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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.
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.
Changes for 2011 include the addition of integrated trailer brake control to the Trailering package, some new colors and the availability of 20-inch chrome wheels on the LTZ trim. The LS trim gains as standard equipment Bluetooth, rear seat audio controls, premium cloth seats, luggage rack center rails and body color door handles and mirrors.
All 5.3-liter engines now feature variable valve timing and are E85 compatible. A new USB port is added to all models, while the Z71 off-road suspension is now available on the 1LT trim. A single-speed transfer case is made standard on all four-wheel-drive models, with a two-speed unit offered as optional equipment.
A new six-speed automatic transmission is made standard on all models, as is a removable third-row seat. New options include a 6.2-liter V8 on LTZ trims, two different rearview camera choices, the Side Blind Zone Alert system and Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity.
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.