Used 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe Consumer Reviews
UPDATE: Still going strong 4-25-21 340K 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.
I bought this truck used in 2004 with 19,000 miles. I have had very few problems in the last 4 four years. My fuel pump did go out, but I have observed that happens on all Chevy trucks, you have to factor that into the cost. My fuel economy is pretty good for having over 300 HP and 33inch tires (after market). I love this truck and don't have any plans to trade in.
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.
A couple years ago I decided I wanted a Tahoe.When my wife and I go on weekend getaways, my mountaineer didn't seem to have enough room. Ive had many Chevy,Dodge and Plymouth vans but nothing to compare with my Tahoe!!! I have enough room,Its turning radius is great..No problems at all...
While not the most gas efficient, considering the size, I still get an average of 17 mpg. I love it, it's comfortable, reliable and safe. Outside of the general oil changes, tire rotations and one recent brake job and a/c repair, I have not had to do anything to it but drive and enjoy it. Recommend to anyone. Good quality vehicle. Bought used in '03 with 35,000 miles, I now have over 119,000 on it and it is still going strong, looks and runs like new! Hope to keep it a few more years!
Don't get me wrong i love my Tahoe it has not broken down on me yet but the interior squeaks a lot, the fit and finish of the materials is not that great either. Would I buy it again though, yes like I said it has not broken on me yet and actually for its size I get good MPG I get 17.6 city and 21.8 HWY. I do not know what is wrong with everyone else's Tahoe lol
I just bought this a few months ago, 03 Z71, 138k miles. I love the vehicle but not impressed with mpg. Getting around 14-15 highway. I find it hard to believe people are getting 17-20 mpg. I would be ecstatic if I could get that. Just found out this morning have to have the wheel bearing replaced on the front passenger wheel. Also the heated seat (driver) is coming on by itself. Not sure whats up with that. Other than that, very comfortable, good ride, good handling, nice turn radius. It is a used vehicle so I dont expect it to be perfect.
Too many mechanical problems after 60,000 miles. Replaced fuel pump, water pump, instrument cluster, (speedometer stopped working), replaced horn, engine gasket, steering problems. For a vehicle of this age and mileage these types of problems should not occur. I'll not own another Chevy. My next vehicle will be Japanese or German. U.S. auto makers need to make a more reliable vehicle if they want to compete.
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!
I cant remember when we got this SUV, but needless to say it has been a very enjoyable vehicle. although the fuel pump did go out a few weeks ago. It was fixed and now its running pretty good. seats are great, sound system is great. the power windows, ehh, not so much...oh yeah. city mpg poor, highway isn't that bad. 'all round i rather enjoy driving a big mean evil gas guzzling suv. especially knowing that I'm destroying the environment (being sarcastic) lol. run the premium stuff around the table in it and the Tahoe will last.
I recently rolled my Tahoe over twice on the highway doing approx 60mph and literally other than being bruised up I walked away from the accident.. The truck also saved my baby (I am 9mos pregnant) and the baby is fine as well.. I must say the truck is top heavy I have always said that but it certainly help up well.. The only downfall now is that because the truck is so high priced the insurance company is fixing the truck (25,000 worth of damage). But defenately worth the $$$
Purchased new Z71 with all the options. Truck now has 86000 miles on it and is falling apart. Transfer case and front differential gone, speedometer, heater fan, windshield wipers, mirror defrost, seat heater, fuel pump, U-joints, turn signals all not working. Truck needs over 5K of repairs. These are all items that should never go out, especially on a low mileage car. This is my 4th chevy truck. All others have gone 150+ miles without issues. GM is not building a product that will last and will not stand behind their product. I will not buy another GM product again.
Drove a '93 Suburban for 7 years and loved it! The Tahoe is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. I believe the reviews depend on what the person drove before owning the '03 Tahoe. I only drive 20 mile to work and hate the drive everyday. It handles so squirrelly I have trouble keping it between the lines, like following a semi too close. Tires replace with Michelins trying to control this vehicle. The Michelins improved handling on rual roads but did not on the interstate. Intermediate shaft replaced at 16748 miles, crossmember replace at 35558 miles. Vibration at takeoff. Transmission slips. No ashtray in back. Can't get rid of it because its valued less than the payoff.
