2020 Chevrolet Tahoe vs. 2020 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/08

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Tahoe are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Tahoe and X5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Tahoe has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X5’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Tahoe are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The X5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Tahoe has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The X5 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Tahoe and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Tahoe 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tahoe’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Tahoe has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The X5 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Tahoe’s reliability 12 points higher than the X5.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tahoe first among large suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The X5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Tahoe’s fuel efficiency. The X5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Tahoe uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 6.2 V8 engine for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Tahoe has 4.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (26 vs. 21.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Tahoe EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X5.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Tahoe stops shorter than the X5:

Tahoe

X5

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Tahoe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X5 (285/45R22 vs. 275/40R21).

The Chevrolet Tahoe’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Tahoe has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Tahoe has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the X5, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

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The Tahoe offers an optional automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Tahoe’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The X5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Tahoe is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the X5.

For better maneuverability, the Tahoe’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the X5’s (39 feet vs. 41.4 feet).

Passenger Space

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The Tahoe offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the X5 can only carry up to 7.

The Tahoe has 2.1 inches more front headroom, 5.5 inches more front legroom, 4.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and 7 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tahoe’s middle row seats recline. The X5’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Tahoe’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

Tahoe

X5

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

33.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

72.3 cubic feet

The Tahoe’s cargo area is larger than the X5’s in every dimension:

Tahoe

X5

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

n.a./40.7”/70”

Min Width

49.3”

44”

Height

33.9”

31.5”

The Tahoe’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Payload and Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the BMW X5 is limited to 7209 pounds. The Tahoe offers up to a 8600 lbs. towing capacity.

The Tahoe has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X5 (1670 vs. 827 lbs.).

The Tahoe has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X5 (1720 vs. 871 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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The Tahoe’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X5 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Tahoe has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Tahoe’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the X5’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Tahoe has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Tahoe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tahoe will cost $3155 to $4570 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

The Tahoe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Tahoe will retain 50.08% to 50.55% of its original price after five years, while the X5 only retains 43.16% to 47.45%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tahoe is less expensive to operate than the X5 because typical repairs cost much less on the Tahoe than the X5, including $246 less for a water pump, $1017 less for a muffler, $109 less for front brake pads, $382 less for a starter, $169 less for fuel injection, $363 less for front struts, $599 less for a timing belt/chain and $1650 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Tahoe will be $14824 to $29944 less than for the BMW X5.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/08

The Chevrolet Tahoe outsold the BMW X5 by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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