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A CHEVY FOR THE LEVEE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Jun 23, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

A CHEVY FOR THE LEVEE By Harvey Schwartz

The all-new 2007 Chevy Tahoe LTZ represents the beginning of a new era in full-size sport utility vehicles. This 'top-of-the-line' full-size SUV has it all for the 21st. century, and delivers a lot of value for your dollar - more than any other full-size SUV. The all-new exterior design is leaner and more agile-looking, with large wheels (17-inch and 20-inch), and a wider track - all of which enhance Tahoe's powerful, capable stance. The improved aerodynamics comes from a more steeply raked windshield, smoother roofline and front/rear wrapped fenders adding to the best-in-class 0.363 coefficient of drag which enhances fuel economy and lessens wind noise. Tahoe features the new face of Chevrolet, with a large Chevy gold bow tie, centered on a two-port horizontal grille (the LTZ adds a chrome grille insert). Headlamps and fogs lamps feature jewel-like optics. The lower fascia, incorporating the front license plate holder and integrated two hooks, is aggressively styled with a skid plate look that enhances Tahoe's rugged, off-road appearance.

The new Tahoe is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform, which incorporates a new, fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack & pinion steering, and an all-new premium interior that bolsters the Tahoe's comfort, quality and capability. Wider front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel. Tahoe's engineers paid extensive attention to detail to ensure a quiet driving experience. It starts with a new, stiffer frame, which reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin. The strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enables more precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components, which also helps reduce vibration. Even the tires on the large, 17-inch standard and 20-inch optional wheels are designed to reduce noise. Noise reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engine also features a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that dramatically reduces engine noise heard inside the vehicle. New door seats help reduce seal 'pull-away' at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise. Also, Tahoe's more slippery shape, thanks to improved aerodynamics, streamlined exterior mirrors and roof rack, and tighter body gap tolerances, make Tahoe quieter as it slices through the air. Tahoe's quietness and smoothness are complemented by the Autoride suspension system, which is standard on the LTZ. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors.

Tahoe's quietness and smoothness are complemented by capabilities full-size SUV customers depend on-even Tahoe 4X4 models offer up to 8,200lbs. of towing capacity. A new Gen IV small-block V8 family offers more power than before. Fuel-saving Active Management technology also enables better fuel economy. The 5.3 liter V8 models are rated at 16 mpg in the city and 22mpg on the highway in two-wheel drive mode, and 15mpg/city and 21mpg/highway in four-wheel drive mode. The Vortec 5.3 liter V8 makes 320 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque, and is standard in four-wheel drive models, while a 4.8-liter V8 making 295 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque is standard on two-wheel drive base models. Mated to the proven Hydra-Matic 4L60 four-speed electronically controlled transmission gives the new Tahoe quick launch when you want it, and plenty of high-speed cruising and towing power. It never misses a beat when I want to rock down the road. The 4x4 electronic transfer system includes a low gear when you are off-road and challenging the toughest trails. Just an easy quick turn of the dash-mounted dial is all you need to go into and out of 4x4. Helping to give a smooth ride and more precise handling is the new independent front suspension with coil-over-shock absorbers, and a thick anti-roll bar. Mated to the new rack & pinion steering system, you get a better feel for the road with quicker response to your inputs. I would have liked to see a litter less boost at highway speed since it gave me a kind of 'floaty' feel when traveling over smooth highway roads at high speeds. Quickly slowing the all-new Tahoe down from speed are big, power-assisted steel disc brakes -13-inch. vented rotors up front and 13.5-inch solid rotors in the rear. Standard ABS helps maintain your chosen direction during severe braking maneuvers. All-speed traction control helps keep unwanted wheelspin to a minimum for better control on wet or slick pavement. You can turn it off if you like. Further keeping your Tahoe on its chose path is standard Stabili-Trak that controls your direction during severe maneuvers and rollover mitigation, using sensors at each wheel and working with the electronic throttle, ABS and traction control systems.

