The Chevrolet Tahoe is a full sized sports utility vehicle that can seat up to nine passengers and still has plenty of power to tow 8,500 pounds. This big truck offers some of the most luxurious features that most would only expect to find in a luxury sedan and also offers some big power to make it one of the best rounded and full featured trucks offered from Chevrolet.

The Tahoe is slightly smaller than the Suburban model, but the slight difference in size translates to a huge improvement in cornering and the ability to navigate in small spaces. The Chevy Tahoe comes with a small block 5.3 liter V-8 that delivers about 325 horsepower. This engine is not underpowered by any means, but this is the only engine available in this SUV model.

These trucks are more fuel efficient than the larger Suburban, but it is almost a direct trade off for the power you lose. The Tahoe starts at $37,570 and there is a hybrid version available as well.

Bodystyle: SUV
Engines: 5.3L V-8, 5.3L V-8 with hybrid electric motor
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ, Hybrid

On the Tahoe 1LS, audio system controls with two headphone jacks, Bluetooth, floor console with storage area, woodgrain interior trim, luggage rack center rails, body color door handles and mirror caps, and premium cloth front bucket seats are standard. The 1LTZ 4WD adds standard chrome recovery hooks and two-speed transfer case. An integrated brake controller now comes with the optional trailer towing package.

There are no significant exterior design changes for the 2011 model year. The 1LTZ now is available with 20-inch chrome wheels. New paint colors are Mocha Steel Metallic, Steel Green Metallic and Ice Blue Metallic.

A 40/20/40 cloth split front bench seat is available as an option to the cloth buckets of the 1LS model. Optional interior features include a power-operated flip-and-tumble second row seat. Touch-screen navigation also is available.

Ride and handling are near the top of the segment of large, body-on-frame SUVs, with refined ride quality and decent handling for such a large vehicle. Steering feel and feedback is good. The iron block (2WD) and aluminum block 5.3-liter V-8 engines are a bit of compromise, giving up the power of larger GM small blocks for decent fuel efficiency.

Head curtain airbags with three-row rollover protection and front safety belt pretensioners that can deploy in rear-end collisions, plus StabiliTrak and OnStar are standard. Blind zone alert and a rear parking assist camera are optional.

LS, LT, LTZ: 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway
Hybrid: 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway

  • Interior space
  • Torquey V-8
  • Good hybrid efficiency
  • E85 fuel flexibility
  • Value
  • Cargo space with third row up
  • No flush folding third row
  • Fuel economy (except hybrid)
  • Showing its age
  • It’s still big

A more manageable Suburban alternative

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  • Ford Expedition
  • Toyota Sequoia

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