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2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500

Overview
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2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Review

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Fresh from a complete makeover in 2007, the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban soldiers on with an improved family of V8 engines and GM's strongest full-size SUV architecture to date. The Suburban hauls more passengers and cargo than anything in its segment, a fact not overlooked by those who need such convenience or capability. Cousin to the comparably-redesigned GMC Yukon XL and Chevrolet's own Avalanche SUV/pickup, the Suburban is also related to the shorter full-size Tahoe sport-utility. As before, Suburbans come with two- or four-wheel drive, and in regular 1500 or heavy-duty 2500 models. Depending upon the model, a variety of V8 engines are available, from a 5.3-liter Flex-Fuel V8 on 1500 models to a 352-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 on the 2500 versions.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a fan of big passenger-carrying wagons, and can cope with the operating costs, SUVs don't get much bigger than a Suburban. Boat and trailer owners in particular gravitate toward Suburbans, which offer up to 8,100-pounds towing capacity (or 9,700 pounds for the two-wheel-drive 2500 series).

You May Not Like This Car If...

Unless you really need this much passenger- and cargo-hauling capability, a smaller vehicle, such as the GMC Acadia, might be a better choice—especially if gasoline prices resume their recent rise.

What's Significant About This Car?

Chevy has made head-curtain side airbags standard on all models, while the 2500 models receive new 17-inch wheels, StabiliTrak stability control and six-speed automatic transmission.

Driving the Suburban 1500

Driving Impressions Refinement, though markedly improved, shines less brightly in Suburbans than in shorter-length GM trucks. With four-wheel drive and the 6.0-liter V8, the automatic transmission sometimes seems to shift a little...

abruptly, and there is noticeable engine noise under harder acceleration. However, ride comfort is considerably more appealing; it's pleasantly absorbent and cushiony on smooth surfaces and copes reasonably well with bumps. Acceleration is vigorous from a standstill, if less so to pass or merge. The Suburban feels more truck-like than smaller SUVs and, on the expressway, it behaves admirably.

Active Fuel Management Technology
Chevrolet is one of several automakers offering V8 engines that can automatically switch to four-cylinder operation as a fuel-saving measure, and it's a welcome feature. Considering the propensity of big SUVs to guzzle gasoline, every little bit of technology that reduces consumption is a bonus.

Power-operated Running Boards
Sure, they might tap you in the shin if you're standing too close, but the Suburban's optional power running boards are wide enough to really help passengers who might have trouble climbing aboard.

2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Details
2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 photo Interior

There is more passenger space and improved seating comfort compared to the last-generation 2006 Suburban, along with greater overall refinement—including enclosing the "close-outs" around seat bottoms for a cleaner appearance. Rear-seat passengers get increased shoulder room, and the driver benefits from a lower instrument panel that helps increase front-seat space. Two-tone color schemes use softer, low-gloss materials for the instrument panel. The third-row seat is removable, and a power-release fold-and-tumble second-row seat is available.

Exterior

At 222.4 inches overall on a 130-inch wheelbase, the Suburban is undeniably a biggie. With body-on-frame construction, it's clearly a truck—though fancier in appearance than many cargo haulers. Improved aerodynamics are credited to a more sleekly-angled windshield and tighter body-gap tolerances, while a bulging power-dome hood adds to visceral appeal. Prominent fenders have integrated wheel flares, and the lower fascia displays a skid-plate look to enhance the rugged aura. Standard 17-inch wheels can be replaced by 20-inchers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Three trim levels are available: LS, LT and LTZ, with three sub-divisions of the LT level (LT1, LT2 and LT3), and with either two- or four-wheel drive. Standard LS equipment includes daytime running lights, head-curtain side airbags, GM's OnStar emergency and communications system, side steps, split-bench front seat, cloth upholstery, heated power mirrors and remote keyless entry. The LT2 adds automatic air conditioning, leather seats and a six-disc CD/MP3 changer. Additional equipment on the LTZ includes Autoride suspension, heated front- and second-row seats, power-release folding second-row seats, a power liftgate, limited-slip differential and 20-inch wheels. The LT3 and LTZ trim levels include power front seats, a Bose speaker system and XM Satellite Radio.

Optional Equipment

The Z71 Off-Road option includes larger recovery-hook openings, more prominent foglamps, platinum chrome grille trim and on-road/off-road tires on 18-inch wheels. Power articulated running boards automatically move downward and outward as the doors open. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist is available, or the optional rearview camera displays the view behind the vehicle. The optional DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system features an eight-inch screen and in-dash loading. Also optional is the 6.0-liter V8 engine and a touch-screen navigation system.

Under the Hood

With two-wheel drive, the Suburban 1500 has a standard iron-block 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 320 horsepower. Four-wheel-drive models get a standard all-aluminum V8 rated at 310 horsepower. A 366-horsepower, 6.0-liter all-aluminum V8 is optional. Suburban 2500 models contain an iron-block 6.0-liter V8 that generates 352 horsepower. All engines except those in the 2500 models operate with Active Fuel Management technology, and two of the 5.3-liter V8s are E85-compatible. Each Suburban uses a four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission.

5.3-liter V8
320 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
340 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD)

5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, Gas), 11/15 (2WD, E85), 14/19 (4WD, Gas), 11/14 (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8
366 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 (2WD), 12/17 (4WD)

6.0-liter V8
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
383 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Chevrolet Suburban Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 244 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is truly the Cadillac of SUVs. Drives through any weather with no problem. Gets the same mileage with unleaded or E85. Spent 90% of time on the highway. Can't fit it in my new garage. Will feel very sad to see this vehicle change hands. I have owned 18 vehicles so far and this is the best by far."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2011 Suburban LS 4WD is a lot like a minivan

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great grocery getter and kids mover and road trip"

Cons: "Not a serious tow vehicle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Comfortable and stylish. Very smooth on he highway. Lower gas mileage than my 98 suburban LT. Ridiculous spare tire arrangement. Towing a 3Klb boat is a little dicey."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Requires to much maintenance

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "None compared to the other cars out there"

Cons: "Maintenance costs are substantial"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This vehicle has cost a lot of money in front end maintenance. No problem with engine. Second seat has very little room even though they are captains seats. Captains seats will not lay flat so the usable space in the back is substantially reduced."

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great for long drives and carrying household cargo

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "at the time we bought it the price was specttular"

Cons: "had a few door lock problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Reliable, great to drive, comfortable, and can carry a wide variety of items from plywood to groceries. Better on fuel than I expected and it uses regular gas."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

The Suburban is always a great value and fun

By on Friday, July 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Value. Great Truck."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Suburban is always a great value and fun to drive. On the market longer than any other vehicle that I know of, Chevy has had plenty of time to get it right. While others are now making "huge" SUVs, none of them have it right. My Suburban's interior is bigger and more comfortable and the turning radius is darn good. Give me snow, rain or shine, give me 3 kids, wife, a dog and a neighbor. The Suburban takes to crown."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Have six kids and I can really fit six kids in it!

By on Saturday, May 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Big, safe, not a mini van, cool"

Cons: "Gas can be a pain ,but worth it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Much better then having a mini van. Is as tough as my Sierra but I can fit my family of eight in the suburban. Cargo area is perfect, and it can haul a lot! After I bought my first suburban I got two of my sister in-laws to by there own, they love there's. If you want something safe, reliable, and will fit a large family then a suburban is a win win."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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