-the-buck.
On the outside, new paint colors include Black Granite Metallic, Laser Blue Metallic, Sheer Silver Metallic, and Taupe Gray Metallic, which are replacing the now-departed Deep Ruby Metallic, Graystone Metallic, and Silver Birch Metallic. Red Jewel Tintcoat is now available on the LS and LT trims, along with the Z71 off-road package. On the inside, the Tahoe will be "getting with the times" thanks to a USB connection in the center console. New seat-mounted side-impact airbags provide additional thorax and pelvic protection for the driver and front passenger.
For those who do a lot of in-town driving or are interested in green technology, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid may be an interesting proposition. The hybrid remains powered by the 6.0-liter LFA Vortec V-8 matched to a 2-mode continuous electric ratio hybrid transmission with four fixed gears. Power output is rated at 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque coupled with fuel economy ratings of 21/22 mpg city/highway with rear-drive and 20/20 mpg city/highway with four-wheel drive. With its 3.08 rearend, maximum towing capacity is rated a respectable 6200 pounds with rear-drive, and 6000 pounds with four-wheel drive.
The Tahoe Hybrid, which was previously unavailable with the Tahoe-only Red Jewel Tintcoat, adds the color for 2010. The new Sheer Silver Metallic and Taupe Gray Metallic colors join previously available Black, Blue Granite Metallic, and Summit White. As with the non-hybrid Tahoe, a USB port now graces the SUV's center console.
With no immediate replacement in sight, the 2010 Tahoe can continue to go about its business the way it wants: steadily without making a scene.
|2010 Chevrolet Tahoe|
|Vehicle Layout||Front-engine, RWD or 4WD, 4-door SUV|
|Engine||5.3L/320-hp/335 lb-ft OHV 16-valve LC9 V-8; 5.3L/320-hp/335 lb-ft OHV 16-valve LMG V-8; 6.0L/332-hp/367 lb-ft OHV 16-valve LFA V-8 (Hybrid)|
|Transmission||6-speed Hydra-Matic 6L80 Automatic, 2-mode hybrid with four fixed gears (Hybrid)|
|Curb Weight||5265 lb (RWD), 5524 lb (4WD), 5270 lb (Hybrid RWD), 5527 lb (Hybrid 4WD) (mfr)|
|Length x Width x Height||202 x 79 x 76.9 in|
|EPA City/Hwy Fuel Econ||14-21/19-22 mpg|