(Photos: General Motors) While any new vehicle launch means a ton of money invested and even more hoped to return for a manufacturer, the sport-utility market is currently the one category where failure is simply not an option. Botch a launch, and you not only are going to have issues in your own house, but everybody else around the block will be lining up to pick your bones clean. “Cut-throat” isn’t scratching the surface. There is no room for error. So when General Motors got to work on redesigning the Tahoe and Surburban sport-utilities, vehicles that have historically been corporate bedrock for the General, you can bet your backside they left nothing to chance. They had to appeal to all sorts of buyers, not just the historical types who relish in hearing Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock” over and over and who think that leather-lined cruise ship highway cruisers don’t matter. They had to give a nod to green technology, keep the brutality up, and in no way forego the comfort demanded by buyers. The ultimate do-it-all vehicle that didn’t scare away buyers…and here’s the results.
Here’s the rundown on specs from GM themselves:
- Class-leading interior space:
- Sixty-six percent more cargo room behind the third row for Tahoe, and 19 percent more maximum cargo space behind the first row for Suburban – both best-in-class
- Ten additional inches (254 mm) of third-row legroom for Tahoe
- Dramatically improved driving dynamics:
- The most advanced suspension in the segment, with an independent rear suspension paired with available Magnetic Ride Control and first-in-class Air Ride Adaptive Suspension
- New Air Ride Adaptive Suspension offers load leveling at all four corners of the vehicle, and up to 4 inches (102 mm) of ride-height adjustment
- An entirely new SUV-specific interior offering up to five display screens in total:
- Standard 10-inch (254 mm) diagonal central color touchscreen, the largest in its segment
- Available 8-inch (203 mm) diagonal instrument cluster
- Available 15-inch (381 mm) Head-Up Display, which no competitor offers
- Available dual 12.6-inch (320 mm) diagonal rear-seat LCD displays, part of the segment’s most advanced rear-seat media system
- Thirty safety and driver convenience features, highlighted by standard Automatic Emergency Braking1 and new features, including HD Surround Vision and Rear Pedestrian Alert
- Technologies to optimize performance and efficiency, including:
- All-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, delivering an unprecedented combination of refinement, performance and efficiency
- Updated V-8 engines with Dynamic Fuel Management, including the available 6.2L V-8 offering best-in-class 420 horsepower
- Standard 10-speed automatic transmission for all engines with push-button electronic shift
- Best-in-class nine camera views and new trailering features designed to help improve the driver’s experience and confidence, including trailer profiles, trailer tire pressure/temperature monitoring and Side Blind Zone Alert for trailering
Now, to be clear, the three engines are as follows: a 335-horsepower 5.3L V8 is standard for most models, the 6.2L V8 is standard on the top-tier High Country edition. Both engines utilize what GM calls Dynamic Fuel Management, a system that has over twelve different modes of cylinder deactivation that can handle just about anything, even trailer towing. Automatic start/stop tech is on-board, as it direct injection and variable valve timing. Then there’s the oil-burner, the 3.0L Duramax inline-six, good for 277 horsepower and 460 ft/lbs of torque. The Duramax comes in every model except for the Z71 off-road package.
Now, there is the one thing that is radically different for the pair this generation: independent rear suspension. It’s a multi-link setup that is composed of three lateral arms, one large longitudinal arm, coils and a heavy stabilizer bar, and should appeal to buyers who viewed the solid rear axle as archaic and outmoded. Additionally you can opt in for Air Ride Active Suspension, which features load-leveling and ride-height adjustment, or Magnaride. And it shouldn’t be shocking that the latest driver nannies, like standard Automatic Emergency Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Rear Park Assist, and Hitch Guidance for trailer-towing made it onto the list. And it’s a sizable list. Oh, and don’t worry, you’ll have available 4G LTE data service, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, USB ports, and except for the base LS, wireless charging with a cooled charger.
Tahoe and Suburban will go on-sale in mid-2020 for North America, with other regions to follow soon. Now you’ve seen them…what do you think?