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The Chevrolet Tahoe (and very similar GMC Yukon) are full-size SUV from General Motors. Chevrolet and GMC sold two different-sized SUVs under their Blazer/Jimmy model names through the early 1990s. This situation changed when GMC rebadged the full-size Jimmy as the Yukon in 1992. Chevrolet waited until 1994's introduction of a four-door version to rebadge the mid-size S-10 Blazer as the Blazer, renaming the full-size Blazer as the Tahoe.

The Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon currently serve as General Motors' full-size SUVs. Lengthened wheelbase models are available for both as the Suburban for the Tahoe and Yukon XL for the Yukon. A luxury Denali model joined the Yukon lineup in 1998. As of 2002, a Denali version of the Yukon XL was also available as the Yukon XL Denali.

1992 - 1999 (GMT400)

GMT400 GMC Yukon GT
The new GMC Yukon was introduced for 1992, while Chevrolet continued calling their version the Blazer. All were 2-door models through 1994. In 1995 the Chevy changed the name of the Blazer to Tahoe and introduced a 4-door version. The Tahoe was Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year for 1996.

The Tahoe/Yukon were shorter than the Suburban on which they were based, but shared that vehicle's GMT400 platform. This was a true truck chassis, and was based on that used in the Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck. Both two-door and four-door models were produced, as well as rear- and four-wheel drive.The two door weighs roughly 4500 pounds while the four door weighs approximately 5500 pounds."AutoTrac" full-time all-wheel drive and OnStar were added for 1998. The upscale Denali trim line to the Yukon appeared around this time as the vehicles became popular with wealthy families.

The standard engine was Chevrolet's LO5 small-block V8, while a turbocharged Detroit Diesel V8 was available beginning in 1994.

In Mexicomarker, the Tahoe 2-door was released in 1995, called the Chevrolet Silverado, and in 1998 the 4-door was released as the Silverado 4-door, and both were available in Base, LS and luxury LT trim lines.

Beginning in 1994, GM began making numerous annual changes to the Blazer/Yukon, including:
  • Revised front clip - Blazer (1994)
  • Revised interior including a driver-side air bag, revised side mirrors, Blazer renamed Tahoe, 4-door option included (1995)
  • Revised Vortec "5700" (350 cu. in.) and "7400" (454 cu. in) engines with increased power and fuel efficiency, electronic 4WD shifting, daytime running lights, illuminated entry, and some new interior features (1996)
  • Revised transmissions, improved steering system and added passenger-side air bag, 2-door option dropped (1997)
  • Onstar, PassLock security system and full-time AutoTrac 4WD option added, next generation "depowered" air bags, transmissions revised again (1998)
  • Revised steering wheel and improved radiators and transmissions (1999)

Tahoe Limited

2000 Chevrolet Tahoe Limited
When the GMT800-based SUVs were released in 2000, a 2WD Tahoe Limited was produced for demand purposes. It featured Police package suspension, monochromatic paint, no roof rack, distinctive front bumper and body kit, 2-toned leather seats and 16" alloy wheels. A Tahoe Sport was also produced that had a monochromatic paint scheme, distinctive front bumper and wheels. It is largely believe to be a Z71 model, but most do not possess the Z71 RPO code found in the glovebox.

The Chevy Tahoe Limited Edition was offered for the 2000 model year, but based on the first generation model platform. The Tahoe Limited was produced for only one model year. According to research, there were 8,905 units produced —all in black. The Tahoe Limited was originally badged as the Tahoe SS (concept in 1995), but GM disliked the idea of an "SS" at a time when insurance companies were already demanding higher premiums for SUVs. Ronal 16" wheels, brakes borrowed from the Chevrolet Suburban, Bilstein shocks, a two-tone leather interior, and a gauge cluster were among the standard features in the Tahoe Limited. A body that sat 2" lower than normally aspired Tahoes, along with an all black grille, fog lights set in the front bumper and side skirts gave the Tahoe Limited a more aggressive stance—which is said to have been originally inspired by a Tahoe Police Package shown at the 1996 SEMA Show.
Tahoe LT 4-door
Year Engine Power Torque Notes
1992–1995 5.7 L 350 TBI V8 200 hp (149 kW) 310 lb·ft
1994–1998 6.5 L Detroit Diesel V8 180 hp (134 kW) 2-door 4WD Tahoe only
1996–1999 5.7 L Vortec 5700 V8 255 hp (190 kW) 335 lb·ft

2000 - 2006 (GMT800)

Other than the Tahoe Limited Edition, the vehicle was redesigned for the 2000 model year on the new GMT800 platform, still shared with the full-sized pickups. Two new engines replaced the old 5.7 L (350ci) small-block V8, and while both were smaller, both produced more power. The manual transmission was dropped, leaving only the automatic transmission. In Mexicomarker, the GMT800 Chevy Tahoe is called a Chevrolet Sonora.

