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Introduced in 1995 as a successor to the Chevy Blazer, the Tahoe is a full-size SUV that offers excellent power and a spacious interior that is perfect for big families and groups of friends. When looking at a used Chevy Tahoe, you will find models from four different generations, with many trims and features that have been available on them throughout the years. This means there are a lot of options to choose from, and shopping for a used Tahoe can quickly feel overwhelming. But with the right dealership by your side, to help you navigate all of those options, you can get exactly the vehicle you need.
As a full-size SUV, the Tahoe is not necessarily right for everyone, but for those people that need the space it offers, then a used Chevy Tahoe is a fantastic choice. The Tahoe has been well known for offering excellent power and performance with a true SUV design built on a truck platform to ensure you always feel the power it delivers. Of course, the spacious interior is the star of the show for a lot of potential Tahoe buyers, with plenty of seating for just about the biggest of families. All that space inside is also ideal for loading up with anything you need to take with you, making the Tahoe a natural choice for those that love to go camping.
Starting in 1995, the first generation of the Chevy Tahoe included both two-door and four-door models available, so if you go back this far, you might find some unexpected designs out there. In 1999, Chevy dropped the two-door design, so any models you find after that year will have four doors. The second generation ran from 2000 to 2006 and is a great place to start if you want an older model to save some money, but still want the impressive size and power that the Tahoe has to offer. More powerful engines were available in the second generation than previous years, and updates throughout its run included impressive technology and other features.
For a more recent model, consider the third generation of the Tahoe, which ran from 2007 to 2014 and included a number of excellent upgrades and features. A used Chevy Tahoe from these years can have one of several different engines, including some hybrid engines that were available; if you want a hybrid Tahoe, then look for one from these years. The fourth-generation for the Tahoe kicked off in 2015 and ran through 2020, offering increased power from one of two different V8 engines, and incredible technology and safety features inside and out.
As a full-size SUV, a used Chevy Tahoe might not be right for everyone, but it is a fantastic choice if you want tremendous power and performance in a large SUV that is fun to drive. Since this is a traditional SUV built on a truck platform, rather than a crossover, it really feels like the large and powerful machine you want it to be, rather than falling short of delivering on the level of performance that it should offer. If you want to feel that kind of command over the road and drive with the confidence that comes from knowing you can handle anything you encounter, then a used Chevy Tahoe is a great choice.
The tremendous amount of interior space within the Tahoe makes it a fantastic vehicle for anyone with a large family or big group of friends. Any used Chevy Tahoe you find will typically have three rows of seating, and depending on which options were chosen when it was sold as new, it can have seats for up to nine people within it. Few other vehicles out there offer that kind of seating––even a lot of other full-size SUVs only have seating for up to eight people, at most. This makes a used Tahoe a fantastic choice for anyone that might need to transport that many people on a fairly regular basis.
Of course, all of that interior size is not only for passengers; you can utilize the incredible interior of the Tahoe for all kinds of cargo too. A used Chevy Tahoe is a great option if you like to go camping or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors, offering you plenty of space for loading up with everything you will need to get away from it all for a few days, a week, or even longer. And since four-wheel drive has been an available option on the Tahoe, you can find a model that will help you get to trailheads and campgrounds even when the road comes to an end. No matter what you are looking for in a powerful, full-size SUV, a used Chevy Tahoe is a great way to find it.
The Tahoe is over a foot-and-a-half shorter than Chevrolet’s Suburban. While some of you are probably worried that the Tahoe doesn’t provide ample passenger room, it can still fit nine people comfortably. Plus, it’s easier to maneuver (the Suburban really is a huge, cumbersome SUV) and fit into garages, which also means fuel economy will be slightly better. Don’t get too excited because it still has 109 cu. ft. of cargo space when the second and third row seats are out of the way. All that capable capacity means it’s going to still guzzle gas. But, Chevrolet did try to make the 2007 Tahoe (the start of the 3rd generation) more fuel efficient, by making this generation sleeker and more-aerodynamic in the front with wraparound fenders.
At this point in time, the Tahoe was still regarded as one of GM’s best sellers in the full-size SUV segment.
