How many miles can a Chevy Tahoe last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Tahoe, that’s a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a Chevy Tahoe lasts between 230.000 – 250.000 miles. A Tahoe needs to go to the garage about 0.3 times per year for unscheduled repairs, with a 16% chance of the problem being severe. Furthermore, Chevy Tahoe owners spend an average of $744 per year on repair costs.
The average cost of maintaining a Chevy is $649 a year which puts the Tahoe around $95 more on average a year when it comes to upkeep.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below, we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a Chevy Tahoe can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Tahoe costs annually and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!
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How Many Miles Can A Chevy Tahoe Last?
To know this, we have to do a little research on this. First, we went to autotrader.com and searched how many Chevy Tahoes were on sale in the US. We found a total of 11.231 Tahoes, so we divided the database into four categories and calculated how many cars were on sale in a specific mileage range.
In doing so, we get a first understanding of how many vehicles have passed the 150,000 miles mark. In the case of the Tahoe, we learned that 11.97% of the sample size, or 1.344 individual cars, had a mileage of 150.000 or higher. This is a great number because, after analyzing more than 100+ models on this blog, we expect a percentage between 3 – 5% for cars and 5 – 8% for SUVs. The Tahoe is, therefore, on the upper end of the spectrum.
|Amount Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150.000+||11.97%|
|Cars With 100.000 – 149.000||16.94%|
|Cars With 45.000 – 99.999||38.88%|
|Cars With 0 – 44.999||32.21%|
11.97% being above 150k miles means this SUV is super reliable and won’t give up on you even after seeing thousands and thousands of miles. However, it doesn’t mean you should consider buying a Tahoe with 250k+ miles. In general, you should look for ones with fewer miles to have a more carefree time with your SUV.
How Reliable Is A Chevy Tahoe Compared To Its Competitors?
Secondly, we must compare Chevy Tahoe to other SUVs within its segment. In the table below, we’ve gathered the necessary data that gives us an understanding of the expected mileage of each model, as well as the highest recorded mileage that we found on Autotrader.com.
Furthermore, it’s valuable to know that we’ve written these kinds of articles for each model mentioned. Therefore, we do have a clear understanding of the potential mileage of each model since we examined them individually.
We can conclude from the data displayed in the table below that the Tahoe is pretty much on-par with most of its competition. A Tahoe is about as reliable as a Ford Expedition, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and GMC Acadia. On the other hand, the Toyota Sequoia and Highlander do outperform the Tahoe and most other SUVs.
|Model||Sample Size||Expected Mileage||Highest Mileage|
All in all, we feel it’s safe to say that opting for a Tahoe isn’t a strange decision at all, considering most SUVs can achieve similar mileage between 200,000 – 240,000. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the ‘highest mileage’ column displays the highest mileage unit we could find on autotrader.com. It’s, therefore, an indication of what the SUV could be capable of, whereas the expected mileage column is a more reasonable expectation.
After discussing the Chevy Tahoe’s performance in terms of reliability compared to its competitors, it is also necessary to compare its reliability to other Chevy models. This will give a clearer understanding of the brands’ reliability.
To do this, we researched the other Chevy SUVs and compared them with Chevy Tahoe. The following image shows us the expected mileage for most Chevy models and ranks them as well. Again, we’ve written a separate article for each model, so we’re confident in our findings.
We found that the Tahoe does a very decent job compared to most other models sold by Chevy. For example, the Tahoe has a higher expected mileage than the Traverse and Equinox, which is a good thing for the Tahoe, considering these vehicles are also SUVs. In terms of SUVs, only the much larger Suburban beats the Tahoe. However, with an expected mileage of 240.000, the Tahoe has an incredible lifespan.
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
Now that we have discussed the comparison of the Chevy Tahoe with its competitors and other Chevrolet models, we have to examine its annual maintenance cost. For this, we used Repairpal.com and retrieved the necessary data, shown in the table below.
First, we need to know that the average cost of annual maintenance for the Tahoe is $744, but as we will see in the table below, some years are better than others when talking about cost-effectiveness.
As we can see from the table, the highest maintenance cost is $914 in the year 2015. This model year has been plagued with problems, which is why it has higher than average maintenance costs. However, on average, the Tahoe has maintenance costs that we expect from a full-size SUV.
|Model Year||Annual Maintenance Cost|
Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Chevy
Owners’ Reviews Of The Tahoe’s Reliability
Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the Tahoe. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.
In the case of the Tahoe, we felt it was necessary to divide this subheading into information for the fourth (2015 – 2020) and fifth (2021 and onwards) generations. This is because these generations got different ratings, and combining them would give an incorrect image. The rating for the fourth generation looks like this:
What we saw when gathering the reviews for this generation is that it was a mixed bag of reviews. Some owners seem to be happy with their cars overall. However, there’s also a fair number of owners who’ve had transmission problems or experienced other parts of the car failing.
Comfortability and build quality are issues in the fourth-generation Tahoe, and ratings below four stars on both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds reflect these problems.
Things become worse when we move onto the fifth generation of the Tahoe (from 2021 onwards). For some reason, the Tahoe did get a 4.9-star rating on Truecar.com (out of 176 reviews), but the reviews on both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are pretty bad overall.
We must say that, whenever a new generation is released, complaints go through the roof. This is not only the case for Chevy but for many carmakers. Usually, things even out after the car has been in production for 2-3 years.
