By Cars.com EditorsApril 24, 2012
About the video
Chevy's traditional Tahoe SUV may be one large, dated and thirsty vehicle, but its hefty towing capacity makes it a great choice when carrying people and towing cargo.
<v Announcer>Cars.com Auto Reviews Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com and this is a 2012 Chevy Tahoe.
You may be wondering why you're going to spend the next three minutes of your online viewing time with what is, essentially, a gas-hogging SUV, especially with gas prices on the rise again. Especially with cheaper, more efficient options out there versus the Tahoe. But, more people bought one of these last month than all the hybrids form Honda. Twice as many. But there's really only one good reason to buy one of these over a comparable crossover, it can tow a bigger boat. It an also tow a bigger one of these, or even one of these, all while keeping more than a couple of these happy and comfortable along the way. So, how much trailer can a Tahoe tow? Say that three times fast. Well with two wheel drive it can tow 8500 pounds. With four wheel drive, like the LTZ model we have here, 8200 pounds. Now, if you go to a crossover, like Chevy's own Traverse, it can only two 5200 pounds. The reason this can two so much more is because of the 5.3 liter V8 under the hood. Unfortunately, that means mileage isn't a Tahoe strong point. It gets 15 miles per gallon, city, 21 highway. Driving around the suburbs and over the few commutes to work the past week, the best mileage I've seen, in optimal spring driving weather, has been about 13 miles per gallon. Your going to be able to digest that huge gas bill a little bit better, because the Tahoe's relatively huge inside. That's because there's a lot of extra height here versus a lot of crossovers on the market. It's also because the front and second row seats are just gigantic. And a lot of car shoppers I've talked to, they really want a passthru from the second row to the third row so they can get up and get back there easily. You will lose cargo room, especially against the Traverse, which is one of the largest in the crossover class. With a Tahoe's third row in place, there's just 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space versus a Traverse's 24.4. Move the Tahoe seats forward and there's 60.3 versus 68.8 cubic feet. Take them out and you have 108.9 cubic feet versus 116.4 in the Traverse. Plus, you never want to take the Tahoe seats out. With a crossover like the Traverse, the third row folds easily into the flow. By auto industries standards the Tahoe is ancient. It hasn't been redesigned in over six years but, it's aging pretty well. Though all the gauges might look a little outdated, things like the navigation system are at least on par with the competition. And it does have options, like the DVD system in the back. And that's good because if you're traveling for a couple of hours with the kids in the back, towing a nice boat, you might need a couple of these. If you don't get that option, bring along a couple of these. So, that's it. There are actually things to like about a traditional SUV, like the Tahoe. But, if you're not one of the towing crowd you better look elsewhere.