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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 528 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

GREAT VEHICLE

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great shape"

Cons: "needs new floor mats"

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

"We purchased car new and it has been serviced at same dealer each time, we had free oil changes every 3000 miles, new tires fresh wax"

12 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Owned since new. Excellent performance+reliability

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "High level of confidence+comfort. Easy to drive"

Cons: "Not much. One axle seal. Cost $200 to fix."

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

"No significant repairs in over 100K miles. Very low cost to maintain. Still runs and drives like new!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This has been our best SUV out of thre we have had

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,346

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This Tahoe has absolutely nothing wrong with it, I wax every year twice a year. All upkeep kept up and always in garage."

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

love the size and comfort

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"very comfy ride - great for taking a load of kids or adults. rides very smooth, drives great. Only down fall is gas mileage - which of course is expected with a V8 SUV. I knew that going into buying the vehicle."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This is the third Tahoe that I have owned.

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,894

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: "Priced to sell, best safety features available"

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

"Our family has loved traveling in this SUV since driving it out of the showroom and immediately taking a trip throughout the Southeast (TN mountains to Disney World and as many points between as possible. The only money ever spent on it has been fuel, oil changes every 3,000 miles, new battery at 90,000 miles, new brakes, tires & air filter in December 2014, weekly washing, detailing once a year and minor body dings and bumps. It has been garaged for all but one year of its pampered life. Kids are all gone; downsizing house and vehicle! This SUV has everything your heart desires and more options than you ever thought about having. I fell in love with the color and since owning two other Tahoes, there was no question about what to purchase in 2006 (keeping our 2001 Tahoe until we sold it in 2014 with over 300,000 miles and still running strong!) Mixed feelings about letting this one go but its a family vehicle and needs to be on the road!"

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

fantastic vehicle

By on Sunday, February 08, 2015

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
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "could have a higher towing capasity."

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

"I do not think there is an option available that it does not have. This is why it is such a fantastic vehicle, but then for the cost it should be!!"

12 people out of 24 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

Buying this car?