My buddy has a 2000 Tahoe and I drove it to Moab and towed my camper. Roomy, squishy seats (fairly comfortable), but the half-ton chassis and drivetrain was pretty sad. The steering was vague and uncommunicative and the brakes took seemingly 3 seconds to engage after you hit the pedal. It felt more stone-age that the '72 Ford Country Sedan on which I learned to drive. Like an GM vehicle, it has needed new ball joints, door hinge parts, a transmission, starters and ignition switch parts, a new plastic intake manifold (they warp and leak) and a moderate slew of repair parts. Not a total lemon, but I wouldn't want to own one from 100K-200K miles. Gas mileage is decent for the size of the rig. Maybe if you buy a very low-miles rig, you'd be ok?
How about a 4th gen 4Runner with the 3rd seat? That'd seem to be the best of several worlds, as far as fuel economy. If you frequently use the 3rd seat, then not so good, I'd think.
Steve H. - KE0KNH
Colo Springs, CO
'78 FJ40, '89 FJ62, '98 4Runner