Latest SUVs stop quicker than a compact sedan
Massive jump in safety comes from numerous improvements
The massive SUVs from General Motors have gotten even bigger this generation, but it turns out that the extra size doesn’t mean worse dynamics. A new testing report says that the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, and the rest of the family can now stop from highway speeds in a distance that makes compact sedans and even performance icons look abysmal in comparison.
Car and Driver said it’s tested 50 of GM’s large SUVs since the 1990s, including a 1999 Tahoe that took the horrible by today’s standards 248 feet to stop from 70 mph (75.5 m and 113 km/h). The generation just replaced didn’t fare much better in the braking department. They’ve already put six of the latest generation of the big SUVs through their performance testing regimen, though, and the results will have you stopping as short as these behemoths.
All six stopped from that same speed in 184 feet (56m) or less. The quickest-stopping, CD said, was actually a Chevrolet Suburban that managed the stop in just 166 feet. 50.6m.
That’s not just a significant improvement, that shortest distance is better than the magazine managed in a tiny Mazda 3. It’s only a few feet away from the 591 hp high-performance Audi RS6 Avant.
Tires would often be the largest contributor to this, for example if GM had switched to high-performance summer rubber, but even the Tahoe Z71 and its off-road tires stopped short. Their report says GM credits improvements to tires (GM generally has tires built to its standards and specs by suppliers), but also to the independent rear suspensions including the latest versions of the optional magnetic dampers. Maybe most helpful is the new eBoost brake by wire system that activates the brakes more quickly, reacting faster to your foot and cutting down the reaction time portion of the equation.
Also of note, the new brake system has a temperature estimation algorithm, and if it thinks you’ve overheated the rotors and pads with repeated hard stops it’ll give you a warning to let you know to cool the fun.