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2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$35,321
BASE MSRP
$37,980
On Performance
For such a big, heavy vehicle, the Tahoe and Tahoe Hybrid move quickly and handle relatively well.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The transmission is smooth, especially on the freeway where the hybrid powertrain is seamless.
AutoWeek

pleasurable to drive and feels smaller on the road than it really is
Motor Trend

less-than-sharp handling
Edmunds

Keeping a Tahoe within a highway lane is no longer a full-time job because the new rack-and-pinion steering actually offers on-center feel
Car and Driver


Most 2011 Chevy Tahoe models are powered by a 320-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, a seamless duo that provide steady and smooth acceleration with a hint of muscle car sound. The engine sports variable valve timing and E85 flexible-fuel capability, along with cylinder deactivation, which cuts power to half the cylinders in low-engine-load scenarios.

All Tahoe models are built on GM's full-size SUV platform, with a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering. At its best, the Tahoe is as responsive as any 5,600-pound vehicle can be and feels much more maneuverable than it should. It's more maneuverable than it might suggest, and it holds the road fairly well, considering it is a tall, heavy vehicle with a solid rear axle.

In Hybrid models, a big 332-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 is augmented with electric motors and battery power, using a version of the Two-Mode Hybrid system developed by GM with BMW, Daimler and Chrysler. With this system, the Tahoe can accelerate (lightly) on battery power alone or with a mix of engine and motor power. The hybrid system's batteries and transmission will allow electric-only driving up to 27 mph; beyond that, both the gas engine and electric power are run in parallel, and the gas engine deactivates cylinders to save gas. It's a very fuel-efficient combination, allowing EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 23 highway, and tow ratings of up to 5,000 pounds.

The Hybrid models have a similar driving feel, though the electric-assisted steering lacks feedback, and regenerative braking makes stops a little less coordinated.

Throughout the standard Tahoe lineup, it can be ordered with rear- or four-wheel drive, with a dual-range system available. The Tahoe Hybrid's system is a more sophisticated, electronically switched system.

Conclusion

For such a big, heavy vehicle, the Tahoe and Tahoe Hybrid move quickly and handle relatively well.

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