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2013 Chevrolet Tahoe

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2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Big space and big capabilities have made the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe America's favorite full-size SUV. Properly equipped, the brawny body-on-frame vehicle, based on a truck-type construction, can seat up to nine passengers, tow 8,500 pounds and manage well off-road. That keeps the Tahoe at the head of its class, which includes the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada. Delivering EPA highway fuel-economy figures in the low 20-mpg range, and including in its lineup (along with its sibling, the GMC Yukon) the only hybrid in the segment, for its size the Chevy Tahoe is about as efficient as can reasonably be expected. But, unless you will actually use the Tahoe's towing capacity and off-road capabilities, a large unit-construction crossover, such as the Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango or Chevy's own Traverse, is a much more efficient, and more sensible, alternative.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like the look and feel of a big, heavy truck and you have to transport hordes of kids plus the camper trailer to put them in, the 2013 Chevy Tahoe SUV makes a great choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't have to tow more than 6,500 pounds, you can get 8-passenger seating, better fuel economy and easier handling in a unit-construction crossover such as the Chevy Traverse.

What's New for 2013

The Chevy Tahoe has no major changes for 2013. It just gets a higher-capacity battery and a couple of new exterior colors, and the grade braking function, which uses engine compression to help slow the vehicle when going down hills, now works in the normal transmission mode instead of only in the Tow/Haul setting.

Driving the Tahoe
Driving Impressions

Chevrolet has pushed the Tahoe's full-size body-on-frame platform to the limits of what such a design can manage, but the results are impressive. The fully-boxed frame results in a rigid...

... chassis that helps improve handling and reduce interior noise. The coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering contribute to a surprisingly maneuverable and tractable vehicle. We also give high marks to the standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control because it's a meaningful safety aid that can reduce single-vehicle accidents. With 320 horsepower, the Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8 is more than capable of moving the fully-loaded vehicle easily and responsively, and the Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation seamlessly switches between 4- or 8-cylinder operation as needed for improved fuel economy without compromising performance.

SMOOTH, QUIET RIDE
With its boxed frame, high-tech suspension and precise steering - plus generous sound dampening - the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe offers a luxury-car-like riding and driving experience.

ACTIVE FUEL MANAGEMENT
Helping you have your cake and eat it too, this system smoothly drops out four cylinders when they are unneeded, enhancing fuel efficiency.

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Details
Interior

Inside the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe, we see more hard plastic surfaces than we'd prefer but that's probably inevitable given the vehicle's vast interior expanse. We like the seat sew patterns, the soft leather seating option and the elegant dash with its blue-backlit controls and white-backlit instruments. Accessing the Tahoe's third-row seats is made simple, either by activating the power release fold-and-tumble mechanism on the standard second-row bench seat or via the walkway between the optional captain's chairs. We also appreciate the available heated-seat feature for the second row and the excellent touch-screen-operated navigation system.

Exterior

Conservative but nicely-sculpted sheet metal is set off by the Tahoe's expressive Chevrolet-family face, consisting of twin horizontal grille sections separated by a big Chevy bow-tie badge. The power-bulge hood and big wheels and tires (up to 20-inchers) give the Tahoe a substantial road presence, an attitude that becomes particularly CIA-like when it's finished in black. The Tahoe's flush headlamps, smooth wrap-around bumper, 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 with relative ease.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Chevy Tahoe includes boatloads of standard features. Even the base LS model offers dual-zone (manual) air conditioning, 6-way power driver's seat, StabiliTrak stability control, OnStar, Bluetooth, tire-pressure monitoring and airbags everywhere: Front and side for the front seats and head-curtain bags for all rows. The LT group adds tri-zone automatic air conditioning, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, Bose 9-speaker audio system and ultrasonic rear parking assist. Stepping up to the LTZ trim adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, heated and cooled 12-way memory front seats, 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio system and Autoride rear air-assisted load-leveling.

Optional Equipment

Beyond the three trim packages, the Chevrolet Tahoe can also be optioned up to a great degree. Among key options are an engine-block heater, rear-seat entertainment center with DVD player, Z71 Off-Road Package, Side Blind Zone Alert System, 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 and trailering packages are also offered.

Under the Hood

The Tahoe's sole engine offering is a strong, smooth and sophisticated 5.3-liter V8. In the interest of performance with efficiency, it employs variable valve timing, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation that cuts off four cylinders when they aren't needed) and Flex Fuel capability. When running on E85 (85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline), fuel economy suffers by about 25 percent but power and torque increase slightly. To save weight, aluminum cylinder heads are used, and the engine block is either aluminum or cast iron depending on other equipment ordered. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic. The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid uses a 6.0-liter V8 working with a 2-mode electric motor/generator.

