Overview & Reviews
Few SUVs since the mid-1990s have been as popular as the Chevrolet Tahoe, and it's not hard to see why. With room for up to nine passengers, V8 power and plenty of available amenities, the Tahoe has traditionally been a go-to choice for large American families.
The Chevy Tahoe faced little competition when it debuted, popularizing the full-size SUV by being a somewhat smaller and more maneuverable version of the giant Chevy Suburban that established the segment. Today, however, there are more choices than ever. In particular, large crossovers are more efficient, easier to drive and more versatile inside. The Tahoe remains competitive, though, especially among those who need the added capability of towing.
Current Chevrolet Tahoe
The Chevrolet Tahoe is a traditional full-size SUV built on a truck platform. It's been fully redesigned for 2015. Major updates for this fourth-generation model include added safety and technology features, improved fuel economy and a fold-flat third-row seat. Depending on the configuration, it will accommodate anywhere from six to nine passengers and tow up to 8,600 pounds.
Three trim levels (LS, LT and LTZ) are available. The LS is well equipped with tri-zone climate control, full power accessories, Bluetooth connectivity, a color display with rearview camera and three rows of seats, the rearmost folding into the floor. Going with the LT or LTZ fills out the standard equipment list with more luxury-oriented items. Feature highlights, depending on trim, include adaptive magnetic shock absorbers, a power liftgate, power-adjustable pedals, power-actuated second- and third-row seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats and an integrated brake controller.
Standard safety equipment includes stability control, front side as well as an innovative front center (between seats) airbag and three-row curtain airbags. Available safety technology includes adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert, lane-departure and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert and a vibrating safety-alert seat. Options include a navigation system and a rear entertainment system on most models.
Ample power comes by way of a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8, matched to a modern and efficient six-speed automatic transmission. There is a choice between two- and four-wheel drive, with the latter available with either a traditional two-speed transfer case or a single-speed unit without low-range gearing (not available with Max Trailering package).
In reviews, our editors found the Chevy Tahoe to be a capable and comfortable performer with a welcoming and, for its class, upscale interior. The ride quality is comfortable and handling surprisingly composed, but you'll find the ride comfort deteriorates with either of the available 20- or 22-inch wheels, even with the adaptive suspension. Also, larger crossovers tend to be more maneuverable and responsive. The cabin's redesign and modern connectivity are welcome, as the Tahoe is now competitive with its rivals. Another significant change is the integrated fold-flat third-row seat, the downside of which is an elevated floor into the cargo area.
In total, if you're mostly looking to carry a bunch of people, the Tahoe isn't the best choice. However, if you also need to tow or venture off-road with a real four-wheel-drive system, the burly Tahoe continues to make a lot of sense in an anachronistic category that continues to dwindle.
Used Chevrolet Tahoe Models
The third generation of the Chevy Tahoe spanned the 2007-'14 model years. Compared to earlier Tahoes, it represented a marked improvement in terms of drivability and interior design, as well as materials and build quality.
Initially for this Tahoe, Chevy offered one of two V8s: a 4.8-liter (295 hp) or a 5.3-liter (320 hp). Both engines came with a four-speed automatic transmission, but the 4.8-liter V8 was paired with rear-wheel drive only. For a single year in 2009, a 6.2-liter V8 with 395 hp was available. A six-speed automatic was introduced that year and was fitted to both the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s. After that, the Tahoe came exclusively with the 5.3-liter engine and six-speed auto and either RWD or traditional 4WD with low-range gearing.
Trim levels for this 2007-'14 generation were LS, LT and LTZ. Feature content varied somewhat through the years, but typically the LS came standard with 17-inch wheels, cruise control, stability control, full power accessories, dual-zone climate control and a six-speaker sound system. For a time, the LT model was split into three sub-levels: LT1, LT2 and LT3 with progressively more convenience or luxury items such as heated leather seats, power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle start, tri-zone automatic climate control and rear park assist. The LTZ remained the most well-appointed and typically came standard with 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, navigation, ventilated front seats and a premium sound system. Sporadically, Chevrolet also offered an Off-Road package.
This generation also experienced a steady infusion of standard or optional technology: we recommend going with a 2009 or newer model for equipment like Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port (2010) or hard drive-based navigation. Other key changes for this generation involved safety feature content. For the 2007 model, side curtain airbags were optional on some trims, while front side airbags were unavailable prior to 2010. Another noteworthy change involved the 50/50-split third-row seat, which was optional for 2007 and '08.
Overall, we found this versatile and ever-improving generation of Chevrolet Tahoe to be desirable for a full-size V8-powered SUV. Car-based crossover SUVs became much more popular during this time, and they're worth consideration given the advantages in fuel economy, handling and ride quality. Yet the Tahoe remained a capable and comfortable, if slightly large, daily driver throughout. Our one main criticism involved the Tahoe's third-row seats. At more than 50 pounds each, they were heavy and cumbersome to remove. And when folded inside the truck, they did not offer a flat cargo floor. The third-row seats were also a favorite of smash-and-grab thieves.
The previous-generation Chevrolet Tahoe was built for the 2000-'06 model years. Through most of this period, our editors considered the Tahoe to be one of the best full-size SUVs available. This second-gen Tahoe was a little bit smaller than the third, but it still offered room for up to nine passengers. Two V8 engines were available -- either a 285-hp 4.8-liter or a 295-hp 5.3-liter -- as were 2WD or 4WD. For most of its history, the model came in LS, Z71 or LT trims. The Z71 was designed for improved off-road performance.