Both vehicles received significant updates with only the grille and headlights distinguishing one from the other. Both vehicles now featured softer lines as part of a more aerodynamic design. The interior was also updated with new seats, dashboard, and door panels.

"StabiliTrak" stability control was offered for the first time in 2003, as were XM Satellite Radio, Bose audio, and a DVD entertainment system as the models continued to climb upmarket. Both engines received 10 hp (7.5 kW) more for 2004.

Year Displacement Engine Power Torque Notes
2000–2005 4.8 L Vortec 4800 V8 275 hp (205 kW)
2000–2003 5.3 L Vortec 5300 V8 280-285 hp (213 kW) 325-330 lb·ft
2004–2006 4.8 L Vortec 4800 V8 285 hp (213 kW)
2004–2006 5.3 L Vortec 5300 V8 295 hp (220 kW)

2007 - Current (GMT900)

General Motors redesigned the Tahoe and Yukon on the new GMT900 platform in late 2005 as a 2007 model. A hybrid version of the Yukon, which uses the shared GM/Chrysler Advanced Hybrid System 2, is followed with the 2008 models. The GMT900 based Tahoe and Yukon exceeded initial sales expectations and continue to sell well despite a weakening market for large SUVs. For the first time, GM used the Tahoe name in Mexicomarker.

For 2007 the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe received different front fascias and hood. The GMC Yukon features a monolithic grille and headlights, while the Chevrolet Tahoe grille is divided by a body colored bar similar to the chrome bar found on most GMT800 Tahoes. While the Tahoe's hood now features a design attribute obtruding from its otherwise smooth contour, the Yukon features a smooth hood with two slight curves on both sides of the hood. Both the new Yukon and Tahoe feature a more angular design that gives the vehicles a more upscale appearance. The interior was significantly redesigned as well. It features a new real wooded trim dashboard with new chrome accented instrument controls. New door panels as well as new seats were also added to the interior.

Short wheelbase and police Tahoe production began at Arlington Assemblymarker on December 1, 2005. SWB Yukon production began in early 2006, with Janesville Assemblymarker coming on line as well. Long wheelbase versions began at Janesville and Silao Assembly in March.

Highway mileage has improved from 19 mpg (12.4 L/100 km) to 21-22 mpg (11.2 L/100 km) with the addition of Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation. Both the old and new versions get 15-16 mpg (15.7 L/100 km) in town.

The 2007 Tahoe was featured on, and promoted through Donald Trump's The Apprentice, where the two teams put together a show for the top General Motors employees to learn about the new Tahoe. Also, The Apprentice sponsored an online contest where entrants could create their own commercial for the new Tahoe.

For 2009, the 6.2 L engine in the Yukon Denail got a power increase to , while a 6.2 L was added as an option for the Tahoe LTZ. A 6-speed 6L80 automatic transmission replaced the 4-speed on all trucks except 2WD models with the 4.8 L engine.
Year Engine Power Torque Notes
2007– 4.8 L Vortec 4800 V8 295 hp (220 kW) 305 lb·ft (414 N·m)
2007– 5.3 L Vortec 5300 V8 320 hp (239 kW) 340 lb·ft (461 N·m) standard on 2WD models
2007– 5.3 L Vortec 5300 V8 320 hp (239 kW) 340 lb·ft (461 N·m) FlexFuel; standard on 4WD models
2007–08 6.2 L Vortec 6200 V8 380 hp (283 kW) 417 lb·ft (565 N·m) Yukon Denali
2009– 6.2 L Vortec 6200 V8 403 hp (Denali)/395 hp (Tahoe) 417 lb·ft (565 N·m) Yukon Denali, Tahoe LTZ

GMC Yukon Denali

The GMC Denali nameplate started as the luxury version of the Yukon for the 1998 model year. The Denali trim is as in the GMC Envoy available on both standard and XL versions.


GMT400 GMC Yukon Denali
1998, at the time of its introduction, the Yukon Denali was GM's answer to the Lincoln Navigator, but then GM introduced a clone to the Yukon Denali and rebadged it "Escalade" under the Cadillac nameplate. The Yukon Denali's exterior was shared with the Cadillac Escalade, with the entire front clip and lower side body panels differing from the standard Yukon. In the interior, however, the Denali features luxury options not available in the Yukon. These included an upgraded leather interior, power seats, heated seats front and rear, Bose stereo system, and some woodgrain on the dashboard.


GMT800 GMC Yukon Denali
though the Yukon was redesigned alongside the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe in 2000, the Denali and Escalade retained their 1990s base design. It was not until 2001 that the Denali and Escalade were redesigned. While the Escalade departed from its Yukon based exterior design scheme in attempt to hide its roots, the Yukon Denali's exterior is almost the same as that of a post-2000 GMT400 model year Yukon. Embossed side body panels and slightly reworked headlights with projector-beam lenses along with 17" polished wheels and different grille and front bumper differentiate the Yukon Denali from the regular Yukon. 2001 also saw the introduction of the billet grille which now has become the hallmark of the Denali nameplate.


