We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.
Older Pre-2015 Chevy Suburban Overview And Buying Tips
The Chevrolet Suburban is one of America's longest running vehicles, dating back to 1936. Mostly produced as a commercial truck, it wasn't until much later that it morphed into its current super-popular SUV form.
Today, the Suburban is one of the top extra-large SUVs available due to its segment-leading passenger and cargo capacity, strong powertrains, sturdy underpinnings, comfortable drive and prodigous towing capabilities (close to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped).
For those possibly interested in purchasing an older used Suburban, here's some general backgound information for the available used models (we do not recommend those produced before 2000 due to mileage and condition concerns), as well as different ways of purchasing one at substantial savings.
The Tenth Suburban generation, introduced for the 2007 model year and produced through 2014, boasts an updated chassis over the previous generation and delivers a more comfortable ride as well as better performance and efficiency while still providing the strength and power of previous models. These newest used Suburbans also have additional safety features, such as stability control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for all three rows.
There were three available trims: base LS, the well-equipped LT and the more luxury-oriented LTZ. Powering the half-ton Suburban LS and 1LT models is a 5.3-liter V8 engine that pumps out 310 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque. It's also equipped with GM's cylinder-deactivation technology for better fuel economy.
Initially under the hood of the 2LT and LTZ models was a 6.2-liter V8 that pumps out 366 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. It should be noted, however, that the 5.3-liter became standard on all 1500 models beginning in 2010.
Under the hood of the Suburban 2500 is a different V8 variant that's tuned to produce 352 horsepower and 382 lb-ft. All are coupled with a smoothly performing 4-speed automatic transmission (upgraded to a 6-speed auto in 2008 for the 2500 and 2009 for the 1500) and can be found in either two or four-wheel drive form.
Even the base LS model comes well-equipped with standard features such as full power accessories, a 6-way power driver seat, dual-zone climate control, a 40/20/40-front split bench seat, rear seat air-conditioning, side assist steps, a trip computer and an audio system with a CD/MP3 player.
Opting for an LT adds foglamps, front bucket seats, a center console, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, rear seat audio controls and color-keyed exterior trim accents. The LT2 package adds leather upholstery, remote start, rear parking assist, power-adjustable pedals and a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, while the LT3 goes on to add heated front seats, a 12-way power driver seat, satellite radio and a Bose stereo system.
Standard feature highlights of the top-of-the-line Suburban LTZ include a power liftgate, 20-inch alloy wheels, a locking rear differential, power-folding heated second-row seats, Autoride rear air suspension and rain-sensing wipers.
The previous Suburban generation was produced for the 2000 through 2006 model years and was a more efficient package than its '90's predecessor. Again its huge interior made it one of the favorites for those needing maximum passenger and cargo space. It should be noted, however, that while the interior features and materials of these used Suburban models are adequate, the fit, finish and availability of features is less refined than the current generation.
Initially,these Suburbans were equipped with two adequate V8s, but were ramped up in 2001 to produce 285 and 320 horsepower, respectively. Also becoming available in 2001 was an optional and beastly 8.1-liter V8 with a robust 340 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque.
These Suburbans also improved upon comfort levels throughout its run. Big changes came with the 2003 model which offered an innovative Quadrasteer four-wheel-steering system on 3/4-ton models that substantially reduced the turning radius and also improved towing stability. The cabin also became more accommodating with new features such as tri-zone climate controls and available DVD entertainment, second-row captain's chairs and power-adjustable pedals.
Four trims are available from this generation: LS, Z71, LT and LTZ. Typical standard features on the LS models include full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, tri-zone manual air-conditioning, OnStar, a driver message center, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and an AM/FM/CD audio system.
Choosing a Z71 adds leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, off-road suspension tuning, a Bose audio system and unique trim accents, while the LT adds automatic climate control and XM Satellite Radio. The LTZ tops things off with an automatic adjusting suspension, power-adjustable pedals and side airbags. Used models can also be found with options such as navigation and a rear DVD video system.
Overall positives for the Suburban would include seating up to nine passengers, powerful engines, a class-leading cargo capacity, a smooth ride, a long feature list and an attractive and spacious interior. Overall negatives would include a third-row that doesn't fold flat, sluggish acceleration when fully loaded and limited handling capabilities due to its size and weight.
Lastly, there are actually several different ways to buy a used Suburban at the lowest price, and even at wholesale.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them your own area.