When it comes to full-size SUVs with massive towing power, the 2010 Chevy Tahoe remains a top pick. Toss in its well-built and attractive cabin, smooth transmission, compliant drive and up to nine-passenger seating, and the Tahoe offers much to those seeking impressive power and space.
Few SUVs can get you up that mountain hauling your 7,500 pound trailer. Others can't seat nine, while still others don't fare well on rocky trails. This, however, is the world of the Chevrolet Tahoe, and few others can approach it (the Toyota Sequoia and Ford Expedition have their own strengths in this segment).
New for the 2010 model year is a simple engine choice, as the Tahoe is now offered with just one, a 5.3 liter V8 with E85 capability (both the 4.8 liter and 6.2 liter V8's have been discontinued). Also new are front seat-mounted side airbags and a USB audio connection as standard features.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe is offered in three models: LS, LT and LTZ.
Even the base Tahoe LS is well-equipped with standard features that include rear air, cruise control, dual-zone climate control (manual), automatic headlights, 17 inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat with 6-way power driver adjustments, a 60/40-split second-row seat, a 50/50 folding and removable third-row, OnStar and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and USB audio jack.
There's also an optional Interior Plus package that includes 6-way power front bucket seats, a front center console, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, rear seat audio controls, wood interior trim and some added body-colored exterior trim pieces. Also for the LS, the Convenience package includes a rearview camera (also offered as a stand-alone option), rear parking sensors, remote engine start and power-adjustable pedals.
Standard on the Tahoe LT are all of the LS Interior Plus and Convenience package features (except the rearview camera, which is again available as a stand-alone), plus leather upholstery and OnStar turn-by-turn navigation.
There's also a Luxury Package available for the LT that includes heated front and rear seats, 8-way power front seats, driver memory functions, a power liftgate, power-folding exterior mirrors and a second-row power release function. Also for the LT, the Off-Road package includes all-terrain tires, 18 inch alloy wheels, specially tuned springs and shock absorbers, skid plates and unique front and rear fascias. Second-row bucket seats are also an option for the LT.
The top-of-the-line Tahoe LTZ is equipped standard with the LT Luxury package as well as 20 inch wheels, perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, additional front seat adjustments, power flip-and-fold second-row bucket seats, the rearview camera, exterior chrome accents, navigation with real-time traffic, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo.
There's also a Suspension package for the LTZ that adds an air suspension with variable shock dampening and automatic load leveling. Stand-alone options for the LTZ include the second-row bench and a blind-spot warning system.
Available on all models is the Sun, Entertainment and Destinations package that includes a sunroof, the navigation system with the rearview camera and a rear entertainment system (the entertainment system is also available separately). In addition, there are a number of 20 and 22 inch wheel choices as well as a trailering package with a different rear axle ratio.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2010 Chevy Tahoe is a 5.3 liter V8 that delivers 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission in either rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive form. This year, the 4WD Tahoe is available with a choice of its usual two-speed transfer case or a single-speed unit (no low-range gearing).
In performance tests, a Tahoe LT with 4WD was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in a very respectable 8.5 seconds. And when properly equipped, the 4WD Tahoe has a towing capacity of of an impressive 8,200 pounds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the 2010 Tahoe, for both the RWD and 4WD, is 14 mpg city and 20 mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features for all 2010 Tahoe models include antilock disc brakes (ABS), stability control, front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags.
In government crash tests, the Tahoe was awarded five out of five stars for frontal crash protection. And although not yet tested with its new front seat side airbags, the Tahoe was already awarded a five-star side crash performance rating without them.
The cabin of the 2010 is attractively designed, solidly constructed and user-friendly. Seating is comfortable, supportive and roomy. The Tahoe can transport up to nine passengers and offers 109 cubic feet of storage space. However, the third row seats do not fold flat and must be manually removed to realize its maximum cargo capacity.
Considering its enormous size and weight (5,500 pounds), the 2010 Chevy Tahoe still provides ample acceleration. And if you need to haul a large load, such as a camper or boat, the Tahoe is really at its best. Even without last year's larger 6.2 liter V8, few SUVs can match up with the Tahoe when it comes to towing.
The Tahoe also provides a smooth and comfortable ride. And while there is a tradeoff between more performance-oriented steering and handling for its soft and easy drive, the Tahoe still sports a surprisingly tight turning circle of just 39 feet, making it relatively easy to maneuver in the city as well.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try an Open-To-The-Public Car Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.