The Tahoe is one of Chevrolet's hottest sellers mainly because it's bigger than the compact Chevy Blazer and smaller than the giant Chevy Suburban.
New for 1996 is a two-wheel-drive Tahoe two-door model. Last year, only a four-wheel-drive Tahoe two-door was offered--along with a two- and four-wheel-drive Tahoe four-door. Thus, one now can can get the Tahoe with rear- or four-wheel drive in either two- or four-door configurations.
The handsome Tahoe actually is a 27-year-old vehicle that has been updated over the years. It was called the K-Blazer until renamed the Tahoe last year, when a new, longer four-door model was added. The Tahoe four-door was a stroke of marketing genius; Chevy has hardly been able to keep up with demand for it.
For the Tahoe two-door, the base price for the two-wheel-drive model is $22,886, while the four-wheel-drive version goes for $25,136. The four-door Tahoe costs $28,264 with two-wheel drive and $30,464 with four-wheel drive. P A new push-button electronic transfer case allows one-touch shifting between two- and four-wheel drive.
The family oriented, 5,134-pound four-door Tahoe isn't as much fun as the sportier, 4,731-pound two-door because it's almost 400 pounds heavier, nearly a foot longer and not as nimble. But it is by far the top-selling Tahoe because buyers want the utility of its four doors, easier rear-seat access and nearly 24 extra cubic feet of cargo space. With rear seats folded down, Tahoe four-door cargo volume is a whopping 123 cubic feet.
The 117.5-inch wheelbase of the Tahoe four-door makes it ride more smoothly than the two-door's 111.5-inch wheelbase, although you still know you're in a truck.
Also new for 1996 is a 5.7-liter V-8 that produces a whopping 250 horsepower--up 50 from last year. The power is needed because all Tahoes are heavy and are expected to carry heavy loads and to tow up to 7,000 pounds. Most order the 5.7-liter V-8, but the two-door, four-wheel-drive Tahoe can be had with a monster 6.5-liter, 180-horsepower turbocharged diesel V-8.
The Tahoe, which has a driver's air bag and standard anti-lock brakes, is fast for a big, high sport/utility when powered by the 5.7-liter V-8. It's very car-like in many respects, and few buyers seem to care that it delivers only 13-15 m.p.g. in the city and 17-18 on highways.