Chevrolet Tahoe 4th Generation 2015-2020 (GMTK2UC/G) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Chevrolet Tahoe 4th Gen

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4th Gen Chevrolet Tahoe: What Owners Say

  • The 4th-gen Chevy Tahoe has a comfortable, quiet cabin
  • Impressive towing capacity
  • The Chevrolet Tahoe 4th gen has a quality interior, which is a big step in the right direction from previous models
  • The third row is only suitable for kids
  • The Chevrolet Tahoe 4th generation is equipped with a gearbox tuned for efficiency. That means it feels quite lazy off the line
  • Keep away from bigger tires on high-end models. They ruin the ride quality

Chevrolet Tahoe Fourth Generation Facelift

The fourth-generation Chevrolet Tahoe wasn't on sale long enough to receive a facelift. Five years is a relatively short lifecycle for a car, but there is good reason for it. The Tahoe is based on the Silverado pickup, and Chevy introduced an all-new version of the truck to coincide with its centennial anniversary in 2018. The Tahoe could not continue on for much longer on the old truck's platform, so it was replaced two years later in 2020. There is no official facelifted model year, but Chevy made constant updates to the bits underneath the fairly handsome body. It's worth keeping these updates in mind when shopping for one.

The 2015 model comes with Wi-Fi via a 4G sim, a hands-free power tailgate, and navigation on the LTZ trim. The 2016 model Chevy dropped the old CD infotainment system and gave all models an eight-inch touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard from 2016 onward. In 2017, Chevy added the Teen Driver system and low-speed forward automatic braking. 2018 models all come standard with LED daytime running lights, but the big news is the availability of a 6.2-liter V8. It is an optional extra for the RST trim. For 2019, the Premier trim received a redesigned tailgate badge and for 2020, Chevy simply added new colors.

Tahoe 4th Generation Rear View Chevrolet
Tahoe 4th Generation Rear View
Tahoe 4th Generation Side View Chevrolet
Tahoe 4th Generation Side View

Engine, Transmission, and Drivetrain

There is technically only one engine available, though Chevy introduced a powerful 6.2-liter V8 as an optional extra in 2018. Most used models are equipped with the well-known naturally aspirated 5.3-liter V8 producing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. While the output is average at best, this V8 is known for being a beast in towing. Tahoes equipped with RWD can tow up to 8,600 lbs, while 4WD models take a 200-pound penalty. The L83 V8 engine was also offered in flex-fuel format for all model years from 2015 to 2020, allowing it to run on E85.

As mentioned above, the Tahoe is available in 4x2 and 4x4. The 4WD system is fairly advanced, as it comes with RWD and an Automatic setting. This means you can use a 4WD Tahoe on tarmac without worrying about drivetrain lockup. You can also lock it in 4H and low range. All models could be equipped with the 4WD system as optional, but customers could also go a step further and add the Z71 Package to the LT trim. This makes the Tahoe even better off-road thanks to skid plates, an off-road biased suspension, and hill descent control.

In 2018 Chevrolet introduced the RST Performance Edition. It was only available on the top-spec Premier, but the changes are significant. It adds a 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and, crucially, a ten-speed automatic transmission and a sportier suspension setup. The 5.3 V8 is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission that is tuned for fuel efficiency, which, in an SUV this size, is like trying to ice skate uphill. It's just not gonna happen. The throttle response is also slow and it's dimwitted for the same reason.

5.3-liter V8 L83 OHV
355 hp | 383 lb-ft
355 hp
383 lb-ft
Six-speed automatic transmission

The LS engines used in the 4th-gen Tahoe date back to 1997, though both the 5.3L and 6.2L V8s are the result of years of continued development. Chev's L83 5.3 V8 is a member of the Gen-5 LS V8 engine family introduced in 2013 and replaces the old Vortec 5.3-liter; it has a low specific output but it is a reliable engine that you'll never struggle to find parts for. Throw a brick in any direction and you'll hit three workshops specializing in LS engines. While the power output is relatively high, Chevrolet tries to keep you from using all the horses thanks to a lazy throttle. The six-speed gearbox will try to get through the lower gears as quickly as possible, and hesitates when shifting down. Some owners even made official complaints, believing they had acceleration and shifting problems. Most people will overlook this problem, though, due to the 8,000+ lbs towing capacity.

