1996 Chevrolet Tahoe Review

1996 Chevrolet Tahoe - Right size power fix.


The Tahoe is one of Chevrolet's hottest sellers mainly because it's bigger than the compact Chevy Blazer and smaller than the giant Chevy Suburban.

New for 1996 is a two-wheel-drive Tahoe two-door model. Last year, only a four-wheel-drive Tahoe two-door was offered--along with a two- and four-wheel-drive Tahoe four-door. Thus, one now can can get the Tahoe with rear- or four-wheel drive in either two- or four-door configurations.

The handsome Tahoe actually is a 27-year-old vehicle that has been updated over the years. It was called the K-Blazer until renamed the Tahoe last year, when a new, longer four-door model was added. The Tahoe four-door was a stroke of marketing genius; Chevy has hardly been able to keep up with demand for it.

For the Tahoe two-door, the base price for the two-wheel-drive model is $22,886, while the four-wheel-drive version goes for $25,136. The four-door Tahoe costs $28,264 with two-wheel drive and $30,464 with four-wheel drive. P A new push-button electronic transfer case allows one-touch shifting between two- and four-wheel drive.

The family oriented, 5,134-pound four-door Tahoe isn't as much fun as the sportier, 4,731-pound two-door because it's almost 400 pounds heavier, nearly a foot longer and not as nimble. But it is by far the top-selling Tahoe because buyers want the utility of its four doors, easier rear-seat access and nearly 24 extra cubic feet of cargo space. With rear seats folded down, Tahoe four-door cargo volume is a whopping 123 cubic feet.

The 117.5-inch wheelbase of the Tahoe four-door makes it ride more smoothly than the two-door's 111.5-inch wheelbase, although you still know you're in a truck.

Also new for 1996 is a 5.7-liter V-8 that produces a whopping 250 horsepower--up 50 from last year. The power is needed because all Tahoes are heavy and are expected to carry heavy loads and to tow up to 7,000 pounds. Most order the 5.7-liter V-8, but the two-door, four-wheel-drive Tahoe can be had with a monster 6.5-liter, 180-horsepower turbocharged diesel V-8.

The Tahoe, which has a driver's air bag and standard anti-lock brakes, is fast for a big, high sport/utility when powered by the 5.7-liter V-8. It's very car-like in many respects, and few buyers seem to care that it delivers only 13-15 m.p.g. in the city and 17-18 on highways.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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