2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Review: This Truck Says YES

Chevy Tahoe 2015
The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe is an SUV that has--and does-- it all

An SUV that delivers everything on your wish list

After a couple of weeks driving the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ, I’m a believer.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

“Mom, can we stop and get a movie?” Yes!” The Tahoe’s entertainment system lets back seat passengers watch a movie or listen to satellite radio on wireless headphones, controllable with this remote

I never thought a car this big would be right for me, but after a few days, I couldn’t wait for–and didn’t mind!– time behind the wheel. Small parking spaces didn’t intimidate me, long distances were pleasant drives (for everyone, not just the spoiled girl in the driver’s seat) and “Yes I can” became a most-uttered phrase. As in, “Can you get all our golf clubs in the car for the trip?” “Yes I can!” “Can I stand to drive another hour? “Yes I can!” “Can you stop at Red Box for a movie to watch in the car?” “Yes, I can!”

For a mom who tries to say ‘yes’ more than she says ‘no,’ the Tahoe was kismet.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Tahoe’s ample cargo space–increased by folding the third row down– was perfect for our trip, and everything was easy to access through the rear window that opens

While we had the Tahoe we made our annual trek from Connecticut to Florida. This year, we visited Florida’s river country—the west coast north of Tampa— and when we got there, we felt right at home: we were clearly in Tahoe country, too. Seriously, every gas station, store and restaurant parking lot we pulled into was filled with dozens (or more) of Tahoes. The rest were Suburbans. We finally figured it out when we got to our hotel: The Tahoe isn’t just an SUV, it’s a way of life. We were practically the only guests to arrive without a boat trailer hitched to the car.

Low key luxury

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

How great is this? Every time you open the door, the retractable running boards pop out to assist you; they make getting into this tall car very easy

For all the muscle and outdoorsy capabilities, the Tahoe has a sublime, demure image. It’s not the glaring luxury label that screams “Hey, look at me! I’m so fancy!” Rather, it’s a truck, with powerful four wheel drive to climb dunes and gullies, a V8 engine strong enough to tow your muddy boat or a backhoe home from the equipment rental place, and cargo space large enough that you can bring that sofa home yourself and save the delivery fee; why pay someone to do what you can do yourself?

No option left behind

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The Tahoe LTZ even has rain sensing wipers; just push this button, set the wiper control to intermittent, and when the sensor sees water on the windshield, it wipes it for you

But inside, the Tahoe is all about you and making sure you’re informed, capable and comfortable. Clearly when Chevy’s design engineers sat down to design this SUV, their mission was to give the owner every possible feature. Some of my favorites are: Adjustable four wheel drive (so you can drive in gas-saving 2 wheel mode), blind spot detectors, adaptive cruise control, a rear view camera, 12—YES 12—charge points, a rear DVD system, a third row, center row captains seats, push button second and third row folding seats that fold flat, a center console that fits my (over stuffed and not small) handbag; Chevrolet’s very sweet MyLink navigation and entertainment system, speed warning control that beeps when you pass the set speed (gotcha, dear husband!), a sunroof, heated and cooled seats, an automatic lift gate with a rear window that also opens, auto retractable running boards, a telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals, remote start, smart key with push start and OnStar with 4G LTE that can become a wifi hotspot. Phew.

Big, but not too big

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

We call these seats “Peacemakers:” center row captains chairs (in leather!) let center row passengers sit comfortably and not crowd each other, third row passengers easily reach their seats and everyone can easily see the video screen

When I first saw the Tahoe I thought it might be a challenge to drive. But, no. It’s wide, but not wider than the road or an average parking spot. It was surprisingly easy to drive, park and maneuver. Sitting up high—it is significantly higher than the average crossover or mid-size SUV—helps with maneuverability; you have a great view of the road, of other cars and of parking spaces and when you can see, you can do.

Fuel cconomy: better than you’d think, and help to improve

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The driver feedback feature lets you see your fuel economy, among other information. Seeing it displayed constantly reminds you to go easy when you can. And proudly, we were close to our ‘best!’

