Littleblazer's 2018 Tahoe review as it sits now... (Ongoing impressions)

littleblazer

Original poster
Member
Jul 6, 2014
9,265
Good evening everyone, I'm going to write this as a sort of short form type review, simply posting my thoughts and observations as they come to me. Since I have plenty of seat time in 360s (and 800s) this is new to me. So without further procrastination, my initial observations.

Displacement on demand: The truck had 42 miles on it when we took delivery of it. And I could hear when DOD kicked in on the first freaking drive I took in it. Even idling I can hear the lifter tick. It is quiet but there and frankly I find it annoying. But it does operate smoothly and I can not feel it switch so that is good.

Ride quality: This is a toss up. The 03 escalade will more than likely outrun this around a bend as would the trailblazer. The thing kind of rolls. At first I really liked the ride but going from it right to the trailblazer I think I prefer my truck. IT just feels too bouncy around town. However all this goes away at highway speeds. That, IMO is where the truck shines. Cruising at 75 the cabin noise is next to zero, my truck is louder at 50 if I had to guess. And it just soaks up the road. On top of that I got 24 mpg doing 75-80 mph on a 400 mile trip I got. By comparison my TB gets maybe 19 at those speeds. Summary, the truck feels built for highway cruising. However the escalade still rides like a caddy....

Power: Yea.... It's gutless.... Torque management really kills part throttle in this. The initial tip in is odd, small pressure causes a jump then it just eases in. The difference between 1/8 and 1/2 throttle is not very linear, it feels lazy. However if you nail it it does go. I would't want to throw the boat behind it but know it would do it. More on this to come. So it isn't gutless, but the tuning makes it feel that way, once you're past that it flat out hauls.

Seat: It is damn comfortable. But... I think if the TB had foam that hadn't been pancaked by my fat ass for the last 7 years or so it would probably be better here. The seat sizes are actually very similar and familiar. Not much to complain about.

Features: Here is what pisses me off... LT truck, Up level radio, Power front seats, power mirrors and seat position memory. No power folding mirrors and no mirror memory. WTF? If you had power mirrors and seats the mirror memory was there too... now that is an option? Okay... Pedal adjustment has memory. Easy exit has memory and the mirror can move when in reverse... So why no position memory? On top of that, the stereo bothers me. The bose system in the 03 escalade absolutely blows this bose system out of the freaking water no questions asked. Like the stereo honestly doesn't sound great, it sounds like a digital compressed song, it has that sound to it... and it think the 03 has a better tuner too. It does get louder though, but it has an inflated artificial bottom end where the escalade has a real thump, this just tricks you into thinking it is there. Also, it has a block heater. Why? I don't know.

The Drive-train: Remember how I said I'd get back to you on the towing thing? Yea. The transmission feels something like this, if I smash the throttle I am afraid I will break something. It constantly hunts for a gear/TCC lock, feels like it slips and stutters when shifting. The escalade 4l65e with 255k miles and slipping feels more positive when shifting and tougher then this thing does. I can only compare it to winding up while shifting... It just doesn't feel good for it. The hunting alone makes me not want to hook anything substantial up to it. That was the little towing thing. Also, the electric power steering leaves a lot to be desired. It is good, but going from real hydraulic steering to that is a freaking joke... it feels mushy. Also the lane keep assist almost killed me or at least caused an accident. The lanes shifted suddenly due to relining the road and it thought I drifted out of the lane and jerked the truck almost into the guy next to me. Luckily I caught it but I didn't even know that it had that...

DIC: I like that it displays the speedlimit on the road you are on. Next.

Improvements: So far, Stiffer sway bars and a slightly stiffer front end would make the truck feel more planted. Going around turns at the recommended speed is quite scary because the truck rolls a lot. It won't break free or anything but it just doesn't inspire confidence in town. A shock change to bilsteins would probably fix 90% of that because it is how my truck felt stock.

My overall feel: I like it a lot but there are a ton of little things that pop up that make you go "really?" I do not think I would replace the TB with one. I'd look mid/full size pickup honestly. I don't need the full third row and a crew cab long bed can hold way more and with a locking bed cover, the bed space is just as safe as the trunk IMO.

More thoughts to come as they come to me.
 
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Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,177
Ottawa, ON
I'm going to write this as a sort of short form type review

Definition of short? :biggrin:

Good review. I have driven a PPV version of a 2015 Tahoe and found that it held the road really nice but like you, was a dog on takeoff but I have taken it to 100mph in fairly short order. Yes, it consumes oil to the point that we would get at least one low oil level warning per oil change cycle. One thing on that, when we got two of these, one of them I broke in. Instead of the "easy" break in, I did full accelerations before its first 100km. That particular one uses less oil.

I actually found the regular radio sounded pretty good so for you to say that the Bose sounded bad is telling. I can't say anything about the other amenities as they were pretty devoid of them except for bluetooth, which oddly enough, they deleted from later years :confused: .
 
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littleblazer

Original poster
Member
Jul 6, 2014
9,265
Definition of short? :biggrin:

Good review. I have driven a PPV version of a 2015 Tahoe and found that it held the road really nice but like you, was a dog on takeoff but I have taken it to 100mph in fairly short order. Yes, it consumes oil to the point that we would get at least one low oil level warning per oil change cycle. One thing on that, when we got two of these, one of them I broke in. Instead of the "easy" break in, I did full accelerations before its first 100km. That particular one uses less oil.

I actually found the regular radio sounded pretty good so for you to say that the Bose sounded bad is telling. I can't say anything about the other amenities as they were pretty devoid of them except for bluetooth, which oddly enough, they deleted from later years :confused: .
Well anything compared to my trucks stereo setup is disappointing so... :biggrin: But in I threw just a head unit in @brianlibby791 's truck with bose which is more or less the same as the escalade and I wouldn't waste my time going through the rest of the system. It sounds good enough. The Tahoe I think I want more. And on the base system, the 16 silverado we have for the work truck has that and I think I will agree with you, that actually might sound better. At the very least the entire range is there.
 

littleblazer

Original poster
Member
Jul 6, 2014
9,265
Cold starts: For whatever reason it somehow whines like power steering does when it's cold. Pretty much every one I've heard does this... Rotary vane oil pump I guess?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,177
Ottawa, ON
All the time or just below freezing? I'd bring it up with the dealer. Never heard my '15 Hoe do that. It's about the same type of pump since the LS engine's inception. And it uses 0w20 right?
 

littleblazer

Original poster
Member
Jul 6, 2014
9,265
All the time or just below freezing? I'd bring it up with the dealer. Never heard my '15 Hoe do that. It's about the same type of pump since the LS engine's inception. And it uses 0w20 right?
Cold and only for a few seconds...
 

littleblazer

Original poster
Member
Jul 6, 2014
9,265
Updates: Drove it in the rain for the first time. Few observations:

Lane keep assist doesn't work in the rain.

Stock tires hydroplane easily and cruise control can't figure that out, when it started doing that traction control kicked on then lane keep started swerving the truck inside the lane. probably a freak circumstance but still.
 

littleblazer

Original poster
Member
Jul 6, 2014
9,265
Truck is developing the 8speed Torque converter shutter. Around 40 if you hit the gas to accelerate some the whole truck just kind of shakes and you feel the TC jumping from locked to unlocked. And from a standstill of you nail it it does it most of the time too.

Also, the oil pump whines just revving it some in park. I don't think it should do that. What a shit design.
 

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