Exclusive First Look At 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

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By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
The Auto Channel

Chevrolet’s global and first reveal of their all-new 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full size SUV’s took place in New York City. Making the introduction was Don Ammann, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of General Motors. So, you think these might be important vehicles?

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When it comes to full-size SUVs, Chevrolet and GMC together are responsible for three of every four vehicles sold. The sales and revenue generated would be equal to a Fortune 400 company. With a 75 percent market share, General Motors' dominance in the segment is clear. So far in 2013, Chevrolet and GMC have sold 180,000 Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans and GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs.

I know that there are drivers who regularly tow boats or campers and there are folks with second homes who just want to load up an extended family and head out for a weekend. Well, GM intends to keep them happy. There are also dads or mom who just like to sit up high and feel safer in a heavy vehicle, or of course haul around the youth soccer team. What bothers me is when I see only one person in a large SUV being used for commuting. That’s inefficiency.

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Brian Priebe of the Chevrolet Design team described the new SUVs exterior as bold and refined. Additionally, he described the interior as being of premium quality with a handcrafted appearance. Evolutionary more than revolutionary comes to my mind, but certainly attractive vehicles both in and out.

A more-efficient, direct-injected EcoTec3 powertrain coupled with improved aerodynamics helps offer greater estimated highway fuel economy based on GM testing while preserving overall performance and capability. Official EPA estimates are not yet available. Chevy says they expect best in class EPA highway mpg ratings.

The only powertrain is a 5.3-liter, 355HP V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic. Electric power steering, cylinder deactivation and spark ignition direct injection all contribute to reduced fuel consumption. The hybrid drivetrain has been discontinued and will no longer be offered.

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Tahoe/Suburban Chief Engineer Tim Asoxlis says there has been tremendous refinement in NVH making the new SUVs a lot quieter overall. Safety has been upgraded with forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a front center airbag.

New functionality and technology features found on both vehicles for 2015 include:

• Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo convenience – including an available power-folding feature
• Approximately two inches greater legroom for second-row passengers, along with easier entry/exit
• Available eight-inch color touch screen radio with next-generation MyLink connectivity
• Up to six USB ports and six power outlets – including a 110-volt three-prong outlet – to support electronic devices of all kinds (up to 12 charging locations)
• Available rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens (Suburban only) and Blu-ray DVD player
• Conversation mirror in the overhead console that provides a panoramic view of the rear seats
• Keyless entry and push-button start.

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Introduced in 1935, the Suburban is the segment’s founder and the industry’s oldest continuously available nameplate, while Tahoe is the segment’s sales leader.

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"The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban will continue to be dominant forces in the marketplace and provide great value for our customers, Chevrolet and General Motors," said Dan Ammann, GM executive vice president and CFO. "This is an important and profitable segment and we have set the bar high to ensure we provide our customers with great quality and performance they expect and deserve."

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Largest markets for Tahoe and Suburban are New York, California and Texas. Simultaneously with the Chevy models, the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL were revealed in Los Angeles. All four models will be shown in Texas in the next days. Production begins in Arlington, Texas the first quarter of 2014. As we get close to market introduction look for a full review and test drive here on The Auto Channel.

Larry Nutson

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