Chevy Tahoe: How Much Is It, How Much Weight Can It Pull and How Many Miles Can It Last?
With a nearly 30 year pedigree, the Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the most iconic trucks ever created by General Motors. For years, the Tahoe has been ranked as the best selling full-size SUV in the US, and it's not hard to see why.
For starters, it's big, making it a firm favorite with families. It's not hard to find an SUV with three rows of seating. However, many of these treat the latter row as an afterthought, affording a little in the way of personal space. The Tahoe, by contrast, provides a generous amount of leg and headroom throughout the vehicle.
And that does not come at the expense of the cargo hold, which offers plenty of space (25 cubic feet) for groceries or suitcases. You can extend this further by folding the rear seats, to a maximum of 125 cubic feet.
And yeah, it's a truck. Don’t let the SUV aesthetic fool you. In certain configurations, the latest 2021 model can pull up to 8,400 lbs of hitched weight. Chevrolet also offers two compelling choices of V8 engine (5.3L and 6.2L), which deliver excellent levels of acceleration, as well as a degree of off-road performance you wouldn't expect from looking at it.
And, despite those credentials, it’s reasonably affordable — at least by the standards of a full-size SUV. Here’s what you need to know about the Chevrolet Tahoe.
A Brief History of the Chevy Tahoe
Chevrolet introduced the Tahoe in 1991. It replaced the Chevrolet Blazer, which was beginning to show its age. Initially, General Motors positioned the Tahoe as a slightly smaller, and this is more practical for city driving, alternative to the venerable Suburban. Indeed, for the sake of simplicity, it repurposed the same GMT400 platform.
The first generation tried to bring an SUV aesthetic to the otherwise utilitarian truck space, and General Motors offered the Tahoe in a short-lived three-door variant that was discontinued in 2000, with the introduction of the second generation model.
At that point, General Motors had refined the strategy behind the Tahoe, which remains just as true then as it does today. This is a family car with truck-like towing and hauling capabilities. It retained the powerful V8 engine, but GM placed a renewed emphasis on the interior, adding safety and entertainment features demanded by parents. It also gave the Tahoe a well-needed facelift, adding curved, aerodynamic features befitting of an aspirational SUV.
Three generations have passed since then, and the Detroit automaker has stuck to this particular playbook, with subsequent versions improving on the cabin, performance, and safety. The most recent model, introduced in 2021, is no exception.
The Latest-and-Greatest Chevy Tahoe
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe improves on its predecessors in several key areas. The most prominent is, of course, the cabin. Put simply, it’s bigger.
General Motors stretched the Chevrolet Tahoe to 210.7 inches, compared to the 203.9 inches found in the previous generation. That change will be most keenly felt by those in the rear two rows of seats, as they will enjoy greater levels of personal space. Additionally, the floor has been lowered slightly, giving a welcome boost to headroom. Cargo space is similarly increased compared to the fourth generation.
On the engine front, Chevrolet offers three more fuel efficient options: a 5.3L L84 EcoTec3 V8, a 6.2L L86 Ecotec3 V8, and a 3L Duramax L6 turbo diesel engine. General Motors also replaced the ageing 8-speed transmission with a more modern 10-speed Hydra-Matic automatic gearbox, which promises more fluid shifts and better fuel efficiency as you move through speeds.
And, of course, the interior has seen a significant redesign, with much attention paid to the instrument panels and the infotainment system. General Motors has an interesting strategy here, opting to stick with a smaller 10.2 inch infotainment display, to give a less cluttered cockpit experience. In its place, the company offers rear seat back entertainment options, which support device streaming.
In terms of seating, General Motors offers the Tahoe in 7-seat and 9-seat configurations, making it a compelling and slightly more attractive alternative to a minivan. Fuel efficiency is similarly decent, with the gas-powered V8 model offering 21MP in the city and 28MPG on the highway. The turbodiesel offers a slightly less impressive 20MPG in the city and 26MPG when cruising down the open road, and commands a roughly $900 premium.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe comes in six different trims, each offering slightly different cabin experiences, as well as engine and drivetrain options. Unless otherwise stated, the following are for the rear-wheel drive 5.3L configuration.
- LS ($51,295)
- LT ($55,995)
- RST ($59,095)
- Premier ($64,495)
- High Country ($69,895, 3L Turbo Diesel)
- Z71 (5.3L, 4WD)
As a highly practical family car, the Chevrolet Tahoe holds its value well. However, you can find some serious bargains when looking at the used market, provided you are prepared to forego the extra space offered by the fifth generation, as well as its high-tech options.
For roughly $40,000, you can get your hands on a 2017 model year in the mid-range LT trim. This will likely come with the base 5.3 L V8 engine, which delivers a respectable 355HP and 383lbs of torque. Towing heavy loads, like trailers and boats, will be a piece of cake.
And with summer almost here, you’ll be glad of its myriad of entertainment options, from a built in Wi-Fi hotspot, to a premium sound system. Safety features like a rear parking aid, brake assist, and the lane departure warning system will give further reassurance.
Cheaper still is the 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe, which belongs to the same generation, but has a decidedly affordable price tag of circa $28,000. Despite its comparative vintage, there is plenty to like about this model.
Entertainment options are in abundance, and are accompanied with a top-notch set of speakers. Conveniences like remote ignition and automatic garage door openers are also present, while its rear parking assistance will make it easy to guide the lengthy Tahoe into even the tightest of spots.
The Chevrolet Tahoe is a great choice for those looking for a family car with truck-like characteristics. Whether you are getting one for domestic or work reasons, you should start your search with Shift.
With no dealerships to visit, finding your next Tahoe couldn’t be easier. All our cars are inspected to a thorough 150-point checklist by a trusted mechanic, and we offer a no-questions-asked seven day returns policy. When buying from our Shift Certified inventory, you also get a free 30-day warranty, giving further peace of mind.
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
July 12, 2021
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.