The Chevy Tahoe RST 3 Row SUV Powers Your On-Road Adventures

Prefer your adventure on the sports court or paved road? Chevy Tahoe RST full size 3-row SUV delivers, plus perks for passengers, and how kids car seats fit best.

Chevy Tahoe Rst Featured Image
The Chevrolet Tahoe RST gave me quite the confidence boost. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Everyone needs a little rumble under their seat.

So many SUV makers are courting off-road drivers that those who like their adventures on pavement or the sports court might feel a bit left out. Chevrolet has a remedy for that: The Chevy Tahoe RST. 

This nicely loaded full size SUV, priced at about $81,000 with delivery and available in 10 exterior colors but only one interior color (black) was fully redesigned in 2021. It’s built for active families, buyers who tow, haul and need lots of seating or interior space. 

The RST edition focuses less on off-road adventure — though it’s totally capable — and more on the on-road journey. It’s ideal for the family who boats, snowmobiles and dirt bikes, whose weekends are spent on the field or between the goal posts. It features a nice edit of conveniences and luxuries, and you’ll feel every bit the pampered athlete when you return to the car after a grueling tournament or a thrilling victory.

Related: How does the Chevy Tahoe RST compare to the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer Full Size SUVs? 

The Cargo Area With The Third Row Seats Folded Flat

The cargo area with the third row seats folded flat. Even though the seats are not fully flat, the cargo floor is ramped so things will slide in easily. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who This SUV is For

  • Families or buyers who need lots of passenger and cargo space 
  • Hockey, lacrosse and baseball families who need lots of room for sweaty players and their gear
  • Buyers who tow motorcycles, bikes or boats 
  • Anyone needing to trailer a show car, motorbikes or go-karts 
  • Buyers who want a sportier ride but still want all the comforts of of a full-size SUV

Related: Chevrolet Tahoe RST and GMC Yukon: Soul Sisters 

The Motion Activated Liftgate Light

A light projected on the ground shows you where to kick your foot for the motion activated liftgate. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Loved 

  • The sporty red color, RST badging and red sport brakes
  • The throaty rumble of the engine on startup
  • “Hey Google” voice activated assistance 
  • Google-powered multimedia system
  • Power third row that is controllable from the front seat
  • Smart key
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 
  • Two household outlets 
  • All the interior space 
  • Surround vision camera system 
  • The fixed running board
  • Brembo sport brakes
  • Automatic and push-button everything (for a price) 
  • Tow capacity up to 7,900 lbs.

Related: See how the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander compares to the Chevy Tahoe

A Girls Guide To Cars | The Chevy Tahoe Rst 3 Row Suv Powers Your On-Road Adventures - Seats In The Tahoe Rst

The Tahoe’s third row is really roomy and the center row captains chairs are comfortable. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Chevy Tahoe 3-Row SUV, Redefined

Tahoe drivers have long defined the brand: weekend adventurers whose SUV is as much a tool as a respite. Towing sports equipment and hauling the people who use it. But, SUVs doing all that work can get dull and worn, like a well-used tool. 

Not so the Tahoe RST, which stands for Rally Sport Truck. It’s designed to look sharp and perform well, no matter what you put it through. 

The first sign—and delight— is the V8 engine. Push the starter button and it rumbles to life, a deep throaty sound emitting form the tailpipes, all 4 of them. 

Invite your crew to climb in and take a seat, and you find yourself in a comfort pod; there are second row captains chairs, screens for those passengers, USB ports at every seat and there’s plenty of leg and headroom for everyone. I found the rear seat to be far more spacious than prior generations of the Tahoe, and I loved that the center row seats slide forward and back, allowing passengers to get comfortable.

I also loved the center row captains chairs, though buyers have a choice of captains chairs or a bench seat. It makes me think of the family with teens in travel sports; everyone can relax and stretch out between games and no one will feel hemmed in by the seating configuration. 

Related: Chevy Tahoe RST and Cadillac Escalade may look similar, but are they?

The View Of The Front Seat In The Chevy Tahoe Rst

The view of the front seat in the Chevy Tahoe RST. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Driver is in Full Command 

Sitting high up in the driver’s seat you’ll feel completely in command. The Tahoe’s 8” ground clearance, fixed running boards for easy access and its nearly 76” height lends a feeling of confidence. 

Once in the driver’s seat you’ll see critical functions — climate, media, USB ports — on the center console, but not everything; Chevrolet moved a few of these things, such as drive mode selector and driver assist functions to the left of the steering wheel. The gear selector panel of buttons sits just to the right of the steering wheel. This is convenient; it frees up console space for other things like a wireless phone charge pad and large cup holders. Overall the feeling is less cluttered, more focused. Not everyone in the car needs to stare at the drive mode selector, right?

And then, there are the conveniences. One of my favorites is the auto-folding third row. Yes—you can fold the third row via buttons on the upper command panel, where you’ll also find OnStar and interior light controls. Push a button and the seats fold down, push it again and they fold upright. It’s wonderful.

Then, there’s a surround view camera system. This is great for trailering or towing, of course, but it’s also great for just plain seeing what’s in front of you, especially at low speeds, such as pulling into the garage. 

The View From The Driver'S Seat

The view from the driver’s seat. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Hey Google— is This Multimedia System Better than My Phone? 

