In a cosmic bit of irony, I handed back the keys for a Kia EV6 battery-electric vehicle and took delivery of the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier the same week that U.S. gasoline prices hit an all-time record.
It was a clear shock to the system as I contemplated what it would likely cost to fill up the tank on Chevy’s full-size SUV. But after spending a week behind the wheel I came to understand why demand for the Tahoe is likely to remain strong even if gas prices continue to climb.
For those who need a large interior and up 8,400 pounds of towing capacity, it’s really hard to find a suitable alternative at a reasonable price.
The latest surge in fuel prices might get some buyers to rethink the need for an SUV. But there remain plenty of motorists who crave minivan levels of roominess paired with the torque to pull a large boat or trailer. And that should ensure continuing demand for full-size models like the Chevy Tahoe.
You can get into the big SUV for just over $50,000, but a growing number of shoppers are opting for either the off-road-ready Z71 or more luxurious editions, like the High Country. I spent a week in the nearly as well-equipped 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier. It isn’t cheap, a fully loaded version approaches $80,000. And that might lead some to check out more premium alternatives like the GMC Yukon, the Cadillac Escalade or competitors like the latest Lincoln Navigator and new Jeep Wagoneer.
But the bowtie brand delivers plenty of value for the money as I quickly discovered.
When the latest generation Tahoe made its debut it touched off a bit of controversy. The front end does have a rather bulbous feel to it, though others will like its imposing presence. This is definitely not a vehicle likely to get lost in the crowd — or a crowded parking lot.
The overall shape is a bit sleeker than past versions of the big SUV. But that doesn’t hide the fact it’s so big you might even find a few indoor parking lots that can’t handle its height.
Like prior versions of the Tahoe, the 2022 retains a split tailgate — power operated on upper trim models. This makes it easy to reach inside if you’re loading a large pile of cargo.
If you’re looking for a limousine-sized interior, you’ve clearly come to the right place. There’s plenty of head, leg, hip and elbow room. Indeed, that’s true for all three rows. You can put an adult in the third row without having to apologize.
Even then, the Tahoe delivers plenty of cargo space, at 25.6 cubic feet. Drop the second and third-row seats and that jumps to a whopping 122.9 cubic feet, enough to handle a day’s worth of antiquing or moving a teen into their college dorm.
The cabin has a much more high-tech feel than past versions of the Tahoe. The 2022 SUV now comes standard with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster on all versions but the base LS. And the 10.2-inch infotainment display now is managed by Google software which, among other things, means the optional navigation system’s maps are always up-to-date.
At a time when more and more manufacturers are moving controls to the infotainment screen, Chevy has taken an opposing view. There are buttons and knobs seemingly everywhere. Infotainment and climate control functions largely cover the center stack. Other vehicle functions are clustered to the left of the steering wheel. And there are even an assortment of knobs, buttons and switches above the rearview mirror. After a week, I’m still not sure I’ve memorized the whole layout.
The 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe offers a trio of powertrain options, starting with the standard 5.3-liter V-8 making a solid 355 horsepower. There’s now also a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbodiesel that offers the best fuel economy of the bunch while matching the trailer-towing torque of the optional 6.2-liter V-8, at 420 pound-feet.
My tester came with that big gas-powered engine, which tops out at 460 hp. It delivers plenty of low-end grunt, an appropriate description considering the menacing roar it lets out when you stand on the throttle.
All three engines are paired to an efficient and smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, though buyers have a choice of either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. My tester came with 4WD and also features a two-speed transfer case for use off-road — although you can run full-time 4WD as well.
Fuel economy for the 6.2-liter V-8 is rated at 14 mpg city, 19 highway and 16 combined.
Safety and Technology
If your image of a Chevy is basic transportation, the Tahoe is likely to deliver a real surprise, especially high-line trim packages like the 4WD Premier model I spent a week with.
Among basic features, it offers a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless smartphone charging and wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 10.2-inch touchscreen features OnStar and now uses Google mapping and voice controls, a definite update from Chevy’s earlier infotainment system. You’ll get trial subscriptions to both OnStar and Sirius/XM radio.
