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Gas prices may be rising, but I don’t expect that to diminish the appetite of Texans for full-size SUVs.  I’m talking about the big boys, the body-on-frame SUVs that share a platform with their pickup truck cousins.  They all might be more fuel-efficient than previous generations, but they still tend to be gas guzzlers. But, when you need to haul everyone to and from school, church and/or practice, or tow a 7,000-pound trailer, the full-size SUV is definitely the way to go.  Besides, if you need a vehicle that’s tough enough to take off-road, the big boys are built to take the punishment.  

I recently had an opportunity to test drive one of those big boys, a Midnight Blue Metallic 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Premier that came with a $76,670 MSRP price tag. A base Tahoe will cost you just a few bucks more than $50,000, so the Premier trim I was privileged to test drive was quite a jump from the plain vanilla version.  But it did have a lot of the bells and whistles that I love – and it’s a blast to drive.

Under the hood of the Tahoe was the 420 hp, 6.2-liter Ecotec V8 mated to a 10-speed transmission.  I did mention that these beasts are gas guzzlers; this Tahoe is no exception, with EPA estimated fuel economy numbers of 14 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway.  However, that big V8 has plenty of power to spare, so I never had to worry about passing or merging on the highway.  That muscular powertrain also made it fun to drive.  It felt much smaller than I expected.  

The Premier trim I drove is the second-highest trim, and it’s loaded with luxury items worthy of the price.  The top-tier trim is the High Country, which will cost you another $3,000 to see what that brings you.  The Premier trim includes leather seats, heated and cooled in the front row – and includes heated seats for the second-row passengers.  The third-row bench seat is comfortable enough for a standard-sized adult. 

The infotainment screen is 10.2 inches, which is way big enough.  The Bose sound system includes ten speakers and there is wireless charging for most devices.  The Tahoe also included the Premium Package for $4,485, which includes, among other things, Rear Pedestrian Alert, HD Surround Sound and my all-time favorite extra, a Multicolor Heads Up Display.  

Although this particular 2022 Chevy Tahoe came equipped with the massive 6.2 liter V8, you might also consider another engine choice for the Tahoe, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.  I had the opportunity to drive a Surburban powered by that inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel, and it really impressed me.  First, it’s only a $1,000 upcharge from the base gas engine and slightly less expensive than the 6.2-liter. What impressed me about the turbo-diesel was how smooth and quiet it is and its fuel economy numbers: with an estimated 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for the 4WD, it is vastly more efficient than either gasoline option.

And this final note: The 2022 Tahoe is assembled in Arlington, so it’s built-in Texas. That’s always a nice note on which to end.

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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