SUVs are not high on the totem pole of vehicles on my list, but what happens if utility beckons? I’d choose the most interesting SUV to tickle my enthusiast fancy. More and more performance-oriented SUVs are becoming a thing, and the latest from General Motors is called the Chevrolet Tahoe RST Performance Edition.
Of course, to us Luddites, the Tahoe is merely a four-door version of the Blazer, but it’s not 1990 anymore. Because today’s Blazer is a completely different entity, let’s just recognize the Tahoe as Chevrolet’s modern-day, full-size truck-based SUV. You see them everywhere because they’re easy to drive (belying its size), and Chevrolet knows how to build a good truck. To traditionalists, the Tahoe is an honest-to-goodness RWD V8 vehicle, which is a rarity in Detroit these days.
This performance variant is not as strong as Cadillac’s uber-expensive Escalade-V, but the Tahoe RST Performance Edition is closer to something being of this Earth. Horsepower is 433 and torque is 467 lb-ft from a 6.2-liter V8. It’s not supercharged like the Caddy, but you probably would rather invest your savings in a house rather than buy a Caddy that costs as much as one. We, like many, are of your world.
But this is the Performance Edition, not the regular Tahoe RST, which means it has 13 more horses and 7 more lb-ft of torque thanks to a new intake and freer-flowing exhaust. The performance gain is a 0-60 sprint in 5.8 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than the regular RST. Quarter-mile ETs run 14.2, which again is 0.2 seconds quicker. Towing capacity is a respectable 7,600 pounds.
While the improvements may seem marginal to some, there are other tweaks that better demonstrate the value of the Performance Edition, such as stabilizer bars, springs and dampers from the Tahoe PPV (Police Pursuit Vehicle). As such, the RST is 0.4 and 0.8 inches lower in the front and rear, respectively, assisting in a lower center of gravity. De rigueur Brembo brakes from all four ends handle contrarian performance duties and, of course, look cool.
The Luxury Package donates a few features to the Performance Edition, such as power-operated folding seats for rows two and three (the former heated), a power steering column, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and surround-view camera.
Available in two- and four-wheel drive, the 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe RST Performance Edition costs $8,525 more than the regular RST, which starts at $67,415. Utility and performance may not come cheap, but the Tahoe RST Performance Edition is still cheaper than a house.
2023 Chevrolet Tahoe RST Performance Edition Specs:
- 6.2L V8 engine with 10-speed automatic transmission
- Chevrolet Performance induction and exhaust systems
- 433 horsepower and 467 lb.-ft. of torque
- Front and rear Brembo brakes with unique Torch Red calipers
- 60–0 mph braking in 133 feet
- Performance-calibrated steering wheel and brake pedal feel
- Police-spec chassis, springs, dampers and stabilizer bar
- Lowered ride height
- Police-spec Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires
- 20-inch high-gloss Black-painted aluminum wheels
- Sport pedal kit from Chevy Accessories
- Black RST badge