For 2005, the Chevrolet Tahoe undergoes several changes. StabiliTrak stability program becomes standard on all models; fuel economy improves; there is an improved cooling system and larger alternator; a rear liftgate with lifting rear glass becomes standard on all models; OnStar becomes standard; there is revised interior trim; 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels are now included on the LT; there is an upgraded tire pressure monitoring system; the assist steps are redesigned; and there are two new colours, Sandstone Metallic and Bermuda Blue Metallic. Changes to optional features include a new touch-screen navigation radio, and the Z71 off-road package available in two-wheel-drive.

The Tahoe can be considered the “baby brother” to the full-size Suburban; the two share the same platform and 5.3-litre V8 engine (a 4.8-litre V8 available in the U.S. market is not sold in Canada). There are two trim lines, the LS and LT, both available in rear- or all-wheel-drive. The LS comes with six-passenger seating, the LT with five; both can be optioned with a third-row, three-passenger flip-and-fold seat.

The LS includes fog lights, rear washer/wiper, privacy glass, heated mirrors, roof rack side rails, 16-inch aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wipers, tri-zone manual climate control, rear auxiliary heater, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, cloth interior, 40/20/40 split-bench front seat with six-way power driver adjuster, 60/40 split folding bench seat, CD/cassette player, self-levelling rear shock absorbers, keyless entry and OnStar.

The LT adds power foldaway mirrors with reverse tilt, driver’s side auto-dimming, integrated turn signals and puddle lights, roof rack cross bars, 17-inch aluminum wheels, electronic tri-zone climate control, floor console, HomeLink garage door opener, cargo net and cover, personalization feature, leather interior with 10-way power driver and passenger heated seats, driver position memory, and six-CD stereo with second-row audio controls and headphone jacks.

The Tahoe has long been a popular choice in the midsize, truck-based market, but expect the Chevrolet Equinox to muscle in heavily into its territory. They’re not a head-to-head comparison by any means, but most buyers look at the top side of the vehicle, not the bottom side, and the new-for-2005, front-wheel-drive Equinox offers a great deal of interior room, better fuel mileage, and a price tag that’s $19,520 less. At the other end of the scale, the jump up to the big Suburban is $4,205 – and if you’re already hovering around fifty grand, the extra space, including a far more viable third-row seat, may well be worth the price.

The Tahoe is built in Janesville, Wisconsin and Arlington, Texas.

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