|2012 Chevrolet Tahoe. Images courtesy of Chevrolet.|
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe is a traditional full-size SUV, complete with a box-frame construction like Chevy’s Silverado pickup truck. Because of its design, the Tahoe is just as comfortable ambling down freeways or city streets as it is trudging through muddy or snow off-road trails. Occupants enjoy a taller ride-height than in crossover vehicles or minivans. Still, the Tahoe offers a very smooth ride and plenty of comforts that will make occupants forget they are riding in a truck.
Seating inside the 2012 Tahoe can accommodate up to nine passengers if outfitted with the split bench front seat. The front seats can be both heated and cooled, while the second seats can be heated and also power-fold into the vehicle’s floor to increase cargo capacity. Cargo capacity can reach 109 cubic feet with the second and third rows of seats folded down.
Buyers have only one engine choice with the Tahoe, a 5.3 liter V8 that puts out 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. The engine works with a six-speed automatic transmission to provide power to either just the rear wheels, or to all four for models with the optional four-wheel-drive. Chevy makes four-wheel-drive models with either a two-speed transfer case or a single-speed transfer case that eliminates the low-gear option.
Chevrolet loaded the 2012 Tahoe SUV with a number of technological systems to aid with operating the vehicle. Owners can download an application to their smart phone, which allows them to connect with the Tahoe to check up on the status of the vehicle, schedule maintenance with a local dealer and even contact roadside assistance. An optional rear-view camera helps drivers see obstacles of all sizes when traveling in reverse. Everyone in the Tahoe can enjoy music using the vehicle’s USB, allowing occupants to play music on MP3 players and flash drivers. Also, a Bluetooth connection allows drivers to place phone calls using steering wheel mounted controls, allowing them to stay focused on the task of driving.
If you're in the market for a used SUV, the 2012 Tahoe isn't a bad option. Just keep in mind that if you need to use the third row on a regular basis, cargo space is pretty tight. Also, it won't handle as smoothly as the Traverse or other unibody crossover options. The tradeoff is excellent towing ability, four-wheel drive and the ability to tackle some fairly rough terrain in the great outdoors.