Six Good Vehicles for Families: Part 5 of 6

2012 Chevy Tahoe

2012 Chevy Tahoe

Hybrid seats 8 people. From the information that has been put out on the 2012. It doesn’t sound like it will be significantly different than the 2011 model. In regards to fuel consumption, the Hybrid has made some ground.

Significant changes were made to improve the fuel economy on the 2012 Tahoe. It is the first full-size SUV with a hybrid engine with the standards of 33% fuel consumption. It has a two-hybrid system; driven by an electric motor at low speeds and the 6.0-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management technology. This system also uses regenerative braking. Other changes in fuel economy are a more aerodynamic front, low rolling resistance tires, low ride height and the use of lightweight aluminum on the hood and tailgate.
“All three models of the 2012 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe are remarkably comfortable and sophisticated. The three models – the Tahoe LS, Tahoe Z71, and Tahoe LT. The LS model offers contoured custom cloth seats, and an available split-folding third-row of seats that provides nine-passenger seating capability, a standard eight-speaker audio system and Premium Ride suspension. The Z71 model comes with features like 17-inch on-/offroad tires, 17-inch cast- aluminum wheels, skid plates, a newly available front brush, and a specially designed luggage rack with rear roller guard that makes loading and unloading heavy gear easy. Finally, the LT model features redesigned heated front bucket seats with standard Custom Leather seating surfaces. New second-row buckets that provide comfort and easy access to the rear are available as well.” -allautoreviews.com

Part 4 – Toyota Highlander

Part 6 – Cadillac Escalade

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2011 Chevy Tahoe Review by Edmunds

Review

The Chevrolet Tahoe is a large SUV that was last redesigned in 2007. There have not been any major design changes announced for the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe, although the lineup was simplified in 2010, leaving the engine choices to only one. In addition to the traditional Tahoe, a hybrid model is also available. The 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe is an exciting SUV which is at last available to the car buying public. With fantastic towing abilities and configurations which range from two to nine different passengers, as well as an enormous amount of gear and cargo, it comes ready for most transporting and hauling needs and situations.

Specifications

Here is what we currently know about the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe specs:

  • Pricing: Pricing shouldn’t jump too much over its current $37,280 for the base model and $34,670 invoice. The highest trim level, the LTZ, is likely to cost around $54,000.
  • Fuel economy: fuel economy currently stands at 15 city/21 mpg highway. The 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe’s fuel efficiency is not expected to change much. The Tahoe is able to use E85 ethanol.
  • Engine: one engine, a 5.3-liter V8 with 320 horsepower, is likely to be available.
  • Acceleration: 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds.
  • Car safety features: Stability control, antilock brakes, front airbags, OnStar, and side airbags are likely to be standard. Features are likely to be similar to the 2010 model.
  • Suspension: five-link rear suspension designed to offer a comfortable ride in a variety of terrains. An optional Suspension package will add automatic load leveling and variable shock dampening.
  • Warranty: three year, 36,000 mile basic warranty; five year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance; six years and 100,000 miles of corrosion coverage.

Exterior Features

The exterior of the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe is unlikely to see any major changes for the new model year. The base LS trim is expected to be offered with 17-inch silver alloy wheels, automatic halogen headlights, a rear step bumper, and roof rails. Higher level trims should add features like power-folding exterior mirrors, 18 or 20-inch wheels, and chrome trim. Exterior options are likely to include springs and shock absorbers with special tuning, all terrain tires, sunroof, and an air suspension.

Interior Features

The interior of the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe is likely to be unchanged for the upcoming year, with perhaps a few minor changes to options and standard features. All Tahoe models are likely to be offered with two zones of climate control, including air conditioning for the rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, OnStar, and a stereo system with a CD player, USB input, mp3 compatibility, and satellite radio. Higher trims are likely to include features like power front seats, back seat controls for the sound system, wooden trim, three zones of climate control, leather upholstery, and a navigation system with live traffic updates.

The interior of the new Tahoe boasts as much head room and leg room as users will find in the majority of sedans. Where hip and shoulder room are concerned, it has more than these do as a result of the Tahoe’s six and a half feet of width. If the owner folds down the second row of seating, while completely removing the third row, the Chevy Tahoe provides almost one hundred and nine amazing cubic feet of handy cargo space.

Performance

Power should remain excellent for the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe; acceleration should remain good as the Chevrolet Tahoe is no slacker in the engine department. With a mighty V8 engine at 5.3 liters under its hood, it showcases the Active Fuel Management system built by General Motors, helping it to run efficiently and save on gas utilization. The person is not even able to notice when it effortlessly switches from four to eight cylinders. This mostly happens while the foot is off of the gas pedal and the vehicle is cruising at a steady speed. This 5.3 liter engine offers as much speed and power as the majority of customers will require. The car should handle well over bumps, and have excellent steering. Actual road test results will have to wait until vehicles are made available for testing. The Tahoe should continue to be offered in a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, and should come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Ride Quality

Concerning its handling and road testing abilities, the Chevy Tahoe does not disappoint its fans. It has a rigid in appearance chassis, which makes it nice and tight for its mighty size. The brakes are super responsive and smoothly slow and stop the car. The vehicle’s steering is both responsive and exact. The ride itself is fairly smooth, even if the standard twenty inches tires are all that is selected. When the vehicle is running at full highway speeds, the Tahoe proves to be both comfortable, and stable, as well as quiet.

Summary

The new Tahoe has many pros and only a few cons to it. In the pros column, it can tow an impressive eight thousand and two hundred pounds, and is turns out to be a very stable platform on which to haul trailers. It offers the option for autotrac four wheel drive. This is a unique system which can be engaged over dry pavement and comes along with low range gearing. It is helpful in major ice and snow, or for tough terrain, as well as for pulling a boat up a slick boat ramp, or even for hauling a trailer out from a muddy or sandy parking area. The trailer brake controller which is fully integrated is also nice.

Its cons are limited. The vehicle is pricey at a range of an MSRP of $37,570 – $54,160. The base models come with a lesser engine of only 4.8 liters and 295 horsepower, which does the job but feels slightly light on the power side. Also, with a fourteen miles per gallon in town and nineteen miles per gallon featured highway fuel efficiency, it is not going to win any awards for gas economy any time soon.

As the bigger Sport Utility Vehicles go, the Chevrolet Tahoe more than holds its own in its category of vehicle. Competing against its major car manufacturer rivals like the Toyota Sequoia, the Ford Expedition, the Dodge Durango, the Nissan Aramda, and the Chrysler Aspen, it performs well. Although the design came out in 2007, it is still stylish and impressive.

2011 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid Review by Edmunds

Ever-increasing sensitivity regarding the environment and the role vehicle emissions play in air pollution has put gas guzzlers under serious fire. Facing and addressing this issue head on, General Motors developed the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. There have been many iterations of the Chevrolet Tahoe, and the Tahoe Hybrid has the potential to be the most historically and politically significant one yet.

Chevy Tahoe HybridCurrent Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

As its name implies, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is a full-size SUV with a gasoline/electric powertrain to help boost fuel economy. The EPA gives the two-wheel-drive Tahoe Hybrid a 21 mpg city/22 mpg highway fuel economy estimate, with a combined average of 21 mpg. This is approximately 30 percent better than a regular Tahoe.

The heart of the efficiency lies in the interplay between the electric power and the 6.0-liter gasoline V8 engine. Combined, they develop a maximum of 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. As with most other full hybrid vehicles, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid can accelerate from a standstill to about 30 mph on electricity alone, a major factor in the Tahoe’s increased city fuel economy. When it’s time for the gasoline engine to chime in, it will. And when possible, it will utilize Active Fuel Management (AFM), which allows four of the V8’s cylinders to be shut down for still greater economy. The Tahoe also capitalizes on many existing hybrid technologies such as regenerative brakes, which are used to recharge the battery pack while slowing the vehicle.

