• GM to cancel hybrid versions of Tahoe, Yukon, Escalade
  • Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid sold only 533 units last year
  • Hybrid models not likely to be replaced

Shoppers interested in a hybrid SUV don't have many choices -- and soon, they'll have even fewer. General Motors recently announced it's pulling the plug on hybrid versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.

The SUVs' poor sales are the primary reason for GM's decision. Last year, Chevrolet sold just over 500 Tahoe Hybrids, compared to nearly 70,000 Tahoe models overall. The numbers weren't much better for the Escalade Hybrid and Yukon Hybrid, which combined for around 1,200 sales out of more than 40,000 total.

GM is also canceling its full-size hybrid SUVs because the models are due for a redesign. The Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade are all based on GM's full-size pickup chassis, which is all-new for 2014. That means new versions of the SUVs are close behind. Because hybrid sales were so slow, GM probably felt the SUVs weren't worth the effort to update.

Several factors contributed to slow sales of the Tahoe Hybrid and its siblings. One was price: While the Tahoe starts around $41,000, the Hybrid is closer to $54,000. The Escalade Hybrid commands a similar premium, starting at nearly $75,000.

Fuel economy was also an issue. The base-level Tahoe returns 15 miles per gallon city and 21 mpg on the highway, while the Tahoe Hybrid reaches 20 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. The increase was hardly enough to justify the added expense for many shoppers.

But there's still hope for drivers interested in a full-size hybrid SUV. Chevrolet says the hybrid models will still be offered in a shortened 2014 model year before the all-new 2015 Tahoe arrives. And a quick search on AutoTrader.com reveals dozens of new Tahoe Hybrid models available at Chevrolet dealerships across the country.

Once the Tahoe Hybrid and its siblings are gone for good, shoppers won't have many hybrid SUV choices. The only remaining models will be the Lexus RX 450h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Audi Q5 Hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid and Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid. The Highlander Hybrid is the least expensive, though its base price is still nearly $41,000.

What it means to you: The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and its siblings didn't quite offer the pricing and fuel economy shoppers were searching for.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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