The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom Is a Cut-Price, De-Contented Full-Size SUV

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
the 2018 chevrolet tahoe custom is a cut price de contented full size suv

General Motors announced today the September 2017 arrival of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom, priced from $44,995, including destination fees. That represents a $3,750 price cut for what will now become the base Tahoe, down from the 2018 Tahoe LS’s $48,745 MSRP.

GM says the 2018 Tahoe Custom is a response both to “strong consumer demand for Tahoe,” and to the “full-size SUV segment moving upmarket.”

Therefore, there’ll be no cooled seats here. No adaptive cruise. No head-up display.

No third row of seating. Gasp.

The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom will, however, feature the capability of a Tahoe, with towing capacity rated up to 8,600 pounds and — because of the third row’s removal — more cargo capacity.

While providing the Tahoe Custom with 2.3 extra cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row, Chevrolet didn’t turn the Tahoe into a vinyl-clad penalty box on 18-inch wheels. It’s essentially a Tahoe LS, with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, affordable data for 4G LTE WiFi, remote start, GM’s rear-seat reminder first seen in the Acadia, and the 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8.

Through the first seven months of 2017, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe are up less than 1 percent to a segment-leading 65,584 units. The Tahoe is one member of a six-strong General Motors full-size SUV lineup that this year accounts for 9 percent of GM’s U.S. volume. That’s up from 8 percent two years ago.

Among volume brand full-size SUVs, where a quartet of Chevrolets and GMCs competes with the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia, General Motors’ market share stands at 67 percent in 2017. That’s down from 72 percent a year ago, as segment-wide sales have expanded largely because of the second-generation Armada. Nissan’s slice of the pie tripled in size from 3 percent in 2016’s first seven months to 9 percent so far this year.

The 2017 Nissan Armada’s base price is $46,095. The 2017 Toyota Sequoia is priced from $49,595. The all-new 2018 Ford Expedition XLT’s base price is $52,890. In 2017, the basic GMC Yukon was $1,315 more than than its Chevrolet counterpart.

As for the Tahoe specifically, 2017 was already on track to be the second-biggest Chevrolet’s best year of U.S. sales in a decade. And that was prior to the anticipated Q4 impact of the 2018 Tahoe Custom’s broader appeal.

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Aug 15, 2017

    The 3rd row in the Tahoe is about useless anyway, so this makes a lot of sense to me. Its the Tahoe I'd pick, hands down.

  • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Aug 16, 2017

    Interesting about Armada sales for a new vehicle I see a ton around. I asked a friend who works at a Nissan dealer, he said they are seeing alot more people coming into stretch up to an Armada then they did with the old version. He says he's seeing alot of traded in 10-15 year old Sequoia's and GX470's on them and a few Escalades. As in the people who buy those used are happy to buy a new Armada for 40k.

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln in 1987 even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs. 1985 was the last year for the rear wheel drive Olds Delta 88 and rear wheel drive Buick Lesabre the rear wheel Caprice and Caprice Classic 3rd generation continued till 1990 when it was redesigned. B Body Buick Estate wagons continued thru 1990 as the Olds Custom Cruiser wagon and both were redesigned. GM held onto a few rear wheel drive full size cars but the Lincoln ad really brought home the similarly looking front wheel drive full size cars. Lincoln's ad was masterful.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.