The Reason The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Was A Failure

The Chevrolet Tahoe has been a titan in the full-size SUV market for several years now, and for good reason. The model comes from a well-trusted automaker, and the Tahoe has always been known as a vehicle that perhaps hasn't set the trends, but has always been able to keep up with them. This is important for the longevity of the lineup because it means the model stays up to date with what buyers want.

Because of this, it makes sense that the heads at Chevrolet and GM would have experimented with a hybrid version of the iconic SUV. The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid hit the market for the 2008 model year; however, it was discontinued just a few years later in 2013 (via Cars). It seemed like a no-brainer that the hybrid version of the Chevy Tahoe would have been a major success, but due to a couple of factors, this didn't end up being the case.

Why Chevy's hybrid SUV was a flop

There are many reasons new vehicles sometimes fail to reach the masses. Sometimes the product simply isn't good and word of mouth prevents potential buyers from wasting their money, but for others, it's timing. When it comes to the hybrid Tahoe, the timing was one of the factors at play that caused it to fail. Back when this SUV first came out, there was a recession due to the collapse of the housing market, which means that people were more selective about what they spent their money on. To make matters worse, the hybrid version of the Chevy Tahoe was not cheap as the price started near $50,000. This was truly awful timing and it likely doomed this version of the Tahoe from the start.

Another big factor that likely impacted the Tahoe Hybrid's success was its fuel economy. The model's 6-liter V8 hybrid engine had better gas mileage than the normal Tahoe (which got 16 mpg at that time), but it lagged behind that of its hybrid competitors. Most hybrids from that era got around 50 miles to the gallon, but Chevy's then-new SUV only got 21 mpg (via Chevrolet). The Tahoe Hybrid's ultimately short run on the market shows that sometimes it's not all about having a good product, it's also about timing. That said, we applaud the automaker for keeping the model alive for as many years as it did. Of course, the Tahoe itself is still going strong for the time being.