The same seems to hold true for the Tahoe. The 2021 model year (the first model year of the fifth generation) is abysmal and even gets a 2.6 / 5 rating on Edmunds, whereas the 2022 model year gets a 3.6 (still not great but better). On Kelley Blue Book, the 2021 and 2022 model year get a 3.3. The sentiment around the fifth generation is described pretty well in this review:
I bought my fourth Tahoe in September. I have always been happy with them but the 2021 is def not worth it! Nine recalls and they can only fix four of them due to limited parts! Quality of leather is nothing like my 2019 and def does not ride as smooth!Source
Furthermore, it must be noted that many of the 2021 model years have had engine failures which is a considerable reliability problem.
Chevy Tahoe Common Problems
We want to start this subheading by stating that we’ve mentioned the most significant problems for each generation. However, some model years (2015 – 2016 and 2021 – 2022) have many more minor issues and recalls that you should be aware of when you’re in the market for one. Do your own, more extended research as well after reading this subheading.
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Also read: Types Of Gas A Chevy Tahoe Uses (Explained)
Valve Lifter Failure
The 2021 model year of the Tahoe definitely isn’t reliable, given that it has already had 11 recalls on NHTSA.gov. However, its most significant reliability issue is that the valve lifters (an essential part of the engine that regulates the movement of the valves) fail before the car has driven 20.000 miles.
One owner describes the situation as follows:
GM has been building V8 engines with a known defect that is bending push rods and damaging lifters. These newer engines use a DFM system and that system is compounding this engine defect.
GM has refused to replace all the lifters and is going forward with just fixing engines as they blow up which can happen at any time. The 5.3 and 6.2 engines are a ticking time bomb and can leave you without engine power at any given time when a lifter fails or a push rod gets bent.Source
Air Conditioning Failure
Owners of 2014 – 2019 Chevy Tahoe have had their air conditioning malfunction. The problem is that the condenser cracks, leaks refrigerant, and needs replacing. These condensers cannot be fixed, only replaced. Some owners with 5.3-liter engines must keep replacing the condenser every 50,000 miles. This repair may cost about $1,000 to $1,500.
Chevy did offer a warranty extension for this up to 60.000 miles (or five years) on the Chevy Tahoe as described like this in their communication:
On some 2015-2017 model year Chevy Tahoe may have a condition where thermal cycling on the combination transmission fluid/oil and AC condenser cooler creates a crack that may allow refrigerant to escape. This condition consequently may deactivate the AC system which may cause potential customerSource
However, this wasn’t enough for many owners, so a class-action lawsuit was started in 2018, which is still ongoing.
Failing Vacuum Pump Or Faulty Braking Software
The brakes certainly haven’t been the strongest suit of the Tahoe. First, the 2015 – 2020 model year had a recall for unexpected braking. SUVs with a 5.3L engine and 4WD experienced this problem when driving between 41 – 60 mph. This was due to a failing wheel-speed sensor which activated the driveline-protection mode through the Electronic-Brake Control Module.
The second recall involved the 2015 – 2018 model years of the Tahoe. This was because the vacuum pump in these cars would lose its strength over time, resulting in diminished braking power. These recalls involved practically all Tahoes sold in these model years, so the problems were quite substantial.
Excessive Oil Consumption Of 5.3L Vortec
Even when the owner regularly maintains its Chevy Tahoe, they discovered some problems with high oil consumption. Some owners even have to add a quart to 3 quarts in between oil changes.
When the owners take their car to the dealership, they recognize the problem instantly without even checking the car; this is a widespread problem, especially in the 2006 – 2010 Chevy Tahoe models with a 5.3L Vortec engine.
To fix the problem, drivers would have to replace the engine, costing as high as $6,800. If they could get by with just replacing the pistons and rings, repairs would be around $2,000. But we saw that these repairs didn’t solve the issue.
If you’re in the market for a Chevy Tahoe, there’re many things to consider. First is its potential lifespan. As we saw earlier in this blog post, the Tahoe can definitely put up with higher mileage. On average, we expected a Tahoe to last 240.000 miles which is very good.
Furthermore, Tahoes as a group have an average maintenance cost of $744 per year. Again, this is not a plus or minus for the Tahoe.
Things become interesting when we look at the potential problems the cars can have and which model years have them. First, let’s start by saying that you should stay away from the 2015 – 2016 model year Tahoe and the 2021 model year (and possibly also the 2022 model year). These are the first two model years of their generation, and both have gathered more than ten recalls each.
Furthermore, the fifth generation is currently dealing with catastrophic engine failure, whereas the 2015 – 2016 model years had failing air conditioners, terrible brakes, and a host of more minor problems.
Personally, we feel pretty comfortable stating that the Tahoe is a smart buy, but only if you’re in the market for a 2018 – 2019 model year. As previously stated, these model years had almost all of their fourth-generation problems resolved and can put up great mileage. They’re most likely to last you a long time without costing you a lot of money or being a headache overall.
Are you in the market for this Chevy? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of the largest Chevy dealers per state!
Proper maintenance is required to use the Chevy Tahoe to its full extent. Knowing what kind of maintenance is needed to keep your SUV in great shape is essential. So, the frequently asked question: “What kind of maintenance is required for the Chevrolet Tahoe?”
Here you can find the regular maintenance that you need to carry out…
- Change Engine Oil
- Replace the oil filter.
But it’s better to change these before/on 7500 miles for best performance and long-lasting protection.
- Replace the passenger compartment air filter
- Inspect the tires
- See if there’s any prevailing rust
- Check for any fluid leaks
- Replace the air intake filter
- Replace the transfer case fluid
- Inspect the evaporative control system
- Change the automatic transmission fluid
- Inspect the spark plugs
- Inspect the ignition coils
- Have an engine diagnosis with a scanner tool and see for any abnormal reading.
- Inspect the electronics system
- Inspect the brake pads and rotors
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!