The 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban are lines of full-size sport-utility vehicles that are very similar, but the Suburban is 20 inches longer.
Both the Tahoe and Suburban are offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive for each. Suburbans can be specified either as standard-duty 1500 models or heavy-duty 2500 models. The Tahoe can tow up to 8,200 pounds, while the Suburban 2500 can tow up to 9,700 pounds when properly equipped.
A 295-horsepower, 4.8L V8 engine is standard on rear-wheel-drive Tahoes; an E85-compatible 5.3L V8 making 320 horsepower and 340 ft-lb of torque is optional on 2WD models and standard on 4WD Tahoes and Suburban 1500 models. Also optional on Tahoes is a 6.2L V8 making 395 horsepower and 417 ft-lb. The heavy-duty Suburban 2500 models have a standard 6.0L V8 making 352 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.
The 4.8L engine comes with a four-speed automatic transmission; the 5.3L, 6.0L and 6.2L V8s get a new, fuel-saving six-speed automatic. The 5.3L and 6.0L engines also have active fuel management, which cuts off fuel to half of the cylinders in some conditions when full engine power isn't needed.
The Tahoe Hybrid model, which joined the lineup in 2008, gets a 6.0L V8 as part of a 2-Mode hybrid system that is capable of powering the Tahoe at low speed on electric power alone, while at higher speeds the electric motor system assists the gasoline engine for more efficient accelerating and passing. The Hybrid has eight-passenger seating and can tow up to 6,200 pounds.
The stiff, fully boxed frame of Tahoe and Suburban helps provide the structure for heavy hauling and towing and also reduces vibration in the passenger cabin. There's also extensive noise-reduction material used throughout the models inside the headliner, over the engine, in front of the dash and in door seals.
Luxurious LTZ models get a smooth Autoride suspension system, which has two modes of damping--one firmer, one softer--which it can switch between quickly depending on driving conditions.
Inside, the Tahoe and Suburban have a sophisticated instrument panel design, with LED backlighting and chrome accents, which is smoother and more car-like in design than most other full-size SUVs. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity is standard.
Roof-mounted head-curtain air bags with rollover protection, covering all three seating rows, are standard across the model lines, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are also included with both models.
Standout features available on the Tahoe and Suburban include a remote start system, heated seats for the first and second rows, a power-release fold-and-tumble second row, ultrasonic rear parking assist, a rearview camera system, touch-screen navigation and an eight-inch rear DVD entertainment system.
For 2009, the Chevy Tahoe and its larger sibling, the Suburban, see few changes. The Tahoe gets a new six-speed transmission.
Bluetooth hands-free connectivity is now standard on Tahoe and Suburban, with several minor options changes, package reshuffles and a few new exterior colors now available on both models as well.