The Chevy Tahoe is easily one of the most popular SUVs in America, seen in nearly every city across the country as well as abroad. This large SUV outshines its competition in sales by a magnitude of 2 to 1. Indeed, the Tahoe is the top-ranked Affordable Large SUV according to the U.S. News & World Report, and it has maintained a reputation of reliability, toughness, and comfort throughout its market iterations.
While the Chevy Tahoe is a common SUV to see on the road nowadays, its history is anything but ordinary. Learn where this SUV began, where it might be going, and useful information on the LM7 engine and its cylinder heads below.
Where it Began
Chevrolet has put out many vehicles that have risen above their competition and onto American driveways through the years. The Chevy Tahoe is no exception, and has proven to be a great addition to the lineup.
A full-size SUV from General Motors, the Tahoe has been sold all around the world under a variety of names: GMC had their full-sized version on the market in 1991 as the Yukon at first, while Chevrolet called their 2-door model the Blazer. In 1994, the Blazer was retired and replaced with the all-new, 4-door Chevy Tahoe.
The Chevy Tahoe began as an interesting fusion between passenger SUV comfort and pickup truck utility. Using the GMT400 platform, a popular pickup truck chassis, the early Tahoe had the sturdy base of a full-size pickup truck and yet the comfort and passenger space of a typical SUV. This configuration made it an ideal vehicle for anyone who wants a heavy tow and plenty of space, including weekend adventurers, large families, and even the U.S. military.
Its versatile build and reliability has endeared the Tahoe to many of its drivers. The military employs a modified Tahoe variant for transporting troops, while police, SWAT teams, and other law enforcement across the nation use the Tahoe as a transport or patrol vehicle.
The LM7 Engine is a powerful, resilient engine that has made a name for itself in many impressive vehicles. Introduced in 1999, it featured a cast-iron block with aluminum heads and came in at over 500 pounds. It has made its home in the vehicles listed below:
- 2002–2005 Cadillac Escalade 2WD
- 2002–2006 Chevrolet Avalanche
- 2003–2007 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana
- 1999–2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- 1999–2007 GMC Sierra 1500
- 2000–2006 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL 1500
- 2000–2006 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
Famous People Who Drive a Chevy Tahoe
The Chevy Tahoe has been such a staple of the American SUV market that it’s no surprise to find that many famous people have owned one. Kawhi Leonard, NBA superstar, even continued driving his 1997 Chevy Tahoe up to a major Sports Illustrated interview in 2016, despite making over $25 million over the course of his career. According to Leonard, simply put, “It runs, and it’s paid off.”
The Chevy Tahoe could even be considered a Hollywood star in its own right! Its cousin SUV, the Chevy Suburban, has appeared in more than 1,750 films and TV shows since 1956, and holds the prestigious title of the first vehicle to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Tahoe has a lot of catching up to do, but it’s also appeared in at least one film and TV show every year since its debut in 1995, for a combined total of over 2,500 appearances between the two cars!
When the time comes for owners to buy a new car, owners of the Tahoe purchase a new Tahoe 79% of the time, giving them an unusually high customer loyalty rating. With so many media appearances and attention from celebrities and everyday consumers alike, it’s no wonder the Chevy Tahoe has remained such a popular and iconic choice through the years.
Awards and Recognitions
The Chevy Tahoe has received a number of rewards through the years, including:
- 2017 Five-Year Cost to Own (Full-Size SUV/Crossover) – Kelley Blue Book
- 2019 Initial Quality Study – D. Power
- 2020 Best Buy Award – Consumer Guide
- 2020 Residual Value Award – ALG
- 2020 Most Dependable Large SUV – D. Power
- 2021 12 Best Family Cars – Kelley Blue Book
- 2021 Best Large SUV for Families – S. News and World Report
High Mileage Stories
A Chevy Tahoe is more than able to get you where you want it to go for as many years as long as you give it the proper treatment. Regular maintenance with a qualified mechanic and replacing parts as needed is essential if you want to keep your Chevy Tahoe in top shape over many miles.
Stories of incredibly high mileage for Chevy Tahoes exist all over. Motorbiscuit, a well-respected vehicle news and blogging site, estimates that the average Tahoe can regularly reach up to 200,000-300,000 miles and beyond while still going strong.
Chevy Tahoe Owners also regularly join and discuss on forums about their experiences with a high mileage Tahoe, such as here where a user claims to have 160,000+ miles on his 2003 Tahoe with no problems. Another user in the same thread claims to have a 1997 Tahoe with more than 272,000 miles on the original engine, achieved through regular maintenance and oil changes!
In this interesting video below, a user describes their experience driving a 1999 Chevy Tahoe with over 325,000 miles.
The Importance of Cylinder Heads in a Chevy Tahoe (or any vehicle)
Cylinder heads are a key component of the engine health of a Chevy Tahoe. At the top of the cylinder block of the engine, this combustion chamber houses critical engine parts, such as valves, spark plugs, and fuel injectors. It also has intake and exhaust valves to let air escape, as well as holes to allow coolant from the radiator and oil to flow through to the engine. If your cylinder head is not taken care of or becomes cracked, then in a worst-case scenario it could mean a total engine replacement on your Tahoe.
Buy Chevy Tahoe Replacement Heads
Clearwater Cylinder Head is your best option for Chevy Tahoe replacement cylinder heads. We are devoted to providing professional service and support. Please give us the opportunity to exceed your expectation on your next cylinder head purchase. Contact Clearwater Cylinder Head Inc. toll-free at 1-800-572-1963.
GM GMC CHEVY YUKON TAHOE SILVERADO 1500 VAN SIERRA 4.8 OHV V8 CYLINDER HEAD
GM ESCALADE SUBURBAN TAHOE YUKON AVALANCHE 4.8 V8 CYLINDER HEAD 2007 2008
GM CHEVY 4.8 5.3 OHV LS4 SILVERADO TAHOE CYLINDER HEADS CAST# 706 & 862 99-05
2 GM CHEVY 4.8 5.3 OHV LS4 SILVERADO TAHOE EXPRESS CYLINDER HEADS 99-05 NO CORE
1 GM CHEVY 4.8 5.3 OHV LS4 SILVERADO TAHOE CYLINDER HEAD CAST# 706 & 862 99-05
2 CHEVY GM 350 906 062 V8 VORTEC CAST IRON CYLINDER HEADS REBUILT NO CORE