Some modern technology is thrown in, such as all-aluminum construction, a forged crankshaft, oil squirters to keep the pistons cool, and a variable-displacement oil pump. Hydraulic roller lifters mean no periodic valve-clearance adjustment is necessary. It has high-pressure direct injection (DI), so excessive carbon build-up will occur on the backs of the intake valves at high mileages - a known problem on DI engines. The L83 V8 also has a cylinder-deactivation system that can run it in on half the number of cylinders to save fuel during light-throttle driving but this can sometimes be the cause of problems.

6.2-liter V8 L86 OHV
420 hp | 460 lb-ft
420 hp
460 lb-ft
Ten-speed automatic transmission

The main problem with this engine in the 4th gen Tahoe is availability. It only became an option on the top-spec trim in 2018 and was available for less than two years. They are out there, but expect to pay a hefty premium. With this engine under the hood, the Tahoe cruises effortlessly. The ten-speed gearbox makes an actual difference, especially on the freeway. In town, you can show posers in their suped-up hot hatches who the real boss is.

4th Gen Chevy Tahoe Real MPG

The main problem with this engine in the 4th-gen Tahoe is availability. It only became an option on the top-spec trim for the 2018 model year and was available until the final 2020 model year. They are out there, but expect to pay a hefty premium. With this engine under the hood, the Tahoe cruises effortlessly. The ten-speed gearbox makes an actual difference, especially on the freeway. In town, you can show posers in their suped-up hot hatches who the real boss is. The engine shares most of its technology and features with the L83, down to the direct injection and cylinder deactivation. Its problems are also similar.

5.3 V8 4x2 six-speed auto15/22/18 mpgN/A
5.3 V8 4x4 six-speed auto15/21/17 mpg13-20 mpg
6.2 V8 4x2 ten-speed auto14/23/17 mpgN/A
6.2 V8 4x4 ten-speed auto14/22/17 mpgN/A

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.


All models have ABS brakes, traction and stability control with trailer-sway control, at least six airbags (an additional airbag between the front bucket seats if so specified), rear park assist, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, and Chevy's OnStar automatic crash-notification system. The LT adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, the LS' optional Driver Alert package with its forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, power-adjustable pedals, and vibrating safety-alert driver's seat. For 2016 trims, the newly optional head-up display could have been fitted, or lane-departure intervention. All 2017 Tahoes have automatic low-speed emergency braking, a Teen Driver feature, and a reminder system alerting the driver to check the rear seats for child occupants.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result (2020)

The Tahoe scores overall and frontal-impact ratings of four out of five stars. In the side impact it scores the full five stars, but the overall rating is dragged down by the three-star rollover test.

Overall Rating:
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating:
Side Crash Rating:
Rollover Rating:

2015-2020 Chevy Tahoe Trims

Technically, there are four trims, while another two were only available as optional packages based on existing trim levels. The Z71 Off-Road Package is only available on the LT trim, and it adds off-road tires, skid plates, a model-specific rugged suspension, and hill-descent control. The RST Performance Edition is the only model available with the 6.2 V8, but it's also a package based on the Premier trim. From the start, all trims were prewired for towing and have a two-inch hitch receiver, further enhanced with an optional Max Trailering Package that comes with altered gear ratios, high-capacity air suspension, and a trailer-brake controller. For 2016, an updated MyLink infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen and a 4G/LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability and Apple CarPlay is standard on all trims and a reconfigurable instrument cluster is optionally available. For 2017, the optional rear-seat entertainment system is improved, Android Auto added to the infotainment system, and active grille shutters are fitted to all trims to improve fuel consumption.

