Hybrid SUV Review:
The GMC Yukon Hybrid drives with the power and oomph of a full-size
SUV and it gets drastically improved gas mileage from its hybrid
powertrain. Mileage is improved 50 percent compared with the non-hybrid
Yukon, according to government ratings.
It's remarkable how
much hybrid cars have changed lately. A few years ago, the only hybrids
you could buy were itty-bitty commuter cars like the Toyota Prius and
Honda Civic Hybrid, which use small gas engines and powerful electric
motors to get their mileage figures to stretch into the ionosphere.
Today, most people
still think of hybrids as small, hyper-efficient commuter cars. But the
technology has actually branched out to include all types of vehicles,
from the massive Chevy Silverado Hybrid pickup truck to the powerful and
luxurious Lexus LS 600h L, which costs over $100,000.
And when you think
about it, that makes more sense than hybridizing the tiny cars that are
already fuel efficient to begin with. Let's do the math.
Toyota Prius is rated for 45 mpg in the city, compared with 27 mpg in
the similar-size Toyota Corolla. If they both drive 100 miles in town,
the Prius uses 2.2 gallons while the Corolla uses 3.7. That's a fuel
savings of 1.5 gallons for the Prius driver. Remember that number.
Now let's compare the
gas-powered Yukon, which gets 14 mpg in the city, with the hybrid
version, which gets 21mpg in town. Over 100 miles, the normal Yukon
would use 7.1 gallons of gas, while the hybrid would use just 4.7.
That's a difference of 2.4 gallons, or almost a gallon more fuel savings
than in our Prius comparison.
So if your goal is to
save the world from evil hydrocarbons, you'd be much better off
converting all the SUVs to hybrid power than you would to convert the
small cars. You get a far bigger impact in the sheer amount of fuel
And best of all, you
don't have to trade off the performance of an SUV to get these fuel
savings. The Yukon Hybrid can tow up to 6,200 pounds with its
332-horsepower V8 engine, and it accelerates with the rumble and
quickness of any other V8-powered monster. It doesn't lack for power.
Plus a digital display on the Yukon Hybrid's dash shows power being
routed from a bank of batteries to the electric motors that give it a
boost when accelerating.
Because driving a
hybrid is as much about fashion and politics as it is practicality, GMC
offers some options that make the Yukon Hybrid stand out visually. You
can't miss the huge "HYBRID" stickers plastered onto its sides, along
with more "HYBRID" markings on the front and rear glass and green logos
sprinkled all over the body. It wants to scream about its ecological
Other than that, the
Yukon Hybrid is basically like any other Yukon.
It has a few
aerodynamic tweaks and weight savings that most people won't notice and
it drives almost exactly like the plain ol' gas-powered Yukon. That's a
What was tested?
The 2009 GMC Yukon 2WD Hybrid with a base price of $50,920. Options on
the test car: Rear seat entertainment system $1,295, power sliding
sunroof $995. Total MSRP price as tested including the $950 destination
Why avoid it?
It's fairly pricey, and it still only gets 21 mpg in town.
Why buy it? It
has the same V8 muscle, roomy cabin and impressive towing capability of
a full-size SUV, but it gets vastly improved gas mileage from its
gas-electric hybrid drivetrain.
It's another reminder that hybrid technology isn't only used on small,
fuel efficient imports. It's also available on big, muscular vehicles,
which is really where it makes more sense anyway.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Byline: Hybrid SUV Review provided by
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
GMC Home Page
Column Name: Yukon
Hybrid offers big fuel savings
Topic: The 2009 GMC
Yukon 2WD Hybrid
Word Count: 701
Photo Caption: The
2009 GMC Yukon 2WD Hybrid
Photo Credits: GMC
Yukon Hybrid Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 18
the Microsoft Word version here:
2009 GMC Yukon 2WD
Download the Original Image File here:
2009 GMC Yukon 2WD Hybrid