NEW FOR 2009:

– New available 6.2-litre V8 on LTZ
– Six-speed automatic transmission on all non-hybrid models
– Standard Bluetooth hands-free connectivity
– Two-passenger third-row seat discontinued; all three-row seats are three-passenger
– LTZ adds standard heated and cooled 12-way power seats, chrome accent body side mouldings, new rear fascia, and Centrepoint Surround Sound Bose Speaker System, plus optional 20-inch chrome-clad wheels, and side blind zone alert system
– New OnStar 8.0 with Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, and Destination Download to Navigation radios; XM satellite radio with new Real Time NavTraffic feature for Navigation radios
– Hybrid adds standard power-adjustable pedals
– New available backup camera display in rearview mirror, heavy-duty trailer package with 3.42 axle ratio, and integrated brake controller
– New cloth seat fabrics on LS and 1LT models
– Fuel-saving 3.08 axle offered on 5.3-litre V8 2WD models
– Exterior colours: Red Jewel Tintcoat added to LTZ models, Blue Granite Metallic added to Hybrid
– Interior colours: Titanium and Cashmere available on Z71 models

For 2009, the Chevrolet Tahoe undergoes numerous changes to its list of standard and optional features, and the Tahoe 2-Mode Hybrid, a late entry to the 2008 model year, is now a regular model in the line-up. A new engine is also available, a flexible-fuel 6.2-litre V8 with variable valve timing, optional on LTZ models.

A new feature for the Tahoe, and which will eventually be rolled out across most of GM’s portfolio, is Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, a new feature that’s part of the OnStar Safe & Sound Plan. Should the vehicle be stolen, an OnStar operator can locate it through the Stolen Vehicle Location service that has always been available; the difference now is that OnStar works with local police and, when it’s determined that it’s safe to do so, sends a signal to the vehicle that shuts the engine down to idle speed, eliminating the possibility of a police chase.

The Tahoe is available as the LS, LT and Hybrid in 2WD or 4WD, and as the LTZ in 4WD. The LS and LT use a 5.3-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management, which shuts off half the cylinders under light load for improved fuel economy; the LTZ uses a flexible-fuel version that is optional on the LS and LT. The LTZ can also be optioned with the new 6.2-litre flexible-fuel V8. All 5.3- and 6.2-litre engines use a six-speed automatic transmission. The Hybrid uses a 6.0-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management and hybrid electric propulsion unit with four-speed automatic transmission. The Hybrid can launch and travel at speeds of up to 49 km/h on its battery alone, and features an automatic-stop that shuts off the gasoline engine when the truck is stopped, such as at a light. The battery pack is recharged through regenerative braking.

The LS and LT come standard with two rows of seats, but can be optioned with a third row; the LTZ and Hybrid come only with three rows.

Features on the LS include 17-inch aluminum wheels, tri-zone manual climate control, keyless entry, OnStar with Safe & Sound Plan, heavy-duty trailer hitch with 7-pin wiring connector, remote starter, black assist steps, black door handles, privacy glass, heated mirrors, roof rack side rails, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, cruise control, floor mats, auxiliary rear heater, driver information centre, tire pressure monitoring system, GM Oil Life monitoring system, tilt leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, driver’s express-down window, cloth 40/20/40 split-bench front seat with power six-way driver’s adjustment, second-row 60/40 split-folding bench, CD/MP3 stereo, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and XM satellite radio.

The LT adds OnStar Directions & Connections plan with Turn-By-Turn Navigation, colour-keyed door handles, fog lights, roof rack cross bars, centre floor console, six-way power passenger seat, and second-row audio controls and earphone jacks.

The LTZ adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, automatic tri-zone climate control, rear parking assist, AutoRide suspension with air-assisted automatic rear level control, chrome door handles, chrome mesh grille insert, power liftgate, power-folding heated mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, reverse-tilt, puddle lamps and integrated turn signals, power sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, garage door opener, heated and cooled perforated leather 12-way power front seats, driver’s side memory, heated second-row reclining bucket seats with power fold-and-tumble release, 50/50 split-bench third-row seat, six-CD/MP3 stereo, and Bose Centre Channel sound system with subwoofer.

The Hybrid is outfitted similarly to the LT, but adds 18-inch lightweight aluminum wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear parking assist, electric power steering, lightweight aluminum liftgate, power-adjustable pedals, power-folding heated mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, reverse-tilt, puddle lamps and integrated turn signals, rearview camera, tire inflator kit, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 115-volt power outlet, garage door opener, leather seats with six-way power front seats, third-row 50/50 split-bench seat, Bose Premium sound system with subwoofer, and XM NavTraffic.

Depending on the model, available options include a block heater, heavy-duty trailer package with electric brake controller, Z71 Off-Road package, power-retractable assist steps, skid plates, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Also sold as the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade, and sharing its platform with the larger Chevrolet Suburban, the Tahoe line-up adds the fuel-saving capability of the Hybrid. It features a smooth ride, good handling and exceptional interior quality, but the third-row seating has flat cushions and no footwell, and isn’t comfortable for adults on long trips. The third row is removable for more cargo space, but must be stored outside the vehicle, as it can’t be folded down into the floor.

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