2009 Tahoe Hybrid front 34Enlarge Photo
I had the chance to spend a pleasurable week with a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD Hybrid. This is the first example of a large truck using GM's proprietary 2-mode hybrid drivetrain. The system uses two electric motors, one for low speed and one for high speed driving; and a computer that analyzes the driving load continuously, choosing the most efficient configuration at each moment. These are my findings.
The truck is angular, muscular, confident, and aggressive. It stands very taught and very well-proportioned. It has the refined look of a car that has evolved over many generations and lacks any sign of design weakness. The seams were aligned to the tee. Rear taillights were tall and striking as was the signature Chevy grille and tall sleek front fascia. Notable were the rectangular and high wheel wells giving one the impression of a vehicle that could handle off road situations readily.
For a massive truck weighing nearly 6000 pounds it was remarkable nimble and agile. Acceleration was brisk and the roar of the engine pleasing when power was needed. Quick turns were handled flawlessly but if particularly hard and fast the fact it was a truck was noticeable. It was remarkable smooth and refined, absorbing road defects without notice. In fact even speed bumps were swallowed whole. The vehicle I drove was a 4wd model. You had the option of switching it to 2WD for best efficient or on automatic in which the vehicle would switch between the two modes depending on what was best for the current driving conditions