Does Chevy Tahoe Have 4 Wheel Drive? (Answered!)


Chevy Tahoe is one of the biggest SUVs. It has sufficient cargo space, legroom, and is even powerful enough to go off the road. When inside the Tahoe, you feel its power on and off the road.

The Tahoe was introduced in 1992, but only appeared as Tahoe in 1995, and it has maintained its look and its roots. However, the SUV has improved over the years to bring even better features. But does it have 4WD?

Does Chevy Tahoe Have 4 Wheel Drive?

Yes. Tahoe has a 4 wheel drive, which is optional on all trims, but standard on the Z71. The 4WD works with the standard 5.3L V8 engine that generates 355 hp and 383 lb-ft torque.

The Z71 is a trim designed for off-road driving and is the only that features a standard 4WD drivetrain. Further, Tahoe adds a two-speed transfer case to the Z71 to make it flat towable, the only trim that you can flat tow.

The standard 4WD on the Z71 is accompanied by features such as hill descent control, all-terrain tires, front skid plate and tow hooks, and a unique front fascia. If you need the power of 4WD in any of the other trims, you will need to pick it as an option.

The standard and available engines are powerful enough to allow you to drive the Tahoe off the road once you pick the optional four-wheel drivetrain.

How To Tell If Tahoe Is 4WD?

If your Chevy Tahoe has 4WD, you will have a 4WD shifter. If you pick a Chevrolet with 4WD, you will have an SUV that can take you off the road. To engage 4WD mode, you only need the shifter.

On newer models, the 4WD shifter is a simple dial that you can shift with ease. You have either 4WD Low or 4WD High. To shift to 4WD mode, follow the steps below:

• Power on the engine and then set the Tahoe on Neutral mode. Release the brake pedal and the SUV start moving slowly.

• Press the 4WD dial to ‘4 Down.’ When the dial is down, as indicated by the arrow, your car will be on Low 4WD model.

• Check the Tahoe’s odometer. If you set 4WD mode right, the odometer should flash a light that says “Four-Wheel Drive Low” activated. Wait until this message stops blinking.

• Once the light gets steady, shift the gear from Neutral to Drive and start driving the SUV. If you need to go back to 2WD, return the gear selector back to Neutral position and allow the Tahoe to move slowly. Set the Dial to 2, and you will be back to 2WD. Wait until the light stops blinking and then shift the gear selector to Drive and start driving.

You can set the SUV to 4WD when you need to handle rugged terrain, snow, or mud. When you set it back to 2WD, the Tahoe is good to drive on the road and save you fuel.

Besides the 4WD, a Tahoe offers so many other features to help you stay comfortable during trips. Its legroom makes it an ideal car when you need to accommodate several passengers and drive for long distance.

Can a Chevy Tahoe Handle Offroad Driving and Snow with the 4WD System?

The 4WD, powerful engine, and heavyweight combo gives the Chevy Tahoe the traction it needs to handle rugged terrain and snow. A Tahoe has an average weight of about 5,600 pounds, which adds to the traction that the car has when driving off the road.

One of the things that make Tahoes good for offroad driving is their precise steering. They also have powerful brakes that give you the confidence you need to drive on slippery grounds. Their antilock disc brakes can accommodate driving on several terrains.

If you have a Tahoe Premier with the optional 4WD, you will enjoy the Magnetic Ride Control, a feature that monitors your driving and ensures the vehicle performs adequately. With Magnetic Ride Control, the chances of a body roll are minimal.

A Chevy Tahoe is also very comfortable. The SUV features tri-zone automatic climate control that keeps you comfortable when driving in winter. It also has comfortable seats with either simulated leather or pure leather.

The Tahoe has so much space behind the rear seat. You can bring all your off-road and winter adventure gear from tents to snow skis. You can also bring family and friends and explore together. If you need more space, you can fold down the second and third seating rows and have more space.

The Chevy Tahoe is built on a truck platform, one of the few SUVs that still have such a platform. As such, you can expect it to be powerful enough to tow, payload, and drive on rugged terrain.

The car is also long lasting. If you take good care of your Tahoe, it can last for as long as 300,000 miles.

Can a Chevy Tahoe 4WD Tow a Trailer?

Besides driving on rugged terrain, a Chevy Tahoe can tow most trailers with much ease whether fitted with 4WD or with 2WD. However, a 4WD Tahoe is better when you need to tow a trailer off the road.

The Tahoe can tow between 7,700 and 8,500 pounds. If you want to tow the heaviest weight there, you need a Max Trailering package, which is optional for all the trims. With the Max trailering package, you will not only have more towing capacity but also assistance as you tow.

Although the Chevy Tahoe is a heavy vehicle, it still offers you enough capacity to carry cargo at the back of the rear seat or in a trailer. With a gross vehicle weight rating of about 7,400 pounds and a curb weight of about 5,600 pounds, you have enough allowance to bring as much as you want.

Most trailers weigh between 2,000 and 8,000 pounds. The largest trailers are about 7,000 pounds while the small units weigh about 2,500 pounds from several manufacturers. This range falls within what your Chevrolet Tahoe can tow.

If you have a very large and heavy trailer, and you still have to bring so much more cargo, you may have to pack light so that you do not exceed the gross vehicle weight rating of your Tahoe. Exceeding the gross weight will affect your axle and will make the car challenging to control.

What does the SUV need when towing?

You need to equip the Tahoe right to get it towing the heaviest trailers. Some of the available features for towing include:

• Two speed transfer case, which is standard on the Z71

• Trailer brake controller

• Hitch guidance attached to rear view camera

• Advanced trailering system for the driver

• Higher rear axle ratio

Is the Chevy Tahoe Reliable?

According to the U.S News and World Report, the Chevy Tahoe ranks position two in large SUVs. Only the Ford Expedition ranks higher than the Tahoe. Ford Expedition has a more muscular engine and can tow up to 9,300 pounds, which is more than what the Tahoe can handle.

Besides the Expedition, the Tahoe is in competition with the Chevy Suburban. The Suburban has a longer wheelbase and has more cabin space and more legroom for the passengers. However, the powertrains and drivetrains of the two vehicles are the same.

According to J.D. Power, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe has a reliability rating of 86 percent. This means that most of the time, the car will deliver when you need it to.

Although some models from 2015-2020 have been recalled, there are no major issues with the Chevy Tahoe. The car can serve you many years, driving for more than 300,000 miles or more with good service.

Will I Pay More for a Chevy Tahoe 4WD?

Yes, you will pay more for the 4WD model, but you will get better functionality off the road when you want to drive off the road. If you go for the 2021 Chevy Tahoe LT, you will buy the 2WD model at between $55,000 and $70,000. If you go for the 4WD model of the same LT, you will pay between $58,000 and $80,000.

In the higher trims, however, a 4WD model might be a few thousand dollars cheaper as the 4WD is standard. Even if you spend a few more thousand dollars, the price will be worth it when you need more off-road driving capability.

Note that, you can shift to 2WD when you need to save on fuel when driving on the road.

Closing Thoughts

Tahoe is a good SUV when you need space, performance, and comfort. You can go for the 2WD or the 4WD version of the vehicle, depending on your needs. If you need to drive off the road, you can take the 4WD model, and if you need to stay on the road, a 2WD model will meet your needs.

Better yet, you can pick a model that allows you to shift between a 2WD and 4WD mode. In either of the two, you get convenience features such as navigation system, heated mirrors, heated seats, power mirrors, and daytime running lights among others.

Recent Posts