By on April 6, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST

Unlike the new crop of sport-oriented crossovers bound from Europe, full-size, body-on-frame American SUVs usually fail to elicit much excitement among enthusiasts. General Motors hopes to change that.

Starting this fall, the General will begin handing over keys to a new variant of its venerable Tahoe and Suburban — one that promises to get junior soccer teams to the practice field with newfound vigor. While the RST (Rally Sport Truck) trim brings a host of performance upgrades, it also gives Tahoe buyers an opportunity to kick that 5.3-liter V8 to the curb.

At a glance, RST looks like most other stock full-sizers with an appearance package. For some, that’s basically all it will be.

Sure, GM jettisons the chrome trim for a more murdered-out look — it even frames the bow-tie badge in body color — while adding 22-inch wheels and P285/45R 22 tires, but RST can mean much more. That is, if you’re willing to shell out more.

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST

Available on both models is a Borla performance exhaust system that GM says is good for an extra 7 to 10 horsepower, plus six-piston Brembo front brakes with 16.1 inch x 1.3 inch rotors (representing an 84-percent increase in pad area).

If this still feels lacking, Tahoe RST buyers can also outfit their vehicle with the Performance Package. That checkbox brings GM’s Magnetic Ride Control to the game, as well as its 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. You’ll find that same gearbox in Chevrolet’s beastly Camaro ZL1, not to mention the 2017 Ford F-150 and Raptor.

Not surprisingly, this is the model GM wants you to know about. With an estimated towing capacity of 8,400 pounds, the Tahoe RST Performance Package should do the run to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. GM promises more detailed specifications later this year.

[Image: General Motors]

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60 Comments on “2018 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban RST: When Bigger Isn’t Enough...”


  • avatar

    Ten years overdue, but I love it. The unshackling of Chevrolet continues.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      15 years overdue. Only GM would have sat on the best engine in the world through the entire 2000s boom without using it to actually sell cars.

      The LS1 belonged on the order sheet for every single RWD vehicle that they made and that should have only stopped being true when it was replaced with the LS2 instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        This is not a car, it’s a truck. Can I get the 6.2 in an Impala, LaCrosse, or Cadillac (other than an Escalade)?

        This is an old GM trick. The hot-selling 1965 full size Chevrolets were designed to handle big V8s, but the base was a 230 inline six with 3-on-the-tree. Even the small block V8s were saddled with the 2-speed Powerglide. That’s old GM: the engineers design top of the line, and the bean counters slice and dice into cheaper, lesser “market segments”.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Now I’m awake.

    Let’s V8 the Cadillacs next.

    Also, Silverado Double cab RST.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The big engine is optional on this new sport edition? Upgraded brakes and suspension as well? What’s the point of the 5.3 RST then, stupid big wheels and body color grille?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    How about some factory dual exhausts with the big engine to let the motherf_ know you mean business?

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      …….also a Dana 80 in the rear. Had a Suburban K1500. My general opinion was do not tow anything. Brakes, trans, rear suspension and rear end were all woefully undersized.

      Why, does GM not offer a Duramax 3/4 ton Suburban with 16″
      Load Range E tires. This thing with it’s 22″ tires is just silly. This engine block is not meant for towing its for show and go.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Oh man. This thing is going to cost eleventy billion dollars, but wow, the want is strong.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s one of the things that pushed us to the Expedition over the suburban. Other than more interior room and the ecoboost performance over the 5.3L, the comparable Suburban was about $12 – $15k more than the Expedition. Even when you figure cash on the hood difference between ford and GM, you were still talking over 10% price difference.

      This thing will be pushing $100k optioned out.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        The Tahoe version won’t be $100k, there’s no reason for it to cost as much as an Escalade or even Yukon Denali. Yukon Denali starts at $66k, so I have to think this will be a little less, maybe up to $70k with the big brakes and Borla.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I have a bad feeling about this.

    Not because I think it is frivolous, almost absurd, to put Brembo brakes in this hulking 6,000 lb vehicle, or to hit 0-60 in six seconds in same. (I wonder, will it have speed rated tires, or still have the 99 mph or 104 mph speed limiter. If so, THAT would be LAME).

