All-new for 2015, the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe continues with a more streamlined appearance, a stiffer structure, an improved ride, a more powerful V8 engine and a long list of infotainment upgrades and new safety systems it introduced the previous year. The Tahoe remains more than 1.5 feet shorter than the Chevrolet Suburban, so it fits more easily in garages. After a delayed rollout in 2015, the 2016 model comes standard with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity and in-vehicle Wi-Fi. The standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system includes a flip-out 8-inch color touchscreen with hidden storage behind it and is finally Apple CarPlay-compatible for the iPhone 5 and subsequent models, supporting apps for maps, music, messaging, phone calls and more. A new optional Enhanced Driver Alert package for LS models adds power-adjustable pedals, lane-keeping assist, a safety-alert seat, forward-collision alert and Intellibeam high-beam headlamp control.
The 2016 Tahoe can tote up to nine passengers and offers 94.7 cu ft. of cargo space with the second- and third-row seats folded. Both rear- and 4-wheel-drive options are offered. Max tow capacity is 8,600 pounds. The fuel tank holds 26 gallons.
What We Like
4G LTE Wi-Fi; Apple CarPlay connectivity; seating capacity; interior quality; ride quality on LTZ model; towing capacity; comfortable first- and second-row seats; relative fuel economy
What We Don’t
Shorter powertrain warranty; less cargo space than some competitors; cramped third-row legroom and access
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The 2016 Tahoe is equipped with an updated version of the 5.3-liter small-block Chevy V8 with direct injection. It’s rated at 355 horsepower with 383 lb-ft of torque. The engine also features active fuel management, a cylinder-deactivation system that shuts down 4 of the 8 cylinders when coasting or highway cruising under light loads to save fuel.
The Chevy Tahoe’s standard 6-speed automatic transmission features tap-up/tap-down gear selection on the column shifter, giving the driver easier manual gear control for grades, and a tow/haul mode offers the driver improved control of transmission shift points when dealing with heavy loads. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy estimates for 2-wheel-drive models are 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway; estimates are 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy for 4WD.
Standard Features & Options
The 2016 Tahoe is available in base LS, midlevel LT and luxury LTZ trims.
LS standard fare includes OnStar with 4G LTE and an in-truck Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cloth upholstery, power-front bucket seats with lumbar adjustment (a split-front bench seat with a fold-down armrest is optional), tri-zone automatic air conditioning, a backup camera, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt wheel, keyless remote entry, 18-in alloy wheels, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 Chevrolet MyLink audio system with an 8-in touchscreen, steering-wheel controls, HD Radio and Apple CarPlay compatibility, five USB ports, a conversation mirror, an auxiliary transmission cooler, a locking rear differential, split fold-down second- and third-row seats, a security system, a 110-volt power outlet, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, intermittent wipers, automatic headlamps, ultrasonic reverse sensing, rain-sensing wipers, power windows, heated mirrors and a remote start system. The 4WD LS models come with a 1-speed transfer case; a 2-speed case is optional.
Moving up to the LT trim brings standard leather seats, heated front seats, a manual tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a power lift gate, a haptic safety alert seat, forward-collision alert and lane-departure alert. Also available is a Bose 9-speaker premium audio system.
The LTZ trim adds such standard items as heated and cooled front seats, driver’s seat memory, power-folding heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, a touchscreen navigation system, Surround Sound, 20-in alloy wheels, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated rear seats, wireless phone charging, a hands-free lift gate, keyless entry, push-button start, Magnetic ride control shocks, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, lane-change alert and blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. The 4WD LTZ models come standard with a 2-speed transfer case.
Popular Tahoe options include a Z71 off-road package, a head-up display, power-release second- and third-row seats, 22-in alloy wheels, Bose 10-speaker Surround Sound, adaptive cruise control and dual-screen Blu-ray DVD rear-seat entertainment.
The Chevy Tahoe remains the best-selling full-size SUV, and due to its trucklike durability, roomy cabin and carlike civility, it’s a popular used-vehicle choice as well. 4WD versions fetch higher prices, especially in mountain areas and northern climates.
For a good idea of the prices of used 2016 Tahoes, check out the used-car values on KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.
The following safety recalls have been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe:
Defective airbag-sensing and diagnostic module software may fail to deploy the front airbags and seatbelt pretensioners in a crash.
The brake pedal pivot nut may loosen, causing a loose or inoperative brake pedal.
The driver’s seatbelt tensioner cable may break, and the driver may not be properly restrained in a crash.
Defective welds may lead to separation of the front suspension upper control arms from their bushings, affecting steering and increasing the risk of a crash.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
NHTSA rated the 2016 Tahoe at 4 stars overall, with a 5-star rating for front- and side-impact performance, plus 3 stars for rollover resistance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not crash-test the 2016 Tahoe.
General Motors updated the 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe’s warranty to cover the vehicle for 3 years/36,000 miles, body corrosion perforation for 6 years/100,000 miles and the powertrain for 5 years/60,000 miles, including roadside assistance. In previous model years, the powertrain coverage was 5 years/100,000 miles.
Chevrolet certified pre-owned (CPO) cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO Tahoe undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, plus the transferable original 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage is extended to 6 years and includes roadside assistance. Also included is a 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Ford Expedition — Ford’s biggest SUV beats the Tahoe on cargo-carrying space and can tow up to 9,200 pounds. The 310-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 is less powerful than the Tahoe’s 5.3-liter V8, but the Expedition’s independent rear suspension rides better than Chevy’s live rear-axle setup.
2016 Toyota Sequoia — Toyota’s largest SUV has more passenger and cargo space than the Tahoe, but can only tow up to 7,400 pounds. The standard 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 delivers entertaining performance.
When gasoline prices dip, the safety, security and trailer-towing ability of a full-size SUV are undeniable. We like the LT trim, which comes with most of the standard features buyers want. Look for a 4WD version if you live in a mountainous area, snow country or an area with a lot of unpaved roads. The trucks enjoy a high resale value and have a solid reputation for durability. A certified pre-owned Tahoe is a good way to go. Regardless, get a car history report before you buy, and make sure any applicable recall repairs have been performed by a GM dealer.