The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe earns a below average Total Car Score for the Large SUVs & Crossovers segment.
This year marks the seventh that the Tahoe has been offered in its current iteration -- a long time, even for a truck. Reviewers have made note of the big SUV’s outdated design but have largely given the Tahoe a pass since an all-new version will debut in a year on Chevrolet’s revamped truck platform.
Another reason the critics haven’t been too hard on the Tahoe: It’s a decent vehicle. Even in today’s market, which is full of car-based crossover vehicles, the old-school, body-on-frame Tahoe still wins fans thanks to its generous interior space, well-sorted-out powertrain (with a hybrid option Tahoe Hybrid, which is reviewed separately), and a pickup-truck-like towing capacity.
Check all the right option boxes and you can dress a Tahoe in luxe features like heated and ventilated leather seats, a 10-speaker sound system with navigation and backup camera, a rear-seat DVD system, and big, 20-inch chrome wheels.
Since the current Tahoe is so close to phase-out, Chevrolet opted to leave it pretty much alone for the new model year. There are new exterior colors -- Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic and Blue Ray Metallic -- and the transmission was revised so it will utilize compression braking to slow the vehicle on a grade even when it’s in its normal operating mode. Previously this “powertrain grade braking,” as Chevy calls it, was only available when the transmission was in tow/haul mode.
The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe is a fullsize sport/utility vehicle that can seat up to nine passengers. It is offered with 2WD and 4WD powertrains and a choice of three trim levels. A gas/electric Tahoe Hybrid version (reviewed separately) is also available.
Powering the Tahoe is a 5.3-liter Flex-Fuel V8 that sends 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of peak torque to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Base LS models of the Tahoe are equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels, tri-zone manual air conditioning, cloth upholstery, powered front seats, a tilt steering column, Bluetooth connectivity, and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite radio audio system with an auxiliary jack and USB port.
The LT trim level adds automatic climate control, keyless entry and remote start, an upgraded nine-speaker audio system, and the availability of the Z71 off-road package on 4WD models.
Top-tier LTZ models feature 20-inch alloy wheels, a backup camera, leather upholstery, heated and cooled first-row seats, and a 10-speaker Bose hard-drive-based audio system with a 7-inch touch-screen and navigation.
The EPA has rated the 2WD and 4WD versions of the Tahoe as achieving the same fuel economy: 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined.
Properly equipped, 2WD models of the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe are rated to tow up to 8,500 pounds; the rating drops to 8,200 pounds for 4WD models.
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