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2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV - Overview

Research another Tahoe Hybrid:

$49,590 – $52,395 MSRP

$46,119 – $48,727 Invoice

20 / 20 MPG City/Hwy

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2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid SUV

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Overview

What Changed for 2008:

  • New hybrid model

  • Two new exterior colors

  • Side curtain air bags standard

  • 40/20/40 split bench seat in LS models

  • Woodgrain trim on forward center console

  • Brighter instrument pointers in gauge cluster
Overview
The Chevrolet Tahoe was all new in 2007, so there aren't many changes for 2008. The biggest news is the addition of a hybrid model, which is claimed to have a 25 percent overall improvement in fuel economy. The Tahoe doesn't offer long-wheelbase versions like its sister GMC Yukon, as the longer version of the Tahoe is sold as a separate model, the Suburban. Up front, the Tahoe Hybrid differs slightly in looks from the regular gas-powered model, with a larger grille that brings more airflow into the engine for improved cooling. The front fascia also looks bigger since all inlets have been closed off for improved aerodynamics.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe comes in three models: 2-wheel drive (2WD), 4-wheel drive (4WD), and the new Hybrid version. There are three trim levels-LS, LT and LTZ-but the Hybrid is offered in only one trim. The LS comes in 1LS or 2LS equipment levels; the LT in 1LT, 2 LT and 3LT. LTZ stands alone since it's loaded with all the features included in the lower trim levels.

The Hybrid interior differs from the gas-engine Tahoe, with seats designed to be slimmer to save weight; an altered instrument cluster that includes an economy meter in the top left area so that the driver can keep an eye on how efficient his use of the hybrid motor is with a "green" range; and redesigned second-row seats that accommodate the battery pack below the seats. The Hybrid also uses lighter-weight materials like aluminum for the hood, tailgate and wheels to compensate for the extra weight of the hybrid system. Overall weight gain is only about 100 to 150 pounds above the standard Tahoe. The Hybrid also has been lowered about 10 mm to enhance the aerodynamics and improve fuel efficiency.

The Z71 Off-Road appearance package and Chrome Appearance package have returned for 2008, along with optional power running boards.

Powertrain
Four engines make up the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe lineup. Standard on the 2WD model is the Vortec 4.8-liter engine. It provides 295 hp and 305 lb.-ft. of torque. The 4WD version gets the 5.3-liter V-8 engine with an iron block and aluminum heads, which produces 320 hp and 340 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is E-85 capable, which means it can run on gas, ethanol, or a combination of both. Another 5.3-liter all-aluminum engine with the same hp and torque as the iron block is optional on the 2WD model. The Hybrid gets the 6.0-liter V-8 engine, good for 332 hp and 367 lb.-ft. of torque. All engines but the 4.8-liter utilize GM's Active Fuel Management system, which toggles the engine between 4- and 8-cylinder mode, depending on throttle demand. Gas-powered Tahoe engines are mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission, while the Hybrid uses its own electronically controlled transmission.

The Hybrid can tow up to 6200 pounds, which is about 2000 pounds less than the maximum on the 4WD model. The Hybrid's tires are a low-rolling-resistance compound, and the wheels differ from the regular Tahoe with the use of a lighter-weight material. The independent suspension remains unchanged, as do the standard 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.

Safety
Standard safety features on the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe include dual-stage front air bags; side and curtain air bags; and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. Optional features include rain-sensing wipers; Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist; and a rearview camera. OnStar is free for one year on all new models, and includes automatic notification of air bag deployment to get help immediately.

Technology
The 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe features rollover mitigation and an optional navigation system, but the newest technology is the hybrid drive system, a two-mode design that employs two 60-kilowatt motors in addition to the V-8 engine. The first mode uses electric power only, engine power only, or a combination of both at low speeds and under light loads. The engine shuts off for extended periods and only the electric power is used in stop-and-go traffic to help improve fuel economy. At highway speeds, full V-8 engine power is used in situations such as when passing, trailer towing, or climbing grades. A 300-volt battery pack is located in the rear cargo area to recharge the electric motors, so there's no need to plug in the vehicle to recharge it overnight.

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