GMT900 GMC Yukon Denali
Yukon Denali was redesigned for the 2007 model year alongside the regular mainstream Yukon. The biggest change was in the styling, such as the flattened tailgate reminiscent of the new Tahoe, and particularly the grill and headlight shapes, which made the Yukon look less aggressive than previous models. The only exterior difference between the Yukon Denali and the standard Yukon are the chrome grille and extensive use of chrome accents; and of course the insignias, embeveled rockerpanels, chromed headlights and the Vortec 6200 engine which it shares with the Cadillac Escalade.

Hybrid vehicle

2009 Tahoe Hybrid
2009 Yukon Hybrid
Tahoe made its hybrid electric debut in fall 2007. In January, 2008, starting price was US$50,540. The starting price of the 2009 model was increased to US$51,405.

The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid uses a combination of its 6.0-liter V8 engine and two electric motors that charge a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery. The vehicle can run on either gasoline, electricity or a mixture of the two using an automatic system that monitors the vehicle's torque, and state of the battery to choose the most efficient source of power. The battery is charged either directly by generating electricity through driving one or both electric motors using the gasoline engine (while the vehicle is coasting or being driven by the gasoline engine), or by the wheels driving one or both electric motors through what is called "Regenerative braking" when the vehicle is decelerating, thus regaining a small amount of the energy invested in forward momentum. The Tahoe is considered a strong hybrid, in that it can run entirely on the battery (for a limited range) at low speeds. In city driving, the EPA rating of fuel consumption for the 2WD version of the hybrid is 21 mpg. In comparison, non-hybrid varieties of the Tahoe are rated no higher than 15 mpg in city driving.

The Apprentice make-your-own-ad contest

The 2007 Tahoe was featured on and promoted through Donald Trump's TV series, The Apprentice, where the two teams put together a show for the top General Motors employees to learn about the new Tahoe. Also, The Apprentice sponsored an online contest in which anyone could create a commercial for the new Tahoe by entering text captions into the provided video clips; the winner's ad would air on national television. This viral marketing campaign initially appeared to backfire however, when hundreds of environmentally conscious parodies flooded YouTube and Chevy's website critiquing the vehicle for its low gas mileage. Over 400 negative ads were created in total, however over 20,000 positive ads were created making the campaign, according to Chevrolet, a success, despite the negative media attention.

The Tahoe in foreign countries

In Brazilmarker the Tahoe GMT400 was sold under the name of "Grand Blazer". The GMT400 is used by Brazilian elite police units, such as the BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais) in Rio de Janeiromarker and the ROTA (Rondas Ostensivas Tobias de Aguiar) and GATE (Grupo de Ações Taticas Especiais) in São Paulomarker. It is also used by the São Paulo State Police and the Rio Grande do Sul State Police. But as the cars grew old, the great majority of them were substituted.

Police package

Chevrolet Tahoe Police package
Chevrolet Tahoe Police package

In North America, the Tahoe is used by many law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and EMS agencies. Chevrolet currently offers 2 versions of the police package Tahoe; a four-wheel drive version and a two-wheel drive version.

The four-wheel drive version is a "Special Service Vehicle", and can be used for all purposes except pursuits and high speed responses. This is because the four-wheel drive version is much higher up from the ground than the two-wheel drive version, it has a higher probability of rolling over if used at high speeds. The four-wheel drive version Tahoe is preferred by agencies where snow, ice, flooding, rough terrain, and ground clearance are common issues.

The two-wheel drive version is a "Police Pursuit Vehicle", and can be used for all purposes including pursuits and high speed responses. Highway patrol agencies prefer the two-wheel drive version, where pursuits and long distance responses are more common. It should be noted that the two-wheel drive version of the Tahoe is the only pursuit-rated SUV on the market today.

Yearly American sales

Calendar Year Tahoe GMC Yukon Total U.S. sales
1998 133,235 49,355 182,590
1999 122,213 53,280 175,493
2000 149,834 56,297 206,131
2001 202,319 77,254 279,573
2002 209,767 76,488 286,255
2003 199,065 86,238 285,303
2004 186,161 86,571 272,732
2005 152,307 73,458 225,765
2006 161,491 71,476 232,967
2007 146,259 63,428 209,687
2008 91,578 39,064 130,642
2009 January-August 42,401 17,282 59,683


  1. "Full-size hybrids? GM's got 'em" from
  2. "2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid" from
  3. "2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid" from
  4. Despite Negative Ads, Chevy Declares Viral Video Campaign a Success, Media Buyer Planner, 2006-04-04
  5. Commercial Break, from Wired News, 2006-12-04
  6. Tahoe SSV 4WD PDF
  7. Tahoe 2WD PPV PDF

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