The Automobile Magazine fleet has been inundated with hybrids lately, and this GMC Sierra Hybrid is certainly the largest of the lot. I had many doubts about hybrid pickups before I first drove a Silverado Hybrid last summer, but the truck proved to be quite capable and very refined. Sadly, the truck market is obsessed with diesel engines, so I wonder how many buyers will take the hybrid GMT900s seriously. But those who are willing to test-drive a hybrid pickup will likely walk away very impressed.
I love how refined the start/stop system is, but I wish it were easier to tell when the engine is about to fire up. GM managed to smooth out the transition between gas and electric power perfectly (which isn't easy), but then installed the absolutely least informative efficiency gauge of any hybrid vehicle I have ever driven.
The efficiency gauge has a green zone in the middle, and there are non-green zones on either side of the "sweet spot." However, there are no clues as to where the needle points at the most efficient operating point and where it might point at the least efficient operating point. Behind the scenes, this system must be more complex than the old vacuum-activated fuel economy gauges, but on the surface it looks very unsophisticated. I recently sampled the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and had a chance to use its very intuitive and informative SmartGauge display to help maximize my fuel economy, which makes GM's solution look even worse in comparison.... Read full article