    No, because with GM’s luck, they will launch this right into a market downturn. Or, put another way, this could be a bad omen for the car market.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      GM is like a broken clock. If GM is right, then it must be the wrong time of day.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      I own the pickup truck version of this (with the 6.2 liter engine). It is governor speed-limited to something just over 90 mph. I think the issue is “drive train vibrations” at speeds higher than that. I would guess the hot Tahoe would have a similar limitation.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Finally, we get a chance to have the Escalade drivetrain in a Tahoe or Suburban.

    As for the brakes, they are weakest element on my Suburban. You have to be cognizant of what you are doing in the mountains as they are not adequate in the least. I can’t say that 6 piston Brembo’s are necessary, but an improvement over the stock 08’s is.

  • avatar
    slance66

    I can’t imagine the price of this thing. Those wheels look like they were stolen directly from the current generation 4Runner Limited.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Why call it RST?

    Make it an SS, Chevy.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This is big. A lot of people have been clamoring for the 6.2 in the Tahoe and Suburban. Maybe they could just make it a standalone option, too?

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      Yeah, like GM would make a smart business decision like that. The inability to select an engine without having to add tens of thousands of dollars worth of extra options is what turns customers away.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “The inability to select an engine without having to add tens of thousands of dollars worth of extra options is what turns customers away.”

        It would be faster to list the vehicles with up-level engine options that you don’t have to pony up to a higher level trim package to acquire.

        The only one that comes to mind is the Impala V6. You can get the V6 in the LS (lowest trim) if I’m not mistaken.

        Can’t get a Hemi in a no options Charger or 300. Can’t get a V6 in a Camry LE (can you?)

        I’d love the customization of being able to order all sorts of configurations but those days are unfortunately gone. :-/

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Yes, you can. With the Impala, the 1 or 2 in front of the trim designation (1LS, 2LS, 2LZ, etc) denotes the engine; 1 for the 2.5-liter I4 and 2 for the 3.6-liter V6.

          The Camry LE V6 did go the way of the dodo; you’re right. You now have to step up to the XSE or XLE in order to get a V6.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      I too have often dreamed about ordering a suburban ls with 4×4 with low range and the towing package and the 6.2..but it’s never going to happen

  • avatar
    NotFast

    So isn’t this a Chevy version of the Escalade? If I understand things, it’s the same engine in the same big package.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The Escalade still gives you magnetic ride control exclusively, IIRC. Or maybe you can get that on the Denali?

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “If this still feels lacking, Tahoe RST buyers can also outfit their vehicle with the Performance Package. That checkbox brings GM’s Magnetic Ride Control to the game”

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The Denali has had MRC since the K2XX generation started, but this is the first time it’s been available on a Tahoe/Suburban.

        Based on my Escalade rides, it’s a plus, but doesn’t totally hide the solid rear axle.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Unlike the new crop of sport-oriented crossovers bound from Europe, full-size, body-on-frame American SUVs usually fail to elicit much excitement among enthusiasts.

    You forgot the /sarcasm

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Make the 6.2/10-spd available in LT trim with the smallest wheels that will fit, 10-ply tires, and factory trailer brake controller and maybe it will best the Expedition’s tow rating.

    Or be really smart and bring back the vinyl-interior Suburban 2500 with Duramax option.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Uncle Denny had a mid 80s Suburban 4×4 with the non-turbo 6.2 diesel. He used it on the farm for towing things in and out of fields and occasional people hauling (he raised tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos and relied on migrant labor).

      I can’t see a modern Suburban in that kind of role, regardless of the trim package.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You can get a Suburban/Tahoe in LS trim (with optional front bench seat), but that’s more like a decontented LT than a WT model.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I was never sure why GM bothered with “6.2 Litre Diesel” badges when there was no possibility of seeing them through the giant cloud of black smoke.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I remember Uncle Denny’s Suburban having the little stand up hood ornament that said “6.2 Litre” but naturally so tiny that no one would ever see it unless they practically had their face against it.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      A 2500 suburban would be sweet.. I’d take mine with the 6.2 though…you can keep your 10k diesels

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    It is going to get rough in USA when gas goes back up to $3-$4.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    So your massive-on-the-outside, tiny-on-the-inside truck can be faster. Woot?

