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2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500

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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 New for 2008

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

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2008 Chevrolet Suburban Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 273 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Excellent Family Vehicle!

By on Monday, May 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "space, comfort, smooth ride, reliable"

Cons: "hard to see out of, slow to speed up"

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

"I love, love, love this truck! We bought when we were expecting our 6th child and were outgrowing our minivan. We were shopping for a vehicle that could accommodate 8 passengers plus had room for luggage (and all that additional baby gear!). The Suburban fit the bill! We bought it when it was a year old with 20,000 miles on it. We have put 50,000 miles on it and I never get nervous driving it cross-country a couple times a year with myself and 6 kids. It is very reliable, never have problems with it other than taking care of the normal maintenance (oil, tires, etc.) It has very comfortable seating for everyone, including my teenager and pre-teen as well as plenty of space for child safety seats. The ride is very comfortable and smooth. The only downside is that it has very little "get-up", meaning it does not speed up quickly. If you want to race, this is not the car for you. LOL! Also, it is kind of hard to see out of when backing out of parking spaces, but that goes with any large vehicle. Overall, I strongly recommend this vehicle for large families, and we will definitely be buying another one when this one gets old. LOVE IT!"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Luxery ride with room for 8 and luggage too!

By on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Available luxury"

Cons: "price"

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

"Decent gas mileage (21 hwy and 16 city) for a vehicle that provides plenty of room for a large family. DVD entertainment system keeps kids entertained with or without head phones. Drives like a luxury car. Could not be happier with the strong V8 that has plenty of power for passing or pulling a trailer. Great Choice!"

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Do Not BUY if has fuel flex motor

By on Monday, January 25, 2016

I owned and sold this car

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "nice ride when runs"

Cons: "expensive to repair"

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

"I have had two suburbans with the fuel flex motors you will have to replace the cam shaft and collapsed lifters before 140,ooo miles read more on line about this engine it is lemon and G.M. is aware of problem several $1000s.in repair BEWARE"

12 people out of 23 found this review helpful

the worst quality ever for an american car

By on Thursday, October 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "reputation"

Cons: "terrible product,quality, service, WARRANTY"

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

"after 37 vicits to dealers i finaly gave up terrible quality not reliable broke all the time the worst vehicle i ever owned Chevrolet will not stand behind thier product egine replace before first oil change also replace with in the first 36000 miles engine, trans, fuel pump(2 times) front diff, radio, radio antena, xm radio antena, back up camera (2) fuel control module (2) bcm, ecm, driver door moule, back up sensors, wiring harness, front right axel, and on and on for a total of 3 vicits to delaers i am done wont buy a chevy ever in my life, Lincoln I am coming back"

17 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Great trip vehicle, not built as well at our 97.

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Will haul anything."

Cons: "Not the highest quality."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Drivetrain has been great, but the front struts have been replaced (expensive). Self leveling suspension is really nice, until it fails. Still looks good after 7 years."

13 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Has been the most reliable vehicle I have owned.

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 176,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great work horse"

Cons: "No cons"

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

"This has been the best vehicle I have ever owned and I have owned a number. It has just run and run and run. I have had absolutely minimal repairs in the 176,000 miles that I have driven this vehicle. It has exceeded my expectations. General Motors vehicles have dramatically improved."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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