The Tahoe has certainly evolved and changed over the years to reflect more about its true modern drivers: Women, particularly mothers. Practical family features are being added quicker than Chevy can say "Who's your momma?" with the exception of a major one that I'll get into later. Of course, if you want the goods, you're going to have to pay for them. Most of the great stuff is considered extra, with an extra charge added for takers.
I had a preview of the 2007 Tahoe and its clever new features several months ago, and have been looking forward to it ever since. I have to admit to some disappointment when my test car arrived without the cool features. Some of the available features (that I don't get to test out in person, but harbor no ill will about) are:
- A new power liftgate that opens and closes via buttons on the key fob, the overhead console or the tailgate itself. This is beneficial because the gate can be quite heavy to open and close manually.
- New power fold and tumble second-row captain's chairs that make it easier than ever to get into the third row, assuming those two seats aren't full of car seats or booster seats. The one downside to this feature is that putting the seats back up must be done manually.
- Remote start allows the driver to turn on the vehicle up to 10 minutes before entering it. The climate controls turn to their previous settings to get the vehicle warmed up or cooled down. This can be very helpful for parents of little ones who are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures. In cold weather, the seat heaters and window defrosters turn on as well. Available heated windshield-washer fluid, heated to 150 degrees, blasts that last bit of ice off the windshield, preventing the driver from being tempted to get going without a perfectly clear view.
- An optional rearview camera system is an important safety feature for families, helping prevent child back-overs, child-toy back-overs, grocery cart back-overs, garage door/wall back-intos and more.
Aside from the extras that I didn't get to experience firsthand, there are some aspects of this car that are great - and standard (even better). The large center console is big enough to store my purse or laptop, and I love the recessed, rubberized strip on top of the console that keeps my cell phone and pen and paper from sliding around. The radio controls mounted on the steering wheel let me surf the channels safely without taking my hands off the wheel to do so.
If a bench seat is chosen for the second row, the seat is wide enough to install three child safety seats side by side. Herein lies my biggest complaint: Although there's plenty of room, Chevy has chosen to put only two sets of Latch connectors in this car (one in the center position and one on the right side). What about families with triplets? What about families with three kids under the age of 6? What about families who want to carpool but don't want the kids climbing into the third row with their grimy little kid feet marking up the upholstery? Well, you can still install a car seat in the third position; you'll just have to do it with the seat belt.
I had the opportunity to speak to Tahoe Product Manager Carl Hillenbrand about this. Apparently, this two-Latch configuration is the way they did it initially, and the company simply hasn't thought about changing it since. Hmmm, very strange considering it's thought about changing nearly everything else in this car. So, on behalf of busy families, here's my official plea: Yo, Chevy! We want three sets of lower anchor Latch connectors in the second row! Please and thank you!
*For more information on the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and its safety features, visit www.cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 6-9
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some - Good Times