Chevrolet's Tahoe Hybrid full-size SUV debuted for 2008. It has room for up to nine people and can tow up to 6,200 pounds. The rear-wheel-drive model gets an EPA-estimated 21/22 mpg city/highway.
New for 2011
The Tahoe Hybrid gets GM's OnStar 9.0 telematics system that GM says provides better voice recognition. GM also said they have redesigned the second-row head restraints to provide better protection in rear impacts.
The Tahoe Hybrid looks much like a regular Tahoe SUV, which is to say that it features a relatively squared-off shape. However, there are a number of subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the two. Exterior features include:
- Revised D-pillar and flared ends for the running boards to lessen drag
- Aluminum hood and liftgate to save weight
- 18-inch aluminum wheels fitted with low-rolling-resistance tires
- Hybrid badges on the front fenders, C-pillars and liftgate
The cabin of the Tahoe Hybrid is similar to the gas-only Tahoe, but it includes some hybrid-specific cues.
Interior features include:
- Lightweight front seats
- Economy gauge in instrument panel to encourage frugal driving behavior
- Standard navigation system with hybrid power-flow animation
- 16.9 cubic feet of cargo room behind third row
- Power-adjustable pedals
- USB input for portable MP3 devices
Under the Hood
The Tahoe Hybrid features GM's two-mode hybrid system. It includes a 6.0-liter V-8 engine that makes 332 horsepower and has cylinder deactivation technology, which can deactivate half of the cylinders when they aren't needed. The system's first mode — which allows the Tahoe Hybrid to move on just electric power, just engine power or a combination of the two — is designed for city and light-load driving. The second, mostly highway, mode provides electric-power assist for the V-8. Mechanical features include:
- Electrically Variable Transmission with two electric motors and four forward gears
- Rear- or four-wheel drive
- Can move on electric power alone up to 30 mph, according to Chevrolet
Standard safety features include:
- Three-row side curtain airbags
- Electronic stability system
- Antilock brakes
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