The Chevrolet Suburban 1500 is a four-door full-size SUV that seats up to nine passengers. The Chevy Suburban is manufactured in Silao, Mexico; Arlington, Texas; and formerly the Janesville, WI, plant alongside the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. Main competition to the Yukon include the Ford Expedition EL.
The Chevrolet Suburban is a vehicle which has long graced the showroom floors of Chevy dealerships across the country. Since 1935, there have been a variety of different vehicles to share the Suburban nameplate, ranging from station-wagons to full-size truck-based sport utility vehicles. Each of these Suburbans has shared one thing in common – a practical, no-nonsense usefulness when it comes to hauling and towing. Its modern configuration as a large, long-wheelbase SUV makes it the vehicle of choice for law enforcement, emergency response, construction companies and those requiring an excellent tow vehicle. It has also become an important family transportation option due to its high passenger capacity and excellent cargo space.
The Chevrolet Suburban 1500 shares its platform with the Chevrolet Silverado, and it is no surprise that the vehicles demonstrate many of the same visual styling cues and dimensions. The Suburban bears the split grille which has become the common thread running through every new Chevrolet vehicle, and the smooth vehicle lines give it a sleek, sporty appearance. As with the Silverado, the 9 passenger Suburban bears a multiplicity of trim levels and configurations which allow the buyer to customize the vehicle according to their specific needs. The ‘half-ton’ or Suburban 1500 series is split into 3 different trims (LS, LT and LTZ), while the ‘three-quarter ton’ or Suburban 2500 series is available in LS or LT trim only. The 2500 series also bears a heavier chassis than its half-ton cousin, making it the preferred option for towing or heavy-duty hauling.
Not that the Suburban 1500 is a lightweight in that class itself. Far from it – the base 5.3 liter engine, which is also available in a Flex Fuel version, generates 320 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. A 6.0 liter, 366 horsepower, 380 lb-ft torque monster is also available as an option, and towing capacity is an impressive 8,100 lbs. Stepping up to the Suburban 2500 with a similar 6.0 liter V8 increases towing capacity to almost 10,000 lbs, making it one of the most capable trucks on the planet in that regard.
Of course, a fair amount of that horsepower goes towards getting the nearly 3-ton Suburban moving in the first place. Loaded up in full LTZ trim, the Chevrolet Suburban is the very definition of ‘land-yacht’ – leather captain’s chairs, active electronic suspension, a power lift gate and many interior luxuries make it almost a home away from home. This all comes at a substantial fuel mileage penalty, and even with the smaller engines the Suburban is one of the worst offenders in the GM lineup.
For those who want to take their Suburban and venture off into the wilderness, Chevrolet offers its popular Z71 off-road package as an option, and this upgrades the suspension to trail-spec, adds a locking differential and also a skid plate. While the weight of the Suburban might be a handicap on some off-road surfaces, the vehicle is perfect for camping, as there is literally enough space to bring even the kitchen sink if desired. The 2008 Chevrolet Suburban has not been watered down whatsoever, and continues to provide the outstanding service and utility that has made it a Chevrolet mainstay for over 70 years.