  • avatar
    deanst

    Finally, an $80,000 suburban which can keep up with an accord v6.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Why would anyone want a Suburban to keep up with an Accord V6? That’s just a recipe for crashes. It’s a truck. It stops and turns like a truck.

      • 0 avatar

        Fast trucks are entertaining. My old Dakota with a modified 318 (around 300-330 hp) was a blast, stoplight dragging mustangs, and handled better then several of the cars I have owned of course it weighed a little over 4k lbs so not quite the same as a Tahoe.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    A friend used to have a Tahoe to tow his track car and couldn’t stand the mushy, low capacity brakes. A four-wheel set of StopTechs took care of that nicely, albeit at some cost. Nice to see GM now figuring that out at the factory level.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    *** yawn ***

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    For years, I told everyone “No, I don’t need a truck, or a BOF vehicle even though we camp or go to the beach or do something every weekend we can.” I’m strongly re-considering that position. The magnetic ride control makes this hilariously appealing to me when it comes time to replace my current daily driver/family hauler (2007 Audi Q7 4.2 Premium with the NA V8). I just did all the fluids, timing belt, brakes, and spark plugs in the fall, so a replacement is a few years off.

    The Q7 is pretty much awesome for my needs, and can drive just about 450-500 miles on a tank at 70mph with the wife, kids, gear, paddle boards, and kayak, with bikes on the rear. It’s fun to drop it into sport mode while unladen and hit 60 in a shade under 7 seconds to merge.

    But this GM thing has more room, more towing capability, better suspension (and I’m assuming they are adding this but not going to overlap with Escalade pricing), and can still take off in a straight shot like a flaming bat out of hell? Get rid of those 22″ wheels, and drop it down to a 19 or 20 with 75 series tires, and I’ll pay for it right now.

  • avatar
    denster2u

    An insanely overpriced land yacht, yet there’s still plenty of financially unsavvy buyers out there, lining the coffers of GM with massive profit margins. But hey, you’ve gotta love American Capitalism, right? As much as I could never convince myself to buy one of these behemoths, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Tahoe, but in a little less opulent flavor. Give me a PPV Tahoe, RWD, black steelies, vinyl floor and all.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Is this another Trump effect? Talk of relaxing CAFE rules and predictions for long-term low gasoline prices (drill baby drill) mean manufacturers now have some slack to put the big motors into more vehicles. Big motors = big profits = more jobs = Trump re-election in 2020.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Folks who drop the stock exhaust in favor of Borla or similar systems are in for an unpleasant surprise. The cylinder deactivation program on both the 5.3 and 6.2 engine (which engages frequently) produces an odd exhaust sound which the stock system is designed to ameliorate (along with non-defeatable active noise cancelling through the “stereo”). Reportedly, these dual exhaust systems make quite a “drone” at highway speeds that may be entertaining at first, but are quite tedious after a while.

    In my test driving of the pickups (admittedly with the old 6-speed), the 5.3 engine is not at all exciting. Seems kind of silly to add all this gingerbread to a vehicle that is, at best, “adequately” powered by the 5.3. The 6.2, however, is a whole ‘nother animal and, when hooked up to the 8-speed (available since ’15) produces astounding acceleration at any speed. Knowledgeable drivers wishing to engage in stoplight foolishness know to engage “4wd auto” first.

    The stock brakes on my ’15 Sierra 1500 are actually quite good. After 51,000 miles, 30,000+ plus of them towing a 7600 lb. GVWR trailer, the pads are not worn to the wear indicators and the discs are not warped, scored or scorched. Despite taking many steep downhill grades in the west, I never got to the point where the brakes smelled from overheating. Which is not to say that more braking capability when towing would not be welcome. I wonder how much more the Brembo setup would offer.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Does Magnetic Ride Control have air suspension components like Autoride does/did?

    Is Autoride still available even?

    I approve of the shiny black trim on the windows in place of chrome. This would look sharp in red. Though it has four doors, it’s a new Tahoe Sport!

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