Suggestion No. 2 – 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 4WD
Minivans are as honest and practical as the day is long. When it comes to efficiently transporting passengers and payload they can’t be topped. Unfortunately they’re as dull as a box of thrift-store pillows and twice as homely. What’s that smell?
On the other hand, full-Size SUVs provide essentially the same cargo and seating capacity but in a far more rugged and stylish package. One of the freshest on the market today is the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe.
This handsome truck-based schlepper features a host of useful features and amenities, though it’s not cheap, even in its most basic form. But we know Nadine doesn’t want to suffer automotive hardship so we’re going to recommend the LS 4WD model to her.
Out the door this truck costs $48,595, including $995 for you know what. This may be the most affordable trim level but it’s still decently well-equipped.
Of course if price is a top concern you can always opt for a rear-wheel drive model. They’re significantly less expensive ($3,000 in fact), but what’s the point in that? Body-on-frame SUVs are all about capability, and they’re not very useful in bad weather or off road if only half the wheels are moving. This is why we recommend four-wheel drive, plus we don’t want Nadine to be a poseur.
The Tahoe LS rides on 18-inch wheels and comes equipped with things like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth seats, a remote starter as well as power windows, door locks and mirrors. A six-speaker audio system is sure to delight your tympanic membranes, while Bluetooth connectivity, cross-traffic alert and a rearview camera further sweeten the deal.
When it comes to utility the Tahoe delivers. With the back seats folded flat there’s nearly 95 cubic feet of space in this rig. However, at 148.5 cubes the Odyssey offers way more room.
Power is provided by a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine. It delivers the goods, 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque to be precise. Obviously that’s FAR more than you get in the Honda. The old-school pushrod powerplant is bolstered with variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, features that boost output and cut fuel consumption. It’s matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Inevitably extra power (and mass) comes at a price. The Tahoe is a good bit less efficient than the Odyssey, though it’s not the fuel-chugger you might expect. It stickers at 16 mpg city and 22 highway; combined it ought to stretch a gallon of fuel for 22 miles.