5.3 V8
Six-speed automatic transmission
4x2 or 4x4

The LS is the base model and exists to provide as many seats as possible. It's the only model you'll find that is available in the nine-seater configuration, with a three-row bench instead of two separate seats in the front row optional on this trim. It's not a basic trim, as it comes standard with 18-inch alloys, heated and powered side mirrors, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, tri-zone climate control, a manually tilting steering column, a rearview camera, power-adjustable front seats (eight-way for the driver and four-way for the passenger), a 60/40-split second row, a 50/50-split third row, remote engine start, two USB ports, and a radio/CD player with six speakers and an auxiliary audio jack. The infotainment system of the 2015 LS consists of a tiny 4.2-inch touchscreen display but incorporates Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, navigation, HD radio, satellite radio, and an SD-card slot. The small screen only applies to the 2015 model, as the other 2016 trims' updated eight-inch MyLink system is standard on the 2016 LS. The 2017 LS' driver-seat electric adjustment is upgraded from eight-way to ten-way and the front passenger's from four-way to six-way. Sometimes listed as a separate trim but actually only a derivative of the LS, the Custom launched for 2018; it's a five-seater, two-row Tahoe.

5.3 V8
Six-speed automatic transmission
4x2 or 4x4

The LT gains all of the safety features that are optionally available on the LS trim, including the Driver Alert package mentioned under the Safety section earlier, as well as an auto-dimming rearview mirror. In addition to safety, Chevy also adds to the existing LS features a power liftgate and locking rear differential to the LT. On the luxury side, you additionally get a manually tilting/telescoping steering column, heated front seats, leather upholstery, memory settings for the driver's seat, and a MyLink infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen that runs smartphone app integration, voice control, Siri Eyes Free, three additional USB ports, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system. Various packages such as the Sun, Entertainment, and Destination and the Luxury packages add features ranging from a sunroof and rear-seat entertainment system to fog lights, front parking sensors, a powered steering column, heating for the rear seats and steering wheel, and more driver-assistance features, so look out for these on used examples.

You might come across the Z71 while shopping around, and it's based on this trim. It adds off-road tires on 18-inch alloys, front and rear parking sensors, fog lights, skid plates, hill-descent control, Z71-specific trim, a high-capacity air cleaner, and a model-specific rugged suspension. At the time of the Premier-based RST with the larger V8 engine, the LT trim also gained access to a cosmetic RST Edition package that closely approximates the Premier RST's exterior appearance.

5.3 V8
Six-speed automatic transmission
4x2 or 4x4

The LTZ was the top trim until the Premier trim made its debut as a 2017 trim. In addition to all of the stuff that's standard on other models, the LTZ trim adds the LT Luxury package - fog lights, front parking sensors, keyless start, power-folding mirrors, a heated second row (two captain's chairs only), powered tilting/telescoping steering column, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a power-folding third row, and a hands-free power liftgate - as well as ventilated front seats, a ten-speaker Bose sound system, 20-inch alloys, xenon headlights, and adaptive suspension. There are available 22-wheels but the negative impact they have on the ride quality is very noticeable.

5.3 V8
Six-speed automatic transmission
4x2 or 4x4

There's no difference between the LTZ and the Premier's basic standard features. Chevy included the LT Luxury Package for the LTZ in 2017, and this package was included as standard on the new top-tier Premier as well. Premier gains access to more optional packages. These include the desirable DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system. For 2018, Chevrolet added the 6.2-liter V8 option to the Premier trim known as the Rally Sport Truck (RST) Performance Edition. It's equipped with the more powerful engine mentioned earlier and features blacked-out exterior styling details, larger Brembo brakes, and a Borla exhaust system. If you don't want the RST Performance Edition with the larger engine, you can get the RST Edition cosmetic package on the Premier, which looks like the more powerful model but retains the standard engine. The optional Premier Plus Edition package kits out the Premier with all the extras as well as the more powerful engine.

4th Gen Chevy Tahoe SUV Features

Back-Up CameraSSSS
Bluetooth ConnectionSSSS
Leather SeatsaN/ASSS
Keyless EntrySSSS
Keyless StartSSSS
Alloy WheelsSSSS

Interior, Trim, And Practicality

Tahoe 4th Generation Inside Chevrolet
Tahoe 4th Generation Inside

The Tahoe was made to be practical, offering between nine and seven seats. The base LT is available with a three-row bench in the front, with two passengers seated next to the driver. On the top-spec Premier, you get second-row captain's chairs as standard. The third-row seats are only suitable for kids, however. Still, the Tahoe is more than big enough for a family of five that occasionally provides lifts to other kids to and from school. The first and second rows supply loads of space. Only NBA players would complain.

