Feature

New cars: What the critics say

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid $50,490

 
Truck Trend
In the automotive world, the word “hybrid” didn’t even exist 10 years ago. Now everybody from celebrities to John Q. Public wants one. GM’s Tahoe could be “the game changer” for hybrid SUVs. It uses a system co-developed with BMW and looks sportier than the regular Tahoe, with a “lowered stance,” color-matched front bumper, and aerodynamic sidesteps tucked behind the front tires.

Automobile
This is the first time a true hybrid system has been “applied to a full-size truck.” The engine’s two-mode system consists of an electric motor/generator and a “stingy” Vortec V8 OHV engine that can use electric power only, engine power only, or “a combination thereof at low speeds and light loads.” That’s big news.

Car and Driver
Not all hybrids sip fuel like the 50-mpg Toyota Prius. This 5,840-pounder “isn’t—and can’t be—a fuel miser by anyone’s definition.” But our observed combined city/highway fuel consumption turned out to be 19 mpg—better than the regular Tahoe’s 12 mpg. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, “mostly in the city,” you could save 300 gallons of gas annually. That’s a “quicker payback” than you get with the Prius.

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