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Dan Neil reviews the Tahoe hybrid

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I read this in the paper today here locally, can anyone hunt down the link for Dan neil's review on the Tahoe hybrid? It's a decent read, he thinks functionally its a good vehicle but he spent more time writing about the significance of a big SUV getting the hybrid treatment.

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I read this in the paper today here locally, can anyone hunt down the link for Dan neil's review on the Tahoe hybrid? It's a decent read, he thinks functionally its a good vehicle but he spent more time writing about the significance of a big SUV getting the hybrid treatment.

Here is a copy from LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/h...1&cset=true

Edited by jrockb4
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http://www.cars.com/go/crp/research.jsp?se...p;revlogtype=22

I had a chance to spend a couple of days in the Tahoe Hybrid; in fact, I believe the vehicle I drove was the same one that appeared on the show stand at the recent L.A. auto show -- white, with gold "Hybrid" decals along the scuppers. People have accused Prius owners of being ostentatiously green, but the badge-barnacled Tahoe Hybrid might as well have roof-mounted green emergency lights and a "Green Green!" whoop siren.

So, what's it like? For sheer execution, you can do nothing but throw rose petals at the thing. The engine starts instantly -- as you would too if you were goosed with a 300-volt battery pack -- and falls into a serene idle. Once the gas engine reaches operating temperature, it will shut down during low speed/load conditions, and if you feather the accelerator just right you can make the Tahoe Hybrid sluice along at up to 30 mph in all-electric mode, just a 5,700-pound Prius. The vehicle's two honking 60 kW traction motors (wrapped around the transmission) are primarily responsible for the uptick in around-town mileage.

Put the power down and the 5,700-pound SUV goes like a rear-ended boxcar: The combined output of engine and motors is a romping 332 hp and 367 pound-feet of torque, much of it arriving with boot-in-the-pants authority in the low rpm range.

What's astonishing in even a cursory round-the-block test drive is the seamlessness, the absence of shudder or second-order vibrations, with which all this heavy-duty machinery goes about its business. I know Lexus makes big V8 hybrids, but we're talking a GM 6.0-liter V8 that comes on with all the drama of an indicator light.

Behind the wheel, the Tahoe Hybrid has the cues of a regular Tahoe, including a cabin the size of a handball court. Here and there are signs of a light-weighting program undertaken to counteract the added hardware and batteries: The upholstery is thinner and lighter (the second and third rows still fold flat into the cargo floor). The Hybrid makes use of loads of alloys, including lightweight wheels, aluminum hood and liftgate. Stretching the mileage a bit further, the Hybrid uses low-rolling resistance tires. These will not, I repeat, not get you over the Donner Pass in winter.

You want an astonishing number? The Hybrid's aerodynamic efficiency -- coefficient of drag -- is a slippery 0.34 Cd, compared to 0.39 Cd for the standard Tahoe. Not bad for a vehicle that looks like a refugee from the shipping yard at Long Beach.

Are we coming in at the middle of the play? Perhaps the problem with judging the Tahoe Hybrid harshly -- it does seem absurd on the face of it -- is that we don't know, or little appreciate, the larger plan at work. Perhaps GM means what it says when announcing that the company plans to electrify personal transportation, and has tackled the biggest challenge first: putting its most fuel-thirsty products on a gasoline diet. Could it be we're being cynical about a good-faith effort?

What really needs to be re-engineered, of course, is the consumer, who opts for these big, heavy-duty vehicles for personal transportation and light loading when smaller, lighter vehicles will do (I assure you, people, you don't need a Suburban to trailer your 300-pound dirt bikes). This is a contentious issue, since Americans feel they should be able to drive whatever they can afford, disregarding the fact that the sky -- and our collective debt of foreign oil -- is part of the public commons. The recent revision of CAFE standards helps, but there are plenty of people who regard any attempt to regulate the vehicle fleet as Kremlin-esque social engineering.

For now, we have this paradox, a fantastically fuel-efficient vehicle that's still a gas hog. A hybrid that's simultaneously good (promise) and bad (reality). Matters can only get more muddled when the Hybrid Hummer comes rolling out.

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Compared to the hateful diatribes this guy wrote two years ago, it almost appears as if he has had a lobotomy. He is desperately trying to be open minded while evaluating a vehicle in a segment that he dislikes. Who next, Ralph Nader?

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And the conclusion says it all...

Instead of admitting that the Tahoe Hybrid is an EXCELLENT piece of engineering that allows us to literally 'have our cake and eat it too' this surrender monkey goes on a tirad about how we should roll over, give up and limit the buyers choice just because 'people shouldn't buy these, it makes me uncomfortable and I feel that it isn't right'

I just don't get it.. Why does this faction of our society feel that it needs to police our buying habits and constantly correct our habits on EVERYTHING we do. I can't smoke, because it's bad for me... I can't buy a big SUV, because it's taboo.. I can't buy clothes from Wal-Mart because it kills small industry... What's next? Oh, wait, I know... I can't VOTE for who I want to lead the country, because it's not the correct decision. (Get where I'm going with this?)

There is nothing free about a society like this. I really don't care if my driving an SUV endangers your kids, because guess what; you certainly didn't care when you bought Chinese goods and endangered my kids when my job went overseas. I really don't care about some kid in China because they didn't care about my kid when they shipped him lead painted toys in a effort to make a quick buck. I really don't care about a war torn community in the middle east because they didn't care about my community as the terrorists flew planes into the buildings.

We, as americans, (yeah, it's a joke, I know) should be free to do whatever we want, whatever the cost (Within limits of course) Why should we CRIPPLE OURSELVES to promote OUR ENEMIES (Pretty much every society in the world wishes our downfall on one level or another)

Dan Neil is a f*cking idiot, as are his followers.

P.S. These liberal 'do-gooders' will start with SUVs, then they'll attack "luxury cars" meaning TRADITIONAL, AMERICAN and euro brands. Next they'll attack "sports cars" (Anything larger than an S2000 and more powerful than a MazdaSpeeed 3) and then they'll go after "old clunkers" to seal the deal and get rid of the evil once and for all. It's almost as if, after 5 years of trying to kill our industry financially and FAILING, they've determined that they will just regulate and limit it to death, then erase any trace of history.

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FOG, where ever did you get the lame idea that we live in a Free Society? We are told what to do from the moment our clock radio wakes us up (commerical propoganda) in the morning to the moment we go to bed at night.

Churches brain wash us. Schools indoctrinate us. The media numbs us. Very few people are actually capable of original thought. Remember the suck ups in highschool who would tell the teacher what he/she wanted to hear in English class?

IMO, the only difference between a 'Free' society and a totalitarian one is the packaging. Our thoughts are being monitored every day. Ever sit at a managers meeting at any company, anywhere? Not an original thought in the place. Originality is routed out.

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I can't buy clothes from Wal-Mart because it kills small industry

well it does... and if you are staunchly pro-american when buying automobiles you should be staunchly pro-american when buying your clothes, food, household items, etc...... which means being primarily anti-walmart.

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