Cargo capacity behind the third row is limited. Rated at 15.3 cubic feet, it's big enough for a weekly grocery shop or the kids' school bags, but not both. Fold the third row flat and you get 51.7 cubes. Now that's large enough for a monthly grocery shop and an entire pre-school class' school bags. On the odd occasions when you need to transport a bicycle or canoe, all the seats fold fully flat to provide 94.7 cubes.

The interior is refined and quiet at all speeds. With the optional 22-inch wheels, the ride can be jarring, but for the most part, the Tahoe provides a smooth, predictable ride. Unlike the Silverado, the Tahoe has a good-quality interior. It's not up there with the Germans, but the quality of the materials is fine. Ergonomically, it's excellent. The layout of the controls is perfect, and the later addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes the Tahoe even easier to live with. It negates the need to go up a trim to gain access to navigation, as you can simply use a third-party app like Waze.


4th Generation Chevrolet Tahoe Maintenance and Cost

The Chevrolet Tahoe is an easy car to keep on the road. There are likely as many LS experts out there as there are Tahoes. In addition, Chevrolet has a large footprint in the USA, and the Tahoe is built in Texas. It also has a reputation for lasting beyond 300,000 miles if you look after it carefully.

Over a ten-year period, you can expect to pay roughly $10,000 to maintain a Tahoe. That's way below the average in this segment. An annual service is around $350, steadily climbing to around $2,000 for a proper inspection and replacement of the spark plugs, serpentine belts, gearbox oil, coolant flush, steering, hood hinge, and trunk lubrication, and a suspension checkup.

If you follow the recommended service plan, the cost is cheaper. Preventive maintenance is always more affordable. If you are buying a high-mileage example, check the service history and ensure the previous owner took the big financial knock associated with the 150,000-mile service. Frequent oil changes are of critical importance and will ensure that you get the maximum longevity from the engine. However, carbon build-up on the backs of the intake valves is going to be a reality on high-mileage Tahoes, as it is with all direct-injected gas vehicles.

2015-2020 Tahoe Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

5.3 and 6.2 V8s

Oil capacity: 7.6L (8 quarts)

Recommended oil type: 0W-20

How often to change: 7,500 miles.

Average Price: Around $92.


5.3 and 6.2 V8s

Part code: 12622441

Price: $114 for eight.

Air filter

5.3 and 6.2 V8s

Part code: 22845992

Price: $42.


All models

Part number: Standard 12V

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years.

Average Price: $210.

4th Gen Chevy Tahoe Tires

The Tahoe was never meant to be a serious off-roader, even in Z71 guise. Its ground clearance is too low and its overhangs too long. As such, all-season tires are the way to go. For the Z71, the OEM tire is an On/Off-Road Commercial tire, available only in 18-inch. As mentioned earlier, stay away from the 22-inch tires. They do nothing but harm acceleration and ride quality. A set of 20s is the sweet spot for most prospective customers.

$752-$1,012 per set.
On/Off Commercial:
$835-$1,200 per set.
$832-$974 per set.
$976-1,208 per set.

Check Before You Buy

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for:

The 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe recalls are plenty, so it's worth checking whether all the work has been completed. The recall list includes all model years for a driver's seatbelt tensioner that may separate. All models were also recalled for airbag problems as part of a wider recall campaign. Models from 2015 to 2019 were subjected to a brake recall due to a software glitch causing unintended brake problems. A faulty vacuum pump could also cause brake booster problems. 2015 to 2018 models had a power steering recall, due to the sudden loss of electric assist. This is the source of all the steering problems and complaints made against the Tahoe.

Around 33,000 units were sold with overcured tires in 2020. These could develop a break in the sidewall quite easily. There was also a high-pressure fuel pump recall for overpressurization. Only 502 units were reported affected by fuel pump problems. The cause was a missing fuel pump regulator.

