The 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe adds a new engine option this year: a Vortec 5300 Flex-Fuel V-8 that can operate on a combination of gasoline and E85 ethanol fuel. Other changes include relocating the catalytic converters closer to the engine for improved emissions, making the tire pressure monitoring system standard, combining the OnStar and XM Satellite Radio antennas into one, and installing a new parking brake adjuster.
The 2006 model year will be the last year that the best-selling Tahoe as we know it exists. (The 2007 model, which went on sale in the second quarter of 2006, is a much different vehicle.) Capable of hauling up to nine passengers when equipped with the optional third row, and able to tow up to 7,800 pounds, the Tahoe has attracted a loyal following. When the second-row seats are folded forward, it creates nearly 105 cubic feet of cargo space and the convenience of a flat floor.
Now, in addition to the standard Vortec 4800, 4.8L V-8 engine, which is rated at 285 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, Tahoe customers seeking even more power can opt for the Vortec 5300, 5.3L V-8, which generates 295 hp and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. It also offers the benefit of Flex-Fuel, which, in addition to the ability to run on gasoline can also run on ethanol, a biomaterial derived from corn that reduces emissions. Both engines come with a Tow/Haul mode that improves performance in heavy-load situations and both are coupeed to a four-speed automatic transmission.
With rising fuel prices an ongoing concern, the Active Fuel Management (formerly called Displacement on Demand) feature of the new Vortec 5300 is a welcome benefit. This system automatically deactivates half of the V-8 engine's cylinders when power isn't needed, such as when idling or cruising on the freeway. Another fuel-saving technology on the Tahoe is its all-electric cooling system that reduces parasitic power losses on the engine by eliminating the engine-driven fan.
The Chevrolet Tahoe fits into the Large Utility segment marked by big SUVs capable of taking on big tasks. Whether it's transporting lots of people and their gear or towing a heavy trailer, they are up to the task.
As indicated in the J.D. Power and Associates Sales ReportSM for calendar year 2005, the Chevrolet Tahoe was the sales leader in the Large Utility segment. Of the segment's 565,975 annual sales, 152,305 were Tahoes. Next in line was the Ford Expedition with 114,137 sales. The remaining five SUVs in the group all had sales below 100,000. They are, in order of sales volume, the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Toyota Sequoia, and Nissan Armada.
|LS w/1WT||4 speed automatic||$34,015||285-hp / 4.8L 8-cyl||16/20|
|Z71||4 speed automatic||$35,815||285-hp / 4.8L 8-cyl||16/20|
|Police Vehicle||4 speed automatic||$35,815||295-hp / 5.3L 8-cyl||15/20|
|Commercial Fleet (Fleet or Gov Only)||4 speed automatic||$35,815||285-hp / 4.8L 8-cyl||16/20|
|Special Services||4 speed automatic||$39,415||295-hp / 5.3L 8-cyl||14/18|