Stocky but Stealthy: The 2009 Chevy Silverado Hybrid

Yes, it’s a big truck and, furthermore, it’s made by GM. But before you get all worked up about the environment and North American labour, have a good look at the Chevy Silverado Hybrid.

That is, only if your work requires it. And for a week, my work did.

I was producing a little film for a client (no, blogging isn’t a full-time gig) and this huge machine was a boon. With its extended cab that legally seats six – that mean less space in the cargo box, but still plenty for what we did – it carried the crew, a set, lighting package and two cameras. But it’s how it performed, more than what it could carry, that impressed me.

Great on ‘Gas’
It packs a 6L V8 engine, has four-wheel drive and its curb weight is 2668 kg, yet it delivers a respectable 10.5 L/100km in the city. That’s better than a lot of performance sedans.

You can drive on the electric motor up to 48km/h. Mind you, that necessitates a light foot in traffic (gunning it to pass spoils everything) but the payoff is impressive. According to GM’s site you can get up to 756 km per tank of gas (96 litre tank) on this 4-wheel drive model. I didn’t cover that much ground but was still surprised with its teetotal approach to city driving. Perhaps the regenerative braking system paid back despite my occasional degenerative approach to acceleration.

Bloody Huge!
It’s almost 6m long and 2m high. Parking was a 20-minute workout. Exiting my tight downtown space was a geometry lesson. And if you tag anything, it’ll probably hurt them more than you. Still, a camera for backing up would certainly improve the experience.

A Quiet Ride
A lot of hybrids claim you won’t detect the switch from electric drive. The Silverado made no such boast but was very smooth nonetheless. The 2010s are out now. It would be interesting to experience the evolution of the technology over this past painful year.

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