When you need to bring your kids’ friends as well, you know that a small car isn’t going to fit everyone. For those who do a lot of driving and need a large vehicle to transport everyone or everything they need, either during the week or on the weekends, there are hybrid SUVs that will seat up to 8 passengers.
Though many of these hybrid vehicles haven’t changed much over the years, some improvements have the fuel economy at 20 miles per gallon at the very least. Since this is a dramatic improvement over non-hybrid SUVs, you can be sure that you’ll save money if you do a lot of driving. Though gas prices aren’t as high as they were, chances are the prices will go back over $3 a gallon. At that price, you can be sure that your vehicle choice will pay off.
Finding 8 Passenger Hybrid Vehicles
Unfortunately, one of the available 8 passenger hybrid vehicles is no longer going to be produced. General Motors is expected to shut down production of all Saturn vehicles by October 2010. However, there are still three hybrid vehicles for you to choose from. Some of the hybrid SUVs are smaller than the comparable gas powered version. Even if the gas powered version seats 8, the hybrid version might only seat 7 passengers. This limits your choices if you need to have an 8 passenger hybrid SUV.
It may seem difficult to get information on 8 passenger hybrid vehicles. Since most companies that sell hybrid vehicles concentrate on the smaller vehicles that get over 30 or 40 miles per gallon, the 8 passenger vehicles aren’t as well advertised. However, a quick search of Car and Driver Magazine’s website at http://www.caranddriver.com can yield a list of the different hybrid SUVs that you can choose from. Additionally, the Car and Driver Magazine’s website will review the various 8 passenger hybrid vehicles, giving you more information and allowing you to choose the vehicle you’d prefer.
Since automakers restructured their operations in 2009 when they requested help from the United States government, some of the hybrid SUVs that were available in 2009 will no longer be produced. Included in this list are the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen. Unfortunately, Chrysler announced that they will be closing the Delaware plant that produced these vehicles. However, Chrysler may get back into the hybrid SUV market in the future.
Luxury 8 Passenger Hybrid Vehicles
If you normally drive a Cadillac, you’ll be relieved to find that Cadillac has an 8 passenger hybrid SUV in the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. If you’re accustomed to the luxury of a Cadillac, you might choose the hybrid version because it saves on gas and is greener than the non-hybrid equivalent instead of worrying about prices at the gas pump. This vehicle gets an estimated 20 mpg in the city, though Car and Driver tested the Escalade at approximately 18 miles per gallon. There are a few disadvantages in that the Escalade Hybrid doesn’t have the power that the non-hybrid version has, and the base price is a bit over $73k. However, if you’re driving mostly inside the city in stop and go traffic, the amount of power isn’t going to affect you much unless you plan to tow with your Escalade.
Other Domestic 8 Passenger Hybrid Vehicles
Since the American automakers have perfected large SUVs, it should be no surprise that they offer 8 passenger hybrid vehicles for you to choose from. Though these vehicles may not get the gas mileage that you’d see in a smaller car, you can be sure that you’ll get between 25% and 50% better fuel economy than the equivalent non-hybrid vehicle. Additionally, GM has included features that they don’t yet offer in all their traditional gas powered vehicles.
The GMC® Yukon gets an estimated 22 miles per gallon on the highway or 21 miles per gallon in the city. Since these figures are based on the 2009 version of the Yukon, they may change. There are mostly superficial differences between the Yukon and the Escalade, though the Yukon doesn’t have quite the luxurious feel and is priced at least $9,000 less.
The other General Motors vehicle that is offered as an 8 passenger hybrid vehicle is the Chevrolet® Tahoe Hybrid. This vehicle is priced another $9,000 less than the GMC® Yukon, with the base price around $51k. This makes the Tahoe Hybrid the least expensive of this trio of 8 passenger hybrid vehicles.
Options Available With 8 Passenger Hybrid Vehicles
All General Motors hybrid vehicles come with XM Satellite radio standard. You get a trial period when you purchase the vehicle, then you will need to pay a subscription to continue listening to the satellite radio. However, most worthwhile programs are only offered on satellite radio, so you may feel that paying for the subscription is necessary. Additionally, XM NavTraffic® also comes standard with the XM Satellite radio. This program will work in conjunction with your GPS to show you where there are traffic backups, allowing you to change your route and avoid the traffic jams on your daily commute.
Additionally, OnStar® comes standard in the General Motors vehicles. Though this is a subscription service after the first year, this can be a valuable feature if you do a lot of traveling. Since OnStar® offers turn by turn directions among other features, you can be sure that you’ll always be able to get where you need to go. Additionally, if you lock your keys in the car, or if your vehicle is stolen, a call to OnStar® can help you with your problem. Whether it’s unlocking your car or slowing down the vehicle that has been stolen, you can relax knowing that the OnStar® operators are there to assist you 24 hours a day.