What do you want in a Hybrid Pickup?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
Are you a pickup enthusiast looking to make the jump to a hybrid pickup? What kind of performance/features is it going to take to satisfy your wants and needs?

Do the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra hyrbid pickups make the grade in your book?


  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    I used to have a Nissan 4x4 and really miss the utility of it at times. For me, a hybrid pickup would have to give me a resonable improvement on mileage performance without giving up too much in terms of power and ability to carry a load.
    Even though mine was an everyday driver as well, I certainly wouldn't buy a hybrid pickup just to "get a hybrid". I'd have to need/want the pickup part first!
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    If I had to pay the full price for my 2005 GMC Sierra hybrid I would not have bought it. The mileage would never make up the difference in price. Overall I like the drive train. It is the truck itself that I am not pleased with. I think GMC lightened it to try and get more MPG and it's tinny. You cannot wipe down the top with out it denting in. My older GM trucks were not that flimsy. I also dislike the extended cab doors on the Sierra. I have it up for sale and will not buy another new GM truck. I will find a clean older one. My 1988, 90, 93 Chevy's were all extended cab PUs. They got nearly the same mileage and were built like trucks not some flimsy car.

    Oh, and it was a tough sell. They knocked off the hybrid premium over and above the rest of the promotional discounts during the Summer of 2005. According to Edmund's it is worth today what I paid for it almost 2 years ago.
  • ddunkleddunkle Member Posts: 2
    My 95 Nissan extend-cab v-6 pick-up has seen better day(runs great, rusting, only 80K miles). All I want is a compact hybrid pickup, regular 6-foot bed, extd-cab v-6 4x4. Not much to ask, is it? I'm ready for my 3rd pickup, don't need a full-size. After seeing the mileage friends get
    on their hybrids, it's an easy sell.

    Too bad about the tinny-ness of your Sierra.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I do not think it is just my Sierra. I think many new vehicles suffer from the same malady. I am only comparing to my other GM trucks that were much heavier sheet metal. If when you push on the top of your car the metal gives, that is what I am talking about.

    Welcome to the Forum!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Given the the big selling point of the hybrid would be increased mileage, I assume they would do everything possible to lighten the truck since decreasing weight increases mileage. That's the kind of thing that I think makes it a tougher sell to a "truck guy". As parts become lessheavyduty, the truck becomes more of a "car shaped like a truck" if that makes any sense :P

    That, and the weight of batteries eats into payload capacity as well.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    In the case of the Sierra Hybrid I would say they have added at least 300 lbs of Stuff including the battery that takes up all the area under the back seat. I can only compare to other vehicles I have owned. Mileage has slowly gotten better. At 8700 miles I am averaging a bit over 15 MPG mostly short 3 mile in town trips. On a recent trip to Palm Springs we averaged 18.2 MPG. That is not a whole lot better than my 4WD Suburban. I almost always got 13.5 MPG with it around town. And 17 MPG on the highway. The auto-stop & auto-start is cool. I am skeptical that it will work well for the long haul. All this high priced electronic stuff concerns me. If I do not sell the truck, I will get the extended warranty that I keep getting letters for. It has never had a warranty issue after a year and a half. In CA it has two big advantages. Cheaper insurance by $400 per year and NO smog tests. I could avoid the smog tests with a HD diesel PU truck. I think the mileage would be better and I would have less electronics to go bad. I would rather have a light duty PU with a small diesel engine. I do not need 500 fire breathing HP & 600 ft lbs of torque.

    So I guess the bottom line is I don't want a hybrid PU anymore. A series diesel hybrid PU may change my mind.
  • ddunkleddunkle Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the welcome
    My trucks have satisfied my "truck guy" needs for sturdy metal (Nissan, Mazda, older vintage- which is probably part of the picture also). And it makes sense the mfctrs would cut back weight with it. And yes, some of us women are truck guys.

    Gagrice, I read your message and agree with you on light duty over HD, if by LD you mean compact.I love my v6 compact, I can haul a motorycle thru steep mountains just fine. So you haven't got much mileage improvement with hybrid, diesel would give you the benefits (insurance, smog test). I'd still like to see the mileage on a compact hybrid PU. Diesel is what, better for the air? Runs on veg. oil? I plee ignorance.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    My bad... I shoulda said "truck enthusiasts" :blush:
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Yes the diesel has the option of running on biodiesel. I would be happy with a smaller PU if the mileage was significantly better. I mean if it got 25+ MPG in town. Most V6 PU trucks just do not get that good of mileage. My Toyota 4 cylinder was lucky to get 17 MPG in town. Not worth it for the much smaller size and towing capacity.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "My Toyota 4 cylinder was lucky to get 17 MPG in town."

    I had a 1996 Ford F150 super cab. I used it for light stuff only, not towing. So I got a base model (I mean REALLY base model), with the 4.2L V6 and the manual transmission. I got 17 MPG city and 23 MPG at 70 MPH, which are pretty good numbers for a full size pickup. But I drove it carefully in town, maximizing the MPG. I bet it would have gotten 15 MPG if I had been hotfooting it out of stop lights (if one could "hot foot" a 4.2L in that size vehicle).

    To do any significant hauling or towing it was, shall we say, rather underpowered. :surprise:
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I don't think anyone has plans for a real hybrid PU truck. Just not practical to tow with. Even the high powered SUVs like the RX400h will not tow much of anything. The one good thing about my hybrid is the AC outlets. I have used them and it is handy. Not worth the premium they are tacking onto the current Hybrid. If you can find one. I have mine advertised and get calls from people saying the dealers do not have them in stock and want full price to order one. It amazes me the extent automakers will go to just to look like they are doing something good for the environment. I guess they have some people convinced. Not me.

