All-in-all a great vehicle, though it had some problems. Bought vehicle w/115K miles in 2009 and got rid of recently when the tranny went kaput at 186K miles. Put about $3,500 in repairs. Biggest problems (other than the tranny) were the EGR & fuel pump (typical for Chevy trucks), ball joints and A/C compressor. Smaller items were heater control valve leaking and misc items breaking/failing. Can't complain though for a 16 year-old truck. Just make sure to purchase a Tahoe that hasn't towed a bigger trailer or boat (my mistake with this Tahoe). 2WD was very good in heavy winter snow. 4x4 was virtually unstoppable. The Chevy 350 will run forever without a problem if normal maintenance is done
The Chevy 350 Gen I engine is arguably the best engine ever made. Its durability, reliability and longevity (40 yrs of being built) is as good if not better than the best Japanese and German engines ever made. As long as general maintenance is done and the engine isn't beat on too hard, the Chevy 350 should easily get to 350K miles without major repair. At 186K miles, my Chevy 350 didn't burn a drop of oil or antifreeze and didn't leak at all. It ran like it had 30K miles on it.
If you need a safe winter vehicle to get you somewhere in the worst winter conditions, look to the Tahoe. Because of its weight and shorter wheelbase, the Tahoe is virtually unstoppable in 4x4 mode.
Watch out for the tranny. This generation of Chevy trucks (Tahoe, Suburban, C/K 1500 pickup) has a notoriety of the tranny going out anywhere from 140K to 200K mi., depending on how the truck was used. Best to look for one without a trailer hitch (usually means no heavy hauling/abuse was done). Tranny will cost you between $1,500 and $3,000 to replace.
The only other costly repairs unique to this vehicle are the EGR value ($250-$350) and the fuel pump ($350-$500). Ball joints ($600-$850) will go out on pretty much every 4x4 after 150K miles. A/C compressor ($600-$850) will go out, but this can happen with any car/truck/van over 10 years old.
I bought my 1996 Tahoe in 2009 with 124,000 with the vortex V8.
We are now in 2012, I now have 224,000 miles & driving it everyday.
Work out of state and no worries about it failing yet.
We have taken long trips, with extra people, camped in it, hauled motorcycles, and trailers.
Now l will be pulling a camper.
Great Truck as I call it.
No leak at all,
Have had to replace the usual maintenance like brakes, water pump, alternator, starter, fuel pump, tires.
Never had any trouble with motor or trans.
All power interior works like new. Runs strong.
The ride and comfort are great.
Many people who have owned one all agree that the 5.7 V8 vortex is a strong and dependable motor.
I hope to get another 100,000 before trading.
The air conditioning could be strong with more vent for passengers in the 2nd row.
When very hot out even in the front seat gets a little warm at times.
Wish it had Bluetooth radio for cell phone use, but can be change easily.
I bought this sport model when it had 125,000 on it for $6000.00. The only items I have replaced was the fuel pump, alternator, water pump, and transfer case. And it has had a regular tune up. I replaced most of the Items when it had over 150,000 miles on it. It now has over 162,000 on it now and is still going strong. The only thing I don't like is how the rear door opens. On mine you open the window and the door folds down like a tail gate on a pickup truck. It goes great in the snow and does everything I ask of it. The body on mine is excellent. Mine has the 5.7 vortec in it. All of the parts replaced were original factory parts. Love this truck
Well I had a 2001 surburban, got rid of it and bought the 96 tahoe.. Strong truck.. Transfer Case went out on 4x4.. Other than that I have 235,990 on it now.. Truck runs great no problem.. Oh yeah did change the intake gasket.. Great truck..