Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A black 2022 Chevy Tahoe High Country is shown from the side driving past a lake.

Are Modern SUVs Becoming Our Second Homes?

The 2022 Chevy Tahoe doesn’t get very much attention. It often lives in the shadow of its big brother, the Suburban. It can be tempting to think of the Tahoe as the “second-rate” Chevy full-size SUV, but this is simply not the case. Having grown up in a family that drives a Suburban, I understand its popularity, but I can also vouch for the fact that not everybody needs a monstrosity on the scale of the Suburban; but that doesn’t mean they are out of the market for a full-size SUV altogether. And so America’s best-selling full-size SUV, the Tahoe, swoops in to say, “here I am.”

The 2022 Chevy Tahoe has some exciting new developments, but in order to appreciate the new features of the 2022 Tahoe, you must first understand the significance of the year 2021 in Tahoe history. In the 2021 model year, both the Tahoe and the Suburban were–let’s not say reimagined, because that would suggest that Chevrolet abandoned what these top-notch vehicles are all about–instead, let us say “renovated”…but kind of reimagined. Essentially, both vehicles were given a makeover so hardcore that Chevy marketed both the 2021 Tahoe and the 2021 Suburban as “All-New.” This is an interesting move, because both of these vehicles are highly sought-after and regarded in the automotive world, with the Tahoe being America’s best-selling full-size SUV, so why did Chevrolet feel the need to do this?

For the Chevrolet brand specifically, I think it points towards their ongoing innovation and desire to deliver the best vehicles possible, of course; but, I think that we’ve seen a change in the automotive industry as a whole over the past twenty years or so. While there was a time where we may have thought about buying a car in terms of its driveability, today, we often think about buying a car in terms of its liveability. In other words, we think of it not so much as buying a car but as buying a second house.

I think that this is especially true when it comes to purchasing an SUV, which is why the all-new Tahoe is a perfect example of this phenomenon in the automotive industry as a whole. Automotive companies are updating their vehicles so that we can not only drive in them, but live in them. I’d like to share some thoughts on this movement. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you’ll disagree, but I think it is interesting how so many of the features we now seek in our vehicles have little or nothing to do with driving. Let’s think about why…

The black interior of a 2022 Chevy Tahoe shows two children riding comfortably in the spacious cabin.

An Active World

We live in a world of hyperactivity. The abundance of technology makes it such that we need not do things at the local level anymore. We can still see the remnants of a time when local communities were much more tightly-knit, such as in the number of churches we see as we drive through any given town. Present in each neighborhood was the local church that served as the center of that town or neighborhood’s culture; you also had the grocery store, the tavern, and so on. Everything was right there because people did not feel the need to venture far from their local community other than for special occasions.

We can still find everything we need at the local level, but what has changed is the way we use technology and how that has impacted our need to commute. Where we once left the office at 5:00 PM and couldn’t be reached by our boss or coworkers, we now have internet portals, shared documents, company emails, and direct messaging that allows us to be reached at any time of the day or night. This increased use of technology even enables us to access job opportunities that are quite distant from our residencies. Where once we worked in our local community, we are now able to work for companies that require long commutes with morning rush hour traffic on the way there and evening rush hour traffic on the way home. So too, many of those who desire to send the kids to private schools end up getting the kids their own vehicles in high school so they can take care of their own commutes and have a social life.

Speaking both from personal experience and from observation, we live in a world that makes it hard to say no to social opportunities and work opportunities, and so we are ready to hop in the car at all times and drive wherever we may need. This is especially evident to those who have young kids not yet of driving age. When I was growing up, my younger brothers and I were involved in countless different extracurriculars through elementary and middle school. I’d wager there were days we spent more time in the car than we did at our house. And right there is the point exactly. Because home is such a distinctive human desire and need, and because we now spend much more time in the car than we once did, we now desire cars that feel like home.

Living in Luxury

This idea of trying to make our car seem like home may seem like a stretch at first, but I think that it is evident in the increase in comfort, space, and luxury-oriented features we see in vehicles across all brands and lineups. The All-New 2021 Tahoe increased cargo room behind the third-row seats by sixty-six percent, as well as third-row legroom by forty percent. That’s a great deal more space. One of the other most significant advancements in the All-New Tahoe comes in the form of its technological features. With the addition of a wi-fi hotspot and the most-advanced rear seat media system in the SUV segment (a two-screen system which allows for individual content on each screen and for content sharing between the two), Chevrolet is inviting guests not into a mere vehicle, but into a dwelling place of sorts; a place to work, to rest, to be entertained.

While many of us who drive modern SUVs would probably welcome the opportunity to go for a free ride in a limo and think of it as a novelty, I think it’s important for us to step back and realize that we essentially own limos. Sure, it’s not a stretch limousine, and it may not have a bar inside (don’t try adding one, either), but when it comes to luxury features, a lot of these modern SUVs have old-school stretch limos beat. Take the All-New Jeep Grand Wagoneer (yes, another “All-New” vehicle), a Tahoe competitor. With American walnut and metal surfaces, 24-way adjustable seats with massage capability, and personalized ambient lighting, it’s hard to argue that this vehicle is not on the limousine level of luxury.

I think that automotive companies have recognized our change in lifestyle and our change in the way we use their vehicles and products. Now when we purchase a vehicle, we are not simply looking for a car to drive us to and fro; we are looking for essentially a second home.

The black interior of a 2022 Chevy Tahoe shows a loaded trunk.

What Does This Mean?

This is a technological generation that has never tasted the simplicity of a day when things were always done at the most local level possible. As such, we are accustomed to luxury vehicles that keep getting more and more advanced. While it is certainly an achievement that we have such amazing vehicles as the All-New 2021 and 2022 Chevy Tahoe, I wonder what we are losing by outdoing ourselves with busyness, commutes, and car time. Of course, all of us car buffs love learning about and driving cars, but I wonder if we’ll lose the concept of joyriding because our cars are becoming such a central part of our lives.

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