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Pre-Owned: 2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban

The Ultimate Soccer Shuttle

Colin Ryan
Sep 11, 2015
Photographers: Courtesy of GM
The original '36 Suburban consisted of a station wagon body affixed to the frame of a 1/2-ton truck and had seating for eight. Oh, how things have changed. Or perhaps not. The Suburban is still wagon-like in nature, is based on the Silverado pickup frame, and can accommodate nine (in its lowest trim level).
Throughout the intervening years, the Suburban has been a mammoth vehicle trundling along the highways and byways of the United States. In some respects, it might be perceived as a kind of historical beast from the old days of cheap gas and conspicuous consumption. However, there's still demand for a big SUV that can carry a lot of people, haul a lot of stuff, and pull something along behind it for good measure.
Photo 2/4   |   2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ Passenger Side Front View
The 11th generation finally made a nod to aerodynamics with sleeker lines than before (just one of several improvements) along with rack-and-pinion steering instead of the old recirculating ball vagueness. When compared to the previous generation, the body is stiffer, the suspension is improved, build quality sees an upswing, and the cabin materials are classier.
Buyers are further won over by the quiet cabin, comfortable ride, and cavernous cargo capacity—a maximum of 137.4 cubic feet. That said, be aware that the third-row seats don't fold flat into the floor and that the average thirst for fuel will probably be in the mid-teens, despite cylinder deactivation.
The Suburban is also divided into two weight classes: the 1/2-ton 1500 or the 3/4-ton 2500. The 2500 is heavier and can handle a greater payload, with the rear-drive version rated at 2,561 pounds (compared to 1,657 pounds for the 1500 all-wheel-drive version). The 2500 has leaf springs at the rear instead of the 1500's coil springs, plus beefed-up brakes and axles, and it comes in LS or LT trims only. The 1500 can tow up to 8,200 pounds, whereas the 2500 can do up to 9,700 pounds. Neither version could be described as easily maneuverable, but both have decent turning circles (the 1500 at 43 feet and the 2500 at 45.3 feet).
Photo 3/4   |   2013 Chevrolet Suburban Driver Side Front View
The standard engine in the 1500 is a 5.3-L V-8 making 320 hp and 340 lb-ft, which is only adequate for the task of moving this big vehicle around. For when that isn't enough, there is an optional 6.0L V-8 making 366 hp and 380 lb-ft. Just to confuse matters, there's also another 5.3L for all-wheel-drive versions that delivers 310 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque. The 2500, meanwhile, uses its own 6.0L V-8 tuned for slightly more torque at 383 lb-ft, although horsepower runs to just 352.
For the initial year of production, these engines were linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed was phased in for the '08 model year for the 2500 and made it into the 1500 the following year.
An integrated brake controller (part of the trailer package) arrived in 2011, and every LS was fit with woodgrain trim. Trailer sway control became standard in 2012, along with hill-start assist. A heated steering wheel and blind-spot monitoring joined the options list. The main update for 2013 is a powertrain grade braking function when the transmission is in normal mode.
It would be tempting to say there's nothing like a Chevy Suburban, but since this a General Motors product, of course there's something like it: the GMC Yukon XL. Even more luxurious is the GMC Yukon Denali XL. Or the full-on bling alternative is the Cadillac Escalade ESV. It all rests on budget. An '11 Suburban 1500 5.3L in LT trim with all-wheel drive and in good condition is valued at around $27,000.
Photo 4/4   |   2013 Chevrolet Suburban Driver Side View
2007-2014 Chevrolet Suburban
Body type: 4-door SUV
Drivetrain: Front engine, RWD/4WD
Airbags: Driver, front passenger, side curtain
Engine: 5.3L/320hp OHV V-8; 5.3L/310hp OHV V-8; 6.0L/366hp OHV V-8; 6.0L/352hp OHV V-8
Brakes, f/r: Disc, disc, ABS
Price range, whlsl/retail (KBB): $10,118/$15,329 ('07 1500, RWD LT 5.3L V-8), $41,417/$43,781 ('14 1500, AWD LTZ 5.3L V-8)
Recalls: Too many to list; see motortrend.com
NHTSA frontal impact rating, driver/fr pass: Five stars/five stars

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