The following error codes are the ones you'll most likely encounter on a Tahoe.

  • Code P0741 indicates a problem with the torque converter lockup solenoid.
  • Code P0796 shows that the ECU can't communicate with the hydraulic pressure sensor inside the gearbox. This code should be treated as serious, as it could be the start of serious Tahoe torque converter transmission issues and problems.
  • Code P0101 indicates a problem with the mass airflow sensor. This can lead to starter, idling and fuel injection problems.
  • Code P0700 is shown when the power control unit picks up transmission problems. The Tahoe will usually go into limp mode until the problem is resolved.
  • Code P0443 is an indication that there's something wrong with the EVAP system. This usually happens when the car has catalytic converter problems.
  • Code P0172 pops up when the car is running rich, which is also an indication that it might have fuel injection problems.
  • Code P0326 indicates that the engine control unit has picked up an engine knock. This could point to possible engine problems, though the 2015-2020 Tahoe's two available engines are generally known for being robust and reliable.

Chevrolet Tahoe 4th Gen Common Problems

Engine Problems

The 5.3-liter L83 and 6.2-liter L86 V8 engines are both from the fifth-generation LS V8 engine family and share all-aluminum construction, OHV valve gear, two valves per cylinder, and direct fuel injection. They also tend to exhibit similar problems, the first of which is carbon build-up on the backs of the intake valves. Due to their injectors being inside the combustion chambers and not the intake manifold, there are no fuel droplets in the intake air to keep the valves clean. However, the air does contain oil droplets being vented in from the crankcase via the PCV system. This eventually builds up on the intake valves and hardens until, at high mileages, it affects the engine's operation. It may cost several hundred dollars to have the valves professionally walnut blasted to clean them. Some people have an oil catch can installed to catch the oil and keep the valves clean, but you must find a good-quality product with a proper one-way valve, so the oil cannot be sucked back into the engine out of the can. Spraying intake valve cleaner into the intake every 5,000 miles will buy you some extra time, but won't eliminate the problem.

Fuel-injector failure is not too uncommon and injectors may fail in the open or closed position, most commonly the latter. Also part of the fuel system, the high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP) may also be prone to failing due to the extreme pressures they must maintain and the hot conditions under which they operate. Another fuel-system problem is the failure of the cylinder-deactivation system, which GM calls their Active Fuel Management (AFM) system. Like other vehicles with similar systems such as Chrysler's Hemi and Honda's 3.5-liter V6 engine, the system enables the engine to run on half its cylinders under low-power conditions to save fuel. However, it is responsible for problems and seems to be the main cause of high oil consumption on the LS engines equipped with this system, possibly due to the PCV system drawing excessive oil vapors from the crankcase. Be that as it may, the excessive oil consumption comes with a whole list of associated problems, such as low oil levels, excessive wear and heat, failed hydraulic lifters, poor running, overheating and, worst-case, engine failure. Hydraulic lifter failure can in turn lead to bent pushrods. Find and fix the reason for the oil consumption before it causes more problems. Unfortunately, there is no cabin switch to switch off the AFM system, but an internet search will reveal ways owners get around this; it might be your best bet.

Mileage: Around 70,000-80,000 miles for carbon build-up on the intake valves. Injectors can fail as early as 30,000 miles and some have even failed before 10,000 miles. Around 80,000 miles for excessive oil consumption.

Cost: Around $500 to replace the injectors. Typically $300-$500 to walnut-blast the intake valves. Replacing a high-pressure fuel pump will cost you about $450 in parts and at least as much again in labor.

How to spot: Excessive carbon build-up on the intake valves causes poor running, rough idling, misfires, a loss of power, poor fuel economy, and the Check Engine light. Failed injectors will also cause misfiring, the Check Engine light, error codes, poor idling and economy, and a loss of power. A failing HPFP will cause a non-starting condition or long cranking times and will usually be accompanied by a loss of power and a Check Engine light.