We paid $44K for the 2003 TahoeLT4WD and looking back now the amount surprises me. Not that the truck is not a great value but we have invested in brake pads (twice), rotors (once) and other rear-end parts. There is a leak from the overhead A/C control that spills water (when heavy rain) onto the front passenger. The truck drives powerfully, holds the road very well and eats up potholes and off-road bumps with ease. The interior layout works real well with 4 captain chairs and 2 removable third row seats. We hope to get another 70k miles before any more investment or trade in. I would recommend this truck to anyone with need to travel distances safely with kids and a dog. It's worth it.
This vehicle was purchased as a work vehicle as I am self employed. After four years I replaced it and kept it as a personal vehicle. It has never let me down. The original brakes lasted 70k miles. With the exception of a cheap speedometer repair at 75k miles it has never cost me anything but maintenance. It runs strong and has sports car handling. It averages 16 miles per gallon and gets 21 on the open road. It has the best a/c I've ever had in a car and still looks like new, inside and out. I expect 200k miles out of it as I know two guys who went well over that with their 03's and were forced by their companies to replace them.
I bought my 2003 lt Chevy Tahoe in 2005 with 72xxx. It was what I had always wanted. Now in 2009 I have 181k and the truck still drives like it did when I first bought it. Sure I had my few problems like every car does. I had to replace the whole front end at about 130k, battery, alternator, window motor. Other than those few issues I have had great luck with this truck. And I will keep it until the wheels fall off. I love my truck like I said before. Couldn't ask for anything better.
Fun truck to drive, but I was unprepared for the amount of gas this vehicle drinks. Now that gas is $1.68 per gallon for regular unleaded I am wishing for better MPG. I am averaging about 12 mpg in city driving. A little less than advertised. In addition, the car has developed several rattles that the dealer cannot seem to fix. I guess that is to be expected from a GM product. I sure hope gas prices come down!
Other than some minor repairs I have found it enjoyable to drive. Fuel economy doesnt exist in a vehicle this size. But it still lacks horsepower. I never liked that the truck is governed at 100 mph. But what the hey this isnt the autobaun. Truth be said this will be my last Chevy. There are better deals to be made.
I have the Z71. Fantastic truck. Rides as well with 63,000 as when new. A couple initial problems, drive shaft replacement, and no shifting back into 2WD, but dealer fixed it, and hasn't been back to the shop in 30,000 miles. Very solid truck. Was rear ended by Ford Econoline loaded with tools doing 35 MPH. Only $3,500 damage, and was still drivable. Glad I was in the Tahoe and not something else. This truck gives me the confidence to take it anywhere in any conditions. I feel this truck will run forever. Foreign vehicles have nothing on this truck.
This car has been a great car for our family. We put on a lot of miles traveling all over town and it is for the most part very reiliable. There has only been minor problems with some electrical in this car. like a light won't work one day but will the next. It is extremely comfortable. In 2003 there was no other SUV on the market this roomy or comfortable. We have a Z71 package with a TV and that has also been a great delight for our kids
I have never owned an SUV until I bought this Tahoe. Had driven several but loved the body style. I bought it in 08 with 42,000 miles on it. I love this vehicle, have had no maintenance issues with it. The ride is great, the higher seating for driving is excellent and it maneuvers like a sports car. It is big enough to haul most items from Home depot or Kroger's. The interior layout is great. When it comes time to buy another vehicle it will be a Tahoe.
Since I have owned this POS I have replaced Two water pumps, two starters and three altinators. All parts replaced were GM factory parts. As for the interior the dash cracked fater the first year and the seat frame broke and I only weigh 185 lbs.
Bought for its ability to go off-road, have only done that a handful of times. Lots of electrical gremlins, have had it in and out of the shop for repairs.
On the 6th day of ownership of my tahoe..the compresser to the a/c locked up. And the exact part that caused the problem was not cover under chevys "bumper to bumper" warranty, so i had to shell out $296 to fix the air! On the day I was suppost to pick it up the dealership called me in the morning and said it was ready. So I had my boss drop me off at the dealer. The mechanic blew the compresser at 10am and no one had contacted me to give me the heads up on keeping my rental! Can you belive that with simular equipment as the tahoe, the sequoia with the same milage has about $8000.00 more resale value over one year!
