2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Review
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe is a good SUV for those who need rugged, truck-like capabilities in addition to seating for up to nine and lots of cargo space.
Test drivers say that the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the better affordable large SUVs on the market. It has a hefty towing capacity, relatively good fuel economy for the class and it can seat up to nine. That’s more than most of its competitors. It also has surprisingly good handling for an SUV, with critics saying it’s a comfortable highway cruiser and pretty maneuverable around town as well. All that, along with its huge cargo hold, means the Tahoe offers more utility than most shoppers need.
Though some shoppers need the Tahoe’s burly four-wheel drive capabilities and large towing capacity, many shoppers are considering this full-size SUV because it can seat up to nine people and isn’t a minivan. Test drivers say that a crossover like the Ford Flex or the Mazda CX-9 would be a better choice for these buyers, because they get better fuel economy, are easier to drive and offer more-comfortable third rows than the Tahoe does. Plus, all crossover SUVs are available with all-wheel drive, which can provide a good amount of all-weather capability, though most can’t match the Tahoe’s rugged four-wheel drive system.
So, if you’re looking for a useful SUV with a high-quality interior and seating for your whole brood, reviewers say the Chevrolet Tahoe is definitely worth a test drive. However, if your priorities are more family-oriented, a crossover SUV would serve you better.
Other SUVs to Consider
If you don’t need the Chevrolet Tahoe’s big towing capacity, you’ll likely be better served by a minivan or crossover with a third row, like the Toyota Highlander. Not only does the Highlander start about $10,000 cheaper than the Tahoe, but it offers a hybrid model with fuel economy that’s even better than the Tahoe Hybrid’s, according to the EPA.
For those who need the Tahoe’s rugged capabilities, the Ford Expedition is a good alternative. It can tow more than the Tahoe can, even in four-wheel drive models. Reviewers appreciate the Expedition’s third row, which is big enough for adults, and folds down into the floor rather than having to be removed the way the Tahoe’s does.
Details: Chevrolet Tahoe
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe comes in three trims: base LS, mid-market LT and top-of-the-line LTZ. It’s also available as a hybrid, which is reviewed separately. For the 2012 model year, the Tahoe gains standard trailer sway control and hill start assist, and LTZ trims add a heated steering wheel, side blind zone alert and heated and cooling front seats. The LT trim gets heated seats as well. See the full list of 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe specs.
- "Third-row accommodations are still best suited to children. However, for smooth power, utility, and surprising overall refinement, Tahoe earns our Best Buy nod.” -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2012 Chevy Tahoe deserves strong consideration when shopping for a large, traditional SUV, thanks to its comfortable cabin, road manners and impressive towing capacity. But for pure passenger use, a large crossover might work out better.” -- Edmunds
- "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. … 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.” -- Kelley Blue Book