It’s been big news lately that GM is going to phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in favor of a Google-driven multimedia system. And on the face of it, it sounds scary. We’ve become so dependent on Apple CarPlay. But after using the Tahoe’s Google-based system for a week I’m comfortable putting my phone in the charger and heading out. Google managed the radio, navigation and more, often much faster and easier than my phone. 

And no worries for the time being; the 2023 Tahoe is equipped with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features, so you can rely on your phone, or Google, whichever suits your fancy.

The Rear Seat In The Chevy Tahoe Rst

The rear seat in the Chevy Tahoe RST. Photo: Scotty Reiss

How Kids Car Seats Fit in the Chevy Tahoe

There’s great news and not-so-great news when it comes to kids car seats. Let’s start with the great: the Tahoe’s height and ample head room means you have lots of space to get into the rear seat to install the seats, or the kids in them. Center seats are on a rail so they slide back and forth so you can position them for everyone’s comfort. The rear seats are wide; center seats measure 19″ or so, and even the third row seats are ample, meaning there’s plenty of room, even for large car seats.

A rear facing child seat will easily fit behind the front passenger’s seat and you can likely get one behind the driver, too. However, it may not be possible to get past that rear facing car seat to access other seats in the car.

The Tahoe has either 2 or 3 full sets of LATCHES – lower anchors and upper tethers – for installing car seats without a seat belt. These are all located in the center row; there are 2 full sets with captains chairs and 3 sets with a bench. Kids car seats installed in the 3rd row can only be installed using a seatbelt – which is perfectly safe, just not as convenient – and there are 3 upper tethers.

And then, the not-so-great news: Accessing the 3rd row can take a bit of strategy. Families with two kids in rear facing car seats should consider the center row bench option; this is the only way the 3rd row is accessible. And here is how they are best configured: The driver’s side and middle seat are a single unit, while the passenger’s side center row seat moves independently; this means ideally, two car seats fit behind the driver and in the middle seat, leaving the passenger’s side seat open for 3rd row access.

To access the 3rd row, the center seats flip and fold. This means that if an outboard center seat is needed for a kids car seat, that seat will probably need to be uninstalled for 3rd row access. Center row outboard  seats do slide forward and tilt a bit, but not likely enough to squeeze into the 3rd row.

This Tahoe Comes With Rear Seat Entertainment

This Tahoe comes with rear seat entertainment. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Nicely Loaded Rear Entertainment System

We see these being phased out, but not here. Not only does the system, a $1,995 add-on, burst to life when you get into the car, but rear seats passengers can listen over Bluetooth so you don’t have to. 

The system is pre-loaded with YouTube and YouTube Kids (no doubt, more from GM’s Google partnership), as well as Hulu. So, you have lots of options for streaming content, or you can plug in a tablet, phone or game system and bring your own. The center console has two USB-C ports, two HDMI ports and a household outlet.

The Front Of The Tahoe Rst

The front of the Tahoe RST. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This SUV Costs

Well-equipped at the entry level, the Tahoe has a price tag of about $65,000. This gets you a powerful engine, seating for 7 or 8, lots of storage, rear wheel drive, the full suite of driver assist systems and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

  • The RST, equipped with a 5.8L V8 engine that generates 355 HP, averages about 18 MPG and is priced from $67,195
  • The turbo diesel RST option generates 277 HP, averages 24 MPG and costs an additional $995 
  • The RST with larger 6.2L V8 engine that generates 420 HP, averages about 16 MPG and costs $3,820 more than the 5.8L engine
  • The RST model only comes in a black interior
  • Power second and third row seats are part of the RST Performance package, which is $8,875
  • The rear wheel drive version is $3,000 less than AWD
  • A panoramic sunroof can be added for $1,500
  • Our test model, in Radiant Red Tintcoat ($495) included the Performance package (surround view camera, adaptive cruise control, performance air intake, Brembo brakes, larger 6.2L engine and rear media system is priced at $81,305, which includes $1,795 delivery and handling
Center Row Leg Room In The Tahoe Is Lavish

Center row leg room in the Tahoe is lavish. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know 

  • This is a large, full-sized 3-row SUV
  • It’s nicely equipped but not the top of the line 
  • Take your pick: captains chairs or center row bench seats
  • Up to 7,900 lbs. tow capacity
  • Some of this SUV’s better options, including the surround view camera and push button folding center and 3rd row seats, are part of the $8,875 Performance package
  • Regular fuel recommended (big YAY)
  • It’s louder than your average full-size SUV

I drove the Tahoe RST through Texas Hill Country on my week with it. I was solo most of the time and even so, appreciated how it commanded the road, gave me a good long view of the highway, how I felt very in control and comfortable. I see why those in Western states love these large SUVs and why Tahoe is so popular.

From the mom-perspective, I get it too. The room for kids and stuff is solid. The space that each human gets in the car is reasonable. And with thoughtful details like air vents, cupholders and USB ports, everyone is comfortable and happy. 

And the sporty RST trim in Radiant Tintcoat Red with gloss black details, red sport brakes and the black leather interior with red accents looks sharp. This well-honed tool looks fresh and modern at every glance.

Disclosure: Chevrolet provided the Tahoe RST for this review, but all opinions are my own.

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