$14,250 - $21,894

2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe was new.


Performance: 8.5

Easy handling and powerful V8 engines make the Tahoe a reviewer favorite for performance.  Most say, for a large SUV, it is easy to drive around town and a capable highway cruiser. Good fuel economy for a large SUV is also a strong point.

  • "A markedly better ride-and-handling combination than previous-generation models." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 5.3-liter engine in the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe is powerful and responsive.  The engine makes 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. The engine also uses active fuel management, which shuts down four of the engine's eight cylinders when they're not needed to improve fuel economy.

In terms of fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the base Tahoe gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway. The fuel economy rating is the same for both two- and four-wheel drive models.  Among truck-based conventionally-powered large SUVs, that's on of the best fuel economy in the class.

A six-speed transmission helps the Tahoe improve its fuel economy and performance. While most reviewers say the Tahoe's acceleration is good, they caution buyers not to expect drag-strip miracles with this large SUV.

  • "Fine power from any speed. The transmission shifts smoothly, though some testers complain of delayed downshifts. " -- Consumer Guide
  • "For a 5,500-pound SUV, the Tahoe does pretty well when it comes to acceleration. Even 4WD models with the 5.3-liter V8 are able to get from zero to 60 mph in an impressive 8.6 seconds. Load it up with passengers and cargo, though, and the Tahoe's pudgy curb weight becomes more of a liability." -- Edmunds
  • "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

Handling and Braking

Handling is a high point for the 2011 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. That's good news for buyers who are nervous about driving a large SUV.

  • "These are tall, heavy vehicles, so they never feel nimble. But there's no excessive body lean in turns with the base suspension, and even less with Autoride. Low-speed maneuverability is aided by a relatively tight turning circle. Brakes feel strong." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Tight spot maneuverability of this still large SUV is simply amazing." -- Motor Week


Two-wheel drive Tahoes have a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds.  With four-wheel drive, the Tahoe can pull 8,200 pounds.

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