OK, being a large SUV, I didn’t expect the Tahoe to get great fuel economy. After driving a Jeep–a smaller car—for years that got 15MPG, I was expecting similar or lower fuel mileage. When I got into the Tahoe, I immediately switched the drive selector to 2-wheel drive to maximize efficiency. It helped. So did using the adaptive cruise control; this kept the engine at a steady speed, resulting in better gas mileage.

Adaptive cruise: maybe the best feature on a car, ever

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Engage adaptive cruise the same way a typical cruise control is operated: push the cruise button (right icon in the controller), then press ‘set;’ to change the gap allowance, or distance between you and the car ahead, push the button to the top right of the controller (the button on the bottom right is the heated steering wheel)

Some cars have both cruise control and adaptive cruise, but the Tahoe’s cruise control is both; the adaptive function is automatic, adjusting to the speed of the traffic ahead of you, slowing to its same speed or speeding up to the speed you set it for. A feature that works in conjunction with adaptive cruise is the gap setting; this allows you to choose the distance between you and the traffic ahead (basically one, two or three car lengths). You decide how close you want to be to the traffic in front of you and the cruise system keeps you there.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The gap adjust feature allows you to select the distance between your car and the traffic ahead when using adaptive cruise control; choose the full three car lengths for highway travel; on slower roads you may want a shorter distance between cars

When traffic slows, the car slows too. If someone dashes in front of you, the car slows quickly; it feels just as if you applied the brakes yourself. The Tahoe’s adaptive cruise system takes the ‘adaptive’ part a step further with ‘crash mitigation,’ which slows the car if it detects something in front of it that it may crash into.     

Driver feedback: knowing where you stand all the time

Key information, like the speed limit of the road I was on or current fuel economy was always available via the driver feedback option. Centered between the speedometer and tachometer on the dashboard, the driver information display let me view a lot of things, including my current fuel economy (I toggled through all the options with a button on the steering wheel). To see how efficiently I was driving, I could choose from several settings, including last 50 miles or last 100 miles. When looking at the last 50 miles on the highway, we averaged about 21 MPG. While in town we averaged about 18 MPG, still a lot better than the 15 MPG I used to get in my Jeep. And, the Tahoe uses regular fuel or flex fuel. Another big yay: I could choose the most economical option at the pump.

What we loved:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals
  • Heated and cooled seats
  • Retractable running boards
  • Center row captains seats
  • Blind spot detectors with blind zone and cross traffic alert
  • Fold-flat second and third row seats with push-button controls in cargo area
  • Keyless entry and start
  • MyLink 8” touch screen for navigation and entertainment
  • Secret compartment on the dashboard for phone storage
  • HUGE front center console that fits a handbag, computer or other gear
  • 2 year maintenance plan included5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty
  • 5 year OnStar plan (basic service) and 6 month upgraded plan
  • Sirius XM 1-year subscription
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Console

Maybe my favorite feature of all: The center console was big enough to hold my handbag, as well as my laptop, iPad and a few other gadgets.

What you need to know

  • Driver feedback tells you when fuel is low but does not give you a distance to empty;
  • Noise from the retractable running boards can take getting used to
  • Center and third row seats are stationary and can’t be moved forward or back
  • Third row legroom isn’t huge (but center row captains chairs add a little leg room)
  • Center row cup holders are in the doors only—no center console in the model we tested
  • 26 gallon fuel tank
  • Averages 18MPG: 16MPG city/22MPG highway; we averaged 21 MPG during our drive
  • Uses regular gas or flex fuel
  • Tahoe tarting price: $44,895; LTZ Base price: $62,000; Price of the model we tested: $70,295

Disclosure: Chevrolet provided the Tahoe for our review; opinions here are all my own.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Driver feedback screens are large and easy to read


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

What this button does: Adjusts the height the liftgate lifts to so you can open it inside your garage and not gouge the ceiling, and if you’re not towering in height, you can reach the pushbutton to close it


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The secret compartment: The touch screen rises with the push of a button to reveal a compartment perfect for storing a phone; it even has a USB port that connects and charges your phone


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Heated (left buttons) and cooled seat (right button) options on the center dash; center row seats are heated as well


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

What these these buttons do (clockwise from upper left:) turn on or off traction control, park assist, lane departure warning, adjust pedal position and turn on or off retractable running boards


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

The smart key fob has remote start and a push button liftgate


2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss