2010 Chevy Silverado Hybrid ReviewThis article was originally published in blog:
HOT DOG! I just picked up the keys to the 2010 Chevy Silverado Hybrid on Tuesday and I've been quite surprised by a few things that have popped up as my first impressions of the vehicle have now been formed and I am working though some of the meatier issues at hand.
2010 Silverado Seems Bigger
While I'm sure that it's probably not, but the 2010 Silverado seems to be wider and taller. The different, and more angular, hood design adds to that dimension (which I'm not too fond of actually, it collects watcer and splashed all over the window when I got moving again, even after it quit raining).
Hybrid appears to work well, but makes vehicle "jerkier"
My initial house-to-office commute on the freeway netted an unbelievable 23.4 MPG on a 30 mile trip. That means that I burned just over one gallon of gas to get me and a 6,000 lb truck 30 miles. That's better than the stated MPG for highway MPG for the standard 6.0L Silverado. The drive was made up of roughly 4 miles of primary roads to the freeway, then mostly 60 MPH freeway driving with maybe five minutes in traffic slowdowns and delays for about 23 miles. The final leg was downtown city driving with hills, starts-and-stops and finanly a long climb to the top of a 10 story parking garage.
Driving in town yesterday, with very little freeway driving, netted a much different result. One day of driving in heavy suburban traffic, with tons of starts and stops, stoplights, short trips to the grocery store and the like, netted about 16.5 MPG for city driving. While I'm certain that is better than what the 6.0 L engine would net by itself, the first glace is that it's not such a huge number to make me jump up and down. Althought, I probably would have gotten 12 MPG in town in a non-Hybrid, so that's a gain of at least 35%, which will add up over time.
How does the Hybrid Work - practical experience
While I could see that I was in fact taking-off under battery power, there are several factors that I noticed were involved in how quickly the engine turns on and off. First, at a dead stop the engine will stop running, then depending on the level of pedal to the floor, the grade of climb that I was trying to move forward (ascend or declilne) and other factors like having the HVAC on, the truck will more or less quickly move out of battery-only mode and the engine will fire up.
Taking a look at the Drive Information Center's readout of instant fuel economy, you can watch your numbers fall from the standard 99 MPG reading to the 3 MPG shown when taking off when the engine is engaged. The numbers will climb as you reach higher gears, with the higest average MPG reached when you are at the lowest RPM in your highest gear.
First Impression Conclusion
Ok, it's a full-sized Chevy Silverado truck. It's nice, it's comfortable, it owns the road and I like it. I'll have to do some work to see how well the Hybrid does in fact save fuel ... enough to save the drive money over a five-year period? That remains to be see.