Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share

2008 ICOTY Winners' Buyer's Guide

2008 SUV of the Year - Chevy Tahoe Hybrid
by Martha Hindes


International Car of the Year
Honda Accord Sedan

International Truck of the Year
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Sex Appeal/Sports Car
Audi R8

Most Dependable/Sedan
Honda Accord

Most Spirited/Entry-Level
Volvo C30

Most Compatible/Minivan
Chrysler Town & Country

Most Versatile/Crossover
Buick Enclave

Most Respected/Luxury Car
Mercedes Benz CL63 AMG

Most Athletic/Pickup Truck
GMC Sierra Denali

Most Resourceful/SUV
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

The "sport" in sport utility vehicle is no accident. These sturdy commandos of on- and off-road driving are definitely purpose built. They go where lesser travelers might find themselves mired in mud or hung up on errant branches in the way. They create their own pathways when called upon. However, they can also brush themselves off and do civilized driving duty when needed.

In reviewing SUVs, the ICOTY jury put them to the test, demanding that they provide a well-rounded cache of capabilities, as well as looks, features and durability. Our winning 2008 ICOTY Most Resourceful SUV winner added something extra for 2008. The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, a blend of gasoline engine enhanced with electric motors, treads in a more earth-friendly manner as the only hybrid winner.

Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

2008 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

It must have been heart-breaking recently for true full-size SUV fans to watch the gauge click off dollar after dollar when filling up with gasoline. Not to worry, SUV aficinados. Now you can have your indulgence and enjoy it too. The gas-stingy Chevy Tahoe Hybrid comes with a special "two-mode" powerplant combining two electric motors and a regular-fuel gasoline powered engine. That mixed medium, plus active fuel management and regenerative braking, help the Tahoe get about the same miles per gallon as a much smaller auto (21 city/22 highway in two-wheel-drive).

Vehicle amenities don't suffer from the change in power source. Expected goodies including navigation systems are there. Also, the Tahoe's screen shows the gasoline engine's on-off function while driving on electricity alone. Some styling changes — an extended rear spoiler, more air flow for cooling, no tow hook and tapered running boards — improve aerodynamics while more aluminum reduces fuel consuming weight. Base pricing runs about $49,590. However, Chevy warranties battery life for eight years or 100,000 miles. Best of all, this "green" truck is self-contained and doesn't need a power plug to charge up.

Honorable Mentions

2008 Land Rover LR2Land Rover LR2
It could be a tough act to follow. Land Rover has a reputation for rock solid, off-road vehicles that can accomplishing impossible tasks like scaling mountains and fording rivers. With the new LR2, Land Rover adds luxurious experience to these off-road champions. Unlike some hunkier SUVs, the LR2 is a "right" size version that can traverse untamed territory, but also feel right at home in the super market parking lot. It is luxury in strength with a powerful 3.2-liter inline six and "CommandShift" gearing for extra control when needed. It's aggression muted by sophistication with a polished ride, stadium seating, keyless starter, rain sensing wipers and chiseled stylng. There's no doubt the new LR2 is all Land Rover, and worthy of an honorable mention.

2008 Mercedes-Benz ML320 CDIMercedes-Benz ML320 CDI
Big news from Mercedes-Benz is the recent expansion of diesels vehicles for the American market. The ICOTY jury wanted to highlight the entrance of the ML320 CDI diesel version of the company's M Class sport utility to this market.

Mercedes-Benz credits itself with developing a vehicle that puts a soft touch on sport utilities without robbing them of their inherent capability to tough it out. Diesel designation adds a new generation "common rail" V-6 for smoother driving, more power and lower exhaust emissions. An upcoming BLUETEC exhaust cleaning system, when added, will allow its sale in all 50 states.