BASICS The Tahoe offers plenty of room for kids and adults of all ages and sizes. The ride is very smooth and quiet. It handles remarkably well for a vehicle of its size. Acceleration is very good. It tows my 5,000 lb boat with ease. The gas mileage (15.8 city 19-20 hwy) is not that good but it is great when you compare it to other vehicles of this size, age and towing capacity. Maintenance and repairs for me have been very minimal. The engine and differential are in excellent condition with no known repairs. All electronics and the A/C have performed flawlessly with no repairs or maintenance ever. The body and paint are in excellent condition with no flaws or defects. The cloth interior has held up beautifully with kids in and out everyday. MY STORY I bought the Tahoe with 140,00 miles on it. I drove it across 3 state lines to get it home with no noticeable problems. I live on a very quiet road and I did notice that I could hear an ever so light squeal or sound like a wheel bearing just was not right. Turns out one of the front wheel bearings was going bad. I changed both wheel bearings, outer tie rod ends, shocks and lower ball joints. It did not really have to change the ball joints, shocks and tie rods but my kids ride in this truck and sometimes with a large boat in tow. It took about 4-5 hours to do it myself. The steering was super tight and drove like new. Yes it would easily track the road with no hands for quite a distance. Again only one wheel bearing needed changing and this is very common with the Tahoes. These parts were replaced during the first week of ownership as a part of getting the truck is top condition. I also replaced the belt and heater hose so that I would not have to be concerned with them. I drove this used truck with ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS FOR 110,000 miles! I changed the oil Mobil 1 synthetic, $24/5qt at Walmart, myself), replaced worn out tires, spark plugs at every 100,000 miles and changed the brake pads once. I think that this routine maintenance is extremely minimal compared to any vehicle especially a truck that sometimes tows a 24 ft. Sea Ray (heavy boat). THE BAD At 251,000 on the way to a trunk or treat for the kids the sun gear in the transmission stripped. This is a very common issue in GM transmissions. The transmission made a not ever so loud pop like something broke and then went into neutral. I stopped to check it out and it work fine when I started again except it did not find third gear. 1st, 2nd and a late overdrive and I was on the highway cruising home. Found out reverse did not work so I had to get a neighbor to push me back into the drive way. Took the transmission out and took it to a small shop to rebuild for $400. Opted for the heavy duty kit for $500 and picked up the rebuilt transmission 8 hours later. The rebuild has been great for 47,000 miles with the original torque converter. THE OTHER BAD-----OTHER REPAIRS SINCE THE TRANS REBUILD ---$150 (myself) premium water pump because it was leaking----premium alternator $90 (myself) because it was not holding 14 volts consistently---- premium fuel pump & filter---$250 (myself) because it was giving the signs of going bad (sometimes needed to crank it several times to start, occasional hesitation on open throttle or flooring the accelerator). Many vehicles have these repairs within the first 100,000 miles but the Tahoe made over 250,000 before needing them. Yes I checked with the 1 and only previous owner and he provided all work receipts. I think that this is exceptional performance for a used truck that had 140,000 on it when purchased. Also realize that the truck is now ready for 50k or more miles with no worries. Now with almost 300,000 miles I can drive this truck across country. Yes, I do occasionally drive it over 1,000 miles one way with no worries. I am on my second set of Michelin tires that give me about 90,000 of wear. I think that a quarter million miles on a transmission is awesome and 300,000 miles on an engine that still purrs is amazing. In my humble opinion this truck has been incredible. 300,000 and I can let my wife drive it anywhere, with no worries, if she wants to use it. In the present state there is absolutely nothing in need of repair on the truck. Current state is 10/10 and the ride is like a Cadillac. That is saying a lot for a vehicle with 300,000 miles on it. UPDATE: SIX MONTHS SINCE REVIEW WAS POSTED and .... Still running great with absolutely no problems. My only cost have have been the at home mobile 1 oil changes (Walmart has cheapest oil & filter prices in my area @ $31 per oil change every 5,000 miles) and to put $2 a gallon regular gas in the tank. The engine does not knock, hesitate or lack any power, especially when entering the highway. Also, there are no oil droplets in the driveway and there is absolutely, positively no smoke whatsoever! Luv this truck.
Just purchased my 2003 Tahoe 4x4 Police Package 4.8 V8, only 60K. 285/77/R16s. Border Patrol ordered it with a 4inch suspension lift. Perfect clearence. The 4.8 engine is great. I added small upgrades: K&N intake system, Computer chip to regulate air-flow and temp; and finally a DiabloSport Computer programer. All about $500. The engine is a beast now. It also has the cooling system for both the engine and tranny fluids. I recommend the updgrades to all Tahoe lovers. All upgrades from Ebay. [non-permissible content removed]. Upgrades gave it lots of power, and great gas mileage. 26HWY & 20 city. Perfect all around.
Purchased new in 03' Z71 4x4 with 5.3 flex fuel. Currently has 202,600 miles. This truck has been amazing, best truck we have owned. Sure there are some annoyances, steering half shafts do go out once and a while (we've replaced 2 of them) and our speedometer stuck too like some others but nothing major. We pull a 5,000 pound boat regularly and have throughout the trucks life with no problems. We've only put brakes on it twice and we're on our third set of Goodyear Wrangler ATS tires. Smooth, comfortable, and amazingly reliable, has never failed to start during a Minnesota winter. Hope our new Tahoe LTZ treats us as nice, we pick it up tomorrow.
Truck now has over 250,000 miles and still running strong. Bought it used in 2005 with about 70,000 miles on it. Only repairs have been to the fuel pump and rear AC. The truck sits up high so it makes you feel safe. The power from thr 5.3 liter Vortec engine is amazing.
Honestly, I think this is the best car gm made lately. We bought it in 03 with 26k on it and now it have almost 160k and I haven't had any Major issues at all! Only done preventative maintenance and it has never (I mean never!) let me down. I've gone all over the country, pulled a trailer for over 1000 miles at a time, hauled tons of stuff and it just keeps going. It has hands down outperformed any vehicle I have ever had. (including imports) we just purchased a lower mileage Yukon and I kept the Tahoe with my business. I'm going to see just how far it will go (I'm guessing 300k or so) we'll see!