2013 Chevrolet Tahoe (LS, LT, LTZ) review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV

Chevrolet Tahoe is a full-size SUV that offers spaciousness – including cargo space of up to 108.9 cubic feet (3,084 liters) – and a towing capability of up to 8,500 pounds (3,855 kg).

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo

The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe is available in LS, LT, LTZ and Hybrid models, all offered in 2WD and 4WD. Each is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform that features a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Wide front and rear tracks enhance handling and lower the center of gravity for a more confident road feel.

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo

LS, LT and LTZ models are powered by a 5.3L V-8 that uses variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management to optimize performance and efficiency. A fuel-saving Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed is standard on all models and contributes to a 21-mpg EPA highway fuel economy rating, thanks to reduced engine speed. That lower engine speed also helps make the interior quieter.

For even greater fuel economy in a full-size SUV, the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid uses GM’s patented two-mode hybrid system to deliver a 33-percent improvement in fuel economy in city driving. Please see the separate Tahoe Hybrid release for complete details.

New for 2013 is a trio of exterior colors, including Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic (late availability) and Blue Ray Metallic (late availability).

Also new is powertrain grade braking in the normal transmission mode – it was previously incorporated only when the Tow/Haul mode was activated. It uses engine torque to help slow the vehicle on descents, which helps reduce brake wear.

Tahoe design and exterior features

Tahoe features the global face of Chevrolet, with a large Chevy gold bowtie centered on a twin-port horizontal grille. The grille surround is inset with an argent texture or available chrome finish. Fog lamps and headlamps feature detailed optics. The lower fascia, incorporating the front license plate holder and integrated recovery hooks, is aggressively styled with a skid plate look that enhances Tahoe’s rugged, off-road appearance. Additional features include:

Power-retractable assist steps are available on LTZ
Heated power-operated outside mirrors are standard on LTZ and available on LT. They includes auto-dimming, integrated signal indicators, ground lights and curb-tilt feature
A power-operated liftgate is available on LT and standard on LTZ
A range of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels is offered. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard on LS and LT, with 20-inch wheels standard on LTZ
Dealer-installed accessory wheels include 20- and 22-inch designs

Exterior color choices include: Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Black, Silver Ice Metallic, Olympic White, Black Granite Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic (late availability) and Blue Ray Metallic (late availability).

The Z71 Off Road appearance package is available on LT models and includes high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, color-keyed wheel flares, an aggressive front fascia and satin chrome tubular assist steps, and bright chrome front grille insert provide a one-of-a kind appearance.

Tahoe interior features

Attention to detail is a hallmark of the Tahoe’s cabin. There are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. It also has the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous storage compartments.

Three rows of seating are standardon all models. The second row is available as a three-passenger bench with a 60/40 split or two bucket seats. The third row features a 50/50-split design and is removable. A power-assisted second-row seat release feature is available on LT and standard on LTZ. Additional features include:

Leather-appointed seating is standard on LT and LTZ
Heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row seats are standard on LTZ
A heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on LTZ
Dual-zone automatic climate control on LT and LTZ; dual-zone manual-control air conditioning on LS
A rear-seat entertainment system is available on LT and LTZ, including DVD player with remote control, overhead display, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks, remote game plug-in and mute button in overhead console
SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard on all models
Audio system with AM/FM/CD and USB port is standard on LS and LT
Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is standard on LTZ; Bose nine-speaker sound standard on LT and six-speaker sound system standard on LS
Navigation radio with touch-screen operation is standard on LTZ and available on LT
Bluetooth phone connectivity is standard on all models
Power-adjustable pedals are standard on LT and LTZ and available on LS
Remote vehicle starter system standard on LT and LTZ and available on LS
The Convenience Package is available on LS and includes power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starter system, rear park assist, rear vision camera and inside mirror with camera display
The Luxury Package is available on LT and includes heated second-row seats, power-release second-row seats, power liftgate, universal home remote, outside heated power-adjustable/folding mirrors and inside auto-dimming mirror
The Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package is available on LT and LTZ and includes an additional nine months of SiriusXM radio and XM NavTraffic service, power sunroof and rear-seat DVD entertainment system. LT also includes audio system with navigation, AM/FM/SiriusXM radio with CD, rear vision camera and auto-dimming inside rearview mirror.

Tahoe powertrain

All models are powered by a 5.3L V-8 that balances power and efficiency. Variable valve timing helps the 5.3L optimize performance, efficiency and emissions, while GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivating technology helps improve fuel economy in certain light-load driving conditions. It is also E85-capable.

The variable valve timing system allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement). It also helps reduce exhaust emissions. Because it manages valve overlap at optimum levels, it eliminates the need for an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.

Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology increases fuel economy approximately 6 percent under the federal government's required testing procedure and potentially more in certain real-world driving conditions. AFM temporarily deactivates four of the engine’s cylinders under light load conditions and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is required. The transition takes less than 20 milliseconds and is virtually indiscernible.

The 5.3L engine is backed by GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.

Tahoe chassis and suspension

The Tahoe is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, leaf-spring rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. A stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components.

Additional features include:

Wide front and rear tracks – 68.2 inches (1,732 mm) front/67 inches (1,702 mm) rear – enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel
The Autoride suspension system is standard on LTZ and features a segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system that provides a refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors
Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation
A single-speed transfer case is standard on LS and LT 4WD models
A two-speed transfer case is standard on LTZ 4WD and available on LS and LT 4WD models
A trailering package with a 3.42 axle ratio, external transmission cooler and engine oil cooler is available on LS, LT and LTZ models; and a two-speed transfer case on 4WD models
The standard axle ratio on all models is 3.08
A locking rear differential is standard on LT and LTZ models and available on LS.

Tahoe safety and crash-avoidance features

Chevrolet Tahoe has a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. Head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows are standard, and seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment.

Additional safety features include:

StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound
Available rearview camera system designed to provide the driver with
a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
Side Blind Zone Alert is standard on LTZ
Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in two of the second-row seating positions
Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on all models
Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo

OnStar details

Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Tahoe. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.

OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.

Tahoe also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.

New 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe specifications, photos and images courtesy of Chevrolet.

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