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2012 Chevrolet Tahoe

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

America's favorite full-size SUV, the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe, continues to impress with its power, its capabilities and its reputation for reliability and owner satisfaction. Slightly shorter than the big Suburban, the 2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV can still seat up to nine passengers, although there is considerably less cargo space behind the Tahoe's third-row seat than the Suburban's. Delivering EPA highway fuel economy figures in the low 20-mpg range (something unheard of in a full-size SUV just 10 years ago), and offering the only full-size hybrid SUV in the segment, the 2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV is about as efficient as a 5,900-pound vehicle is going to get. And, with its only real competition being the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, Dodge Durango, and Nissan Armanda, the 2012 Tahoe shouldn't have too much trouble growing its fan base and holding onto its title.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like the feel of a big, heavy vehicle and you have the need to transport hordes of kids plus the camper trailer to put them in, the 2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV makes a great choice. Not as long (or expensive) as a Suburban, the Tahoe's smaller size makes it a bit easier to park, and its E85-compatible V8 engine gives greater flexibility come fill-up time.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't have the need to tow more than 6,500 pounds, you can get 8-passenger seating and better fuel economy (and maneuverability) in the Chevy Traverse. Also, the Tahoe's rear-most seats must be removed and stored to form a level load floor, which may prove an inconvenience for many.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV gains a new navigation radio as well as adds trailer sway control and hill start assist to its standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control. The LTZ trim gains a heated steering wheel, side blind zone alert and heated and cooling front seats, while the LT trim gains heated front seats.

Driving the Tahoe

Driving Impressions Chevrolet has pushed the 2012 Tahoe SUV's full-size body-on-frame platform to limits of what such a design can do, and the results are quite impressive. The fully-boxed frame creates a...

more rigid chassis, which in turn helps improve handling and reduces interior rattles. The coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering result in a surprisingly maneuverable and tractable vehicle. We also give high marks to the standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system because it is potentially life-saving technology that can significantly reduce single-vehicle accidents. With 320 horses on tap, the Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8 is more than capable of moving the fully-loaded vehicle without bogging down, and the Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation seamlessly switches among 4-, 6- or 8-cylinder operation as needed for improved fuel economy. So good is this technology that the 2WD Tahoe earns an estimated 21 mpg on the highway.

Smooth, Quiet Ride
With its boxed frame, high-tech suspension and precise steering system - plus additional sound dampening - the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe offers a luxury-car-like ride.

Active Fuel Management
Helping you have your cake and eat it too; the 2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV's Active Fuel Management system, which cuts the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded, enhances fuel economy.

2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Details
Interior

The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe may be GM's least-expensive SUV, but its interior sure didn't get the memo. While it's true there are more hard plastic surfaces than we'd care for, given the Tahoe's vast interior expanse it's kind of hard to avoid. We like the seat sew patterns, the soft leather seating option and the elegant dash with its blue-backlit controls and white-backlit instruments with glowing red indicator needles. Accessing the Tahoe's third-row seats is made simple, either via the pass-through walkway between the available captain's chair seats, or by activating the power release fold-and-tumble mechanism on the second-row seats. Heated second-row seats are also available, as well as driver aides, such as sonar-based rear parking assist, rearview camera parking assist and a touch-screen-operated navigation system.

Exterior

With its somewhat conservative but stylish slab sides, the brightest spot on the 2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV is its expressive twin-port split grille separated by a big gold Chevy "bow-tie" badge. The power-bulge hood and big wheel and tire combo (up to 20 inches in diameter) give the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV a substantial road presence, an attitude that becomes particularly CIA-like when covered in gloss black paint. The Tahoe's flush headlamps, smooth wrap-around bumper and lower air dam, and steeply-raked windshield all contribute to its low 0.363 coefficient of drag, a number that lets this big rolling brick of a vehicle slip through the wind almost like a streamlined jet.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Chevy Tahoe SUV is available in four trim levels - LS, LT, LTZ and Hybrid. Even the LS model includes dual-zone manual air conditioning, anti-lock brakes (ABS), cruise control, front seat-mounted side- and head-curtain airbags and front-seat thorax side airbags, 6-way power driver's seat, StabiliTrak stability control system, OnStar, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, third-row seat and tire-pressure monitoring system. The LT group adds tri-zone automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starter, leather seats, Bose 9-speaker audio system with 6-disc CD changer and MP3 capability, ultrasonic rear parking assist, heavy-duty locking rear differential and universal garage-door opener. Stepping up to the LTZ trim adds 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, heated and cooled 12-way memory front seats, a heated steering wheel, 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio system, heated second-row seats with power release, locking rear differential, power liftgate, power folding mirrors and Autoride rear air-assisted load-leveling.

Optional Equipment

The four trim levels should allow you to get the equipment level you need, but the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV can also be "optioned up" in a wide variety of ways. Among key options are an engine-block heater, rear-seat entertainment center with DVD player, Z71 Off-Road Package, Bose premium 9-speaker sound system (LS), Side Blind Zone Alert System, 20-inch chrome wheels, rearview camera system and a navigation system and radio that includes CD, MP3 and XM NavTraffic compatibility. A choice of 2- and 4-wheel-drive models and a variety of axle ratios are also offered.

