Those who classify cars on the basis of environmental friendliness can start with electric and hybrid ones. At the other end of the spectrum, we’ll probably get the big, V8-powered SUVs that are so popular in America. This Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid combines two seemingly contradictory worlds. Fun fact: part of the technology used goes back to BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Jokes about its size quickly appear when a European talks about such a car Chevrolet Tahoe but in America this is a very common example. Yes, Tahoe, along with its brother Suburban, is also one of the biggest SUVs out there, but it is very popular there, unlike here. By the way, they are also a different price than here, which of course helps.
What large SUVs typically lack is fuel efficiency. Recently, a lot has been done to improve this with smaller engines, cylinder deactivation and yes, also electric assistants, but basically it still takes a lot of power to remove large, often square gears weighing more than 2,500 kg. place.
Chevrolet tried early on to reduce the consumption of its flagship family car and did so in the form of an actual Hybrid variant. A set of electric motors worked alongside a fully automatic transmission that may or may not function as a CVT depending on the situation, which spells out ‘2Mode’ on the nameplate. This discovery also ensures that the Tahoe Hybrid can be used as a workhorse and therefore can tow what is needed. What also helps is that the petrol engine is not particularly affected. The Tahoe Hybrid has a 6.0 V8, albeit in an economy variant. At 333 hp, there is still plenty of power available. The Tahoe Hybrid was more economical than the regular Tahoe, but still not a true economic model. Chevrolet came, of course according to the American measurement method, with a theoretical consumption of 21 mpg, or less than 1 in 9.
Also in BMW and Mercedes
Although the 2-Way hybrid system is built around a transmission from GM, the Americans didn’t actually build the system themselves. It is a product of what was called Global Hybrid Cooperation. For example, it may happen that the electric part of this power train ended up in cars from the competitor Dodge, but also, for example, in the BMW X6 ActiveHybrid and the Mercedes-Benz ML 450 hybrid. Fact of the week! Within GM, the hybrid powertrain offered in the Tahoe can also be ordered in the Tahoe’s siblings GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups were also available as hybrids, but those vehicles were reportedly less popular than their SUV siblings.
You’d expect the Tahoe Hybrid to be the preferred option for the European buyer, but we never see it here. The Hybrid was about $9,000 more expensive in the US than the regular Tahoe, which no doubt had an impact on the availability of used copies. On the outside, the Tahoe Hybrid is recognizable by its many green names, but also by its front bumper. The wheels are also unique to this variant, which are also slightly lower on the legs and – everything is coordinated – without its roof rails. This white copy is from 2008 and came to the Netherlands in 2009. The current owner has owned it since 2012 and apart from the fact that a wash would definitely not hurt, the car looks great.