We all should have seen this coming and for those that did not – shame on you! Putting big performance into equally big SUV shells is the new norm for Auto-U.S.A. and Chevrolet has stepped up with a new special edition Tahoe: the street-performance Rally Sport Truck, or RST.
Big-power trucks such as Ford’s Raptor and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has redefined traditional trucks and SUVs, once meant to simply tow, carry, and haul lots of stuff on and off the road, they have been infused with gobs of horsepower and torque to make driving a rocket sled event.
Based on Chevy’s full-size Silverado pickup, the Tahoe RST Edition is 17 feet long and weighs in at a hefty 5,631 pounds. The RST has four driver-selectable drive modes: two-wheel drive, full-time all-wheel drive, and locked four-wheel drive with high and low ranges for off-road dependability. Towing max comes in at 8,100 pounds.
The new Tahoe RST is available with a Performance Package that features a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine and an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission – all that punch is magnetically ride controlled and tuned for high-output performance.
With three impressive state-of-the-art technologies working in unison, continuously variable valve timing, direct injection and Active Fuel Management, the Tahoe RST manages to profoundly impress over previous models with enhanced power, torque and efficiency.
Whether you choose two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, jumping on the accelerator will easily pin you back in your seat. It’s fun, for sure!
Inside the Cabin
My tester was a seven-passenger featuring second-row captain’s chairs and a smallish third row that only accommodates small kids. Seats in the first two rows offer great comfort long-trip support. It would be ideal if Tahoe offered second-row seats that adjusted fore and aft, but they do not, making it tough to get back there.
Working with the power tailgate raised, a touch of a switch folds the rear seatbacks and the third-row seats to produce a flat load floor with nearly 98 cubic feet of cargo space. This can pretty much take Tahoe back to its original tasks.
The Tahoe RST can hang with many luxury cars, boasting tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, heated and ventilated front seats, rolling WiFi, head-up display, wireless smart phone charging, and an 8-inch center screen for navigation and infotainment functions including Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Despite being a big truck, adding in tons of power doesn’t make it crisp or clean inside for passengers. There’s plenty of choppy, bumpy miles – though jeep and truck fans will devour this willingly.
The magnetic ride control delivers a noticeable enhancement to the Tahoe’s ride. An active suspension setup that takes readings of road conditions and electronically adjusts the shock absorbers in milliseconds, it worked well in tandem with the gorgeous black 22-inch aluminum wheels.
The tested RST Edition had a starting price of $66,425. With the equipment mentioned, along with other options, the final price came to $78,450.
This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication