QOTD: Do the New Chevrolet Tahoe Grande's Sliding Doors Make It a Van or an SUV?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
qotd do the new chevrolet tahoe grande s sliding doors make it a van or an suv

Would a minivan with all-wheel drive, added ground clearance, and wheel arch cladding ever stand a chance of being called an SUV?

It’s not so far-fetched. There was a time when the Subaru Outback was perceived as nothing more than a wagon, but times changed.

What about the other way around: does the Chevrolet Tahoe Grande’s sliding doors necessitate a minivan designation for America’s top-selling full-size SUV? In other words, is a full-size SUV with sliding doors no longer an SUV?

No, the Chevrolet Tahoe Grande isn’t a real thing. It’s a rendering completed by TTAC’s own Matt Posky, merging a Tahoe with a Dodge Grand Caravan, after a discussion about sliding doors in TTAC’s Slack virtual HQ. Why have these profoundly practical design elements been forced into limited use by only a handful of new vehicle nameplates?

What if sliding doors made an appearance on a full-size SUV like the Chevrolet Tahoe, or a smaller utility vehicle like the Mazda CX-9? Wouldn’t the gargantuan entry port have a wonderful effect on accessing the third row? Why not extend the wonders of the sliding door concept to smaller crossovers like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, enabling greater second row access with some allowance for easily reaching into the deeper recesses of the cargo bay?

Naturally, the other key benefit of sliding doors would remain: parking lot door dings from children (and adults) hastily opening front-hinged doors cease.

We don’t know if there’s any chance of practical minivan cues being applied to SUVs and crossovers. Scratch that. We know there’s essentially no chance of practical minivan cues being applied to SUVs and crossovers. And it seems likely that automakers are operating under the belief that, for example, a Chevrolet Tahoe with sliding doors would be labelled by consumers as a minivan.

So now it’s up to you. Can TTAC’s B&B respond to this QOTD in such a manner as to inform automakers that, no, a full-size SUV with sliding doors would just be a more flexible full-size SUV?

Or is an SUV with sliding doors just a minivan?

[Illustration: Matt Posky; Images: General Motors, FCA, Honda, Land Rover]

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 and Instagram.

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  • THX1136 THX1136 on Sep 15, 2017

    We've been socialized into equating sliding side doors = minivan. Could they work as per the "concept" picture, absolutely. Who cares what the public calls it? More important is would the public BUY it?

  • JessV JessV on Feb 24, 2018

    I was so excited to find this article and then disappointed when I realized the picture wasn't real. I have a Mazda5, which has been a perfect car for my small family. I love the sliding doors, the folding down third row, and how easy it is to drive in the city (so easy to parallel park!) I know we'll need to replace it in a few years and there's nothing out there like it anymore. My husband works for GM now, so we should probably get a GM car, but they offer nothing with sliding doors. Very frustrating.

  • El Kevarino If you have an EV platform that supports dual motor AWD, then why choose FWD for the 2WD version?
  • Analoggrotto Try as they may and as they might but the future of Electric, the future of human reality is TESLA. Only the highest level of affluence, priviledge and wealth can earn one a place in the stars. In fact when you look at the night's sky do you notice that the stars are brighter? This is because of Supreme Wizard Elon Musk, who has brightened them with this awesome grace.
  • Dukeisduke Sixty-five miles of range added in ten minutes? Doesn't sound very impressive.Also, how are they going to build these in volume if GM is building Ultium packs by hand (which they have been, slowly)? Or are the packs coming from Korea?
  • Dave M. On one hand Honda tends to make a strong, competitive product that should give you years of excellent service. On the other hand it's built on the bones of a GM product, who has a tendency to underbake their products until right before cancellation. NUMMI worked out well for GM; I wonder if this will work out well for Honda....
  • RICHARD @mebgardner I have no issues with the way the car is configured. No offensive nannies.