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We recently drove the brand-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and found it to be vastly improved compared to the outgoing model. And now that The General's pickup trucks have been squared away, it's time to focus our attention onto their passenger-friendly companions, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon (above).
Our spy photographers have passed along a huge smattering of photos (and a video), showing the new SUVs out testing. Both the short- and long-wheelbase models were spied, and while the overall shape of the vehicles hasn't changed all that much, we expect the updates to be substantial. In addition to new powertrain options, like GM's new small-block V8, we expect the interiors of both SUVs to get massive makeovers, providing better materials throughout their cabins and quieter, more refined environments. We even hear that some trick new suspension developments may be in store for upper-end models.
Visually, these spy shots allow us to see a couple of new details on the SUVs' front and rear fascias, including LED running lamps on the Yukon and some interesting LED taillamp treatments. Of course, the obvious third party missing from this set of photos is the Cadillac Escalade, but as we reported earlier, GM is working to further differentiate the 'Slade from the rest of the fullsize SUV lineup, and is working to make the new model "much less ostentatious."
Have a look at dozens of spy shots in our galleries above and below, and scroll down to see a video of one of the prototypes out on the road.Permalink | Email this | Comments
General Motors says its next-generation Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade models will offer shoppers improved interior differentiation. Car and Driver recently caught up with Chris Hilts, GM's creative manager of interior design, who said that the cabins will all feature unique instrument panels, consoles, center stacks and switchgear moving forward. Apparently GM is now aware that consumers may be bothered by the fact that today's $85,000 Escalade has effectively the same cabin as a $45,000 Tahoe. Hilts says SUV buyers want more refinement than their pickup purchasing counterparts - and those same buyers also want their SUVs to have more exterior differentiation between the company's Silverado and Sierra pickup lines. Shocking.
That all sounds good to us, but we've heard this song and dance before. GM made big waves about how different the new-for-2013 Silverado and Sierra would look from each other, but judging by what we've seen so far, GM's stylists are painting in shades rather than with the full spectrum. For more on the what to expect out of GM's new SUVs, click on the C/D link below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a teenager, working at a high-end audio store in tony Old Greenwich, Connecticut, and all of a sudden this quiet downtown formally filled with Volvo’s, BMW’s and the like were suddenly replaced with wealthy stay at home mom’s wielding 2-1/2 ton V-8 full-size Chevy Tahoes. Walking across the street on my lunch break for my favorite hamburger had become a risky proposition. But that was twenty years ago. Fast forward to the present, where I tell my friend at GM I am headed to Pennsylvania with my wife and son in tow for an early Christmas, and I’m going to need something that can haul cargo. GM promptly answered that a 2012 Chevy Tahoe LTZ would be at my disposal.
The Tahoe in its current state has been around since 2007, and has remained true to what it is-a full-size SUV. Yet Chevy has managed to keep the Tahoe looking fresh with clean, crisp lines, and a no-fuss exterior. Finished in Silver Ice Metallic complimented with 20″ polished alloys, the Tahoe looked smart and well-proportioned.
Inside, the Tahoe proved to be a quiet retreat from the maddening traffic we faced just skirting New York City. The quality of trim, fit and finish were both excellent. While not well-bolstered, the seats were very comfortable over the long haul. Chevy’s Nav/infotainment touchscreen was a cinch to use, and we appreciated the quality of the Bose audio for Christmas songs. With the three of us, the Tahoe was a joy to be in, but there was a problem. It being Christmas, we had our own gifts to haul down, and we would need to have seating as well. Not a problem for such a huge SUV you say?
Allow me to explain. Our top-spec Tahoe LTZ seats two up front, with two captain’s chairs in the second row, and a third row that Chevy claims will fit three people. The third row is removable, but because the two front rows had seating for four, I knew I had to keep all three rows. That said, the Tahoe’s cargo bed was loaded to the hilt with the third row folded up, just for a weekend trip. Once in Pennsylvania, with five passengers in this massive SUV could barely contain our grocery shopping. My wife who stands at a towering 5′ tall sat in the third row and was not at all comfortable. For all it’s size, the Tahoe just seemed impossibly impractical for what I needed.
Our Tahoe was powered by a 5.3L V-8 rated at 320hp, paired to a six-speed automatic. With an estimated average EPA fuel economy of 17 MPG the Tahoe is one thirsty girl, but in spite of its truck-heritage, the Tahoe is actually an exceptionally refined ride. The towing limit on the Tahoe was 7,200lbs. Our LTZ had standard Autoride suspension, which I am sure helped, but the truth is the Tahoe was a cinch to eat up mile after mile of interstate. Passing power was never a problem, the V-8 ready and waiting. Yes, the steering feel was dead on arrival in terms of feel, but that’s what you expect on a large SUV. With my wife and son nodding off, I was simply astonished at how the Tahoe remained completely composed as I sliced through traffic.
