I was recently given my first ever assignment for Autotrader, which sent me to Texas for the celebration of 100 years of Chevrolet trucks. A lot happened, which I documented in the video above — but the main focus of the event was introducing the automotive press (and one idiot who makes silly videos) to the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe RST.
RST is short for Rally Sport Truck, and I think they held back on calling it an SS because it starts out as an appearance package. For $4,000 more than a Tahoe LTZ, you can get a sporty looking Tahoe with body color-matched sporting trim and badges, along with RST exclusive 22-inch wheels. Underneath, you still get the same 5.3-liter V8, as well as the standard suspension and brakes — but things escalate (or Escalade) quickly when you opt for the performance package. See the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe models for sale near you
The Tahoe I was given to drive for this video had $12,000 in options in addition to the RST appearance package — including, most importantly, the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. Finally, the Tahoe has the larger engine option, which is something dealers have been begging Chevrolet to do for years. Since 2000, the Tahoe has only been offered with the 5.3-liter V8, while the GMC Yukon (in Denali trim) and Escalade got more powerful engines — and that never seemed fair. This power plant, mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, scoots this famous family hauler to 60 in 5.7 seconds, making it the fastest Tahoe ever.
Now, Chevrolet could have stopped there and satisfied the masses, but they also made magnetic ride control available with the RST — another item that was exclusive in GM’s truck offerings to the Denali and Escalade. Apparently, this suspension was tuned for the RST with a sportier feel, but all I noticed was the incredibly comfortable ride. This feature is also optional in the Corvette, and it’s a great system: It provides a sporty suspension that’s not too harsh for normal driving, as electromagnets can firm up the shocks by stimulating the metallic particles inside of it.
The Tahoe I drove also had Chevrolet’s latest accident avoidance technology, which includes vibrating seats to alert you of an impending collision. This is also linked to the parking sensors — so most tight maneuvers in parking lots trigger the seat to shake your booty. The seat was also designed to vibrate certain areas of the buttocks based on which corner of the Tahoe is about to hit something.
My press demo Tahoe RST was also fitted with optional dealer-installed Brembo brakes and a Borla exhaust, which certainly makes the Tahoe a lot more fun to drive as a whole. Though it’s certainly not a competitor to the 700-hp Jeep Trackhawk, it doesn’t really need to be. It’s just the right amount of fun, comfort and performance that Chevy fans will love — and the RST certainly boosts the image of an already-popular vehicle.
Unfortunately, this all doesn’t come cheap. With all the options and the destination charge, the RST I drove was over $78,000. That’s nearly $8,000 more than a base-level Yukon Denali with all-wheel drive, and the same price as the standard Escalade. With that said, I personally feel the RST is the best looking of the bunch — and I expect it to sell easily to those die-hard bow tie fans … or somebody who wants a full-size luxury SUV without acres of chrome. Find a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe for sale
Tyler Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and now sells hamburgers to support his fleet of needy cars. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.