Generally, our editors were impressed with the power from the V8 engines and the truck's maneuverability, but put off by cheap interior materials and spotty build quality. Shoppers placing a priority on safety will want to look for a Tahoe with the optional stability control system; Chevrolet started offering it in the 2003 model year on trucks with the larger V8.
Previous to this was the first-generation Chevrolet Tahoe offered from 1995-'99. It could carry a maximum of six passengers, large amounts of cargo and best of all would fit in most garages. This was the only generation that offered both two-door and four-door models. The two-door versions were also available with a 180-hp turbodiesel V8 instead of the 255-hp, 5.7-liter V8.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 1,461.00
Proven reliability - 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe
By JE - January 18 - 11:41 pm
This is one solid vehicle. I bought my z71 Tahoe in 2001. 134,000 later still drives like new. No major issues, just normal wear and tear items such as brakes, water pump, fuel pump and a couple oil seals. Luckily no transmission problems. Well worth the 40k I paid new. If you find a clean one jump on it!
outstanding - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
By Ray Ross - December 30 - 1:09 pm
disappointment - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
By jim o - December 27 - 12:06 pm
Worst tahoe ever. Took away front tow hooks, 373 gears,low range ,removable back seats, body panel are thin as a pop can . Dents easily. Body trim panels blew off in car wash. Computer went out. AC went out. Back door leaks. Constantly gear hunting and shifting. Terrible for town driving. Backup camera is useless on the radio screen! Door handles very cheep. Interior molding cheep end scratch and smudge easily. Lots of cabin issues on bumpy roads, uncomfortable rattling ect.
Awesome Tahoe - 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe
By kolocar - December 11 - 9:13 pm
Purchased this 2002 LS (with most of the LT features) in April 2015 with 104K on the clock. Its now December 2015 and we are approaching 123K. We have driven it on at least a half dozen trips between Dallas and Chicago, Asheville-NC and Colorado Springs. With the exception of having to replace the flex fuel module, the truck has been amazing. Extremely comfortable, and with handling reflexes that would otherwise be expected of a much smaller SUV. Absolutely love the 325 CID V8 - smooth and pulls strong all the way to 6000 rpm. It uses a quart of oil about every 6,000 miles - amazing. It has hauled anything we have had to stuff into it.
love it - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
By Sherri - December 7 - 9:52 pm
Design flaws will cost you a bunch 2015 LTZ - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
By Bruce Marjenhoff - December 6 - 5:25 pm
Wind deflector sits 8 inches from ground when tires inflated at max 40+ psi. Catches tire stops and when backing out, binds deflector and rips deflector off and pulls front fender out. Both items have to be replaced. Cost 1400.00$. Ive had this to happen to my LTZ twice in 6 months. There is no solution that does not revoke warranty. GM Rep aware of problem but wont help. Should be concidered under the lemon law. GM dont care. I can see low deflector on small cars, but not a high sitting car (AKA TRUCK FRAME) wish someone told me before I bought it, I would have chosen another suv.
Born in the USA - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
By Jim - November 27 - 3:53 pm
Traded a MBZ for a Chevy! If you are into status and frustrating electronics, dont buy a Tahoe. But if you want a great vehicle that is user friendly, then its the Tahoe. This is one BMW/MBZ/Jaguar owner who has just had enough of those brands. After spending $1800 replacing stupid Pirelli tires on my MBZ after three blowout/flats and having to sue MBZ for restitution because they blew me off, I decided to move on. Love my new Tahoe!
Pops old truck....2005 Z71 Tahoe 4WD - 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe
By nick w - November 11 - 4:10 pm
Bought from my dads estate 6 years ago W/ 84K miles on it.....It now has 150K , Super reliable, good looking, powerful.....U-joints, Brakes, and an engine ground wire (which cost $700) to fix, have been the only problems.....Needs tires, now but will still go through 3 of snow......it is our camping/ hiking/ hunting/fishing/trailer towing/ grandkid hauling 3rd car (I drive a 2014 CR-V, my girlfriend drives a POS 2005 Dodge mini-van) . It also serves as my drive 85 miles one way to work car, in really bad weather. I have pulled numerous people (including a State Trooper) out of the ditch with it in blizzard weather, and the other day pulled a stuck 4WD ATV out of a muddy field, and the truck felt like there was nothing behind me....I want this truck to last forever...I know it wont, but frankly will never be able to afford a new one, like it.......
REALLY tires to fast - 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
By surround2man - October 31 - 7:20 pm
With 24775 miles I have replaced all your tires, REALLY. I have never replaced tires so fast and this.is my 3rd tahoe. I am extremely disappointed. Chevrolet has gone cheap on the new tires. Before the tires were great. I am in the same profession I was 16years ago and the distance I drive.to work is 7.2 miles.
Great used vehicle !! - 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe
By Chvylvr - October 24 - 8:18 am
I have owned almost every chevy truck they make. From a 93 and 02 suburban to an 03 and 09 silverado. They were all great trucks but I have to say the 01 tahoe is the most functional for my needs in the group. Not overly large fairly nimble good cargo space and room for 6 people (no 3rd row). The 5.3 liter moves this truck well. It is so smooth and you can hardly hear it idle. Got it with 93k with original Trans, rear etc. It has a good amount of rust underneath but nothing unusual for the northeast salted roads. No body rot at all and paint still shines like new. Not bad for a 14 year old truck. A new tahoe would be around $50k. I paid $5k for this one. Ill be due for another tahoe sometime around 2029 and Im sure Ill get a good deal on a 2015 then.