LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs have always been known for their ability to safely transport families and their cargo. For 2015, they also pack new standard and available driver-assist technologies – including radar – that add another layer of protection against crashes.
The all-new SUVs are also equipped with greater security features to thwart would-be thieves, including available glass breakage, inclination and interior movement sensors and a self-powered horn.
“We’ve designed the Tahoe and Suburban to protect what our customers can’t place a value on – their passengers’ safety and peace of mind,” said Mark Clawson, Tahoe and Suburban marketing manager. “And because safety and security go hand in hand, new technologies help protect what they can put a price on – their vehicle.”
Before a crash: prevention and intervention
Because the safest crash is the one that never happens, the Tahoe and Suburban are equipped with standard and available technologies that serve as an extra set of eyes and ears to the driver, including an available Safety Alert Seat that vibrates if the system determines the driver is at risk of colliding with another vehicle.
Driver assistance begins with a standard rear vision camera that shows the area immediately behind the vehicle in the audio screen. The camera is especially helpful when hooking up a trailer.
Additional standard and available driver alert technologies include:
Side Blind Zone Alert – Uses short-range radar sensors in the rear quarter panels to “look” for other vehicles the driver may not be able to see. If the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it will illuminate an amber symbol in the outside mirror. If the driver signals to change lanes in the direction of the affected vehicle, the symbol will flash amber. It is standard on LTZ and available on LT models.
Lane Change Alert – Uses the Side Blind Zone sensors to warn drivers of fast-approaching vehicles up to 230 feet away in the adjacent lane, not just in the blind zone. It is standard on LTZ and available on LT models.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert – Uses the Side Blind Zone sensors to warn drivers of approaching cross traffic while backing up. The system triggers a visual alert on the navigation screen and pulses the Safety Alert Seat if it detects approaching vehicles up to 65 feet away from the right or left. It is standard on LTZ and available on LT models.
Forward Collision Alert – A camera mounted behind the inside rearview mirror detects when a driver is at risk of hitting the vehicle ahead. A visual alert will display in the instrument cluster and the windshield and the Safety Alert Seat will pulse several times to warn the driver. It is standard on LT and LTZ models, and available on LS.
Lane Departure Warning – A camera mounted behind the inside rearview mirror detects when the driver drifts into an adjacent lane without signaling, displaying a visual alert in the instrument cluster and pulsing the Safety Alert Seat three times on the side of the lane infraction. It is standard on LT and LTZ models, and available on LS.
Adaptive Cruise Control – Long-range radar detects a vehicle ahead and automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain a pre-selected distance. It is available on LTZ.
Crash Imminent Braking – If an imminent crash is detected, the brakes will automatically apply to reduce as much vehicle speed as possible to lessen the effects of the collision.
Safety Alert Seat – Pulses the left, right or both seat cushion bolsters to alert the driver of a dangerous situation. It is standard on LT and LTZ, and is part of the Driver Alert Package available on LS.
In addition to driver alert features, standard chassis control crash-avoidance technologies include GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill-start assist and four-wheel, four-channel anti-lock brakes. An available trailer brake controller conveniently monitors trailer brakes.
During a crash: prepare and protect
Tahoe and Suburban also offer seven standard air bags, including the segment’s only front-seat center air bag (front bucket-seat models). Originally introduced on the Chevrolet Traverse, it is designed to provide additional protection for drivers and passengers in far-side impact crashes.
The 2015 Tahoe and Suburban provide two new, standard features for securing occupants in place during a crash: new lap belt pretensioners in the front-seat outboard safety belts, and a segment-exclusive front-seat center air bag.
Similar to shoulder belt pretensioners, the lap belt pretensioner removes slack in the lap belt to help keep occupants properly positioned during a collision. The safety belt buckle is also designed to lock during a crash and not allow webbing to slip through the shoulder or lap belt. This helps balance the restraint systems in both frontal and rollover collisions.
Other standard occupant protection features include:
“The earlier you can secure the occupant in the vehicle, the longer they have to decelerate during a crash,” said Jeff Luke, Executive, Chief Engineer, Full and Mid-size trucks. “People say, ‘every second counts in a crash.’ In our business, milliseconds count.”
A crash course on steel
Not all safety technology is visible to the customer. In the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban, the entire passenger compartment is surrounded by a high-strength steel safety cage, and strategically placed crush zones help absorb and divert crash energy from occupants.
An increased use of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel provides additional protection in the A- and B-pillars, roof rails, body, rocker panels and some body reinforcements and parts. Front frame rails made of high-strength steel include crush management darts to further help control collapse in a collision.
The Tahoe and Suburban also were designed to help protect other vehicles that may collide with it. Vehicle compatibility brackets mounted under the front frame rails engage the structure of lower vehicles to better manage vehicle crush.
After a collision: OnStar to the rescue
GM’s OnStar in-vehicle communications system provides critical, post-collision assistance to Tahoe and Suburban customers. Immediately after a collision, an OnStar advisor is connected to the vehicle to provide assistance. Even if there is no response, the advisor can pinpoint the vehicle location using GPS technology and request emergency help. The advisor can also relay the severity and type of crash to first responders so they are better prepared when they arrive at the scene.
A six-month trial subscription to the OnStar Directions and Connections plan is standard on all Tahoe and Suburban models.
Additional post-crash functions that assist occupants and first responders include automatic fuel system shutoff and door unlock; and automatic illumination of interior and flashing hazard lights.
Unfortunately, the desirable attributes of the Tahoe and Suburban may be tempting to those with criminal intentions. Understanding that today’s thieves can be very sophisticated, Chevrolet set out to make Tahoe and Suburban harder to break into or outright steal.
“With vehicle thieves, it’s a race against time,” said Bill Biondo, Global Vehicle Security Lead. “The more we equip the vehicle to resist theft, the longer it takes them to gain access to the vehicle to drive, push or tow it away.”
The 2015 Tahoe and Suburban offer an available security system featuring glass breakage sensors, motion detectors and a self-leveling inclination sensor that sounds an alarm if a thief attempts to steal wheels or tires, or tow or lift the vehicle onto a flatbed truck.
When fully armed by the owner, the alarm emits a high-pitched siren that sounds completely different from the vehicle’s horn. The horn also sounds to alert passersby. A battery pack installed in a hard-to-find (for criminals) and protected location enables the alarm siren to operate for a limited amount of time if a thief tries to cut off the main power source.
The advanced theft protection package also includes door shields in the driver’s door, which help block access to those using a “slim jim”-type unlocking device. Additional anti-theft features include enhanced door security, laminated windshield glass and a steering column lock.
All 2015 Tahoe and Suburban models include free-wheeling door lock cylinders designed to resist an attempted break-in.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.