The 2011 Chevy Tahoe Is Surprisingly Cheap to Maintain, Consumer Reports Says

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Chevy Tahoe just got a fresh redesign. It rides on an independent rear suspension, boasts expanded interior dimensions, and even offers a diesel engine option. However, as a full-size SUV, it isn’t exactly cheap at $49,600. But you might be in luck if you’re looking for a used Chevy Tahoe.

According to Consumer Reports, a pre-owned 2011 Tahoe costs as low as $11,525. It’s also the cheapest vehicle in its price range to maintain, averaging only $200 a year.

High points of the 2011 Chevy Tahoe

Though the 2011 model isn’t as big as today’s hulking SUVs, Consumer Reports‘ testers felt comfortable inside this used Chevy Tahoe. The seat cushions are wide enough to support all riders, and everyone has generous legroom. However, reviewers thought the rear seats were more supportive than the front seats.

The cabin’s quality isn’t quite on par with others in its class, but the materials still look aesthetically pleasing. The driver’s seat is also highly adjustable and pairs with a tilting steering wheel. Cargo space is also plentiful, including a large center console.

CR’s testers also liked the 2011 Chevy Tahoe’s towing capacity. With the right equipment, Tahoes with four-wheel drive can tow up to 8,200. It also reached 60 mph in 16 seconds with a 5,000-pound trailer attached.

The 2011 Tahoe can do some light off-roading, but CR cautions that the ride is jittery. Despite its powerful engine, this Chevy has a surprisingly quiet interior. The only sound that truly permeates the interior at high speeds is wind noise, but it didn’t disturb the testers. 

Though this SUV doesn’t come with any stand-out tech features, that’s typical for a 2011 model. A few safety features were optional, and the 2011 Tahoe earned good safety ratings.

Where this Chevy Tahoe falters

The 2011 Chevy Tahoe offered only one engine option, a V8 capable of 320 hp. It pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission, which CR says was a big improvement over the previous shifter. The engine provides ample power but delivers lackluster fuel economy at 14 mpg combined city/highway.

This Tahoe is also large enough to be quite cumbersome around corners and parking spaces. The turning radius is manageable, but it suffers from numb steering and heavy body roll. It also requires a considerable stopping distance, which didn’t inspire much confidence in CR’s testers.

The rear-seat room is also a problem inside the 2011 Chevy Tahoe. It can fit adults in a pinch, but legroom is limited compared with the other two rows. It’s also hard for any adult to reach the third row, especially with the steep step-in height.

You can’t access the cargo area’s full potential without removing the third row. This can be an annoying challenge because each of these seats weighs 55 pounds. You can still fold them, but the backs won’t lie completely flat.

Potential repairs for this model

We previously reported that the 2011 Chevy Tahoe might not be the best model to buy. That’s because it’s had several electrical issues, such as warning lights and sensors that won’t go away. Other minor issues include malfunctioning radios and cracked dashboards.

Though those issues can be annoying, they don’t require much money to fix. All of the 2011 Chevy Tahoe’s major components hold up well over time. Even better, 2011 was one of the most reliable years for the Tahoe.

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