Problems almost from jumpstreet- rattles, engine noises, 2 batteries in 10 months, display cluster replaced, check engine light is pretty much a constant precense which dealership never can quite repair- transmission issues- Was a Toyota buyer and wife talked me into saving about $6K by buying the Tahoe over the Sequoia- never again
The care was never the greatest car but it is paid for and who wants to go through the hassle of buying another one. I just can't believe that it cost me $477.00 to replace ONE rear window automatic window on the 2003 Tahoe. Just before this, out of the clear blue, the driver's seat seatback broke and that was another $368.00. Just hoping the economy will get better soon so I can afford to get rid of this money pit. No wonder GM is going under. Who wants a vehicle that even after you pay it off you are still paying the big bucks for the little things you expect to last. I call this Tahoe my Yugo. Now the windshield washer reservoir has gone out..probably another $300.00. Never ends....
Vortec engine reliability is questionable. Only thing worse is the transmission--we were on our second when we unloaded this scrap heap for a Toyota Sequoia. GM--NEVER AGAIN, and I have two family members working at Arlington and Shreveport plant. They're very embarassed.
Love the truck. However, constant "minor" problems need service. Dealer service is sub-par and they never give loaner vehicles. For a $45,000 truck it should be given. Chevy calls minor defects "normal". Water in the front lens, "normal". Loud buzzing from fuel pump "normal". Steering vibration "normal". Water leak in front passenger side of vehicle checked twice. Buy Infiniti/Lexus/Acura.They'll treat you with respect. If/when you need service for Imports new loaners are provided. Also much better quality than Chevy & about the same price. Don't fall for "Buy American Crap" that's Big 3's hook & rationalization for poor quality & insults every American.
Best vehicle I have ever owned. It is equally fitting for driving around town in Denver or taking the toughest incline in the Rockies. I love the power; my wife loves the comfort. We recently drove from Denver to Houston and it was the most comfortable long trip I have ever taken in a vehicle. The only complaint is slightly squeaky brakes.
Low maintenance. Change the oil and drive. No problems.
The 2003 Chevy Tahoe z71 is one of four gm suvs I have owned. The 1996 suburban was excellent but a bit big for me. My 1999 Yukon was awesome, averaged 20 mpg, and sold the day I put a for sale sign on it 6 years and 156k miles later. The 2003 z71 is the best design, averages 21 mpg, has the most creature comforts, us the best off road vehicle and at 126k is still in excellent condition. I just purchased a new 2009 Yukon hybrid which is loaded, has an awesome zippy engine, overwhelming new technologies that I may some day learn to use, and is stylish by today's standards. Off road use is iffy because of the new front bumper being too low to the ground, but it is also get 21 mpg. I am a fan.
We purchased the 2003 Tahoe LT in October of 2002. It is now March 2003 and the truck has had to be repaired TWICE!!!!!!!!!! AND to top it off we have to take it back to have a part put in it that had to be ordered. I am totally disgusted after spending that much money for something that is UNRELIABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BAD SALES, BAD CAR, BAD RIDE, ROTTEN PRICE
I purchsed this my 2003 Chevy Tahoe in August of '03 brand new right off the delivery truck and had loved it since. I've only had minor problems with it like the fuel pump going bad, 2 dead batteries, and bad starter. Besides all of that it has been very good to me. I don't plan to get rid of it ever. I recently gave it to my 15 y/o son as a gift for getting his permit when I purchsed the '08 Tahoe. Hoping for the same.
A great choice for comfort and performance. 5.3 liter V8s are also Flex fuel which is a plus. We have gotten as high as 21 mpg. on the interstate at 80 mph burning gasoline. What a quiet highway vehicle, with power to spare for towing our jeep. Very few minor things have gone wrong, two replacements of the radio, a sensor etc. We love this vehicle and plan to keep it a long time
I love my Tahoe, but I have had many problems with it. The intermediate shaft's gone out twice. The actuator for the vent control's going out (will eventually lose control over where the a/c and heat come out). Speedometer cluster went out. Passenger window's getting slow. Steering wheel and driver door sqeak uncontrollably (door bolt costs $100 to fix). Chevy says actuator, intermediat shaft, and speedometer cluster problems are common in Tahoes with this body style. Not sure if I'll ever buy another one. All of the problems have been expensive and made me dislike the car that I once loved. Not worth the money. The new ones would have to be totally different for me to buy one.
