The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom Is a Cut-Price, De-Contented Full-Size SUV

General Motors announced today the September 2017 arrival of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom, priced from $44,995, including destination fees. That represents a $3,750 price cut for what will now become the base Tahoe, down from the 2018 Tahoe LS’s $48,745 MSRP.

GM says the 2018 Tahoe Custom is a response both to “strong consumer demand for Tahoe,” and to the “full-size SUV segment moving upmarket.”

Therefore, there’ll be no cooled seats here. No adaptive cruise. No head-up display.

No third row of seating. Gasp.

The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom will, however, feature the capability of a Tahoe, with towing capacity rated up to 8,600 pounds and — because of the third row’s removal — more cargo capacity.

While providing the Tahoe Custom with 2.3 extra cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row, Chevrolet didn’t turn the Tahoe into a vinyl-clad penalty box on 18-inch wheels. It’s essentially a Tahoe LS, with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, affordable data for 4G LTE WiFi, remote start, GM’s rear-seat reminder first seen in the Acadia, and the 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8.Through the first seven months of 2017, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe are up less than 1 percent to a segment-leading 65,584 units. The Tahoe is one member of a six-strong General Motors full-size SUV lineup that this year accounts for 9 percent of GM’s U.S. volume. That’s up from 8 percent two years ago.

Among volume brand full-size SUVs, where a quartet of Chevrolets and GMCs competes with the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia, General Motors’ market share stands at 67 percent in 2017. That’s down from 72 percent a year ago, as segment-wide sales have expanded largely because of the second-generation Armada. Nissan’s slice of the pie tripled in size from 3 percent in 2016’s first seven months to 9 percent so far this year.

The 2017 Nissan Armada’s base price is $46,095. The 2017 Toyota Sequoia is priced from $49,595. The all-new 2018 Ford Expedition XLT’s base price is $52,890. In 2017, the basic GMC Yukon was $1,315 more than than its Chevrolet counterpart.

As for the Tahoe specifically, 2017 was already on track to be the second-biggest Chevrolet’s best year of U.S. sales in a decade. And that was prior to the anticipated Q4 impact of the 2018 Tahoe Custom’s broader appeal.

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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