1996 Chevrolet Tahoe Review
Rugged, assertive and roomier than most SUVs.
The rationale behind the Chevrolet Tahoe is based on the Goldilocks syndrome, with trucks taking the place of bowls of porridge. There are some buyers for whom the Blazer is too small and the monstrous Suburban is too large. For them, the Tahoe will be just right.
Unlike a good story, the Tahoe saga has no suspense. If you want a 4-door vehicle of this type and size, you buy a Tahoe, or its twin from GMC, the Yukon. No other manufacturer offers a similar machine at the moment, though Ford will be joining the battle later this year with its new Expedition, a 4-door replacement for the Bronco.
The closest competitor is the Chevy/GMC Suburban, which is, in all respects save length and seating capacity, identical, although it could be argued that the Toyota Land Cruiser nibbles at the fringes of this size/price class.
Smaller truck/wagons abound, from the aforementioned Chevy Blazer/GMC Jimmy to Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Explorer to Range- and Land Rovers to a host of alternatives from Japan. All are a little easier to handle in urban situations and slightly more economical to operate, but none offer Texas-sized interiors or the ruggedness and trailer-pulling capacity of a fullsize truck platform underneath.
First introduced in 1969 as a K-Blazer (not to be confused with the smaller Blazer/Jimmy), Tahoe got its current name last year. It has come a long way from its early pickup-truck-with-plastic-roof beginnings, evolving into a unique and versatile people-carrier.
Tahoe is a rugged beast, a go-almost-anywhere, do-almost-anything sport-utility vehicle. With last year's interior refinements and an added model, plus this year's powerplant upgrade and new drivetrain variants, Tahoe would be a standout even if it had direct competitors.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe, click here: 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe.