Fuel Efficient Suvs From General Motors

by : Anthony Fontanelle

The call for fuel efficient vehicles is increasing and so is the number of hybrid vehicles launched by automakers. Asian automakers are leading the pack with their hybrid cars. Toyota is the most famous, of course, with its compact Prius. Hybrids in the past are usually small cars, but when American automakers are concerned, their answer is to come up with large SUV hybrids.

Detroit automaker General Motors recently announced that they are expecting their SUV hybrids to be popular among auto buyers as these hybrids consume less fuel than the gasoline-only variants, reported The USA Today. According to the automaker, about 40 percent more fuel is consumed by non-hybrid SUVs compared to the hybrid variants. What this means is that the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrids and the GMC Yukon Hybrids are expected to have a gas mileage of about 19 to 20 mpg when it comes to city driving.

Initially General Motors announced that these hybrid SUVs are expected to offer 25 percent fuel consumption savings. The 40 percent prediction by the automaker will give their SUV hybrids with gas mileages comparable to some midsize or full size sedans. Furthermore, the fuel efficiency of these large SUVs will be better than some crossover SUVs.

The crossover SUV segment is currently the most competitive in the auto market. The reason for this is that crossover SUVs are designed to have the flexibility of SUVs and the fuel efficiency, handling, and performance of a car. But with the presence of large SUV hybrids with fuel efficiency better than crossovers, it can be expected that it will be making waves in the auto market.

The introduction of the SUV hybrids is one of the steps being taken by the automaker to meet the demand for eco-friendly vehicles. The hybrid variants of the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe are expected to appear in showrooms across the country this fall. The SUVs will use the two-mode hybrid system that was developed by the automaker in collaboration with BMW and Chrysler.

Aside from the Tahoe and the Yukon, General Motors is also planning to use the two-mode hybrid system with other nameplates for the next model year. The Cadillac Escalade is slated to receive a hybrid powertrain next year and so are Saturn vehicles. With General Motors' turnaround plan, it looks as if every marque under it will be given a hybrid. These SUVs are expected to do well in the market, something that the defunct Geo brand failed to do with its -equipped vehicles.

Mark Cieslak, the chief engineer for General Motors' full size trucks, said that the demand for full-size SUVs is still present. With more fuel efficient SUVs coming into dealerships this fall, General Motors is expecting to boost sales and increase market share in the country.

If the hybrid SUVs from General Motors an indeed save more fuel than crossovers, this will give the automaker the upper hand in terms of sales. Americans are known for their affinity for roomy vehicles like SUVs. With hybrid SUVs, auto buyers can enjoy the flexibility of these large vehicles and at the same time consume less fuel.

General Motors announced that they are planning to produce 10,000 hybrid SUVs this year. According to The USA Today, this is an ambitious mark since no hybrid SUVs have already been released thus the automaker cannot gauge the level of acceptance for hybrid SUVs.