Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A blue 2023 Chevy Tahoe High Country for sale is shown parked on a driveway.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a Chevy Tahoe

If you’re interested in a large SUV with lots of seating inside, then I’m sure the Chevy Tahoe is already on your radar since it’s one of the best options on the market. Before you go looking for a Chevy Tahoe for sale, however, there are some important questions that you should ask yourself. These are things that you can potentially decide on in the moment, but knowing what you want ahead of time will make your car-buying experience a lot better. Car salespeople can be rather pushy—even honest ones know they may need to guide customers toward a decision—figuring things out ahead of time helps you stick to what you want.

The last thing you want is to drive away in a vehicle and realize after the fact that you wish you had chosen a different option than you got. Seating decisions seem minor in the moment, but they can have long-term consequences that could drive you nuts in the years that you enjoy your vehicle. Figuring all of these things out ahead of time will make your shopping experience easier, ensure you get what you need, and let you show salespeople that you know what you’re doing. Trust me; it’s always better to sort stuff out before you go shopping for your next ride.

Two children are shown seated inside of a 2023 Chevy Tahoe.

How Many Seats Do You Want?

Although not the largest SUV in Chevy’s lineup (that honor goes to the Suburban), the Tahoe is a close second and has one of the roomiest interiors of any SUV on the market. This is a three-row model, so you’ll get plenty of seats inside no matter which model you choose, but you do have two different options to consider. Every Tahoe has a pair of seats up front and a third-row bench seat for up to three people; the second row of seats is where you have some wiggle room and why this question matters.

Some Tahoe models have a second-row split-bench seat, similar to the third row, which gives you space for three more people inside—bringing total seating up to eight passengers. Other models, however, come with a pair of bucket seats for the second row rather than the bench, resulting in seating for seven passengers inside. On paper, and for some people, this is a minimal difference that might not matter much. For others, that extra seat can be a big issue if you need eight people inside your vehicle, so consider this and choose accordingly when looking at a Tahoe.

Which Engine Is Right for You?

There are three different engines on offer for the 2023 Chevy Tahoe, and while all of them are excellent, there are differences between them. All three engines come with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is great, including the standard 5.3L V8 that delivers 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. That’s plenty of power for most drivers, but if you want more, an available 6.2L V8 engine boosts performance to 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
You can also get a 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine with 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque; this one won’t be for everyone, but having a diesel option on a full-size SUV like this is fantastic. It’s important to decide on the kind of power you want early on because certain trims don’t have all three engines available—your engine pick could further narrow down your options while shopping.

A red 2023 Chevy Tahoe is shown towing a vehicle on a street.

What Drive Type Is Best for You?

In addition to numerous engine choices, you can also pick the drive type that best meets your needs. Most models come with two-wheel drive (2WD) standard and have four-wheel drive (4WD) available, though the adventurous Z71 trim is only available with 4WD. Beyond this trim consideration, your drive type greatly impacts how your SUV handles, particularly in rough weather. If you live somewhere that involves a fair amount of driving with snow or slush on the road, or you drive on a lot of dirt or gravel roads, then 4WD will give you a far better driving experience than 2WD and help you always stay in control.

What Kind of Seating Do You Want?

A moment ago, we went over how many seats you need, but that’s not your only decision when it comes to seating; you also need to consider materials and overall comfort. Consider this: the standard LS trim for the Tahoe features cloth seating, a 10-way power driver’s seat including lumbar support, and an eight-way power front-passenger seat.
Looking at the highest trim, the High Country, you’ll find 10-way power driver and front-passenger seats, with perforated leather-appointed seating, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated second-row seats. Those are some significant differences that are worth thinking about before choosing your next Chevy Tahoe.

The tan interior and dash of a 2023 Chevy Tahoe is shown.

What Tech Features Do You Need?

Seating is only a small part of what you need to consider when it comes to your vehicle’s interior, particularly these days with so many fantastic tech features and options available. Once again, the differences between trims can be substantial in numerous ways, so these things are worth considering ahead of time. For starters, the standard LS trim comes with an 8-inch infotainment display, a six-speaker sound system, and a 4.2-inch Driver Information Center display. Features like power door locks, Keyless Open, Remote Start, cruise control, and Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control are all standard.

Moving up to higher trims brings a lot of upgrades to the interior, even if you’re not looking at the highest level. For example, the LT trim—one step up from the standard features—includes a 10.2-inch infotainment display, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, and a 12-inch Driver Information Center screen. The LT also includes a wireless charging pad for compatible devices, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and more features by just going up one trim level. Looking at the High Country trim takes matters even further with features like a head-up display and Bose Surround sound system with CenterPoint for an incredible driving experience. When you decide on the kinds of features that really matter to you, it becomes easier to choose the right model.

Do You Want Extra Safety Systems?

Safety is the most important thing when shopping for a vehicle; fortunately, every Tahoe model comes with excellent safety technology, courtesy of the Chevy Safety Assist suite. The standard LS trim includes a Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, Front and Rear Park Assist, and Front Pedestrian Braking. A Following Distance Indicator, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and IntelliBeam headlamps are also all standard. Some additional safety systems become standard on higher trims, like the Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert found on the Premier and High Country models, so keep that in mind when looking at different options.

Bringing All of These Decisions Together

By figuring out the answers to these questions, you can more easily decide which models will work best for you and then go from there. For example, let’s say you need seating for eight passengers, don’t care about heated second-row seats, and want a larger infotainment display; in that case, the Tahoe LT or RST could both be great options. On the other hand, if you want an adventurous model with a powerful engine, 4WD, and off-road features like a performance front skid plate and red recovery hooks, then the Z71 model is the one to look for.

By figuring out the details you need, you can eliminate trims that won’t work for you and search for the model you want before deciding on final details like exterior color and any extra options or accessories you want. All of this makes shopping easier and helps ensure you drive away in a Chevy Tahoe that you’ll love for years to come.