The interior is roomy, comfortable and very quiet.. The Tahoe is available in three trim levels - LS, LT and LTZ, with the high-volume LT trim level offered with LT-1, LT-2 and LT-3 equipment groups. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models are available on all models, and all models come well equipped with enhanced safety, comfort and convenience. Options include power-release fold-and-tumble second row seat, remote vehicle start, first-and-second row heated seats, power lifting rear door, ultrasonic rear parking assist, rearview camera system, touch-screen navigation system and DVD rear-seat entertainment system with a larger 8in. screen and enhanced features. Refinements throughout Tahoe's spacious interior create an environment that exudes quality and precision, as well as comfort. A two-tone color scheme is seen with new low-gloss materials but the entire dashboard is hard plastic that is not soft to the touch. That must be changed as more vehicles pay closer attention to the richness of interior trim. Additional details inside include LED backlighting for the instrument panel and chrome accents on instruments and vents. Flush-mounted accessories and controls, such as the climate control/radio center stack, create a seamless, single-unit appearance. Also, there are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing 'close-outs' around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. Standard features in the LTZ include full leather trim inside with leather bucket seats with power adjustments for each, 2nd. row captains chairs, rear audio controls, tri-zone climate control, auxiliary rear air-vents, AM-FM stereo with CD/MP3, tilt/leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise control/audio buttons, floor mats for first and second rows, self-dimming rearview mirror with compass direction/outside temperature controls, heated/remote sideview mirrors, power windows/door locks with front express down, grab handles above each passenger door, power articulating side steps, luggage rack, rear window defogger/wiper, front fog lamps and automatic headlamps. My test Tahoe LTZ came with these LTZ optional equipment not listed above-power adjustable pedals, Bose premium Audio system, rear locking differential, electric sunroof, and a 3.73 rear axle.

Safety features include front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, 3-point safety belts for all seating positions with pretensioners up front, roof-mounted head curtain side airbags, seat-mounted front airbags, child-proof rear door locks, LATCH system, remote keyless entry, tire monitoring system, daytime running lamps, and OnStar that is notified when any of the airbags are deployed to quickly summon help. The all-new 2007 Chevy Tahoe gets excellent gas mileage by being able to use gasoline or ethanol as a 'Flex Fuel' certified vehicle. In the city, it gets 15 mpg and on the highway, 22 mpg. If you have a large family, large chores to take care of, heavy loads to tow, and want a contemporary styled large sport utility with excellent power, performance, with excellent comfort and safety, including the best mpg specs in full-size V8 powered pickups, Chevy gives you a lot of value for your dollar. SUMMARY JUDGMENT A new benchmark in the field of full-size SUVs. © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz For more information about Chevrolet products, go to www.chevrolet.com More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com Don't miss Chevy's Rev It Up ride-and-drive events this summer.

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2007 Chevy Tahoe LTZ 4X4 Price: $52,070.00 fully loaded LTZ 4X4 Engine type: 5.3 liter 16-valve V8 with cast iron block/aluminum heads, Active Fuel Management, EPA mileage specs: 15 mpg/city, 21 mpg/highway Horsepower: 320 hp at 5,200 rpm Torque: 340 at 4,000rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/4X4 Transmission type: Hydra-Matic 4L60 4-speed automatic with tow mode, 2-speed electronic transfer case Front suspension: Independent, coil-over-shock, Autoride real-time damping, anti-roll bar Rear suspension: Five-links with coil springs, stabilizer bar Wheels and tires: Standard 17 x 7.5 in. machined cast aluminum; optional 18 x 8 in. polished aluminum; optional 20 x 8.5 in. polished aluminum wheels; matched with 265/70R17, 265/65R18 and 275/55R20 all-season, high-performance, or on-off-road steel belted radial tires Brakes: Front:13-inch vented discs with dual-piston calipers Rear: 13.5-inch solid discs with single-piston calipers ABS comes standard Total length: 202 in. Total width: 79 in. Total height: 77 in. Curb weight: 5,537 lbs

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