Chevy might not have invented the SUV, but it sure has established itself as a leader in the segment. The Chevy Suburban, after all, is the longest-running vehicle model in the world. It dates all the way back to 1934. That’s pre World War II. The price for a gallon of gas back then was 19 cents. Wouldn’t you love to fill up for 19 cents a gallon? Regardless of historical gas prices (and the fact that with inflation that 19 cents would actually cost $3.62 today…so maybe not as great of a deal as it seems), Chevy hasn’t lost its edge in the SUV marketplace. In fact, there are all sorts of options available, which is why Chevrolet is an excellent place to start when considering the purchase of an SUV. Here is what to expect when searching your local Chevy dealerships for the latest and greatest in Chevy SUVs.
Here’s an SUV that won’t bust your bank account. It has a starting MSRP of $21,300, so you can climb behind the wheel of this crossover for less than many sedans on the market. It is one of the newer models Chevy offers as it pulled back the curtain on this SUV back in 2013. Its sales remain strong, which means great used options may be floating around as well. With the ever-competitive crossover SUV market, Chevy likes the Trax’s placement.
Built to seat five passengers and an all-wheel-drive drivetrain, it can handle most situations. Plus, with an estimated 26 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway, you won’t go broke filling up the gas tank either (which, for some of the behemoth SUVs that is a different story).
The Chevy Equinox took over for the Blazer back in 2004, but there’s more on the Blazer later on. Chevy wanted a fresh start with its mid-size crossover SUV, so it put out the Equinox. Of course, the Equinox has been demoted, at least in terms of size, with the return of the Blazer, as now it is the company’s compact crossover SUV. Size change and all, it is still one of the best selling SUVs out of Chevy, plus it has a still low entry MSRP of $23,800.
The Equinox has a few edgier lines and angles than the Trax, and it is equipped to tow a bit more, so if you like the five-passenger crossover size but you’d like the ability to tow your pop-up trailer or something for moving between houses, the Equinox is probably the better fit. It also comes with the same fuel economy, so you won’t be missing out on that with the Equinox.
This is a return of the namesake Blazer, which has a long history with Chevy. The first Blazer came out back in 1969 as the Chevrolet K5 Blazer. Eventually, it became the Chevy S-10 Blazer, which was an alteration on the compact S-10 pickup. It remained up until 2004 when Chevy decided to shut down production to bring in the fresh-looking Equinox. But now the Blazer is back, and it moves into the mid-size crossover SUV segment.
The Blazer very much so looks different from its original design, but it does maintain a more squared-off nose, which is one of the features the original Blazer had (thanks in part to it being based on pickups of the time).
The Blazer remains a five-passenger SUV, just like the Equinox and Trax, but it amps up some of the power and strength, allowing you to tow up to 4,500 pounds (the Equinox allows for 3,000 pounds). Fuel economy does dip a bit to 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, but it’s a trade-off when you want the more powerful engine options and towing potential.
Now we’re getting into the meat and potatoes of Chevy’s SUV lineup. The Traverse graduates from the mid-size crossover to full-fledged SUV. You can kick that crossover category right to the curb with this one (and with all other SUVs listed here on out), although some might still refer to it as a “full-size crossover,” in our opinion, if you can seat up to eight passengers you’re no longer crossing over anything because we haven’t found many sedans that can seat eight. Therefore, it’s not a crossover (but that’s a different debate for a different time).
Whatever classification you want to peg the Traverse into, it gives you more max cargo space than all other options (with 98.2 cubic feet of cargo space), plus the ability to tow up to 5,000 pounds. This eight-passenger SUV is perfect when you still want something for your family for under $30K (starting MSRP sneaks in at $29,800) and yet don’t need the extra size of the last two options we’ll mention here. Because sometimes you don’t need the extra engine upgrade or the bulky rear end. When that’s the case, go with the Traverse.
These last two entries of SUVs currently sold by Chevy have names that the company has used for a while. We’ve already briefly gone over the Suburban, but the Tahoe is no slouch either. The Tahoe has been in official production since 1995, although its body type first went on sale with the 1991 model year as the GMC Yukon (the two are the same vehicle, just slightly different grilles and interior features). The Tahoe came in for the K5 Blazer when Chevy reduced the size of it.
The current Chevy Tahoe offers some solid performance numbers and is there when you want a powerful SUV but don’t necessarily want to make the move up to the legendary Suburban. With the Chevy Tahoe, you’ll have seating for up to nine passengers, plus you can spring for the optional 6.2L V8 engine. That beast of an engine is larger than many competitive trucks use. And let’s be honest. There’s just nothing like the sound of a V8 growling to life.
And now we’ve come to the vehicle that started it all; The Chevy Suburban. Other manufacturers might point to some SUVs they had back in the 1920s, but where are they now? Long gone. The Suburban has stood the test of time and come out bigger and stronger than ever before. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other vehicle on the road that can give you a max cargo hold of 121.7 cubic feet.
Think of the Suburban as the Tahoe, just with more cargo space and a few additional features. When you want to go back (because go big or go home, right?), you’ll end up choosing between the Tahoe and Suburban. Ultimately you’ll need to decide if you want that extra space or not. The choice is yours. As the knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade once said: Choose wisely.
So Many SUVs So Little Time
So you’ll likely never end up owning every Chevy model of SUV currently available, but at least there is a model design you not only like but that fits into your budget. When shopping for an SUV, what exactly do you look for? Is it cargo space? Towing capacity? Help us settle the debate. If an SUV can seat eight passengers, is it still considered a crossover? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to get your input.