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

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

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 Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

Timothy Cain
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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.

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.
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