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TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven both the latest Chevy Tahoe and the Tahoe Hybrid, and have written this road test summary from firsthand experience with both. Editors have compared the Tahoe and hybrid with other SUVs to help you in the decision process. TheCarConnection.com editors also condensed opinions from other Web sites into the companion full review to give you the most comprehensive resource possible for the 2010 Tahoe.
Are full-size sport-utility vehicles a thing of the past? With tough fuel economy rules coming, you may think so-but the Chevrolet Tahoe soldiers on into the 2010 model year as one of the best-performing SUVs available, even in fuel economy, thanks to the recently added, 22-mpg Tahoe Hybrid. With a base price of about $38,000 for the Tahoe and about $51,000 for the Tahoe Hybrid, the big sport-ute's primary competition includes gas-powered utes like the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, and Nissan Armada; among hybrids, it takes on the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class with the clean BlueTEC diesel and the BMW X6 Hybrid, but more likely, GM's own Cadillac Escalade Hybrid and Yukon Hybrid.
The Tahoe's styling takes traditional SUV cues and updates them smartly. The design was new in 2007, and GM's stylists have done good work in giving the Tahoe a distinct identity from the Cadillac Escalade-though it's pretty close in appearance to the similar GMC Yukon except up front. The Tahoe's grille and nose carry Chevrolet's latest design theme, with twin horizontal grilles split by a big gold bowtie badge and flanked by large, square headlamps. The Tahoe's glass and sheetmetal are in good proportion, there are subtle flares at the fenders, and the tailgate is simply shaped, with a minimum of cutlines and fuss. The Tahoe's interior is simplified, too, and seems very appealing. A wide band of trim sits high on the dash-it looks better in metallic paint than in glossy wood grain-and gives the cabin a spacious appearance. Large, well-marked gauges are framed by a big steering wheel, and a wide center console encases simple, clearly marked secondary controls. A more work-oriented interior is fitted to the base Tahoe, but the well-trimmed LTZ's interior could have been lifted from a premium German sedan. The Hybrid model has several subtle modifications that improve aerodynamics and reduce weight, along with a number of Hybrid badges and a different display on the console's LCD screen.