Chevy Tahoe Changes Full-Size SUV Design Boldly but with Subtlety

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Believe it or not, the 2015 Chevy Tahoe is a design breakthrough. Yeah, the Chevy Tahoe. To the uninitiated, it may look like two boxes on wheels, but to an SUV connoisseur, it’s something of a design breakthrough. Starting with the front end, the Tahoe’s design theme can be summed up in one word — clean.

The expansive grille and headlight arrangement are accentuated with thick columns and rows of chrome, making it look wider than it even is. The stacked headlights with LED daytime running lights add to the cathedral-like ediface.

From the side, the new Tahoe has a look that can best be described as simple, bereft of the wholly unnecessary cuts, scutes and moldings that have for years characterized the class. Perhaps more important, GM has designed the new Tahoe so that all doors are inlaid into the body, fitting snugly inside. GM’s press material says that the purpose of the new door design is to improve aerodynamics for improved performance and fuel economy, but — aesthetically speaking — it also goes a long way towards improving the overall look of the vehicle.

The new Tahoe has the sleek flanks of Land Rover’s bigger models without the unnecessary and distracting grating and grooving. The look of the Tahoe is a lot more no-nonsense than most big SUVs, putting it more into the more serious category and away from the boy-racer crowd.

The clean look continues around back. GM maintains that the straight lines are advantageous aerodynamically as they prevent air from curling around the back of the vehicle at speed, but the fact that it matches the rest of the overall design is hardly a coincidence. In keeping with the simplicity of the Tahoe’s look, the back end is fitted with a rear spoiler cantilevered over the rear window. Cleverly, the rear wiper is nestled inside, hidden when not in use.

Inside, the design is much less Spartan. The seats are thick and covered in more sumptuous materials than you’d expect in a Chevy. Interestingly, the interior colour choices reflect more earth tones (including deep reds and dark browns) — more like home furniture than the grays and beiges normally offered in family SUVs.

The cockpit is designed with simplicity in mind, but has an array of different functionalities. There are several USB connections throughout the cabin and even a 110-volt three-prong outlet. There’s an iPod dock and an 8-inch screen featuring GM’s IntelliLink communications suite. The dash incorporates six easy-to-read dials clearly inspired by luxury timepieces.

So, while it might not be obvious to the casual observer, the 2015 Tahoe is a serious departure both inside and out from the model it replaces, and also a bold new move when it comes to large SUV styling. Since it’s already selling extremely well, don’t be surprised if it starts a trend.

By Jerry Langton Exclusive to TheTopTier


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