My tester added the Premium Package which, along with niceties like a power sunroof added plenty of useful tech features like a head-up display, a rear camera mirror and active cruise control. It also expanded the list of standard advanced driver assistance systems with rear pedestrian alert and enhanced automatic emergency braking. My tester also included an optional rear seat entertainment system.
The Premium Package should be considered a must for those who tow on a regular basis as it also gives you features like trailer braking control, a hitch view camera, and a blind zone alert for your trailer. In all, you can access up to 13 different camera views which make it easier than ever to haul a trailer, even if you’re a novice.
For those who expect to spend time off-roading, the optional Z71 package should be checked. Among other things, it adds an air suspension with ride height control. That’s great off-pavement but also makes it easier to get in and out of the big rig once you park.
You’ll exert a little effort climbing in and out of this big rig. And you certainly feel its almost 3-ton mass when you’re on the road. Yet it’s far more responsive than you might expect, both to throttle and steering inputs.
The 6.2-liter engine gets you up to speed in a hurry — my less than scientific test showing a mid-6-second 0-60 launch — and makes it easy to execute high-speed passes. And there’s something truly satisfying about the deep roar the V-8 makes at wide-open throttle — though, with today’s fuel prices, I wasn’t nearly as aggressive as I might have been last summer.
While cruising, the cabin proves surprisingly quiet, fitting in with the overall luxurious feel of the 2022 Tahoe Premier. And I was particularly impressed with how stable and smooth the big SUV was on the highway. You feel its mass in corners, but using the word with caution, it’s actually reasonably nimble considering it weighs nearly 6,000 pounds.
The 6.2-liter engine has another benefit, boosting towing capacity up to 8,400 pounds. I didn’t have the chance to tow during my week behind the wheel but I did experience several snowfalls and found the four-wheel-drive system effortlessly kept the Tahoe on track whatever came its way.
2022 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier specifications
|Dimension||L: 210.7 inches/W: 81 inches/H: 75.8 inches/Wheelbase: 120.9 inches|
|Powertrain||6.2-liter EcoTec V-8, 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||14 mpg city/19 mpg highway/16 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $66,100; As tested: $76,670 including $1,695 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The ongoing surge in gas prices likely will get some potential Tahoe buyers to think twice considering its meager mileage. But even as U.S. fuel prices were heading toward new records, demand for the full-size SUV remained strong. And that reflects the fact that there are still plenty of motorists who want the cavernous interior, performance and towing power it has to offer. Add to that all the luxury features built into the 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier model. For many potential buyers, this is a multi-functional alternative to a traditional luxury sedan.
And you can get into a base Tahoe for a reasonable price, starting at just $51,795. The Premier model I tested pushed the transaction price up to $76,670 — including options like the 6.2-liter V-8 and rear seat media system, as well as $1,695 in delivery fees. For those looking for maximum mileage, there’s also an optional diesel to consider.
Bottom line, be prepared for a hefty fuel bill, especially if you’re planning to haul a boat or trailer. But for the money, the latest-generation Tahoe has a lot to offer.
2022 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Chevrolet Tahoe worth the money?
The 2022 Chevy Tahoe is not cheap, but it offers a lot of value for the money, especially high-line all-wheel-drive versions which add plenty of luxury-level features, as well as the towing capabilities many full-size SUV buyers demand.
What engine does the Chevrolet Tahoe have?
Depending upon the version you purchase, the Tahoe comes with three different powertrain packages: there is a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel for those who want maximum fuel economy and plenty of stump-pulling torque, as well as two gas engines: a 5.3-liter V-8 and a 6.2-liter V-8.
Is the Chevrolet Tahoe a luxury car?
Where this full-size SUV once offered little in the way of frills, you now can get high-line models, such as the Tahoe Premier and High Country that are good alternatives to traditional luxury vehicles. The Tahoe boasts a cavernous interior, with plenty of room whatever row you sit in. And top trim packages are loaded with luxury features, from leather seating to audiophile sound systems.