Breaking News

Get the Power You Need and the Fuel Economy You Want With the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV

Get the Power You Need and the Fuel Economy You Want With the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV

The new Chevy Tahoe Hybrid offers a 30% increase in gas mileage when compared to its more traditional siblings. The real story though is that it still has plenty of power to handle the towing duties most other hybrids (and hybrid owners) dream about. With an EPA rated 21 mpg. in the city and 22 mpg. on the highway, the new Tahoe Hybrid is a compromise between the duties of a full-size SUV and the fuel economy of a hybrid. The main advantage here is that you don’t have to sacrifice heavy duty performance for gas sipping economy.

The 2001 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid is powered by a 6.0-ltr. V-8 engine coupled with two 60-Kw electric motors. The system combines to produce a total of 332hp and 367lb/ft. of torque. The Tahoe also benefits from GM’s Active Fuel Management System that allows the V-8 to run on four cylinders when demand is low. Additional features like regenerative braking further improve the efficiency of the vehicle by using the braking force to charge the batteries.

GM worked with BMW and DaimlerChrysler to develop the “two-mode” hybrid system that uses three special planetary gear sets in conjunction with a more conventional 4-speed automatic transmission. The Electronically Variable Transmission (EVT) can function with continuously variable gearing for light loads and fixed ratio strength for heavy duty tasks like towing. The four-wheel drive version also offers a “low-range” gearing, an option frequently omitted from other hybrid SUV’s.

To offset weight gains from the hybrid components GM shaved pounds wherever they could. Some of the body panels are aluminum, and thin profile seats save weight while making the cabin a little roomier. The exterior of the Tahoe Hybrid also gets an upgrade; additional molding improves the aerodynamics while low rolling resistance tires make the most of available power.

The Tahoe Hybrid shares many interior features with the rest of the Tahoe line. Three rows of seating provide room for seven passengers and a class leading 109 cubic feet of cargo space in the back. Most of the usual options like leather trim and a premium sound system with navigation come standard, leaving a rear-seat entertainment system and sunroof as the only significant additional options.

The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid drives much like its more traditional counterparts, it is a full-size SUV after all. The acceleration and Highway passing performance is more than adequate, actually outpacing similar models equipped with the 5.3-ltr. V-8. The only downside to this truck is the price and a modest increase in fuel economy. Even though a 21mpg. average is a major improvement over gas powered SUV’s, it’s still not what many consumers expect from a hybrid vehicle. The 2011 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid is a step forward for full-size SUV’s, and will no doubt find a home with many customers who need both the additional power and fuel economy only found in this vehicle.