Used 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe Review

Edmunds expert review

A refined and fully capable SUV for the 21st century.

What's new for 2001

Two new exterior colors and OnStar availability are the only changes for 2001.

Vehicle overview

Chevrolet is calling their new Tahoe a "real" sport utility, implying that sport-utes are more about getting things done than doing them in style. With nearly every automaker offering an SUV these days, it takes a lot of effort to be unique. However, despite differing opinions of what does and what does not constitute a good SUV (i.e., BMW's X5), the 2001 Tahoe has a whole lot going for it.

Built on the same platform as GM's full-size trucks, the Tahoe inherits the strength and durability of its workhorse brethren. A full redesign last year gave the Tahoe new sheetmetal with enhanced corrosion protection and stronger dent-resistant steel. GM engineers further enhanced Tahoe's sturdiness with redesigned door hinges that last four times as long, while a unique front-end crush cap allows easy replacement in the event of a slow speed crash.

Under the hood, the 2001 Tahoe comes with Chevy's powerful Vortec V8 engines, offering 275 horsepower from the 4.8-liter motor on the base model and 285 horsepower from the 5.3-liter motor on the LS and LT models. All that power runs through an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission. Even with class-leading levels of power, these engines lead their competition in fuel economy and are compliant with low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards, making them safer for driving in Mother Nature's backyard.

The powertrain underwent extensive improvements last year with the addition of a more durable rear axle, a strengthened differential case, and stiffer axle shafts. But Chevy didn't bump up its off-road durability at the expense of the highway drive. With a 400 percent increase in body-mount structure stiffness and a five-link rear suspension, the redesign provides a smoother, quieter and more stable ride on virtually all road surfaces.

Inside is an innovative 50/50 split third-row seat that provides superior cargo flexibility and the possibility to boost passenger capacity to nine. Those eight other people will be better protected because this Tahoe has a host of advanced safety features, including four-wheel, ventilated disc antilock brakes, front-seat side-impact airbags, seat-mounted safety belts in the first- and third-row outboard positions, and an energy-absorbing foam on the interior surfaces, reducing the chances that your less-than-bright friends will hurt their heads while exiting. Hardcore off-road enthusiasts can order the Z71 off-road package, which gives the sturdy Tahoe an even greater assortment of protective equipment. A specially tuned suspension with larger shocks and jounce bumpers are added along with underbody skid plates to shield vital components. A locking rear differential and aggressively treaded tires aid in the traction department while a roof rack and special "Z71" appearance badges give it a distinctive look. All Z71 Tahoes also come standard with the OnStar vehicle assistance system just in case you venture a little too far from civilization. This Tahoe is one tough truck that can still handle itself well about town. With a roomy and comfortable interior, it makes for a great weekend-getaway machine. If you want a sport utility that can handle passengers and cargo as well as it does a backcountry road, the 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe should be on your short list.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.