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2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid was new.


Performance: 7.1

Reviewers say the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid performs similarly to its gas-powered siblings. It sports a powerful engine and accelerates fairly well, but critics say it handles poorly around the city because of its size. One critic notes that it has spongy brakes, which is common in most hybrids.

  • "The Hybrid is nearly silent at ignition and at rest, but a subtle electrical whirring noise is heard during acceleration from a stop and while decelerating." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "Exploiting the hybrid capabilities requires some practice, and spongy brake feel isn't welcome in a vehicle this size. But interior noise levels are low, and the ride is luxury-car smooth." -- Car and Driver (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Tahoe Hybrid has a 6.0-liter V8 gas engine and two electric motors, which combine to make a total of 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to the wheels through an electrically variable transmission (EVT). The EPA estimates that the Tahoe Hybrid gets 20/23 mpg city/highway with either rear- or four-wheel drive, which is better than the fuel economy of large SUVs like the Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia. The Tahoe Hybrid can tow up to 6,200 pounds and can drive up to 30 mph on electric power before switching to gas.

One reviewer says the Tahoe Hybrid performs much like its gas-operated siblings, but does notice a surge when the SUV switches to gas power. Another critic says that the Tahoe Hybrid is powerful but doesn’t have the kind of acceleration its horsepower and torque advertise. The critic also notes that the transmission is a bit hesitant to shift during full-throttle acceleration.

  • "Hybrids are similar to their conventional counterparts, though they do suffer a bit from some surging when the trucks transitions between full electric and gasoline operation." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The … Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid weighs more than a standard Tahoe, and its hybrid-specific electronic automatic transmission is a bit lazy under full power. As a result, acceleration is good but not quite as sharp as you might expect given the advertised horsepower and torque." -- Edmunds (2012)

Handling and Braking

The Tahoe Hybrid comes in either rear- or four-wheel drive configurations. Unlike its gas-only sibling, the Tahoe Hybrid has regenerative brakes, which critics dislike and say are spongy. While critics say the Tahoe Hybrid has a supple ride like its gas-powered siblings, they say it handles like the large, bulky SUV that it is and will be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. Additionally, one test driver notes that its steering is slow to react to driver input.

  • "The Hybrid offers similar ride quality to that of the LTZ, despite having smaller wheels (18 inches) and no load-leveling suspension." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Tahoe Hybrid does shine on the open highway with its quiet and cushioned ride. Some will feel a slow response from the electric power steering, and the handling is ponderous compared to that of larger crossovers." -- Edmunds (2012)

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