Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2020 used Chevy Tahoe is shown from the side while driving on a city street.

Why is the Tahoe So Appealing to Large Families?

The Chevrolet Tahoe is a very popular vehicle for large families because of the number of seats. Most Tahoes sit at least 8 people, and many seat up to 9, making this one of the few vehicles that is appropriate for families with a lot of kids. And because families are always looking to stay within a budget, buying a used Chevy Tahoe is often on the radar of multiple-child homes. However, the Tahoe is not the only vehicle that is appropriate for large families. There are actually a couple of vehicles on the market today that could comfortably seat families with a lot of kids. So what does a Tahoe have that makes it so appealing to large families?

Just a few competing vehicles that could also seat between 8 and 9 people include the GMC Yukon, the Ford Transit, and the Mercedes Sprinter. Each of these vehicles has its pros and cons, ranging from cargo space to fuel mileage to MSRP. But the used Chevy Tahoe is still drawing in large family purchases all over the country, and today we are going to investigate why.

Size Is Important

The most obvious reason that large families choose the Tahoe to cart their crews around is the available seating, but we already touched on that. There are a few features beyond just seating that make the Tahoe more desirable for budget-conscious families. It might seem silly to point out, but one of the most desirable parts of a Tahoe or Yukon over a Transit or Sprinter is the layout of the doors. Anybody who has ever tried to herd a handful of kids into or out of a car at one time will appreciate the fact that large family SUVs make it easier and faster to get a lot of people inside and buckled in a timely manner. This is true of all used Tahoe or Yukon SUVs.

On the other hand, anybody who has ever had to park inside a narrow garage or carefully try and ease an oblivious child in or out of the vehicle without slamming a door into a neighboring luxury or sports car knows the appeal of the sliding door that the Transit and Sprinter offer. There is certainly something to be said about more easily fitting into narrow spaces with a door that only takes up a couple of inches of space vs a door that swings out 2 – 4 feet. These are the types of doors you will find on any used model passenger van. So I guess the question is, do you plan to regularly park next to fragile vehicles or in narrow garages, or would you rather have the ability to hurry kids in and out of the car that much faster?

A couple is loading luggage into the back of a red 2020 used Chevy Tahoe.

Body vs Body

The overall body style of a used Tahoe and Yukon is also quite different from a used Sprinter and Transit. While used models in the same category all have the same basic body shape and style, there can be some variations among color and total size. The Sprinter and Transit are large passenger vans, and with that body style comes many pros and cons. To begin, there is a unique feeling that comes with being behind the wheel of a large passenger van. Passenger vans are large and bulky in an almost top-heavy way.

While both of these passenger vans are quite safe, if you are unfamiliar with driving a long, skinny, and sometimes very, very tall vehicle, this is definitely something you will need to get used to. The G’s you get when driving a Transit or Sprinter are unlike anything you’ve felt before, and sometimes it can feel quite unnerving. Make sure you take your corners a bit slower than you would in a more sporty vehicle!

The Tahoe and Yukons, on the other hand, offer drivers a completely different feel. These SUVs almost feel like trucks, and in fact, each of these SUVs has a body-on-frame construction model that is very similar to that of a pickup truck. What does this body-on-frame design mean? In short, this means that minus the fact that your SUV will not have a truck bed, your Tahoe and Yukon will be able to tow, haul, and off-road as if they were, in fact, a pickup truck with a bunch of extra seating options. This is a highly appealing feature for families who want to purchase only one vehicle that is multifunctional and can do the work of 2 or 3 separate vehicles, all for the price of one.

Speaking as somebody who has driven both passenger vans and SUVs several times, you can bet I would feel much better driving a Tahoe or a Yukon up a snow-covered dirt road hill than a Transit or a Sprinter. There is a reason trucks are so popular – and it’s not just because of the truck bed. With the Tahoe and the Yukon, now your truck can double as a family vehicle, just minus the bed.

While comparing the Tahoe and Yukon to the Sprinter and Transit is one thing, comparing the Tahoe to the Yukon is quite a different matter since both of these SUVs offer very similar features. In fact, some would venture to claim that the Tahoe and the Yukon are practically the same vehicle. So what is different about the Tahoe and the Yukon, and when it comes to a large family vehicle, which option is better?

Used Tahoe vs Used Yukon

A black 2018 GMC Yukon is parked in front of a white modern home.

The differences between the Tahoe and the Yukon are very subtle, and it takes somebody with a keen eye, or perhaps a discriminating personality, to really tell the difference. However, each vehicle was still designed by different manufacturers and for different target markets. So, some people might love the Tahoe and hate the Yukon while other people will despise the Tahoe and praise the Yukon. Let’s take a peek at some of the more obvious differences between the Tahoe and the Yukon.

When looking at these two SUVs, the Yukon has a slightly more luxury feel to it than the Tahoe. For example, the 2015 Yukon has two grill options, whereas the Tahoe only has one. As far as headlights go, the Tahoe has a basic yet effective headlight that curves around the side of the vehicle, whereas the Yukon headlights curve along the top, bringing on a more aggressive look. Also, if your priority is having a luxury feel, you can look for a Yukon Denali, which will have all the best the Yukon has to offer. Keep in mind, though, that luxury features usually come with a higher price tag, even in used models.

The Chevy Tahoe, on the other hand, offers that classic Chevy look in a simple but effective body. If you prefer an SUV that offers more practicality, the Tahoe is for you. Plus, with it being a Chevy, you can bet that this SUV is safe, reliable, and dependable. Chevy has an ever-growing list of safety features that they are putting standard into every car. If you are looking for something with standard collision warning systems, lane-departure warning systems, and other modern safety features, then a used Tahoe is for you. Personally, we’d recommend getting one from 2017 and later to get the most safety Chevy has to offer.

What Does Your Family Need?

So, when you break it down, there are a lot of choices out there for large family vehicles, but which one is the best? When choosing between an SUV and a passenger van, we would have to say that an SUV is better. It’s more practical, easier to drive, and provides more versatility than a passenger van can.

So, which is the best family SUV? The Tahoe and the Yukon share a lot of similar features, but there is a right buyer for each vehicle. If you want something with a touch more luxury and a slightly more aggressive appearance, then the Yukon is the choice for you. However, if you want that Chevy safety and reliability backing your vehicle, the Tahoe is perfect for your family. Personally, we are fans of the Tahoe, but it all depends on what your family specifically needs and wants in their vehicle.

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