Our Tahoe LTZ was well equipped, with leather seats that were heated and cooled up front, heated steering wheel, XM Radio, Navigation, three-zone climate control, and power liftgate. Our Tahoe was optioned with the Sun & Entertainment Package, which added rear seat DVD entertainment and sunroof, heavy duty cooling package and trailer brake controller for a total of $59,135USD including delivery.
On our return trip to Connecticut, the Tahoe was positively exceptional, but for nearly $60k there are better options out there for the average family. But if you need to tow, go off-road, and haul folks the Chevy Tahoe more than fits the bill.
Company: General Motors
Medium: TV (The Outdoor Channel)
Ad Agency: Goody Silverstein & Partners
Product: Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe
Campaign: Silverado Saturdays/The Official Truck
What We Like: GM is showing viewers how its trucks should be used with regards to recreational pursuits. Hunting and fishing are activities that suit the full-size Silverado and Tahoe, and the soft-spoken ads help create the feeling that you're there with the guys and gals who enjoy these sports. The other team member on these excursions? Your Chevy truck.
We also enjoy the fact that these ads aren't working too hard to get in your face or cram a message down your throat. Hunting and fishing are generally relaxing activities spent in quiet environments, and tone of the spots mirrors that perfectly. We can almost feel the damp morning air, and hear nature waking up around us as we prepare for the day.
What We Don't Like: Your author isn't much of a hunter, but that won't temper our opinion here. In fact, we're having trouble finding anything wrong with the spots besides the fact that the duck hunters place their decoys right next to a boat ramp.
Strategy: GM is going after a segment of the country that loves trucks and full-size SUVs. These ads air on The Outdoor Channel during a block of shows called Silverado Saturdays. Occasionally, the spots will also show up during other outdoor shows. The commercials show Chevrolet trucks being used in a manner that the viewer can relate to, and it's being done in a simple manner that manages to convey a subtly powerful message.
Watch the videos after the jump and give it your own grade below.
*Update: Corrected Sundays to Saturdays.Permalink | Email this | Comments
There's ridiculous bass, and then there's this madness. Steve Meade Designs is a custom car audio shop that specializes in the kind of audio systems that require 10 batteries and three alternators to run. This clip features Meade's own 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe, and its compliment of four 18-inch subwoofers, backed by a total of 13 amps and 26 smaller speakers, including 10 6.5-inch mids, and 10 one-inch tweeters.
The result of all that firepower directed at four 18-inch woofers is a phone book-shredding bass attack. We don't mean phone book-shredding in the figurative sense, either. As the videos after the jump clearly show (hint: fast-forward first video to 3:00), Steve Meade Designs has built a stereo system so powerful it can shred your average metropolitan phone book to bits in minutes. Just think about what it'll do to your ear drums.
[Source: YouTube]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Sadly, it's simply not possible to build an automobile that's impossible to steal. But what we all hope for is that an automaker does all it can to make the unscrupulous thief's job as difficult as possible. According to a report from WXYZ Action News in Detroit, General Motors full-size SUVs aren't particularly hard to grab. In fact, the Cadillac Escalade is the insurance industry's most hated vehicle with $146 in theft loss payments per insured vehicle, per year. On average, insurance companies pay out around $11,934 per theft claim when it comes to the Escalade with 10.8 of the SUVs stolen per 1,000 vehicles.
Also cited as a contributing factor is the lack of a steering wheel lock that inhibits directional movement of the vehicle when not running. It seems that GM decided to leave off this well-known feature for a period after the introduction of ignition keys with computer chips that make it difficult to start the machines without the properly coded chip.
Combine these flaws and you end up with a vehicle that isn't all that difficult to steal. Here's the process outlined in the video after the break: Smash the driver-side window (which apparently doesn't set off an alarm) and force the column-mounted shift lever into 'neutral.' Step two requires some help: Have a buddy with a mutually lax sense of right and wrong push you and your confiscated SUV to a deserted area and strip it of all its pricey bits and pieces. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy, assuming you don't have a bothersome conscience.
According to a spokesperson for Cadillac, The General is aware of these issues and has introduced laminated glass for the side windows along with a beefed-up locking pin for the shift lever. Also, these full-size SUVs were re-equipped with locking steering wheels to make them more difficult to push without the proper ignition key. In any case, we'd suggest you keep a close eye on your blinged-out sport 'ute... and get used to paying higher-than-average insurance premiums.
Click past the break to watch a video of the full report.
[Source: WXYZ Action News]Permalink | Email this | Comments