The Tahoe is available in two main trim levels: the LS and the more upscale LT trim level. It has a variety of packages, but even standard features on the base LS trim should be satisfying enough, thanks to features like OnStar telematics, satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, MP3 capable CD player, trip computer, and much more. Let’s put it this way: most of the features on the LS trim are optional for the base trim of other SUVs, meaning you have to pay extra for them. On the LT trim, you’ll find features like color-keyed exterior trim, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, a turn-by-turn navigation feature, and other convenience and luxury features.
But, there are plenty of equipment groups out there if you’re looking for more, such as the LT2, LT3, and LTZ. All of these are even more luxury focused, adding things like rain-sensor wipers, power adjustable pedals, six-disc CD changer, heated leather seats, and so much more.
At this point in time, the Tahoe was offered with antilock disc brakes, stability control, and full-length side curtain airbags. While it might not have the newfangled technology of its 2017 brethren, it still received a perfect five star safety rating for the driver and front passenger.
In 2009, there were a few performance upgrades made to the Tahoe. Namely, in the form of a new six-speed automatic transmission that all models are equipped with, along with a new optional 6.2-liter V8 engine.
There is a triple-threat of V8 engines offered by the 2009 Tahoe, which are all paired to that six-speed automatic transmission and either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
The standard engine found on the 2WD LS Tahoe is a 4.8-liter V8 engine with 295 horsepower and 305 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5.3-liter V8 puts out 320 horsepower and 340 lb.-ft. of torque as an optional choice. If you aren’t driving a 2WD LS, then you’ll have this 5.3-liter V8 as your companion on the road. That 6.2-liter V8 engine is optional on the LTZ models, and produces a massive 395 horsepower and 417 lb.-ft. of torque.
Fuel economy is above average for a full-size SUV, so that’s a bonus, with EPA estimates coming in at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway when the 5.3-liter engine is equipped on a 4WD model. Therefore, a 2WD model with the 4.8-liter is likely to experience even better economy and can still tow 8,200 pounds when properly equipped.
Even on the back of a successful engine lineup, 2010 saw a massive culling of engines. While some probably enjoyed having three V8s to choose from in 2009, Chevy obviously thought it was pointless. So, the brand simplified the performance of the 2010 Tahoe by only keeping the 5.3-liter V8, which produces 320 horsepower and 335 lb.-ft. of torque. Although, it does now come with E85 compatibility, making it a FlexFuel vehicle at the pump. Additionally, a 4WD Tahoe from 2010 now comes with a choice of the traditional two-speed transfer case or single-speed unit, with no low-range gearing whatsoever, making it less effective off-road.
Interior quality still remains exceptionally well for a Chevrolet from this time. It has plenty of attractive materials (aesthetically and to the touch) and has superb build quality. Nothing feels cheap or like it’s going to break when you put pressure on it, even on the base trim, which is nice to see. A big part of the cabin is the intuitiveness of the controls, laid out so that both the driver and passenger have an easy time navigating them.
As of 2010, the Tahoe was still a well-rounded SUV for the family-man and woman, or those who are just looking for a solid used SUV option.
Enhancing the utility of the 3rd generation Tahoe even further, Chevrolet decided to add an integrated trailer-brake controller with the optional Trailering package. Combine that with the truck-based architecture and large size, and the Tahoe is able to tow more than most trucks in its weight class. Again, the 5.3-liter V8 engine gives the Tahoe some pep in its step. Especially for a vehicle that weighs more than 3 tons when a couple of passengers are along for the ride. Thanks to that quicker-than-average acceleration, you’ll also learn that the Tahoe is a great highway cruiser. Especially when you remember how spacious and comfortable the ride quality actually is.
In 2012, the Tahoe still retains all the same positive qualities as before, carrying over unchanged.
The Tahoe is still faring well against the competition in 2012, but it’s definitely starting to age within this generation. With no groundbreaking changes made, it soldiers on with the same strengths and weakness as before. The only redeeming quality being that its strengths outweigh its weaknesses.
Finally, at the end of the generation, the 2014 Tahoe model has some new equipment added to the base LS trim. Power-adjustable pedals, remote ignition, and a rearview camera with rear parking sensors are all standard.
With a full refreshed exterior, the 2015 Chevy Tahoe boasted a more contemporary styling, highlighting new front fascia circling Chevy’s dual-port grille. With its projector-beam headlamps flowing uninterrupted into its side-profile, the Tahoe’s design conveyed a sense of both streamlined aerodynamics and power.
Equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, there was no shortage of that. 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, satisfied most palates and a sprinting to 60mph within 7.3 seconds are well above-average for a full-size SUV. Also, above-average was its fuel economy offering 18 mpg combined, regardless of the drivetrain selected. Available in both two and four-wheel drive, the latter was made available in a two-speed transfer case, offering low-range gearing. And for those who put it to use, the (properly-equipped) Tahoe’s 8600 LB tow rating was a welcome feature.
By exploring any of the three (LS, LT, and LTZ) trim levels, the Tahoe served up well-realized configurations of technology, comfort, safety and functionality. Bluetooth-enabled for both phone and audio, it offered an inspired infotainment system. Built around a display/touchscreen equipped with a rear camera, and a sound system equipped with HD and Satellite radio, CD, Auxiliary and USB inputs, as well as an SD card slot. LT trims and above would enjoy Chevy’s MyLink interface (with voice controls) and multi-speaker Bose audio systems. This was in addition to a wealth of powerful features, as well as safety technologies made available in the Tahoe’s various enhancement packages. At the time, rumor had it that Chevy was even looking to include 4G LTW Wi-Fi as a standard feature…
The cabin of the fourth-generation Tahoe reflected significant improvements (from previous model years) in terms of material choice, construction and overall aesthetic. Countless reviews confirmed the seating as standing out as both supportive and comfortable, and the power release/retraction of second and third-row seating improved their ease of operation.
In terms of drivability, it benefitted from far more than just the impressive powertrain that drove its confident acceleration and efficient shifting. A new electric-assisted power steering system added the kind of precision that is a welcome addition to any kind of larger vehicle. With impressively short brake-times for a vehicle of its size and strong safety ratings the 2015 Chevy Tahoe provided buyers with countless compelling incentives to consider it.
With very little to improve upon, what few improvements were made earned the 2016 Chevy Traverse countless accolades. Described as having ‘one foot solidly planted in the past and one in the future’ it stood confidently as the product of both its established successes and the inspired steps being taken to evolve it.
In that vein, Chevy continued to stand above most automakers in their standardization of technology. With many preferring to use amenities solely as a means of upsetting higher trims, Chevy made (and continues to make) strides to include them in basic trims, as well.
As noted above, the Tahoe’s offerings were already strong prior to 2016. Consider Bluetooth, for example. While many automakers are content to offer Bluetooth phone streaming on base models, requiring you to jump trims to get music streaming, Chevy made both standard right off the bat. This speaks to Chevy’s understanding of the way that we use technology, as do the upgrades to the 2016 Tahoe. Whereas the previous model year had enjoyed a 4.2-inch (non-touchscreen) display at the (base) LS level, 2016 upgrades this to an 8-inch touchscreen right with Chevrolet MyLink interface. With the enhanced functionality of voice-control and smartphone integration, an already-impressive cabin experience was made even more enjoyable. What more could you ask for? Well, remember that rumor about 4G LTE Wi-Fi being integrated into all Chevy vehicles? Well, the 2016 Chevy Tahoe certainly enjoyed that upgrade…as did legions of drivers who weren’t getting similar consideration from other automakers.
Coming into the 2017 model year, Chevy continued the Tahoe’s trend of only adding what needed to be added, rather than shoe-horning excessive features into the offerings. Whereas the 2016 Tahoe provided a stellar showcase for infotainment technology, the 2017 Tahoe appears to be more centered around safety.
Traditional safety features (antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, airbags) are impeccably designed and integrated for use by all drivers. That said, parents of teen drivers will appreciate the standard teen-driver management system, allowing a welcome degree of control and monitoring to ensure their safety.
Safety can also be enhanced with optional equipment such as (i) parking sensors (ii) forward collision warning (iii) automatic braking (iv) lane departure warning and (v) departure mitigation (vi) rear cross-traffic alert (vii) blind-spot monitoring, and (viii) Chevy’s ‘Safety-Alert Driver Seat’. This feature prompt the driver’s seat to vibrate as a warning of any dangers picked up on the vehicle’s sensors. This integration of alternative sensory warnings speaks to the importance Chevy places on driver and passenger safety and, in turn, priorities.
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