First drive: Chevrolet Tahoe 2010 in Fujairah

First drive: Chevrolet Tahoe 2010 in Fujairah


The General organised a little two-day trip for journalists to the Le Meridien Al Aqah, with some scuba diving, private rooms and Chevy Tahoes thrown in for good measure. I was a bit perplexed as to why they were promoting the unchanged-for-2010 Tahoe, but heck, who are we to argue.

I picked an LTZ from a fleet of new Tahoes at Chevrolet’s Dubai showroom, considering we’d already driven the Z71 three years ago. The decision was made easier by the built-in navigation, wood trim and generally nicer interior styling of the LTZ, none of which the Z71 has. Also, the Z71 has off-road suspension, and our trip was to be on-road, so the comfort-biased LTZ made more sense.

The four-wheel-drive Tahoe LTZ is a big vehicle, with good ground clearance and fully setup for off-roading. The only forseeable issue would be a relatively low front-bumper lip, designed to aid in aerodynamics, but it can likely be removed for harder offroading. The 2WD, Auto 4×4, 4-High and 4-Low modes can be chosen at the twist of an electronic knob.

My golden tester was comfortable on most roads, but there was a slight vibration on certain surfaces, as is inherent in most truck-based SUVs with live-axle rear suspension. Wind noise becomes very noticeable by 120 kph, but that was expected in this handsome brick-shaped behemoth. But given its size, it did not feel too big to drive this time, probably because we practiced truck-driving with the larger Toyota Sequoia recently.

At the beach-side hotel, we were treated to five-star rooms at the resort, three square meals a day at a fancy restaurant, and an afternoon scuba-diving session with training in the morning.

Considering I can’t even swim, I skipped the scuba lessons and took out a Tahoe LTZ instead, to have a spin around Khor Fakkan and pick up some cheap snacks. Paying Dhs 26 for a can of nuts in the hotel room wasn’t my cup of tea.

I was handed the keys to another golden LTZ. It seemed more sprightly than the one I drove earlier, but I didn’t know why. After a town run, I headed to the beach next to the hotel. And got stuck. I reached for the 4-Low knob, only it wasn’t there. It turned out this LTZ was the two-wheel-drive version.

After a bit of digging, the spinning rear wheels seemed to sink even lower, so I quit. A friendly local kid stopped by and called the police for me, while I called Chevy’s PR man to kindly give me a pull. While we waited, I and the kid talked about Emirati culture, education and family life in his small town outside Fujairah. Rather interesting, really. He said he’s studying engineering, and I told him it sucks, because I studied engineering too. He agreed.

Chevy’s PR man reached us first, with a Tahoe LTZ 4×4, but he eventually got stuck too while positioning the truck. None of us deflated the tyres beforehand, because we didn’t expect the seaside beaches to be so unforgiving. Soon the cops came, deflated their own tyres and yanked the trucks out with metal cables. We thanked them and went back to the hotel.

Later in the day, I got a little boat ride while most of the others went scuba-diving. I didn’t really mind much because I was never into swimming with the fishes anyway.

The next morning we headed back to Dubai, and my vehicle was another Tahoe LTZ 4×4, this time a white one. We get to keep the truck we drive home in, for a couple of days, so I chose the LTZ yet again to do a proper road test.

The trip was apparently done to highlight that Tahoe owners are active people who are into activities like scuba-diving. While I can’t verify that, I did learn some new things, like there is a 2WD Tahoe on sale in the GCC, that it handles sand as well as an Aveo, that it is a decent highway cruiser, and that it is likely quicker than the 4×4 version by virtue of less weight. Also, the LTZ has better on-road handling than the Z71, but that will be in the full review soon.

Evening photos by Jorge Ferrari.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Modern Tahoe being pulled out of sand by decade old Nissan Patrols…. 🙂 lol

  2. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    Hehe, well honestly, it was driver mistake.

  3. ^ Looks like you had a pleasant weekend Mash, apart from getting stuck on the beach. Im sure by deflating the tyres down to 17psi, the Tahoe would have had sufficent power to crawl out of the sand even in 2WD. Question is if you had a spare compact air compressor around to fill the tyres back before hitting the asphalt again.

  4. wait the second vehicle seems to be a decade old cheverolet…the plus sign in face…

  5. nope….its a nissan…it ain’t the plus sign..

  6. ^ Cop’s pickup seems like a chevy to me too..

  7. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    ^It’s an 80s/90s Nissan Patrol pickup. The logo has been painted over. The grille style is a giveaway.

  8. Mash, I have seen the same SUV getting stuck in the same area in November 2009, moreover, a Chevrolet Avalanche came to help, and it also got stuck, just because they were too lazy to deflate the tires to 10-15 psi.
    Let’s be honest about it though. The weight of Chevrolet Tahoe and Avalanche is really killing their off road performance, you realize that once you get stuck!. That’s my personal opinion.

  9. You should have gone scuba diving.. you don’t need to know how to swim – you won’t drown, ‘cos you have an air tank with you – plus you can swim using flippers.

    Try it out – you’ll love it !

  10. yes billa its a nissan, the repainted oval and nissan text is big and from distance pic it seems like chevy plus.. anyways i feel weight of vehicle is no excuse, hummer is awefully heavy…second thing instead of using traditional and well proven 4×4 systems, they are trying to give electronics hold over machinery, its because of electronics lot of bad things are happening in new cars, the computer can never make a decision like man, it tries to send pre-programmed traction settings to wheels, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, a manaual transmission lock and 4×4 lever is better than rotary or pushbuttons settings… believe me.. these are the companies which made best 4×4’s at time and now modern Landcrusiers and Patrol are losing the edge in name of comfort, if people want comfort why do they buy these vehicles, go and buy crossover. See how the basic tech FJ and Xterra are, they are simple and perform well.

  11. hehe…i was right!

  12. Love these good year tyres on LTZ.

  13. ^ looks like u were

  14. second set of photos are awesome

  15. well guys the chevy seems to have much more powerful engine than the others golders but in fact 4 wheel drive option really must be there pull out…………..as chevy is 5.7 liters i guess and even rav 4 with 2.4 liter can come out easily when it is on for its 4X4…………so excuse for the 2WD options………..:)

  16. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    Last six photos are by the blue-shirted brofessional photographer.

  17. @Mashfique Hussain: I own the Chevy Tahoe 2011, the low front-bumper lip you mentioned, is that removable? I am planning on a trip to Jebal Shams and the near by areas. Do I need to remove it?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      I believe it is removable, although it won’t help much, as the bumper itself is pretty big. You will be fine on common gravel tracks, just don’t go extreme dune-bashing.

  18. Hi Guys

    I am planning for a 2013 durangoHemi or 2013 Tahoe LT 4×4. My considerations are as below
    1. onroad comfort
    2. offroad Power/ability
    3. wind noise @ 120+

    if some one tested both as above. please share your experience.
    why in MEA the durango does ngto have resale while toyota/GM/chevy have???

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Neither is very good offroad, except for minor slopes. The Durango is more comfortable onroad. And the Dodge and the Chevy both have similar resale value in the UAE (below Toyota), don’t know about KSA.

  19. personally i love hemi, but in saudi market dodge is below average resale.

    e.g: same year tahoe LS will have 50% more resale price then same year durango full option. is it same in UAE?

    do you recoomend to look for any other brand for comfort onroad & good offroader. SUV

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