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]
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