The Tahoe is by far my favorite car. WE leased this car new in 03 and bought it when the lease was up. I have 2 kids and a great dane. This car fits everything! The only problems are that I've had to replace the fuel pump and transmission. Minor annoyances have been the parking brake and electrical issues, but "Bessie" has started every single time for 113,000 miles. We will be heartbroken to see her go.
Tahoe raised 2 grandchildren and chauffeured many. Two more g'children live 13.5 hrs from home; Tahoe is great for traveling. Awesome Front/Rear climate controls and media ports. Jan. 08, woman ran light going 65 mph; hit driver door; crushed left front wheel; and damaged front cap. Entire impact below passenger level; air bags not deployed. Had bump on head and small cut on hand. Two passengers in other vehicle critically injured. Police officer behind me said if I hadn't hesitated she'd have been hit and they'd be cutting what was left of her out of her cruiser. Did have problem w/leaking head gasket @ 80K. Tahoe has 104,000K, is safe, reliable & my V-8 got 19.94 mpg last wk.
I wish I had read the 2 other reviews here before I ordered my Tahoe. They warned about the Autoride feature. At low speeds the vehicle is fine. At highway speeds it is out and out dangerous. You cannot control this thing at 65mph or above. It wiggles and runs all over the road and if your attention wanders for a second you might find yourself under a truck or wrapped around a bridge support. The dealer tells me this is normal for the autoride and there have been numerous complaints about stability. I agree. This truck is dangerous.
2002 Tahoe LT with 14,000 miles. I've taken numerous long trips with large amts of cargo. So far, not a single problem. the vehicle has not had to return to the dealer for any reason. Initial build quality and delivery condition was above reproach. Comfort for driver and passengers is impressive. Hwy milage @ 75-80 mph is 17.5 mpg. Could use a little bigger fuel tank for those fishing trips out away from gas stations.
It drives small for a big car. My wife didn't want anything as big as a Tahoe because she expected it would be hard to drive. She loves the car! I think the engine and the short turning radius are two of the best features. You can actually beat most sedans of the line when the light turns green. The seats are comfortable and the car fits in the garage. The kids love having enough room to spread out and long car trips are so much more enjoyable for everyone.
I've owned this beautiful vehicle for one week. On the first day the Ride control failed. My appointment for repair is 8 days later. Can't say I'm impressed with service. It is not a good impression to have a defect after one day of ownership. That said. The car has everything. Really love the features. I would not purchase another car without onstar and XM radio. I hope this vehicle is as reliable as people say.
still surprised by the comfortable, quiet ride, great steering and brakes, very good seats
I purchased a white 2003 Z71 Tahoe October 2002. This vehicle is incredible looking and great to drive. Chevy has put so much cool stuff in this vehicle that it would take 10 pages to describe everything. The options I added were a sunroof and liftgate rear hatch, everthing else is standard. The drawback of having so much standard equipment is the price. After I added the sunroof and rear lift gate, the sticker price was over $43,500.00. A drawback to the vehicle, besides price, is the fuel consumption (avg. 13.5 MPG). Overall I would say the Z71 is close to perfect if you want something that is a lot of fun to drive and turns heads everywhere you go.
This is my forth Tahoe...every two years I get a new one and i will never switch! They drive great, have lots of room, and are very luxurious. They really go through gas, but it is worth it!
It would be embarassing for me to list how many different automobiles I have owned over the last five years! I love this truck. The interior comfort is wonderful, XM radio coupled with the Bose is fantastic! Moveable pedals. . . and the Z71 exterior look is quite simply cool. I have owned four other Chevy trucks since '94 and been very pleased with each and every one. My new Tahoe is off to a great start!
Six months and 12000 miles later, my suggestion, get one, its the best vehicle I have ever owned. After 12000 miles of driving and in some cases moving heavy loads this auto has exceded all expecations. 20mpg on highway 15 in town. My LT Autoride handels great in all conditions which includes snow, ice, rain, mountain roads and highway. Its ride quality is better than most cars, its faster off the line and performs as good or better than most of the cars on the road and at the same time can carry lots of people and equipment. This is just a wonderful SUV to drive.