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2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.1

Some reviewers complain about the 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid's electric motors, saying they aren't powerful enough to move the large SUV well at slow speeds. Still, all agree that the good ride and handling they expect from the conventional Tahoe is present in the Hybrid.

  • "The first full-size hybrid SUVs (Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade), GM introduced these models last year. Like other hybrids, the GM versions combine an internal-combustion engine, in this case a 6.0-liter V-8, and two electric motors. Overall fuel economy rises by about 25 percent with no sacrifice in performance." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The Tahoe Hybrid's gasoline engine is a 6.0-liter V8 that generates 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. It includes a cylinder deactivation system that can shut off four of the eight cylinders when they aren't needed. In addition, the Tahoe Hybrid has two 60-kilowatt electric motors that run off a 300-volt battery pack for lower horsepower acceleration or a power boost for the gas engine, usually when the vehicle is in stop-and-go city traffic.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the two-wheel drive Tahoe Hybrid should get about 21 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. A four-wheel drive Tahoe Hybrid should get 20 miles per gallon in both city and highway driving, according to the EPA.

  • "Was smooth as you please in stop-go because the electric motor, which handles low-speed driving, provides all its power the instant it begins to turn." -- USA Today
  • "The gains in fuel economy above a regular Tahoe are pretty impressive from a percentage standpoint -- the hybrid posts an improvement in city mileage of up to about 50 percent (which is also better than most large crossovers). However, not all people who would need an SUV would necessarily be able to drive it in a way that would maximize fuel efficiency. Heavy loads, steep inclines and even heavy-footed acceleration all call on the V8 for assistance, which, logically, causes fuel economy to plummet." -- Edmunds
  • "A feather foot will keep the Tahoe in full electric mode. A leaden foot brought on the familiar Chevrolet V8 kick, which scooted the monster into motion as expected." -- Jalopnik
  • "At the low end, the hybrid feels a bit weak, but it comes on with a surge of power in the midrange" -- Car and Driver
  • "In other words, it shifts just like an automatic transmission, but with some continuously variable changes, too." -- Cars.com's Kicking Tires blog.

Handling and Braking

The Tahoe Hybrid handles much like its non-hybrid sibling, which is to say it handles very well for a large SUV.

  • "Ride and handling felt comparable [to] that of regular Tahoes," -- Car and Driver.
  • "The Tahoe Hybrid also proved to have exceptional braking performance. The pedal felt firm, and the GM engineers claim the Hybrid comes to a halt in a shorter distance than the conventional Tahoe." -- Edmunds

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