Used 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV

1996 Chevrolet Tahoe
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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Compact sport-utility vehicles get most of the attention nowadays, but for folks with big families--or scads of goods to lug around--they're just not spacious enough inside. Chevy dashes forth this year with an answer: a four-door version of the full-size Tahoe, marketed since spring of 1995 alongside the shorter-wheelbase two-door. That one was formerly known as the K-Blazer, but Chevrolet now restricts the Blazer badge to compact sport-utes, to avoid confusion.

At a glance, the four-door Tahoe and Suburban look nearly identical, but a Tahoe measures 20 inches shorter. That means it's more likely to fit into a normal garage. Beneath the hood sits a brand-new Vortec 5700 gasoline V8, rated 250 horsepower. That's 50 more ponies than the 1995 Tahoe. Aren't you glad now that you had to wait so long to get one? Two-door Tahoes can be equipped with a diesel instead of the Vortec 5700.

Also new for 1996 are rear seat heater ducts, a revised armrest storage compartment with the 60/40 split bench seat, and a new interior color called Neutral. Outside, daytime running lights have been added, and two new paint colors are available. Tahoes get new P-metric tires for a quieter ride. A two-wheel drive two-door Tahoe has been added to the lineup, though we wonder who will buy it.

From the driver's seat forward, Tahoes are virtually identical to full-size pickups. Space is massive up front. Capable of towing as much as 7,000 pounds, four-door Tahoes seat either five or six, and an underbody-mounted spare tire helps boost cargo space. The driver faces a new airbag and revised instrument panel. A passenger airbag is not available.

On the Interstates, a Tahoe rides nicely, but the wide body takes some getting used to if you're accustomed to compacts. Turning onto smaller roads, it suddenly feels more like a truck. Easy to control either way, the sizable machine is reasonably maneuverable, if driven with discretion. The V8 is strong, and the four-speed automatic transmission shifts neatly.

Think about the "entry assist" running boards if your regular riders aren't so nimble. They help. So do the robust grab bars that ease entry into the rear seats. Rear cargo doors are standard, but a lift glass version is available.

Because Chevrolet targets customers with an income of $85,000 a year, luxury conveniences are part of the Tahoe package. The typical prospect is an upscale 40-year-old man who currently drives a Ford Explorer and is attracted to a vehicle's size and power. Those attributes, the Tahoe has in abundance, as does its little-different GMC Yukon counterpart.

1996 Highlights

For 1996, Tahoe gets 50 additional horsepower and more torque out of a new 5700 V8. Other improvements include rear-seat heating ducts, quieter-riding P-metric tires, improved automatic transmissions and extended interval service schedules. Daytime running lights are new for 1996.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Realistic Review of 1996 Tahoe
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
Top Notch
David Blass,04/29/2002
Ahead of it's time.
Great for just about anything
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.
Love this truck
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
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Features & Specs

12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
250 hp @ 4600 rpm
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
250 hp @ 4600 rpm
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
250 hp @ 4600 rpm
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
250 hp @ 4600 rpm
See all Used 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe
Used 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV Overview

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Find a used Chevrolet Tahoe for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $8,152.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $11,443.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Tahoe lease specials