2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Performance

$9,355 - $12,485

2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe was new.


Performance: 8.6

The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe ranks at the top of the class in performance thanks to its excellent handing capabilities. A powerful V8 engine and the best fuel economy in the class also help the Tahoe's ranking. Though four-wheel drive has a negative impact on the Tahoe's fuel economy, it adds an impressive amount of utility and reviews say it makes the Tahoe a capable off-road performer.

  • "Those who merely need room for kids and cargo will likely find GM's large crossover SUVs, the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, or the Mazda CX-9, equally capable and more fuel-efficient." -- Edmunds
  • "If you have a number of children, tow a boat or horse trailer and like the feel of a substantial V8-powered vehicle, the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe could be just the ticket." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acceleration, rated at a shade less than nine seconds to 60 miles an hour, is respectable for a vehicle this large." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "Steering feels more responsive, the brakes seem better, the vehicle has less pitch and roll.  . . the Tahoe's performance envelope -- within which the driver feels securely in control -- extends further than its predecessor's, well beyond any American speed limits." -- Newsday

Acceleration and Power

Most reviews are positive about the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe's powertrain, saying that the three available V-8 engines are powerful and responsive.  Thanks to Active Fuel Management, a system that shuts down four of the engine's eight cylinders when they are not needed, the larger Tahoe engines get the same fuel economy as the smaller engine.   Most report that the transmission is smooth, but add that a few more gears would improve performance. 

In terms of fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the base 2WD Tahoe (with a 4.8 liter V-8) gets 14 miles per gallon city and 20 highway, while the mid-level 5.3 liter gets 14 mpg city/ 20 highway and the top-end 6.2 liter gets 12 mpg city/ 19 highway.

Engine Performance

  • "The 5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management puts its 320 horsepower right at your command thanks to a wide torque curve, and you never notice when the engine switches between eight- and four-cylinder operation." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Throttle ramps in power smoothly, while the four-speed transmission is quick to downshift, making energetic test loops along the Angeles Crest Highway exceptionally fun." -- Motor Trend
  • "Even a 4WD 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe is fairly quick, getting to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds. However, the Tahoe doesn't feel nearly so quick when carrying a full load of passengers or cargo." -- Edmunds
  • "Accelerating from a red light isn't exactly like being shot out of a cannon, but it gets up and goes without hesitation" -- Washington Times


  • "Transmission is only a four-speed when five- and six-speeds are the norm." -- USA Today
  • The transmission "is unimpressive at a time when five-, six- and even seven-speed units are commonplace." -- Newsday

Handling and Braking

Handling is a highpoint for the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe, with most reviews saying it drives much smaller than it is. Braking performance is also very good for a vehicle as large as the Tahoe.


  • "Tight spot maneuverability of this still large SUV is simply amazing." -- Motor Week
  • "The handling . . . sets a new high-water mark for full-size SUVs." -- The Car Connection
  • "On winding roads, the Tahoe certainly is no sharp carver of turns. But it handles as well or better than other big trucks, despite some lean in corners." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "The Tahoe's "ride quality and overall responsiveness have never been better." -- Kelley Blue Book


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