Reader Question: Replacing the Tahoe?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Ugg asks: We have a 2012 Tahoe with a 135K miles on it. Also several other vehicles. I believe in driving them until they drop. With proper maintenance and fix things when they break. I have gotten over 350,000 miles on several vehicles. We are thinking about getting rid of the Tahoe for a vehicle with fewer miles on it. Not a new one. I want to stay away from the ASS, driver assist, etc.  Thinking that might be harder to do in a few years. We use the Tahoe primarily for visiting children (grandkids) in other states and traveling “up north to the cottage” ( Michigan), need tow capability. Any recommendations? Thanks. And keep up the fight.

My reply: I urge you to keep that Tahoe! 125,000 miles on a vehicle of that type (body-on-frame; relatively simple V8) is nothing. That vehicle should have at least another 100,000 miles of reliable service left. Consider, also, that now is a terrible time to sell/trade due to Corona Fever – the panic, not the virus. People are broke or terrified of becoming so and not spending money unless they have to. On the other hand, this does give a buyer an advantage, as I wrote about a week or so ago.

If you’d still prefer to replace the Tahoe, my top-shelf recommendation would be a Toyota LandCruiser or even a 4Runner (smaller, but otherwise similar). These are the Corolla/Camrys of SUVs – and that is high praise. What I mean is they are very conservatively engineered (no direct injection, for example) and known to be exceptionally rugged/durable vehicles that last for decades, usually asking for no more than the usual basic maintenance.

You didn’t mention how much tow capability you need. If it’s around 3,500 lbs. or so, you might consider a crossover like the also excellent Honda Pilot. Or even a Lexus RX (among the most blue chip vehicles on the road, ever).

Another, lower-miles/newer Tahoe might suit, too. Things like ASS and “assistance” canbe avoided if you keep to around 2015 or prior.

Keep us posted!

. . .

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  1. Remember though, Eric, that Tahoe is not like the GM products of old….. It’s new enough to be well into the era of GM crappy quality- and as such, Ugg’s is right about at the mileage where they start falling apart- one thing after another. Most vehicles I buy have more mileage on ’em than that when I buy ’em and I consider them “just broken in”- but a 2012 Tahoe with 135K is pretty much at end of life…especially for long trips. Modern GM (and Chrysler) products are keeping mechanics in business!- Nay…making them rich!

    My neighbor opened a shop a few years ago. Sometimes when I’m in town I’ll swing by to say hello- and without fail, it’s always GM’s and Chryslers in the bays. The motor on that Tahoe may be good for another 100K…but the tranny, electronics and all the little things will just start failing one after another.

    • That’s right Nunz, not worth a damn. I wouldn’t trust it to roll a tire over without some major breakage. Since it’s pretty much worthless, I’d be willing to take it off their hands for a pittance. Those old LS motors just break left and right and rarely get over half a million miles. Disable the cylinder deactivation and they just might last another 50 or 100 miles. Anyway, I’d be willing to come get it and cart it off and even give a few dollars for it.

      • If ya can throw a saddle on just the engine, Eight…..’cause everything else’ll fall apart. Ugg is probably starting to see that already, which is probably why he uncharacteristically wants to jump ship on it. You and I can replace all the things that start grenading rather easily and cheaply (But personally, I’d rather just have something that doesn’t break),…but to many average people, they may not be do-it-yourself prospects…’specially on the road halfway through a 1500 mile trip.

        Hey, Eight…if ya want one, they’re cheap enough…..for a reason! 🙂

        • While I’d like to have one Nunz, I have to put money in pickups. I should be looking for tires for the 98 3/4 4WD long bed ex cab with 342K on it. It’s wore out but I need a spare to work on others. It’s beat and ugly but it runs and not too badly. It only needs to be stripped to the frame and run back down the line.


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