With a curb weight north of 5000 pounds, the 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe shouldn't handle particularly well, but Car and Driver reports that "the engineering tweaks that it received in 2007 went a long way toward improving the ride, structural rigidity, and driving experience." In terms of handling, Kelley Blue Book praises the 2009 Chevy Tahoe, citing the improved response due to the "fully-boxed frame (for more chassis stiffness), coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering result in a surprisingly maneuverable and tractable vehicle." Edmunds loves the Chevrolet Tahoe 2009's "soft ride" and describes it as "Tahoe's greatest dynamic asset, though the price paid is a somewhat rubbery quality to the steering and handling." Consumer Guide reports "alert reactions to steering" and that "low-speed maneuverability is aided by a relatively tight turning circle." Furthermore, the "brakes feel strong, but some testers want better pedal modulation."
Reviews of the Tahoe's engines read by TheCarConnection.com are virtually all positive, and Edmunds states that the "4WD 2009 Chevy Tahoe is fairly quick, getting to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds." However, Edmunds also notes that "the Tahoe doesn't feel nearly so quick when carrying a full load of passengers or cargo." Consumer Guide adds that Tahoes "with the 5.3-liter V-8 have fine power from any speed," and they mention that E85 ethanol, which "is available in most states and can be less expensive than regular-grade gasoline," can "be used in versions of the Tahoe with the 5.3-liter V-8."
The big V-8 engines also bring impressive towing capacity to the Chevrolet Tahoe 2009, and Cars.com says that, "when properly configured, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,200 pounds." Forbes Autos reviewers report this is enough to "tow and haul serious loads." The largest engine on the Chevrolet Tahoe, the high-output but thirsty 6.2-liter V-8, is only available on the 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe in LTZ trim, and only when equipped with two-wheel drive. (The 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is covered separately.)
Fuel economy is, of course, one of the low points of a vehicle of this size and weight. The official EPA estimates for fuel economy range from 12 mpg city to a maximum of 20 mpg on the highway. Fortunately, Chevrolet has taken steps to address the poor fuel economy on the Tahoe Chevrolet by introducing an Active Fuel Management system that Kelley Blue Book says will cut "the operation of four cylinders when they are unneeded," which "enhances fuel economy."