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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe

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Expert's Rating


MPG 15 City / 21 Highway
  • Powerful V8 engine
  • Flex-Fuel capability
  • Nine-passenger seating
  • High-quality interior
  • Not as much cargo room as you might think
  • Third row seat doesn't fold
, Automotive Editor -
The Tahoe has been the very definition of capability in the full-size SUV class since its launch in 1995. In that time, many people who bought a Tahoe just to haul the family around have switched to easier to drive and more fuel-efficient car-based crossovers. But the truck-based mechanicals of the Tahoe prove more rugged for people who frequently tow a trailer or a boat. People with big families and big dogs will appreciate the cavernous interior, especially with the second and third rows of seats removed. And while 21 MPG highway doesn't sound impressive in the world of crossovers, it's competitive with the class and would have been unheard of in the 1990s when the Tahoe first came to prominence. It's also available with a comprehensive off-road package to tackle snow storms and hash terrain crossovers without a low range would struggle over. With seating for up to 9 passengers, the Tahoe can be a useful tool for people with diverse needs.


The base Tahoe LS comes with a 5.3-liter V8 engine and either rear or four-wheel drive. Six-way power driver's seat, tri-zone climate control, SiriusXM radio and OnStar are also standard, along with the ability to tow up to 8,500 lbs. The LT adds leather seats, a remote starter, foglights, automatic climate control and heated front seats. Top-trim LTZ brings 20 -inch alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, blind spot monitoring and 12-way cooled front seats and heated first-and-second rows.

The Ford Expedition offers a better third-row seat and nicer interior finish, but is not as powerful as the Tahoe. The Toyota Sequoia has a more powerful V8 that's also more refined, but its interior fit and finish is mediocre. The Nissan Armada also has a gutsy V8, but it's an aged design. The Dodge Durango offers better fuel economy and is more carlike, but doesn't tow as much and only seats 7 passengers.

While a crossover is a better choice for most families these days, the Tahoe makes a lot of sense for SUV shoppers who need a burly V8 to tow big loads and a sturdy chassis that offers higher payload than anything car-based. If you need a workhorse more than a people mover, the Tahoe is worth hard consideration.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe
Starting price

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe LS

Recommended for: Shoppers who need a strong towing machine

The Tahoe LS comes well-equipped for full-size SUV shoppers. Standard is the 5.3-liter V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels and a choice of either two or four-wheel drive. Also standard is seating for 8, six-way power adjustment for front passengers, tri-zone climate control, six-speaker audio system with USB, Bluetooth and OnStar telematics system as well as SiriusXM radio. Options include a Convenience Package, with a backup camera, rear parking sensors and a remote starter. An optional front bench seat brings total passenger capacity up to 9. The All-Star Package adds 20-inch alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated and power folding outside mirrors, heavy-duty trailering package and chrome exterior details.

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe
Starting price

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ

Recommended for: Shoppers looking for luxury in a full-size SUV

LTZ combines the capability of other Tahoe models with more luxury. Standard are striking 20-inch alloy wheels, along with a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, Autoride air suspension, 12-way power front seats that are cooled in the first row and heated for the first and second rows. A Bose 10-speaker audio system with touchscreen navigation and backup camera is also standard. Second-row captain's chairs are optional. Four-wheel drive models get the two-speed transfer case that's optional on other trim levels. The Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package includes a power sunroof and rear DVD entertainment system. Power retractable running boards and 22-inch alloy wheels round out the options list.

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