We had a 2001 Chevy Tahoe that we liked very much. When it was time to trade we checked out the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. We really love the truck, we call it the magic carpet ride because it rides so smooth. Wind noise is minimal and the power is great for a full size SUV. Recently we took it on a trip pulling our 6,000lb boat and trailer, I hardly knew the trailer was on the back of the vehicle. After 180 miles one way, we arrived as if we had been riding without the trailer. I own a 2003 Dodge 2500 with Hemi engine, that truck beats us to death and it does not pull the trailer with the ease of this vehicle. We also got between 12.5 and 14.3 MPG, the truck would get 9.5 MPG.
2008 Tahoe Hybrid, birch metallic. Just sold it after 5 yrs ownership, bitter sweet ...
Honestly, I bought this big truck for its looks. And because I have 3 kids so I needed something bigger. Im also a car guy so I just cant spend $30 or $40 k and have to look at a minivan in my driveway. Im a man, so I do like to mow the lawn, wash the truck, and have a beer in the yard and admire both. This truck allowed me to check that box.
The magnesium alloy 18" wheels are beautiful and the box shape was so anti-minivan I just had to have it. The Tahoe had a legendary reputation. I also found my Hybrid model at a dealer off trade in for $35K with only 12K miles on it. Made the decision easy.
The looks. If you dont like the boxy GMT900 style, dont get it. Its the single most appealing feature. Its exterior far outshines the bland, big Pilot looking Expedition. The Durango in that time frame looked like it was built in the early 1900's. Nothing from the Germans came anywhere close for the price (or features). The looks of this vehicle sells it (and all those cheesy Hybrid decals come off easily using a hair dryer).
The ride was also great, I was dumbfounded as to how a body on frame vehicle could cruise at 85 mpg as if it were an Audi. Very impressive body dampening. Engine reliability was perfect for 90k miles. And the 6L V8 with electric motors assisting would really rocket this vehicle to dangerous speeds. Good thing it was limited to 96 mph, I often found myself hitting that limiter as the truck felt like it was good for much much more.
Now with the good comes the bad. This is a heavy, dumb, clumsy, body on frame truck. Make no mistake about that.
You are sacrificing vastly superior minivan and unibody drivability and mall parking lot maneuverability in big sums to own this truck. Its 39' turning radius is abysmal. Ingress/egress is also more difficult because it rides higher up. The 2wd model I owned was LESS capable off road than a Yugo GVX. It seemed like 90% of the weight rode on the front axle, and they drive the rear wheels. Dont take the 2wd version even into a dry lawn.
OK what else ... the transmission had a "clunkiness" that just got to my nerves eventually. It would sometimes get confused between hybrid mode, 4 cylinder, and 8 cylinder modes. This would result in driveline shutters and clunks that just should not of been there in a vehicle costing $55k new.
The rear diff was replaced under extended warranty at 80K miles. The entire rear diff, all the gears, bearings, bushings, everything. I never towed anything.
You have of course read about the infamous cracked dash issues. I wont go into that, but mine was nearly cracked in 2.
All the door locks failed repeatedly. Thankfully we found GruvenParts.com making the reliable replacements, never had a problem since.
The Nav and OnStar, while it all functioned fine, was far behind the times (and still is).
I miss the truck, mainly for its stunner looks. Sadly its reliablity and driveability left so much to be desired. I wonder if the 2015 model is better, I still see they use a live rear axle. I hope they didnt just reshape the sheet metal and slap a $70K sticker price on it. If they did, GM has no merit to receive another bail out. Cmon guys you can do far better...
I would not buy another GM, ever. Mainly due to the repeated interactions with GM customer service on the dash and door locks. They have hired off shore contractors to hire customer service who know nothing and care nothing about the US owners. With the dash, they directed me to a local dealer, then told me it was entirely up to them. I sat down with the service manager and he said why the heck is it my problem ? I agreed. The dash is flawed, GM should cover it, not give owners of $55K trucks a circle jerk. I will not buy another because of this. Sorry.
I have owned my 08 hybrid Tahoe for about 8 years and has been a great suv for my family it drives great and is highly recommended mine has just hit 200000 miles and never has had problems just a few minor recalls you can fit 8 perfectly please get one it is the best.
I traded an 07 Tahoe LTZ on this hybrid. It's great sitting at a stand- still and still having cold A/C while burning no fuel. The 4WD works great. I miss the rain sense wipers, memory seats, and power tailgate, but I love getting 4-5mpg more than on the all gas Tahoe. Especially since this one has more power than the engine on a regular Tahoe. I've saved some 25% on my gas useage, and since it was >$4.00/gal last summer and fall that adds up to a lot of money. The ride is great and it pulls my trailer effortlessly. I bought as soon as it was available so I did have a recall to replace something in the hybrid system, but they put me in a Caddy while it was in the shop, so OK.
There are a bunch of other problems that you get with this purchase. First, you lose a lot of standard features that come on cheaper models of this vehicle. Convenience features like automatic lift gate and luggage rack, and safety features like a spare tire and jack. Also, if you get a bad hybrid generator (battery pack) like I did you're screwed. I tried several times to have it replaced while it was under warranty and GM came up with all types of excuses why it wasn't the battery pack. But once the warranty went out they said that the new battery pack would be about $5k. The battery pack controls EVERYTHING.. When it goes everything will run intermittently. And they will gradually die off at a very high expense to safety. For example: The computer that controls the interchange between gas and electric motors will cut the car off when you try to go after stops for lifts or signs. So you will cut off intersections and sometimes in slow or stop-no-go traffic. Mine has cut off thing to cross intersections with vehicles coming. I have to hold down the brake and rev the gas (Almost like in a manual transmission) to keep it from going to electric to avoid this. Which defeats the purpose of the hybrid because you still burn the extra fuel. It's just not worth it.