Tim is from San Antonio and has a 20-year-old Chevy Tahoe approaching 300,000 miles. He isn’t sure how much more life he can squeeze out of that rig, so he’s looking for a replacement that can tow and haul the family in comfort. What car should he buy?
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Here is the scenario.
I currently have a 2002 Tahoe Z71 that I use for a commuter on my short 12 mile commute and also to tow a travel trailer. The Tahoe has been a good car but it has 300k on the clock and I’m ready for a newer ride. Needs to confidently tow 6500lbs, must seat at least 6 people (Myself, wife and 4 kids). I’m looking to spend up to $30k, and I really do not like any of the Nissan products.
Location: San Antonio
Daily Driver: Yes
Wants: Tow capacity, seating for 6
Doesn’t want: A Nissan
Expert 1: Tom McParland – High Mileage Champ
Well, Tim, it certainly seems like you have gotten maximum value out of your Tahoe, and you are obviously pretty good at taking care of your vehicles. Finding another quality rig like that one for under $30,000 isn’t the easiest task especially if you are looking for something that isn’t already well over 100,000 miles.
If you are looking to change it up from the domestic offerings, the Toyota Sequoia is a really good bet. Toyota’s big SUV consistently ranks high among vehicles with long lifespans. The V8 will easily tow at least 7,000 lbs, and the interior space should be just as nice, if not better than, your Chevrolet. Finding one in Texas that hasn’t seen a lot of wear is going to be tricky, so you may want to cast your net wide. However, I did manage to spot this 2015 Limited with only 65,000 miles on the clock not terribly far from you. With a clean history and a solid service record, I bet this one won’t last long.
Expert 2: Rory Carroll – Keep It Simple
You could spend a lot of time searching for something different, or you could just stick with what’s clearly working for you. It sounds like your Tahoe has been a good workhorse, but at 300,000 miles, it’s probably a little rough around the edges. This 2018 Yukon will do everything your old car did, but better. It’s comfortable, roomy and it’ll tow 8,000 lbs. There are plenty of options in your area and in your price range, some with lower mileage. But I’m generally a fan of sticking with what works.
Expert 3: José Rodríguez Jr. – The Stealth Wealth SUV
Tim, the Chevy Tahoe Z71 on the GMT800 platform is one of my favorite SUVs ever. I hate to see it go, and would rather you put money towards keeping that wonderful truck (truck-based SUV, if you want) on the road. Truly, no other Tahoe looked as good with a Z71 badge and color-matched grilles. But if you’re looking to update your SUV for under $30,000, I’d go with something like this 2015 Lexus LX 570, which is a bit far from you, but you’re in Texas: long road trips are par for the course.
Like the Toyota Sequoia that Tom suggested, any Lexus LX you find will likely have a lot of miles, but we’re talking Toyotas here — regardless of the window dressing. These stout SUVs will go forever as long as you provide timely routine maintenance, which you seem to be OK with given the mileage on your Tahoe.
The LX is a Land Cruiser by any other name, and it ought to fit your family of six comfortably. It’ll be more luxurious than your outgoing Tahoe, and it will tow up to 7,000 pounds to boot. Of course, it won’t be the most fuel-efficient but that might not phase you as much. If I can’t convince you to keep the Tahoe, then an older LX 570 could be best.
Expert 4: Owen Bellwood – Enter Your Mercedes Era
Tim, it sounds like you and your Tahoe have had a good run, but I agree that it’s maybe time to send it off to live the rest of its days in a farm upstate. But finding a worthy replacement is no easy feat these days.
Sure, you could opt to swap like for like and get a newer Tahoe and see if that will run as long or as far, but I reckon you’re ready for a real change. And while I’ll agree with Tom that Toyota is a failsafe way to stay on the road forever and a day, I think there are better options when you look further outside America’s borders. So Tim, I think it’s time for you to enter your Mercedes-Benz era.
This GLS 450 should suit you and your family down to a T, albeit a quite luxurious T. It’s rated to tow up to 7,500 lbs, check, comes with a third row of seats, check, and definitely isn’t a Nissan, check. On top of that, you’ll get a swanky Mercedes-Benz interior in which you can soak up the miles and considerably better fuel economy than you were getting in your old Chevy.