Chevrolet Dumps 6.2-Liter V8 Into ‘Premier Plus’ Editions of Tahoe, Suburban

Last year, Chevrolet introduced Rally Sport Truck (RST) variant of the Tahoe. Effectively an appearance package for the body-on-frame SUV, it also opened the door for a performance package containing General Motors’ Magnetic Ride Control, a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, and the 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission. The company did the same for the Suburban a short time later.

According to the manufacturer, people love the engine more than their own children. As a result, Chevrolet wants to expand its availability while it makes a little heaping mounds of money on the side. For 2019, Chevy adds the motor to the Premier Plus special editions of the Tahoe and Suburban — which represent a half-step in luxury above the standard Premier trims, but a giant leap in overall price.

“Our customers have shown strong demand for both Tahoe and Suburban with the 6.2L V-8 option,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Trucks Marketing and Advertising. “Thirty-six percent of all Chevy full-size SUV special edition models are now sold with this engine. Premier Plus gives both Suburban and Tahoe customers another option to choose from with several added premium touches.”

GM claims the Premier Plus editions feature meaningful interior upgrades, like distinctive heated and ventilated leather-appointed front seats, two-tone interior colors, power steps, a head-up display, 8-inch touch screen. However, most of that equipment can be found on the standard Premier trim. The truly unique stuff is the additional badging, gold Chevy logo, and 22-inch wheels that are specific to the special edition models.

What you are really shelling out the big bucks for is that engine, and it doesn’t come cheap. The standard Tahoe, in Premier guise, starts at $63,895 before destination. For the Suburban, it comes to $66,595 with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 equipped. But the 6.2-liter Premier Plus will set you back $74,100 for the Tahoe and $76,900 on the Suburban (plus a $1,295 destination fee). That’s a lot of money for what is basically an engine upgrade.

While that cash does take you from 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque (with a six-speed) to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque (with a 10-speed), we’re not sure ten grand is a bargain unless that grille ornament is made of real gold. We’re absolutely positive people will still buy these vehicles, however. Denali has already proven that GMC can use special luxury trims to print money for itself.

Chevrolet is clearly expecting strong sales. It claims the first 5,000 customers to order either of the special editions through a Costco member incentive can save $4,500 off the price. We imagine that still leaves General Motors with a tidy profit, even before customers tack on optional extras.

a version of this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com

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