Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2019

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The 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe earned the top spot in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the eight affordable large SUVs on the U.S. market. It outranked popular competitors like the Chevrolet Suburban and the Toyota Sequoia, which tied for the #2 spot.

Reviewers say that the Tahoe provides the seating capacity and power that owners want in their large SUVs, while still maintaining a semblance of drivability.

The Tahoe’s starting MSRP of $37,980 also makes it one of the most affordable vehicles in its class, and U.S. News designated it the “Best Full Size SUV for the Money” for 2011.

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Sales of the Tahoe peaked at over 200,000 in 2002, but declined to just 75,675 during the 2010 model year. This number is actually a slight resurgence from the Tahoe’s sales low of 73,254 in 2009.

The Tahoe was selected for a 2010 Editor’s Choice Award by Car and Driver magazine, and it also received a nod from The Car Book as a “Best Bet.” The Tahoe Hybrid earned accolades from both Kelley Blue Book and IntelliChoice.

How much is auto insurance for the Chevrolet Tahoe?

According to data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the typical driver of a large, mid-priced SUV will pay between $5,000 and $6,000 over five years to insure his or her vehicle.

The least expensive of the top-ranked SUVs when it comes to car insurance rates is the Ford Expedition. The NADA estimates that Expedition owners will pay approximately $5,152 to insure the vehicle during the first five years that they own it.

The Chevrolet Tahoe is the next most affordable large SUV to insure, with an NADA estimated 5-year insurance bill of $5,726. This breaks down to an annual average rate of about $1,145, and an average monthly bill of approximately $95.

NADA car insurance rate estimates for competing large SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia, the Chevrolet Suburban, and the GMC Yukon are very similar, ranging from $5,900 to $6,000.

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Maintenance Costs for the Chevy Tahoe

According to data provided by the NADA, the cost of maintaining an affordable large SUV like the Tahoe is relatively uniform across this vehicle class.

Scheduled maintenance cost estimates for all five of the top-rated affordable large SUVs are between $2,200 and $2,300. The least expensive large SUV to maintain is the GMC Yukon, with an estimated 5-year bill of $2,222.

What are the top selling SUV’s in America?

The Ford Expedition’s estimated maintenance costs of $2,289 are some of the highest in its class, but they are only about $10 higher than the NADA’s maintenance cost estimates for the Chevy Suburban and the 2011 Sequoia.

The Chevrolet Tahoe is expected to cost about $2,275 to maintain over five years, making its upkeep more costly than the Yukon’s, but less costly than the Expedition’s, Suburban’s, or Sequoia’s.

Chevrolet Tahoe Repair Costs

The 2011 Tahoe comes with GM’s 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, as well as a 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. It also received a Predicted Reliability score of 8.0 out of 10.0 from J.D. Power and Associates, a consumer organization.

The only other affordable full size SUV to earn a score of 8.0 is the Toyota Sequoia.

Given this information, it is somewhat surprising that the Chevrolet Tahoe, along with the mechanically similar GMC Yukon, has the highest estimated 5-year repair costs of any comparably priced full size SUV.

How much auto insurance do you need?

The NADA predicts that Tahoe and Yukon drivers will pay approximately $1,935 for repair bills during the initial five years that they drive their SUVs. Sequoia owners can expect to pay $1,874, and the expected bill for the Suburban SUV is $1,835.

The Expedition has the lowest expected repair bill, at approximately $1,774. It is likely that the higher repair bills for the Tahoe reflect higher parts and labor costs since the reliability data indicates that the Tahoe will require fewer repairs overall than other vehicles in its class.

2011 Tahoe Fuel Economy

The Tahoe has higher repair costs than other affordable large SUVs, and its car insurance premium and scheduled maintenance cost estimates are neither the highest nor the lowest in its class.

However, it does earn a “best-in-class” designation when it comes to fuel economy.

Its EPA rating of 15 city mpg and 21 highway mpg does not beat the 23 highway mpg and 20 city mpg offered by the Tahoe or Yukon hybrids, but it is superior to the ratings for other gasoline-powered SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia, the Nissan Armada, and the Ford Expedition.

The GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Suburban’s fuel economy numbers match those of the Tahoe.

Chevrolet Tahoe Safety Ratings

The 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe earned an overall rating of four out of a possible five stars in crash tests administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In the NHTSA’s frontal-offset crash test, the Tahoe earned five stars for protecting an average-sized male driver and four stars for protecting a smaller-sized female passenger. It earned five stars for protecting both the driver and the passenger in side-impact collision tests using both a barrier and a pole.

The Tahoe’s weakest crash test result was in the NHTSA’s rollover test, where it garnered only three stars. This is not a great result compared to other vehicle types, but it is an average result for a large SUV.

Only the Toyota Sequoia SUV had a higher score, earning four stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet tested the Tahoe.

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