What Do the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid Have in Common?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Other than the fact that they’re all hybrids, obviously. UPDATE: Answer after the jump.

All three vehicles are previous winners of the GCOTY or Green Car of the Year Award, presented at the LA Auto Show by GreenCar.com (pedants not welcome). You want to talk about methodology? They want to talk about methodology. Only they’re description isn’t like to be enough for you, a member of TTAC’s Best and Brightest.

Green Car Journal staff [not listed on the website] narrow down all of the eligible vehicles to the five finalists based upon research and the driving experience. All current models running on conventional and alternative fuels are eligible for consideration. ‘Newness’ is a factor, as is a vehicle’s market significance. Finalist vehicles must be readily available to consumers during the award year. Concept, prototype, and fleet-only vehicles are not considered . . .

The winning vehicle is chosen by a select jury of highly knowledgeable experts drawn from relevant fields such as transportation technology, automotive design, environmental protection, and others. Notable past jurors have included leaders of the nation’s most recognized environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, Ocean Futures Society, and Natural Resources Defense Council as well as automotive icons such as Carroll Shelby and television personality Jay Leno.

The members of this year’s jury, like this year’s winner, must be left to your imagination.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Luke42 Luke42 on Sep 10, 2009

    PeteMoran, You've hit the nail on the head. I think Richard Chen's probably off by a factor of 3 at current gas prices. But, he's forgetting that a lot of us boring people out there keep our cars for a long time. My wife's Prius was bought new in 2004, and we've put 108k miles on it, and she really doesn't want to replace it - though she might make an exception if I buy her a Volt (if that car happens to materialize in a few years). So, even if the hybrid payoff happens at 7 years, we're on track to get it. But, as gas prices rise (as they surely will), that payoff gets shorter and shorter -- and we're also insulated from the volatile nature gas prices a bit more than the average driver. But, he's also missing something else. It's not like she would have bought a Hyundai Accent or a Geo Metro if she couldn't get a Prius. Her previous car was some sort of midsized Volvo, and she probably would have bought a brand-new Volvo. So, right off the bat, the Prius saved her money by being cheaper than the semi-luxury brand that she would have preferred. Also, when I drag her on a drive through a new car lot, the mileage stickers turn us off from all of the schnazzy cars in the lot. And, lastly, if we go somewhere fancy where most people drive luxury cars, people assume we're living a tastefully-greenwashed lifestyle, rather than cheapskates who just happen to like driving around in a well-worn hatchback. Add that to 108k of trouble-free driving and pittance-level fuel-costs, and the Prius has about the best TCO of any practical car out there. Of course, the Prius isn't for everyone. It's a small hatchback household transportation appliance, and anyone who wants more than that out of their driving-experience should probably buy something else. Anyway, I've had a chance to ride in some of the other hybrids, and the numbers just don't add up. The Tahoe Hybrid is in the $50k range, as is the Lexus 450h. As a guy who likes driving around in a well-worn little hatchback and may spend a significant amount of time vacuuming cheerios out of the cup-holders over the next few years, they just aren't the vehicles for me. The Camry Hybrid would be a possibility if they made a wagon version. The Ford Fusion Hybrid gets great press, but it also doesn't have a wagon version. I've looked at the Mariner Hybrid, and it seems to get good reviews, but its looks just don't appeal to me, and MPG numbers in the 30s just don't do it for me in anything other than a pickup truck. So, my answer to "What Do the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid Have in Common?" question is: they're all underperforming hybrids. Underperforming in MPG, in utility per dollar, and probably in sales too. Hybrid drivers are just as aggressive about keeping score as sports-car drivers, we just keep score differently.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 10, 2009

    Jill Wagner is now selling hybrid Tahoes and Camrys, too?

  • CyCarConsulting CyCarConsulting on Sep 10, 2009

    Hey cheap Luke42, Your main battery has a 100,000 mile warranty and you have 108,000 miles on the car. When the battery goes it's $3,500... so much for your cheap car.

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Sep 13, 2009

    Are you trying to tell me that the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid never won GCOTY?? Sob...