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A purple 2016 used Chevy Tahoe Z71 is parked on grass in front of a white fence.

Fourth Generation Tahoe Models: What You Need To Know

Doing some research into GM’s Chevy Tahoe? Interested in what made the fourth generation of this long-running SUV line significant? Curious about how the penultimate generation laid the groundwork for the fifth-generation? Well, keep reading! The fourth-generation Tahoe lineup includes a few trims like the LS, LT, and Premier that we will discuss today; however, if you are visiting a dealership, you can also find the popular Z71 and LTZ trims. So today, we will cover exactly what GM did to overhaul the Tahoe to stand out during the fourth generation, as well as how it paved the way for the fifth generation. And we will look at what you should look for in the different trims in case you were potentially eyeing a new or used Chevy Tahoe. Let’s get started.

The Tahoe’s GMT K2UC Foundation

The entire fourth-gen run of the Chevy Tahoe was built on the GMT K2 platform, which was the next-generation chassis following the GMT900 series that the company used for their pickup trucks and SUVs for production from 2014 up through 2019.

The Tahoe specifically was anchored on the GMT K2UC chassis, which offered two different powertrains, including a front-engine with rear-wheel drive option or an all-wheel drive option. Unlike the GMT800 and GMT900 series that previous Tahoe SUVs had been built on, the powertrain options were reduced from eight down to two, a significant drop from the third generation outing of the Tahoe. However, the reduction in options did not mean a reduction in efficiency or performance, but rather the opposite.

Fourth-Generation Tahoe Performance

Since the fourth-generation Tahoe lineup only has two engines on offer, all the trims share them. So there is not a whole lot of variety in that department when it comes to options. Nevertheless, instead of having an annual refresh in engine upgrades, GM decided to simplify the process and focus on performance and efficiency over incremental increases in horsepower or torque.

The fourth-generation Tahoe comes standard with a 5.3L V8 with 355 hp and EcoTec3 FlexFuel at 383 lb-ft of torque running through a 6-speed transmission. A special Tahoe Rally Sport Truck was also made available as an optional upgrade, featuring a 6.2L V8 VVT DI with 420 hp, active fuel management, and 460 lb-ft of torque running through a 10-speed transmission. These are some fantastic performance numbers, but the fourth-generation has more to offer than just strength.

The Tahoe LS

A red 2018 used Chevy Tahoe LS Custom is shown from the side in a desert.

The Tahoe LS is the base model of the fourth-generation Tahoe. The initial 2015 Tahoe LS featured a completely overhauled look compared to the third generation Tahoe designs. The boxy, rectangular look from before had been refined with both sharper angles and more curvature along with bonnet trimming and over the arch of the windshield. The utilitarian and almost business-like approach to the visage had been replaced with an aerodynamic body that not only appeals to the visual senses with its elegantly bold aesthetic, but it also has a practical use in helping the Tahoe manage its fuel economy.

The LS sports the basic 5.3L V8, while the Tahoe RST edition is available with the optional 6.2L V8. ABS and traction control come standard, along with 18-inch aluminum wheels, front and rear air-conditioning with zone-specific controls, along with three rows of seats for up to eight passengers. It is a great, affordable option, both new and used.

The Tahoe LT

The benefit of the Tahoe LT trim is that it comes with everything already available in the LS edition, and then some. The base Tahoe LT costs slightly more than the basic edition of the Tahoe LS. However, this extra money gets put to good use as the interior seats are furnished in leather, while both driver and front passenger seats can be heated, along with memory saving settings for the driver seat.

Driver-assist technologies are also included, which enable drivers to make use of the safety alert while on the road. Other features include power-adjustable pedals, auto-dim for the rear-view mirror, and a programmable liftgate for convenient storage. All of these features come standard in the LT trim, but they can also be added to the aforementioned base trim as a separate upgrade known as the Enhanced Driver Alert Package.

One of the bigger differences between the LS and LT trims, though, is that the LT trim offers more customization and upgrade packages, ranging from interior color upgrades to suspension upgrades, to luxury entertainment upgrades. So if you have some extra cash, the LT trim is definitely worth consideration.

A silver 2015 used Chevy Tahoe LT is driving on a winding road.

The Tahoe Premier

The most expensive and feature-rich version of the fourth-generation Chevy Tahoe is the Premier trim. You’ll be ponying up quite a bit more money for the Tahoe Premier compared to the Tahoe LS, but it could certainly be well worth it. And, of course, if you want the four-wheel drive version of the Premier, expect to tack on an additional amount of money. But again, this could be worth it to some drivers.

In all, the price may be hefty for this option, but it comes with all of the accouterments of the LT trim plus a few extra bells, whistles, and exclusive package upgrades. For instance, the Premier – whether you get a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive – comes with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels. There are driver-side, and front-passenger side heated seat cushions. Front fog driving lights come standard, along with the return of the leather-trim seats, a built-in navigation system, and front and rear parking assistance.

Other quality-of-life upgrades include an all-door key fob with remote door access, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and other optional package upgrades. These packages include the Max Trailering Package and a Body Security Content Theft Package. You can also get an enhanced driver information center with a built-in 8-inch configurable heads-up display.

To upgrade, you can get the Infotainment and Destination Package with a rear-seat Blu-ray/DVD entertainment system that comes with HDMI/MHL and USB support. The luxury and entertainment suite is rounded out with a power sunroof, Bluetooth support for smartphones, and a personal cell phone connectivity option via the built-in Tahoe audio system.

Much like the other trims, there’s also the option to upgrade to the RST Performance Package with the 6.2L V8 engine featuring direct injection and active fuel management to enhance the overall fuel economy. So if you want the absolute best of the best, the Tahoe Premier is the right option for you.

What’s The Best Tahoe Model?

You wanted to know what the different Tahoe models are from the fourth generation, and now you know. So now you probably want to know what the best Tahoe model is. Well, all of that depends on your budget and preference. Some people might prefer the LS due to affordability and space. Some might prefer the LT due to all the optional packages and upgrades. Some might prefer the Premier due to the luxury and infotainment suite.

There are so many great options available within the fourth-generation Tahoe lineup. But again, it all depends on what you are looking for from a GM SUV and what your price range is. But whichever model you decide to go with, the fourth generation Chevy Tahoe is definitely a looker with some fantastic features.

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