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
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 mpg (2WD and 4WD, gasoline), 11/16 mpg (2WD and 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 mpg

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2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 549 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

Best Vehicle I ever bought

By on Saturday, July 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

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: "Great drive, a lot of room"

Cons: "no issues"

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

2012 Tahoe LT

"2012 Chevy Tahoe LT, DVD, Sunroof. The vehicle runs great. There is a small dent on the front passenger door and the inner door trim is pulling apart at the handle. I will either sell it as is or fix the trim and dent before selling. Depends on the offer."

2012 Tahoe LT

No Nonsense Truck!

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Simple to service and affordable to run"

Cons: "Poor plastics on the inside"

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

"I bought my 2013 Mocha Steel Metallic Chevy Tahoe LTZ 4x4 in August 2013 and I have enjoyed every moment of it ever since. Its a simple workhorse with solid construction. The engine is a gem on the highway, never runs out of breath and is always unstressed with good passing power. The transmission is a bit moody and tends to hunt for gears sometimes but that can be corrected with the M mode. Brake rotors and pads last really long and have good bite with minimal fade on hilly sections. Interiors are not the best in quality but the the robust mechanicals more than make up for that deficiency. My only wish was if they gave it elockers in the rear axle and not the mechanical locker which locks with a bang. And by the way the exterior styling still looks way better than the fancy pants 2016 Land Cruisers, Durangos etc."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Beautiful car "Iceberg Blue" rare color

By on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Heated seat BACKS--awesome for cold sore back"

Cons: "Need to take back seats in&out"

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

"I use this car to haul supplies for horses. The square design and parking assist make it easier to maneuver in & out of the tightest spots over rough terrain than the more round, space ship shape Lexus RX I previously owned (where all that curvi-linear makes it impossible to know where you are within 4 inches like the Tahoe.) This is a beauty of a car, the LTS with every upgrade from wheels to sound to off white interior and has the rare Iceberg Blue exterior color. What is not to adore about it all? It is pure muscle, having the super-cooling engine and tow package to boot, so hauls horses around nimbly. It has flex-fuel, so technically you can put whatever grade fuel in the tank that you want. But since I own and care about this car, I only use 92 octane fuel...and it responds like a bolt of lightning to the gas peddle when needed. Tho I have the upgraded sound system, it tends to get buried in the depths of the cab and full sound is not always great. But you have about 5 options to choose from on the sound menu about how you can hear the music: concert hall, etc. It is a truck, and all trucks shake apart and get little noises over time; no big for me, still a quiet ride with the big, soft tires. The trunk lift has become squeaky, and I have a recall notice to fix it, so off to the dealer. If you have a very tall torso, it doesn't allow all that much extra head space for you (just let the seat back into a more recline/less upright position) tho the car interior space is just huge otherwise (I can fit 12 bales of horse shavings in it without removing seats. I have camped out in it easily with two people (seats out). I get many offers to buy it because of the unusual color and loaded package. Punched leather seats---gorgeous. I have the split second row configuration in seating. It is okay for getting in and out of the "way back" area, but your dog never has a bench to lie on or your kid a place to fall asleep more comfortably in their harness, so I would think hard about which config you buy. Overall, love my car. Love my car. LOVE my car."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

07 Chevy Tahoe- just the car for the winter

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 128,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"2007 Chevy Tahoe, 4x4, black exterior/interior, LT model, 20" tires,DVD, Bose speakers,captains chairs in middle row, 3rd row bench seat,leather,no mechanical issues"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Large vehicle, incredibly reliable

By on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Love every variation of it's 4 wheel drive, AWD, 4WD Hi or Low, 2WD. We have owned this 2007 since new, and it has been mechanically flawless, nothing but standard maintenance - oil, tires, battery. It's actually a fine ride, tows my 5,500lb boat with ease. My wife is only 5ft 2inches but she loves the height and handling. Only two negatives for us - it was supposed to get 21mpg - dreamsville by GM, more like 13mpg. And, third row of seats weight a ton, don't stow very well, and are hard to move in and out. It also holds it's value well."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

reliable transportation that looks good too

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "handles all weather with no worries"

Cons: "not the best on fuel"

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

"My wife and I love this vehicle and for that matter so does our 15 year old son. This car has been a hassle free dependable SUV. All my friends like it too. I highly recommend this vehicle."

15 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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