Transfer Case Sensor Failure

The 4x4 system's transfer-case sensor responsible for controlling the 4WD functionality can fail, leaving the truck stuck in either 2WD or 4WD. It's not a massive problem and quite easy to fix by merely replacing the sensor.

Mileage: Sensor can fail at any mileage.

Cost: Around $105 for a new sensor.

How to spot: Vehicle stuck in 2WD or 4WD and refuses to switch between the two.

Climate Control

Out of all the 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe problems, this is one of the most common problems. Air conditioning, climate control, and AC problems are widely reported, with various owners having to have the condenser replaced and some even the compressor. The latter is the most common part that fails, leaving the Tahoe with no AC. A few customers were lucky enough to notice this problem under warranty, and there might still be some models available under warranty. It's not a cheap fix, otherwise. Mostly 2015 and a few 2016 Tahoes were affected by HVAC problems, with issues virtually disappearing by 2018.

Mileage: Around 50,000-65,000 miles.

Cost: Climate-control fixes generally cost around $1,000-$1,600 on average for replacing compressors and condensers.

How to spot: Put the climate control on ice cold and test all three zones.


Owners complained about the pre-facelifted model's infotainment system. Some units would freeze, while others had radio and Bluetooth problems. Apparently, it's just a glitch, and it goes away by itself. Make sure that the infotainment system's software is updated to the latest version.

Mileage: Around 33,000-50,000 miles.

Cost: N/A

How to spot: When out on a test drive, make sure all the infotainment functions work properly.

Less Common Problems

The Tahoe was recalled for all of the major issues Chevy picked up over the years, which means the most common problems are the two above. There were other complaints as well, but not nearly enough to register as common. Some owners reported problems with the Stabilitrak problems, stemming from body control module problems. The Tahoe is also not without the usual electrical problems and gremlins. These include common items not working properly. We're talking sunroof, liftgate, and door lock problems. All of these are easy and cheap enough to fix. As with all other cars, the Tahoe's battery doesn't last forever. Basic battery problems are annoying and, if left unchecked, can lead to alternator problems.

While the more common engine problems are listed above, some others to keep an eye out for is the failure of exhaust-manifold bolts, which will cause a ticking sound while the engine is running, and intake-manifold gasket failure, which affect the air-fuel mixture and cause poor running. Additionally reported problems include cracked dashboards, usually caused by sun damage, so carefully inspect a used Tahoe for more evidence that it's been parked outside for extended periods, like faded paintwork. Paintwork such as this typically starts fading noticeably at around 50,000 miles.

Interior door panels also tend to detach themselves, so make sure none of them are loose. Transmission problems are not common but it's a good practice to replace the transmission fluid every 60,000 miles. Even the simpler six-speed transmission costs around $4,300 to replace, so preventative maintenance is recommended. Some other minor problems include doors that won't open from the outside and front seats that slide back when they are supposed to be secured.

Which One To Avoid

According to the number of complaints about the air conditioning and gearbox, the 2015 model year is by far the worst out of the lot, with the most recalls and problems. We'd avoid the entire model year and focus on later models. The LS is a bit low-rent for some, but properly equipped, as long as you avoid the 2015 model with its tiny infotainment screen. You'd likely want to avoid models without smartphone integration, so remember that Apple CarPlay arrived for the 2016 model year and Android Auto only a year later.

Which One To Buy

The 2018 model year is the pick of the bunch. While a few owners still complained about air-conditioning issues, the updated infotainment system appears to be trouble-free. If you're willing to spend time shopping, you'll eventually find a 6.2 V8 RST. It has more power and a much better ten-speed gearbox. It has the latest infotainment system as well, with full smartphone integration for both Android phones and iPhones.

4th Gen Chevrolet Tahoe Verdict

The 4th-gen Tahoe is a good used buy. The two main problems are a shoddy infotainment system and a substandard air-conditioning condenser - and occasional compressor. There are large SUVs out there with a much longer list of issues. Yes, the Tahoe has its problems, but it appears to be a good buy for folks who want maximum space, comfort, and reliability.

Tahoe 4th Generation Alternatives

If you're shopping for 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe you should consider these alternatives
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