2013 Chevrolet

15 city / 21 hwy
5.3L, V8, 320 hp

The Chevrolet Tahoe is huge – large enough to ferry nine people. And it’s strong – powerful enough to tow that horse you just bought.

By Holly Reich

The Big Picture

Let’s just forget the controversy about choosing a small SUV over a big one. If you have a posse of kids, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a good choice. The Tahoe is a full-size SUV that seats a maximum of nine (!!) people and has a towing capability of up to 8,500 pounds – enough to haul a horse, or a boat, and anything else you need to move from one place to the next. Fuel economy? The 2WD models are estimated at 21 mpg on the highway; the Tahoe Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 20 MPG city/23 MPG highway.

Driving Experience

When I got into the Chevrolet Tahoe, I had a moment of, “How am I going to handle this big guy?” I quickly got comfortable. The Tahoe is easy to maneuver in the city; it has quick pick-up on the freeway and also drives quietly. Note, this is not a car; it’s a truck-like SUV with a big sounding engine and a lot of machismo.

An Inside Job

Commanding is the word that comes to mind when describing the cabin. My 2013 Chevy Tahoe 4WD LTZ model was equipped with three rows (bucket seats in the second) and stadium style seating. Stadium style means that the last row is raised so that kids can look out the front window. Basically, when they can’t, it makes them nauseous.

The center console is HUGE—so big, it fit my purse and laptop computer. The dash is two-toned plastic with smart-looking wood accents that pull it all together. While the steering wheel doesn’t telescope in and out, the plush seats adjust enough to make me feel comfortably close to the controls. The power lift gate – a standard on the LTZ – is a must. Otherwise, the door is too heavy to close with one hand. I also found that it didn’t take too much heft to flip up and flatten the back seats to get to the little ones in carseats.

Family Friendliness

Besides that huge center console storage bin, the Tahoe has numerous storage compartments and cup holders that are all designed with family in mind. For nice amenities, you’re going to have to upgrade from the base model. For instance, heated front seats are standard on the Chevy Tahoe LT; heated and cooled front and heated second row seats are standard on the LTZ model. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard on LT and LTZ. The rear-seat entertainment system is available on LT and LTZ, including a DVD player with remote control, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, and a remote game plug-in.


The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe comes equipped with head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows. Seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by applying throttle, braking, or a combination of both.

Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and beeps if there’s something in the way. It also displays lights near the rear window, in case you’re distracted and don’t hear the sound. Side blind zone alert (one of my favorite features) is standard on LTZ. It lights up and beeps if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot, just so you won’t change lanes and hit a car you can’t see. Another great feature — the standard remote keyless entry has a second function for the red panic button so that owners can locate their vehicles without setting off the panic alarm.

Gizmos and Tech

OnStar, standard on all Chevrolet Tahoe models, is one of the oldies but goodies. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar also has a feature called Turn-by-Turn Navigation, which sends all the directions to the car by an advisor so you don’t have to stop and program them in. Another cool feature for small kids (and mother-in-laws) is a set of power-retractable assist steps available on LTZ. For sound, the long list includes standard Sirius XM radio, Bose Surround Sound system on LTZ, Navigation radio with touch-screen on the LTZ, and power-adjustable pedals.

Pricing and Trim Levels

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe

Available in LS, LT, LTZ, and Hybrid models, all offered in 2WD and 4WD

LS: $40,825

Eight-passenger seating with available nine-passenger seating! Premium cloth seats; Front bucket seats with six-way power adjusters; Tri-zone manual climate controls; SiriusXM; OnStar for first six months; Bluetooth wireless technology for select phones

LT: $45,975

All of the above plus: Leather-appointed first- and second-row seats; Heated front seats; Fog lamps; Tri-zone automatic climate controls; Bose nine-speaker sound system; Power pedals

LTZ: $55,040

12-way power front bucket seats; Perforated leather first- and second-row seats; Heated/cooled front seats; Heated second-row seats ; Bose Centerpoint 10-speaker surround sound system;Power-remote lift gate; 20" polished-aluminum wheels. Touch-screen navigation radio and rear vision camera display; SiriusXM NavTraffic with three trial months; Heated steering wheel;Side Blind Zone Alert Hybrid models start at $54,040.
2013 Chevy Tahoe

Final Thoughts

This is a large vehicle that is comfortable, capable and easy to drive, in spite of its girth. Perfect for a big family trip to the snow, through muddy terrain, or to the ball park.

The ease of operating a vehicle this large

The look: Lots of chrome, a big grille and big wheels. Yeah!

Base model should have more appointments

Can Do
Fuel Economy

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One Response to “Chevrolet Tahoe”

  1. Geri says:

    Stadium seats are a lifesaver especially when travelling with kids. Often times they fight over who”ll seat on which row. And of course, the back seat is the less favorite because it does not allow them to look out. Of course, motion sickness in kids is another problem. Luckily, we have vehicles like Chevrolet Tahoe.

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