GM’s calls this hybrid system “Two-Mode” and it was developed in conjunction with BMW and DaimlerChrysler. The transmission houses two 60-kilowatt electric motors, and it blends their power with that of the gasoline engine using three special planetary gearsets in addition to the four fixed ratios of the fairly conventional automatic transmission. Depending on the driving situation, the electronically variable transmission (EVT) can function with continuously variable gearing for light loads and fixed-ratio strength for more heavy-duty tasks, such as towing. The four-wheel-drive Tahoe also has low-range gearing, an unusual attribute for a hybrid SUV.

Because of the considerable weight added by the hybrid-related components, Chevrolet did make an effort to lighten the load and streamline the Tahoe Hybrid. In some places aluminum body panels replace their weightier counterparts, and thin-profile seats shed additional pounds. The Tahoe Hybrid also has aerodynamic add-ons and low-rolling-resistance tires.

The rest of the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid is largely identical to other, well-equipped Tahoe models. It has three rows of seating, a seven-passenger capacity and up to 109 cubic feet of cargo space, more than any other hybrid vehicle. Almost everything comes standard, including leather seating, a premium sound system and a navigation system. The only significant items left as options are a rear-seat entertainment system and a sunroof.

In our reviews of the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, we’ve found that it drives very much like a regular Tahoe. Acceleration and highway passing performance, in fact, are better than what a 5.3-liter V8-equipped Tahoe provides. The main downsides to the Tahoe Hybrid, however, are price and absolute fuel economy. Even considering the lessening impact of the federal tax credit for hybrid vehicles, the Hybrid still costs thousands more than a similarly equipped regular Tahoe. And the vehicle’s combined 21 mpg fuel economy rating, even though it’s a major improvement, is still a far cry from what most people would consider “good” fuel economy in the absolute sense. Conscientious consumers who don’t need massive towing capacity would be better served with the considerably less expensive, yet equally roomy and nearly as fuel-efficient Chevrolet Traverse full-size crossover SUV.

Used Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Models

The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid was introduced as an all-new model for the 2008 model year. The following year, the Tahoe Hybrid gained power-adjustable pedals as well as a useful real-time traffic feature for the navigation system.

Chevrolet Tahoe – What the Auto Press Says

The 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe ranks 2 out of 10 Affordable Large SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 53 published reviews and test drives of the Chevrolet Tahoe, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

If you need an SUV with plenty of seating and towing power, the Chevrolet Tahoe delivers. Easy-to-live-with handling and an inviting cabin are icing on the cake.
Most reviewers agree that for families who need plenty of seating, towing and foul-weather or off-road capability, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a compelling choice. Its comfortable and inviting interior is a reviewer favorite, and many say the Tahoe is surprisingly light on its feet for a large SUV. When it comes to large SUVs, most reviewers say it’s tough to beat the Tahoe.
Still, there are a few complaints. The Tahoe’s brawny towing capabilities mean that it uses a lot of gas. Also, its size can be a turn-off for some buyers. Though the Tahoe drives well for a large SUV, it still requires extra maneuvering space and driver attention.  If you’re used to driving a smaller SUV or a minivan, you may find that the Tahoe drives too big for your tastes.  However, as Kelley Blue Book says, “If you have a number of children, tow a boat or horse trailer and like the feel of a substantial V8-powered vehicle, the 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe could be just the ticket.”

U.S.News Scores

Overall: 8.9
Performance: 8.9
Exterior: 8.4
Interior: 8.4
Safety: NA
Reliability: 7.0

 

Pros and Cons
  • Seats are road-trip comfortable
  • Good ride and handling for its size
  • One of the best fuel economy ratings for a large SUV
  • Third-row seat is bulky; must be removed manually