    My 1994 Toyota PU was gutless. I would not consider hooking trailer to it.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    A diesel hybrid pickup could tow like a MammaJamma and still get great MPG.

    Someone just needs the coj*nes to build and sell one. :shades: :D:) :shades:
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I thought Toyota had plans to have a Tundra hybrid by now. No talk of it anymore. If you think it would work, how do you get around the inherent problems with towing? Plus no off road use. Hybrid has too many limitations to be useful in a PU truck. Toyota tried and dropped it is my guess.

    I would be happy with a 1/2 ton diesel PU, forget the hybrid junk. They won't even build that.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Seems like you could build a diesel truck with plenty of torque from the diesel engine to do any towing you needed to do, without using the hybrid motor.

    To "protect" the hybrid motor from damage during towing, either have an OFF switch or use engine torque sensors to "disable" the hybrid motor when towing.

    That way, the truck is a diesel/hybrid as normal when it's only pulling itself, but it gets the benefit of the diesel torque when towing something behind it.

    Ta-Da. Throw any Engineering Design Awards my way as required. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    If it is a series hybrid the electric motors drive the wheels. If it is a HSD as the Toyota builds it is the electric motor that drives the wheels. There in lies the problem. Unless you use very large powerful electric motors they will not handle heavy loads. Why do you suppose Toyota has not built the Tundra with HSD? That was projected by several sources for this year. In fact Toyota/Lexus has about peaked in their offerings of hybrids. In the case of the GM hybrid PU trucks I don't think the auto-stop has proven to be much of a fuel saver. At least not in my case. I have not talked to anyone else with one.

    Why add the complexity of the hybrid system to a small diesel truck? I think most people that are interested in saving fuel are not interested in 0-60 speed. I know I am not. Most of the offerings from Toy/Lex are designed to appeal to the lead foot enthusiasts more than the penny pinchers like myself.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "In fact Toyota/Lexus has about peaked in their offerings of hybrids."

    Au Contraire Mi Amaire..............

    Quote from Toyota exec at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month:

    "Arch-rival Toyota revealed a new hybrid concept model, the Hybrid X. Designed by Toyota's European Design center, it gives a glimpse of the future for Toyota's hybrid synergy drive system, according to Toyota Motor Europe's executive vice-president, Thierry Dombreval.

    "Over the next few years, we plan to double our global hybrid vehicle offering, anticipating annual sales of over a million hybrid vehicles by early in the next decade," Dombreval said. Including the compact Prius, Toyota and Lexus have 11 hybrid models on sale, and have sold 900,000 hybrids worldwide, of which 650,000 are the Prius.

    Toyota also showed the FT-HS hybrid sports car shown at Detroit in January, which has a hybrid system capable of developing 400 bhp, providing a 0-60 mph acceleration time of about four seconds.

    "Hybrd X and FT-HS represent two poles of the hybrid spectrum, which define the frontiers for an array of hybrids in the future," Dombreval added."

    So, regardless of what they do in Hybrid pickups or not, Toyota's hybrid offerings are FAR from "peaked."
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Pretty sad that only 2 of the Toyota hybrids are offered as high mileage vehicles. But then the others are for the 0-60 hotrod crowd as you mentioned. The latest hybrid hotrod will do 0-60 in 4 seconds. If it gets 50 MPG it will be a winner.

    I still want a Ranger sized PU that gets 45 MPG like the rest of the world has. Too bad Toyota will not fill that request.

    I only count 5 Toy/Lex hybrids out on the market.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "PS I only count 5 Toy/Lex hybrids out on the market."

    That's why saying they have "peaked" seems kinda out of touch with the future..... :shades:

    You know that they have many times indicated that they want to "hybridize" virtually every car they sell, or at least put Hybrid as an option alongside "Luxury Package #5."

    They usually do what they say publicly they are going to do.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    How are you counting that they have 9 or 11 hybrids? Are you referring to trim level? Or future models that have not been released?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Did I say Toyota has 9 or 11 hybrids? Let me check......NOPE I guess I didn't say that.....

    All I said is that they are going to be having more as time goes by.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Just a reminder of past posting number 17. Was it yours or someone else's statement? Hard to tell with no link to an article. You do interject your opinion in articles.

    Toyota and Lexus have 11 hybrid models on sale,

    I still only see 5 without a PU in the bunch. Lots of big gas guzzling PU trucks coming out from Toyota. That should make some people happy. Not me, I still want a PU that gets good mileage.

    I could care less if it goes 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. I'm after 35+ MPG. Diesel is the ONLY option so far, and then not in the land of the free.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "Au Contraire Mi Amaire..............

    Quote from Toyota exec at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month:"

    I agree with the former statement; Toyota has peaked (on the important stuff). From an environmental and $$ standpoint, HSD only makes a lot of sense in one of two instances:

    small cars - get high MPG
    larger vehicles - get more power (but not better MPG).

    There is a sliding scale here (the HH and RX400H are on the upper end of efficiency), so nothing is absolute.

    While Toyota may offer the HSD on heavier vehicles, it doesn't do as much good as on the lighter vehicles. Auto stop will help some, but in general these vehicles get less good out of hybridization that smaller vehicles. So there is little recovery of the extra costs and complexity of the hybrid powertrain, not to mention the cargo space costs of the batteries.

    When you get REALLY small (think Yaris), one gets into problems with the extra weight of the hybrid not being worth the HSD improvements for a car that already gets good MPG.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Well, until Toyota brass is shown to be a bunch of total liars, I'm gonna believe them when they say that want to offer hybrid options in VIRTUALLY every vehicle they sell.

    Pickups? We'll see. :shades:
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    I think they may well offer it in most vehicles, but it won't pay off in some models.
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