Suburban’s “Tough Sister” Karma
Tipping the scales at three tons and casting a 17-foot shadow, the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe defines the large American SUV. In 2007 General Motors redesigned the Tahoe and its larger brother, the Suburban, by placing it on the beefy GMT900 chassis, shared with the Silverado pickup. This strong platform makes for a rough-and-ready SUV that’s more than capable of handling some real work.
Powered by the venerable Chevy small-block V8, displacing 5.3 liters, that delivers confident acceleration. Safety features like side torso airbags, combined with its 6,000-pound curb weight, make the Tahoe a strong performer in crash tests. Admirably powerful, this engine delivers 320 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque on a flat curve. Acceleration while unladen is enthusiastic, and the Tahoe has plenty of reserve passing power.
Power & Performance
The Tahoe’s six-speed automatic transmission, standard, serves up crisp, well-timed shifts and features a tow/haul mode for better load-pulling power. 4WD LS has an electronic on-demand system with an optional low-range transfer case that ensures excellent traction on or off-road. 2011 Tahoe’s can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped.
Independent front and five-link rear suspension are tuned for maximum comfort. Plenty of articulation and soft springs contribute to a supple, smooth ride both on and off-road. Around town, the Tahoe’s steering is light and accurate and facilitates reasonably easy handling. Tight parking spots or alleys will still pose a problem, but the Tahoe is surprisingly easy to place once you get used to its dimensions.
Comfort & Amenities
Spaciousness is a common trait among large SUVs, and the 2011 Tahoe is no exception. With over 109 cubic feet of cargo capacity, the Tahoe can swallow lots of gear, five passengers can be carried easily and the first and second-row legroom is excellent. The tall driving position and lack of adjustable pedals in base trims might not suit smaller drivers, but the wide, supportive seats are comfortable for all. Standard features on the base Tahoe LS include power windows, locks, mirrors, and seats, and an AM/FM/CD stereo.
Front, side, and curtain airbags are standard. That commitment to safety continues with electronic stability control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS provide good stopping power.