NEW FOR 2008:

– Two-mode hybrid model (interim introduction)
– Standard rollover-capable curtain airbags on all models
– Standard remote starter
– 4.8-litre V8 discontinued
– Exterior colours: Blue Granite and Deep Ruby Metallic

All-new in 2007, the Tahoe enters 2008 with a new two-mode hybrid model, which the company says will deliver up to 25 per cent improved fuel economy, and with a 2,721 kg (6,000 lb) towing capacity. The Hybrid will be available later in the model year.

Built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, the Tahoe is a "baby brother" to the Suburban. The Tahoe comes with a 5.3-litre V8 with four-speed automatic transmission that can be optioned to an E85 flexible-fuel version on 2WD models, and is the standard engine on 4WD models. The Hybrid uses a 6.0-litre V8 with two-mode hybrid transmission.

Trim lines are the LS and LT, in 2WD or 4WD, and the LTZ, in 4WD only. Three-row seating is optional in the LS and LT, while LTZ models come standard with the third row.

Features on the LS include 17-inch aluminum wheels, tri-zone manual climate control, power locks with keyless entry, automatic headlights, tire pressure monitoring system, trailer package, remote starter, assist steps, privacy glass, heated mirrors, roof rack side rails, variable intermittent wipers, fixed intermittent rear wiper, cruise control, floor mats, driver information centre, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and exterior temperature display, leather-wrapped tilt wheel with audio controls, 40/20/40 split bench front seat with six-way power driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, and OnStar.

The LT adds one year of OnStar Directions & Communications Plan, fog lamps, roof rack cross bars, centre floor console, front bucket seats with six-way power driver’s adjustment, and second-row audio controls with headphone jacks.

The LTZ adds 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear parking assist, power liftgate, power-folding heated mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, integrated turn signals and reverse tilt, power sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable pedals, garage door opener, heated leather seats with ten-way driver and passenger power adjustment, driver’s side memory, heated second-row seats, second-row power release fold-and-tumble seats, 50/50 split third-row bench, and six-CD/MP3 stereo with XM Satellite Radio.

Depending on the model, available options include a snowplow prep package, power-retractable assist steps, towing mirrors, rear-view camera system, and rear-seat DVD entertainment package.

Featuring a smooth ride, good handling and exceptional interior quality, the Tahoe is similar to the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade. The third-row seating has flat cushions and no footwell, which means that adults won’t be too happy back there. The third row can be removed to accommodate more cargo, but it must be stored outside the vehicle, and those more likely to haul inanimate objects will probably be better off with the two-row models.

The Hybrid provides all of the comfort and features of its conventional cousins, but with an extra savings in fuel.

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