Sunday, October 15, 2006

In defense of the Chevy Tahoe

Large sport utility vehicles are inefficient for the tasks they often support: commuting and carrying 1-2 passengers.
That being said, they're better than they were only a few years ago.

Compare the original 1995 Chevy Tahoe and the new 2006 Chevy Tahoe (source = Edmunds.com):

1995 Chevrolet Tahoe
Curb Weight: 4980 lbs
EPA Mileage Estimates (City/Highway): 12 mpg / 15 mpg
Base Engine Size: 5.7 liters
Horsepower: 200 hp
Torque: 310 ft-lbs

2007 Chevrolet Tahoe

Curb Weight: 5265 lbs
EPA Mileage Estimates (City/Highway): 16 mpg / 22 mpg
Base Engine Size: 4.8 liters
Horsepower: 295 hp
Torque: 305 ft-lbs


This represents an increase of rated city/highway fuel economy of 33 and 47 percent, respectively. You would be hard-pressed to find a increase in fuel economy anywhere but the light truck segment. The vehicle's gained 300 pounds in curb weight in the last 12 years, but so has the Honda Civic.

Don't get me wrong: it's still an inefficient vehicle, and it's shameful that a 5000 pound automobile doesn't have a true third-row seat. It is gradually improving though, and once it receives a 6-speed automatic it may hit a rated 25 mpg on the highway.

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