what year is best? - Chevrolet Forum - Chevy Enthusiasts Forums
Old  June 5th, 2011, 9:35 PM
  • CF Beginner
    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Posts: 6
what year is best?

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and have enjoyed reading through the posts. I am looking to purchase a certified used chevy tahoe. A few questions that I hope some folks can help me with.

I don't want anything to old...say like 2007 or newer. Is there a particular year that seemed to have more problems than others...In other words if you were buying a used Tahoe is there a model year you would avoid and why?

I want the tahoe to replace a toyota 4runner because I want more towing ability. I test drove a 2010 this weekend and when I asked about the max towing capacity the dealer said it was 5200...I was shocked as my 4runner is rated at 5000lbs. So i research a bit on the net and realized that the "heavy duty" trailoring package will allow up to 8200lbs to be towed (i think). what is the difference in the regualr tow package and the heavy duty tow package?

One more concern I have is gas milage...Is it feesable to get say 15'ish around town and 20 on the highway? I know Tahoe has the active fuel management system but the Tahoe I test drove was reading average of 10 mpg on the dash read out..I realize many variables were affecting this..but that did give me some alarm. Do you think the V8/V4 fuel management is very effective? What is your average mpg in town/hwy?

I appreciate any advice you guys have.


Old  June 6th, 2011, 12:08 AM
  • CF Beginner
    Join Date: May 2011
    Posts: 16
I have a 2009 XFE Tahoe.

Well I have to say that I'm happy with my '09. I average 16mpg. I drive about 80 miles round trip to work and around 30 miles in town a day.
The 2009 and up Tahoes come with a 6 speed tranny. This was one of my reason for my Tahoe purchase.
One thing for sure is make sure you get all the options your looking at in the Tahoe.
Alot of the electrical options (digital climate control, power folding mirrors with turn signals,power liftgate, navi. with DVD, etc.) are not interchangeable with the different trim models.

Old  June 6th, 2011, 7:34 AM

the 2009 added bluetooth, 6 speed automatic, and cooled front seats.

the 10 and 11 added USB port on head unit, and... nothing else major I can think of.

So I suggest 09 as the oldest.

and yes, if you plan to tow, the 09 also was the first year w/the integrated brake controller.

Old  June 6th, 2011, 8:24 AM
  • CF Senior Member
    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Posts: 524
    McKinney, TX
2007 and newer is the current body style and you will not have any more problems with any of them. to save $ the 2007 loaded out will do everything you need. But it may be hard to find out w/o high mileage.
if you have the $ I would say a 2009 or 2010 with the 6 speed, then find one with options you want. the fuel economy does not seem to increase much with the 6 speed vs the 4 speed in the 07 and 08. one thing that could change it is the rear end gearing. for example in the 4 speeds you can get a 3.42, 3.73 and 4.10 rear end - higher # gives better towing and acceleration but "can" lower fuel economy. some people seem to think otherwise.
we have the 3.42 rear end and 2wd
with 100% short in town runs we get 14 - 15 so you can assume 16ish with some mixed driving.
with 100% highway 72mph or less we get 20 - 21 easy depending on the wind.

Old  June 6th, 2011, 9:41 PM
  • Administrator
    Join Date: Apr 2006
    Posts: 9,081
    KC, MO area
gaspasser: Welcome to the forum.

The HD trailer package will get you an external tranny cooler and a lower (numerically higher) axle ratio.

Does the AFM work? Yes and no. At lower steady speeds on level or only slightly uphill it does help. But at hwy speeds (65-70) on level hwy, it only goes in to V4 mode w/ a tailwind. My 2010 gets slightly better mpg than the 2007 did. But the best ever w/ the '07 was on a 150 mi trip back from the lake and I forgot to take it out of 4WD. Got an even 22 mpg at 70 mph. Go figure. 4WD is supposed to add a lot of extra friction.

Old  June 7th, 2011, 5:51 AM
  • CF Beginner
    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Posts: 6
Thanks for the replies and all the info. I do appreciate it. I am going this friday to a dealership about 3 hours away to test drive a 2008 LTZ with around 38K miles. I here ya on the 2009 or newer...but i seem to be having trouble finding a 'certified used' tahoe with everything I want. I know when you buy used you take what ya get..but then again at 30,000+ for a used vehicle I am going to try to come as close as possible to what I want (BLack ext, Black leather int, sun roof, heavy duty tow pk).
I've searched extensivly online at the chevy site for certified vehicles and called several dealerships to see if the tahoes they advertise are heavy duty tow package and surprisingly most of the sales people don't know what I mean...the all respond "yea, it has a tow package" They seem to have no idea about the heavy duty version.
I must admit I am still a little worried about gas milage but I do love the looks of the tahoe. Most of my driving is not "in city" but some stop/go traffic on my daily commute. Mostly rural US route so i think I will fair OK.
THanks again everyone

Old  June 7th, 2011, 7:25 AM
  • CF Senior Member
    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Posts: 524
    McKinney, TX
ya you should be ok on the mileage - I mean it is a big heavy truck so only so much you can do if you have a lot of stop and go driving. be easy on it and you should be around 15mpg city and 20 highway no problem
regarding the "tow package" I think every Tahoe has the factory hitch so some dealers may assume that is all. But like Shark said you can get a factory trans cooler and a different rear end ratio for towing (3.73 or 4.10) I assume if you get the 4 speed transmission.
I agree also, get what you want option wise and don't get held up on the newer 6 speed transmission. there are TONS of used Tahoes out there so hold out for what you want. FYI we got our Tahoe for $26k last year and it is completely loaded with every option that the LTZ has except the power folding 2nd row seats and autoride suspension and a couple of cosmetic differences. So you should be able to get a fully loaded 2008 for around 27 or 28k max I would think.
if you have any questions about an option the truck has get the VIN and go to this site. It will list EVERY thing it is equiped with so you know what you are getting, including axle ratios, towing package and other stuff
Comprehensive Chevrolet, Saturn, GMC, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Geo, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Chrysler, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Truck, Mercedes VIN Decoder

good luck let us know what you get

Last edited by ousig2408; June 7th, 2011 at 7:29 AM.
Old  June 7th, 2011, 12:21 PM
  • CF Active Member
    Join Date: Apr 2010
    Posts: 229
    toms river, NJ
best buy could be 09. There is 6 speed, and bluetooth, better mpg.

Old  June 7th, 2011, 5:58 PM
  • Administrator
    Join Date: Apr 2006
    Posts: 9,081
    KC, MO area
gaspasser: Have them check for option code K5L for HD trailering pkg. I forgot that it also gets you an external engine oil cooler. In 2010 the axle ratio was 3.42

Old  June 11th, 2011, 3:27 PM
  • CF Beginner
    Join Date: Jun 2011
    Posts: 6
Got the certified used chevy 2008 Tahoe LTZ with Heavy duty tow package ( tranny cooler and the works). Black with black leather int..very pretty. I brought it home yesterday.

Went out this morning to run some errands.......The driver side door handle is coming off! I sure hope this is not a sign of whats to come.

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