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#6

in 2012 Affordable Large SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $34,838 - $36,922
Original MSRP: $51,970 - $54,775
MPG: 20 City / 23 Hwy
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2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Some reviewers complain about the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid's electric motors, saying they aren't powerful enough. Still, all agree that the good ride and handling they expect from the conventional Tahoe is present in the hybrid.

  • "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

Acceleration and Power

The Tahoe Hybrid comes with a 6.0-liter V8 and a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors that run off a 300-volt battery pack that can power the Tahoe Hybrid at slow speeds, usually when the vehicle is in stop-and-go city traffic. Combined with the gas engine, this system makes 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. Two-wheel drive models can tow a maximum of 6,200 pounds, while four-wheel drive Tahoe Hybrids can tow up to 5,900 pounds.  

According to the EPA, both two- and four-wheel drive Tahoe Hybrids get 20/23 mpg city/highway.

Test drivers note that the Tahoe Hybrid isn’t blisteringly fast, but that it has adequate power for most situations. One reviewer notes that there’s a surge in power when the V8 takes over for the electric motors, but not in a good way, and that it makes the acceleration hard to modulate.

  • "The Hybrid accelerates from a stop and passes much like conventional models, but a faint surge is felt and heard when the vehicle shifts 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

Handling and Braking

The Tahoe Hybrid handles much like its non-hybrid sibling, which means it has a smooth ride that some test drivers compare with luxury cars. That’s high praise for an affordable large SUV. One reviewer mentions that the Tahoe Hybrid is plagued by the mushy brake feeling that’s common to vehicles that have regenerative brakes, though it has a fairly good turning radius for such a large SUV. The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case is optional.

  • "With its boxed frame, high-tech suspension and precise steering system - plus additional sound dampening - the 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe offers a luxury-car-like ride.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “These are tall, heavy vehicles, so they never feel nimble. But there's no excessive body lean in turns with the base suspension, and even less with Autoride. Low-speed maneuverability is aided by a relatively tight turning circle. The brakes feel strong, but some testers want better pedal modulation.” -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

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