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In the fall of 2009, General Motors launched the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid for the 2010 model. The motor industry and the world went gaga as they welcomed this powerful full-size hybrid SUV. It was an attractive blend for potential owners and car enthusiasts looking for the utility of an SUV while reducing their carbon footprint and increasing fuel economy. However, despite the Tahoe being a great SUV, hypnotizing the world wasn’t enough, as it quickly became a commercial failure. 

The 2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid was a monumental flop

The 2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid packs a reliable 6.0-liter V8 engine and two 60 kW electric motors, producing 332 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque. It’s powerful enough to tow up to 6,200 pounds, not to mention a ton of other cool features.

Sadly, these features weren’t enough to carry the Tahoe Hybrid to success, resulting in GM discontinuing the model in 2013 due to the following:

  • Pricing – at a little over $50,000, the Tahoe Hybrid was pricier than most SUVs of the same category, including the standard Tahoe LS. Due to the collapsed housing market, the recession didn’t help with sales either, as buyers were cautious with their spending. 
  • Poor fuel economy – at 21 city/22 highway, while its rivals were at 50 mpg at the time, few potential hybrid owners were willing to spend that much on gas. 

The SUV is still available, but it has since lost its glory. 

There’s no single-figure-fits-all for the average price of a used 2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. Various car dealers and reviewers have unique averages; Edmunds ranges the price at $10,299 – $13,987, U.S. News averages it at $16,891 – $22,007, J.D Power averages it at $11,750, and $13,436 on Carfax

The 2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid still had its moments

A white 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid full-size SUV model
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid | Chevrolet

Despite failing, the 2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid experienced 5 minutes of fame and still does. For starters, it’s a reliable and impressive SUV that offers power and efficiency. The almost perfect 4.5/5 reliability ratings from Kelly Blue Book testify to the SUV’s exceptional dependability and quality. 

Additionally, U.S. News released its list of the best-used hybrid SUVs under $30K. Surprisingly, the Tahoe Hybrid made the cut at No. 6! The reviewer praised the SUV for its spacious interior, towing capability, and impressive fuel efficiency.

Nonetheless, like most vehicles, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid wasn’t immune to recalls. According to Consumer Reports, there have been five 2010 Tahoe Hybrid recalls due to airbag-related challenges. The first recall occurred as early as September 2010 (NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID: 10E043000), while the most recent was in February 2021 (NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID: 21V054000), that affected over 1.77 million vehicles. 

Other hybrid vehicles suffered the same fate

Sadly, the 2010 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid isn’t the only vehicle on U.S News’ list that suffered a sad ending. Others include the GMC Yukon Hybrid and the 2011 and 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

The several factors that resulted in these models flopping include the cost. They were priced at over $10,000 higher than other SUVs, including the non-hybrid counterparts on the list. Furthermore, they faced stiff competition from better-established and recognized brands, such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Lexus RX Hybrid.

The SUVs’ fuel economy ratings didn’t improve the sales either. The 13 city/18 highway mpg and 20 city/21 highway mpg for the 2011 and 2009 Escalade Hybrid, respectively, and 21 city/22 highway mpg for the Yukon, EPA estimates weren’t as good as some other hybrid SUV’s at that time. 

Finally, SUV technology was not as advanced as other hybrids at the time. Overall, while these hybrid SUVs were reliable, their challenges prevented them from achieving the level of success that their manufacturers had hoped for and the potential owners were looking forward to.

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