If you want a vehicle that can fit all your friends, family, and equipment without being overwhelmingly large, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a great choice. The Tahoe comes standard with seating for eight people, although there are options that allow the seating capacity to range from five to nine. That’s one of the most versatile seating arrangements of any vehicle. The Tahoe fits that many passengers while being nearly two feet shorter than Chevy’s other large SUV, the Suburban. That makes the Tahoe easier to drive and park, especially in urban settings.
While its seating flexibility is appealing, the Tahoe also draws fans because of the technology features that come standard. Even the base level of the 2019 Tahoe comes with a WiFi hotspot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay, all of which allow driver and passengers to stay well connected while on the road. High definition and satellite radio also come standard.
The 2019 Tahoe comes with two V8 engine options. For the fourth generation of the Tahoe, which launched in 2015, the base engine is a 340-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine. A more powerful 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 is an available option on the Premier trim of model years 2018 and later. Model years 2010 through 2014 (part of the third generation, which ran from 2007-2014) came with one engine option: a 320-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine. All engine options are available with four-wheel drive, although rear-wheel drive come standard.
One drawback of the Tahoe is that is has less cargo space and less third-row legroom than other large SUVs because of its shorter length. Behind the third row, the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe has 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is just slightly more than you’d find in the trunk of a sedan (cargo space increases to a respectable 51.7 cubic feet when the third row is folded flat). Third-row passengers have just 24.8 inches of leg room, which is downright tiny and likely uncomfortable for adults.
Are you considering buying a used Chevrolet Tahoe? Here’s everything you need to know.
Price and Value: A new 2019 Chevy Tahoe sells for a starting price of $48,000, and the highest end trims are marketed for more than $74,000. This is similar to other large SUVs, but it’s worth remembering that the Tahoe has less space than many competitors.
To save money, opt for a used Chevy Tahoe. The fourth generation of the Tahoe launched in 2015, so choosing that model year or later will get you the latest body shape and many modern features. The more powerful 420-horsepower V8 engine is only available on model years 2018 and later, so if that is important to you, stick to a newer model.
Size and Seating Capacity: The Chevrolet Tahoe has tons of seating options, but overall offers less space than other large SUVs. The Tahoe comes standard with seating for eight: two passengers in the front row and three each in the second and third rows. However, the base LS model of the Tahoe offers the option of removing the third row seats. This leaves the Tahoe with seating for five. The LS also offers the option of a first-row bench, which increases the seating capacity to nine. The LT and Premier trim levels offer second row bucket seats (standard on the Premier), which reduce seating capacity to seven.
People who plan to use the third-row regularly should note that the back seat is cramped in the Tahoe. The 2019 model has just 24.8 inches of legroom in the back. For perspective, that’s even less legroom than you’d find in a Ford Mustang or a similar sports car, which are notorious for uncomfortable back seats. The middle row has 39 inches of leg room, which is slightly less than other large SUVs.
The Tahoe also lacks cargo space. With the third seats in use, you’ll have 15.3 cubic feet to fit all your gear: about the same as the trunk of a car. If the third row seat is folded flat, the Tahoe has 51.7 cubic feet of space, still less than many other large SUVs with the third-row tucked away.
When it is properly equipped with the Max Trailering Package, the two-wheel drive Tahoe with the standard 5.3 liter V8 engine can tow up to 8,600 pounds. That’s comparable to other large SUVs, and enough to move a large boat or mid-sized camping trailer. The four-wheel drive version and the optional 6.2-liter V8 can each tow about 200 pounds less. Without the trailering package, the Tahoe can tow 6,600 pounds, enough to move a small camping trailer.
Features And Trims: The 2019 Chevy Tahoe comes standard with many tech features, including a WiFi hotspot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Seven USB ports are available for charging phones.
Most Chevy Tahoes come with the 340-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine. A 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 is an available option on the highest level Premier trim for model years 2018 and higher. All trims and engine options come standard with rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive as an available option.
The fourth generation of the Chevy Tahoe (model years 2015 and later) comes in three trim levels: LS, LT and Premier. Here’s what you’ll find in each:
- LS: The base trim level comes with cloth seats and benches in the second and third row. Drivers have the option to remove the third row entirely, or have a first-row bench, giving the LS the most diverse seating options. Other standard features include remote start, teen driver technology (which allows owners to set speed and volume limits) and rear seat reminder (which prompts drivers to check the rear seats for child passengers). An infotainment system with an eight-inch touch screen is standard, as are satellite and high-definition radio and a six-speaker audio system. A rear-view camera and parking sensors are included.
- LT: The mid-level trim adds leather seats and heated front seats. Second row bucket seats become an available option. A Bose® premium nine-speaker audio system with RichBass™ woofer is standard. Additional driver assist features including forward collision alert, automatic breaking, and lane-keep assist are standard.
- Premier: This trim level adds ventilated front seats, and standard second-row bucket seats. Additional driver assist features including front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and cross-traffic alerts are included. This trim has a Bose Centerpoint® surround sound premium 10-speaker
audio system. The more powerful 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 is available on this trim in 2018 and later models.
Fuel Economy: With its powerful V8 engine, the Chevy Tahoe does not win any awards for fuel economy. The 2019 model with the base 340-horsepower engine with rear-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg combined. The four-wheel drive edition and the more powerful 420-horsepower V8 get an estimated 17 mpg combined. Other model years in the fourth generation have similar fuel economy of 18 mpg combined. The third-generation, with the 320-horsepower V8, had an EPA-estimated 17 mpg combined fuel economy.
Safety: The Chevrolet Tahoe is a fairly safe vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives all years of the fourth-generation Tahoe a rating of 4 out of 5. The Tahoe had a perfect score of 5 of 5 on side crash tests, a rating of 4 on frontal crash test, but only a 3 on rollover tests.
The Chevrolet Tahoe comes standard with safety and driver assist features including a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors. Additional driver assist features like adaptive cruise control and automatic braking are available on higher trims.
Reliability: The Chevrolet Tahoe is a very reliable vehicle. Model years 2016 through 2019 were given a 4.5 of 5-star reliability rating by J.D. Power. That’s well above the average reliability rating of three. Model years 2010, 2013 and 2014 were exceptionally reliable, with a perfect rating of five. Model years 2012 and 2015 both had a four-star reliability rating, which is still above average. The 2011 model received an average three-star rating.
Ratings: The Chevy Tahoe is a highly-rated large SUV. U.S. News and World Report named the 2019 Tahoe the third best large SUV, behind the Ford Expedition and Chevy Suburban. Earlier years of the Chevy Tahoe ranked highly for affordability among large SUVs.
The Takeaway: The Chevy Tahoe is a good truck. Drivers will like that it comes standard with many safety and technology features, including a rear-view camera and WiFi hotspot. People who want a truck will appreciate the Tahoe’s powerful V8 engine options and true four-wheel drive system. The array of available seating options make the Tahoe a diverse vehicle.
However, the Tahoe compromises on space. The third row is very cramped, and the cargo space is limited. Still, for drivers who won’t regularly be maxing out the truck’s passenger and cargo capabilities, the Tahoe is a desirable vehicle.