Under the Hood

Chevrolet has simplified the Tahoe's engine choices to just two: A 5.3-liter V8 with your choice of aluminum or cast-iron block. Both engines feature variable valve timing and can run on E85 (a blend of gasoline and 15 percent ethanol). They offer significant power and torque with very little penalty in fuel economy. When running on E85, however, fuel economy drops measurably, although both horsepower and torque see a modest increase. The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid has a 6.0-liter V8 attached to a 2-mode electric motor/generator transmission.


5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel, iron block
320 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD, gasoline), 11/16 (2WD, E85), 15/21 (4WD, gasoline), 11/16 (4WD, E85)

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel, aluminum block
320 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD, gasoline), 11/16 (2WD, E85), 15/21 (4WD, gasoline), 11/16 (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8 Hybrid
332 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/23

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2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 506 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Awesome SUV

By on Sunday, August 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 141,962

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great looking, great cargo capacity, smooth ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This review is about a: 2007 Tahoe | Z71 | 4wd | LT | I bought my 2007 Tahoe used with roughly 38,000 miles in it. I've now owned it for 5 years, and it has been a phenomenal vehicle. I always feel very safe when I'm in my Tahoe. It's been in the shop a grand total of 2 times in that 5 year span. Once for a brake issue and an air-bag sensor issue (the air-bag sensor issue was my fault...tried to store something under the drivers seat and damaged something to do with the sensor). And the most recent trip to the shop was a repair job for the wheel bearings. That happened at about 139,000 miles. The two front bearings had to be replaced. The Tahoe has been religiously maintained. I'm rarely late for an oil change, filter check, or alignment check etc. I love the Bose speakers. It's a very nice sound system. Yes, there are a lot louder sound systems out there, but the Bose system that comes on the Tahoe is very good. The leather has held up very well. The seats still look very new. The dash did crack about two years ago. It's a small one inch crack that runs beside the passenger air-bag. It's kind of annoying, but it's a small thing. The only other negative thing that I've noticed is finish has chipped off some on the buttons for the AC blower and temp. Again, it's a small thing, but it's something that Chevy needs to rethink in their design. I've taken this car on multiple road trips across country. It comfortably fits tall people (6'5" boyfriend). I've heard some people complain about the 3rd seat being a hassle to remove, but that's never been a problem for me and I'm a girl. I don't use them a ton, so I'd rather have the space to haul stuff. I do hate the way the new 2015s don't have removable 3rd row seats. Those new seats take up a full 5 inches of vertical space compared to the 07 to 14 models. Unfortunately that makes the 2015 something I'm not likely to buy when the time comes to replace my trusty 2007. Why get a Tahoe if you lose the benefit of all that great hauling space? And yes, I've actually put a tape measure on a lot of the large things I've hauled in my Tahoe to see if they could've fit in the 2015 cargo space and the answer in each case was no. Very disappointing, but I digress. For a big vehicle, it gets pretty good gas mileage. I always fuel up with 100% gasoline (no ethanol) when I can find it, or premium grade fuel. I get about 15 city and 19 highway. The Tahoe tows boats, cargo trailers, small horse trailers (2 horse), and atv trailers with no problem. The Tahoe also handles very well. One wouldn't think it would be as nimble as it is due to it's size, but it's been a great handling vehicle. Although where I'm from we rarely get snow, when it has snowed the Tahoe has handled the icy conditions just fine. To me, the 4wd option is essential. I've had it off road from time to time and it never disappoints me. Just to note, I grew up in a "GM Family." My family has owned a 1999 Suburban, two 2003 Yukon XL's, a 2003 GMC 2500HD Sierra, and a 2012 1500 Z71 Sierra. We've experienced no major problems with any of them. All of the GM products have been extremely reliable and all around great vehicles to own."

best vehicle i have ever owned.

By on Saturday, August 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Competitive pricing, Fun to drive."

Cons: "Seats don't massage you"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm a real "CAR HEAD" and have owned 30 vehicles in my lifetime, and by far my 2011 Chevy Tahoe LTZ is the best I have ever owned. Just the gas mileage alone is unbelievable. Fit, Finish, Comfort, and Reliability is unmatched ."

Nice ride very roomy.

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quite & fun to drive."

Cons: "I have no complaints so far."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I would recommend the Tahoe to anyone.For the size, the gas millage isnt too awlfully bad. Hope to keep mine for many more years to come."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Love it, but husband handicapped and can't get in

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gorgeous and great to drive. Burgandy color."

Cons: "Corners like a truck, which it is!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car, but husband handicapped and cannot get in comfortably any longer. I need a smaller, closer to the ground SUV."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

awesome

By on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,050

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "sporty but gets the job done"

Cons: "noisy tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"looks and drives great,snow cant stop her,holds steady on the road,not a coplaint on gas mileage,approx 19 aroun town"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Pleasing, High-end SUV

By on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great hauler, roomy, good-looking"

Cons: "thirsty"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Owned for 9 months, regularly serviced. A great hauler. LTZ trim level provides extensive list of features (near luxury). Averages about 17.8 mpg in mixed driving. Very comfortable and reasonably quiet, though engine exhaust is a little on the noisy side. Rear-most seats are inconvenient to install and remove. Entrance/egress quite a step."

18 people out of 37 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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