$19,528 - $28,744

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the better-performing large SUVs in the segment, according to critics. Even though it is a large truck-based SUV, test drivers think that the Tahoe maneuvers well in the city and rides smoothly on the highway. In addition, the Tahoe gets good fuel economy ratings for the class and comes in a hybrid model for even better gas mileage. Shoppers who don’t need the Tahoe’s towing abilities or seating capacity may be better served by a crossover, which tend to get better fuel economy and are easier to drive.

  • "Tahoe's smooth drivetrains are the stars of the show. The 5.3-liter V8 engine especially is a model of refinement." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With its boxed frame, high-tech suspension and precise steering - plus generous sound dampening - the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe offers a luxury-car-like riding and driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Fully loaded with cargo and passengers, the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe weighs more than 3 tons. But the spirited V8 engine provides energetic acceleration, and the suspension is supple enough to yield a compliant and cushioned ride." -- Edmunds (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Tahoe is powered by a 5.3-liter V8 that generates 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and the Tahoe is available in either two- or four-wheel drive. With two-wheel drive, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,500 pounds, while 4x4 variants can tow 8,200 pounds. Both two- and four-wheel drive models achieve 15/21 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. For improved fuel economy, consider the Tahoe Hybrid, which gets an EPA-estimated 20/23 mpg and is reviewed separately. Keep in mind that while it gets better fuel economy, the Tahoe Hybrid can’t tow as much and is significantly more expensive.

Overall, reviewers say that the Tahoe has a strong engine mated to a smooth automatic transmission that makes highway passing and cruising easy.

  • "Tahoes with the 5.3-liter V8 have good power. The engine is a good match for the transmission, which provides smooth, prompt shifts." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With 320 horsepower, the Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8 is more than capable of moving the fully-loaded vehicle easily and responsively, and the Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation seamlessly switches between 4- or 8-cylinder operation as needed for improved fuel economy without compromising performance." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Hammer the gas pedal, and the Tahoe can move with gusto. Cruising and passing on the highway are effortless but not exciting." -- Cars.com (2012)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the Tahoe handles well for a truck-based SUV. The Tahoe is not the most maneuverable vehicle, but test drivers think its tight turning radius makes city driving easier than it is in most other large SUVs. Also, critics note that the Tahoe is surprisingly car-like and has a smooth ride on the highway.

  • "Tahoe is a big, heavy vehicle, yet its handling is remarkably car-like. An impressive-for-the-class turning circle makes parking-lot maneuvers easier than they otherwise would be." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering contribute to a surprisingly maneuverable and tractable vehicle." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "That's not to say the Tahoe doesn't have other strengths. Its ride and handling, compared with the rest of the segment, is above average. It takes tight turns, like highway off-ramps, with little body roll, and it covers rough pavement with excellent damping. This is an SUV you want to drive on a long road trip." -- Cars.com (2012)
  • "The steering isn't particularly responsive in terms of handling, but on the plus side, the Tahoe's tight 39-foot turning circle does make it reasonably maneuverable in town." -- Edmunds (2012)

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