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A red 2024 Chevy Tahoe for sale is shown driving on a city street at night.

All the Engine Options for the 2024 Tahoe Explained

If you come across a Chevy Tahoe for sale at your local dealership, you might find it difficult to choose between the various powertrain options available. And who can blame you? Each engine has its own set of pros and cons, and choosing an engine can get more complicated when it overlaps with choosing a trim level. It can help to take a look at all the facts, clean and simple, so that’s what we’re going to do for you today. Let’s dive in and see all of the different ways you can power this full-size SUV.

Because we don’t want to repeat ourselves, we’ll start off by saying that all of the Tahoe’s engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The system is electronically controlled for easy shifting and delivers smooth driving dynamics across a range of road conditions and speeds. It also includes a traction select system with different modes, including a tow/haul mode, so you can change the settings of the powertrain to suit a variety of different situations.

5.3L V8 Gas Engine

The Tahoe’s base engine is a 5.3L V8 that comes standard in every trim except for the top-tier High Country. It produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty of power, even for a vehicle of the Tahoe’s size. Interestingly, though it’s the smallest option in the lineup, the 5.3L V8 is the only one that can unlock the Tahoe’s maximum towing capacity of 8,400 lbs. In order to get this figure, you do have to make sure that your vehicle is properly configured—this number can only be reached on a model that has rear-wheel drive. If you’d rather have the extra traction of four-wheel drive, you’ll lose about 200 lbs of towing capacity. That drop is about the same for all of the other engines in the lineup, however, so the 5.3L V8 is still your best bet for maximum trailering potential.

Overall, this engine delivers excellent value. Drivers planning on hooking up a heavy trailer, whether for vacations or for work, will appreciate its high towing capacity. Those on a budget will want to think twice before overlooking this powertrain since it’s easily the most affordable option. One downside is its fuel economy, getting an estimated 17 MPG combined when paired with rear-wheel drive. But for an SUV of this size, that’s a sacrifice many drivers are willing to make.

A blue 2024 Chevy Tahoe High Country is shown parked on a driveway.

6.2L V8 Gas Engine

The more powerful 6.2L V8 is an available option on the RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country trims. It can crank out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, so you can expect better acceleration on the highway and better performance overall. While it can’t tow quite as much as the 5.3L V8, it holds its own just fine with a maximum capacity of 8,300 lbs. That’s only 100 lbs less and still pretty much on par with what a lot of full-size trucks deliver—more than enough for the average driver. The hit to fuel economy is also slight compared to the 5.3L V8: the 6.2L can still deliver up to 16 MPG combined.

Since the extra power doesn’t give you more towing capability, this engine is the right option for drivers who want to have an easier time getting up to speed on a fast highway. While the Tahoe isn’t the best vehicle for a joyride overall, some powertrains can help you get closer than others. If you’re opting for top-tier comfort and aren’t won over by the diesel option (which we’ll get to), then choosing this powerful engine is a no-brainer.

6.2L V8 Gas Engine – RST Performance Edition

If you want a particularly sporty full-size SUV, then you’ll want to get the RST trim and add the available Performance Edition package, which was first introduced for the 2023 model year. This package adds a lot of specialty equipment, including Brembo heavy-duty front brakes with Torch Red front and rear calipers, a high-performance suspension system, and 20-inch wheels with performance tires designed for police pursuit vehicles. The body also sits lower to the ground for improved performance, and the luggage rack side rails are removed to improve aerodynamics.

While the engine under the hood is still a 6.2L V8, it’s been specially tuned to boost the horsepower and torque figures. This gives the Tahoe RST Performance Edition 433 hp and 467 lb-ft of torque to work with. According to Chevy, this makes the RST Performance Edition the fastest retail Tahoe to date, with the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.78 seconds, reach a top speed of 124 mph on a test track, and slow from 60-0 mph in 133 feet.

Most people who like performance cars and full-size SUVs have to choose between one or the other or find the space to store two vehicles. But if you want to have the best of both worlds, you could certainly do worse than the RST Performance Edition. If you do want this powertrain, you won’t have to go through the pros and cons of all of the Tahoe’s trim levels since you already know that you want the athletic RST, the only trim that offers this specially-tuned engine.

A red 2024 Chevy Tahoe is shown towing a trailer.

3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine

Now for something completely different: a diesel powertrain. While diesel has gotten a bad reputation in the US, it actually has a lot of advantages over gasoline. Plus, the days of diesel engines being loud, providing a rough ride, and belching big clouds of exhaust into the air are firmly in the past thanks to new emissions standards and improvements in automotive engineering. In fact, environmentally-conscious drivers may be surprised to learn that diesel is actually a highly fuel-efficient option.

The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine beats out the best figures on the gas options, providing 24 MPG combined. In return for saving money on your monthly fuel costs, you’ll have to accept a lower horsepower figure of 277 hp. Torque, on the other hand, is high at 460 lb-ft, matching what the 6.2L V8 can deliver. And both maximum horsepower and maximum torque can be reached at lower speeds with the diesel engine than they can be with the gas-powered options, something that comes in handy when you’re maneuvering at low speeds with a trailer, like when you’re navigating a parking lot or crawling up a boat ramp. Towing capacity is lower than what the V8 engines deliver, but not by much at 8,200 lbs.

The diesel engine is standard on the High Country trim, but it’s available on all trims except for the off-road Z71 (its high-clearance off-road bumper doesn’t fit the larger diesel engine). Whether you’re getting a humble Tahoe LS or a high-end Tahoe High Country, the diesel is worth considering if you do a lot of driving and want to get better mileage. It may cost a little more than the 5.3L V8, but it’s less expensive than the 6.2L V8 and can help you save some money over time with its improved efficiency.

Which One Is Best?

There’s no objective answer to which engine is the best because each one has its own niche carved out for it. The 5.3L V8 is the best for towing heavy loads, the 3.0L turbo-diesel is the best for fuel economy, and the 6.2L V8 is the best for performance, especially if you opt for the souped-up version in the RST Performance Edition. To decide which one is right for you, you need to decide which of these things you prioritize, then cross-reference that with your budget. At the end of the day, they all get the job done, so you shouldn’t feel too much pressure.