2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Car Review AOL On

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2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Car Review

When you think of Hybrid you’ll most likely envision something resembling a Toyota Prius. But when GM entered the Gas Electric Hybrid Game back in 2004, they started with their trucks, the first of which was a Silverado Mild Hybrid meaning it could move on electric power alone. It featured a 295 horse 5.3 liter V8 made into a 4 speed auto augmented by an electric motor and produced a 10% gain fuel economy.

Jump ahead five years and this Silverado Hybrid has really matured.

Utilizing GM’s two mode hybrid system which I’ve tested right here and 3 other SUV’s, this Silverado with a full hybrid happily moving its slow speed without help from the engine. This complex transmission is able to operate in a fix ratio continuously variable or electric only mode depending on the demands of the driver.

Utilizing two small electric motors fed by a 300 volt batter pack located under the rear seats, the power can manage the big 6 liter V8 can be supplanted by two-mode system particularly in concert with the cylinder deactivation feature that allows the V8 to power down to a V4 while cruising.

GM uses a host of other fuel saving tricks too in order to generate the advertised combined 25% gain in fuel economy. By 4 wheel drive tester has rated a 20 MPG city and highway with the bulk of those gains coming in city driving.

One of the biggest advantages of the two-mode is how it can handle higher capacities as compared with other Hybrid systems. And though this half time crew cab 4×4 doesn’t match the capabilities of its gas only counter part, it’s not that bad 1,418 pounds payload which is 17% less and 5900 pounds towing which is 43% less. So as you might expect, towing takes the biggest hit in the Hybrid.

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The V8 under here makes less power at 2 at 332 horsepower and 367 pound feed of torque but this Silverado won’t be hungry. Step off with the passing power are still more than adequate.

During my test week, I did my share of dirt hole underneath this easy to operate tunnel cover so I likely made a negative impact on fuel economy but I still only achieved about 16 ½ miles per gallon. This has been a trend during my GM two mode test drives however where I had yet to get to 20 miles per gallon. This truck’s gas counter part gets only 13 city and 18 highway.

The whole two-mode operation is quite amazing especially when the Silverado was pulling away from a stop light in quietness as it let’s the batteries do the work up to 30 miles per hour. I should note though that the two mode system here wasn’t’ quite as transparent as the other’s have driven though it didn’t race any red flags.

There are two trim choices, 1HY and 2HY. This is the base level one as the spars interior shows. If you want the hybrid monitor, navy sun roof and a like, you’d have to step up to the 2HY.

The only option on my tester is the six way driver side seat adjuster. The total price as seen here is $42,420.00 about a $2,700.75 premium. But keep in mind that the Silverado Hybrid only comes in this configuration with or without four wheel drive.

Other than its GMC cousin, there are no other Hybrid pick ups on the market. Depending on your specific needs, this Silverado could be a good fit for your utility and green minded intentions.

For Drive Time on Yahoo Autos, I’m Steve Hammes.

Posted: 10/20/2010 | Views: 20,264 | Duration: 03:49

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