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2009 Chevrolet Suburban 2500

Overview
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2009 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 Review

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The most stylish Suburban to date soldiers on for 2009 with a host of technological, safety and comfort upgrades. 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 GMC Yukon XL and Chevrolet's own Avalanche SUV/pickup, the Suburban is also related to the shorter full-size Tahoe sport-utility. The 2009 Chevrolet Suburban can be had 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 9,600 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 continue to fluctuate.

What's New for 2009

The big news for 2009 is the addition of a new six-speed automatic transmission and the availability of OnStar's Destination Download on models equipped with navigation. Also new is the addition of Bluetooth hands-free communication, Side Blind Zone Alert system (LTZ only), a rearview mirror-mounted screen for the optional backup camera and an enhanced LTZ trim.

Driving the Suburban 2500

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 new automatic transmission is a vast improvement over...

the previous unit, which sometimes seemed to shift a little abruptly. Despite an abundance of sound deadening materials, 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.

2009 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 Details
2009 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 photo Interior

There is more passenger space and improved seating comfort compared to previous generation Suburbans, 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 (1LT, 2LT and 3LT), 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 2LT adds automatic air conditioning, leather seats and a six-disc CD/MP3 changer. Additional equipment on the LTZ includes Autoride suspension, heated and cooled front-row and heated second-row seats, power-release folding second-row seats, a power liftgate, limited-slip differential, Bose Surround Sound speakers and 20-inch wheels.

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, and, for vehicles not equipped with a navigation screen, a rearview camera display included in the rearview mirror. Side Blind Alert is available, but only on the LTZ trim.

Under the Hood

With two-wheel drive, the Suburban 1500 has a standard iron-block 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower. Four-wheel-drive models get a standard all-aluminum V8 also 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.

5.3-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 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, gasoline), 10/15 (2WD, E85), N/A (4WD, gasoline), N/A (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8
366 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
376 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.0-liter V8
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
382 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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2009 Chevrolet Suburban Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 262 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
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

3/4 Ton SUV...once you get over the gas mileage...

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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

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: "Go anywhere, haul anything"

Cons: "Drinks Gas and can be hard to park"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my 3rd large GM SUV. I started with a 2003 GMC Yukon, then a 2008 Chevy Suburban Z71, and now a 2010 Chevy Suburban 2500. I'll admit I love these things and I may be biased! This vehicle isn't for everyone. Some people don't like big cars and this is big. Some people don't like gas guzzlers and this thing has a major drinking problem. The prior two half tons got much better mileage but the raw power of the 6.0 liter when hauling lots of people and gear and/or a trailer over mountain passes can't be beat. I got the 3/4 ton because they don't make them anymore and I have a large family, large dog, and we travel and tow a travel trailer a lot. This beast does the job and is comfortable, luxurious, and a pleasure to drive. And in a winter environment in Montana, just put some 10 ply Blizzaks on her in the winter with around 6000 lbs of weight (GVW) for traction and you can go just about anywhere. GAS MILEAGE: We can get over 15 mpg on a long trip with no roof accessories or trailer and worst case scenario with roof box and trailer on the windy plains is 8 mpg (but what do you expect when you are towing a sail?). HAULING PEOPLE: Ours holds 7 with the middle captains chairs. No problem with adults and kids and plenty of luggage. And add a 90 lb German Shepherd... HAULING GEAR: We have a Yakima Skybox 18 for extra gear on trips and skis in winter. Box is steady on the roof and solid. Have also put bikes on the roof and hitch mount. Never any issues with hauling those. One advantage of the Suburban's length over the Tahoe/Yukons is that there is a massive amount of room behind the 3rd row seat for luggage/groceries, etc. TOWING: Most trailers are no problem. Brake controls are integrated stock. And with most trailers, especially short distances, there is no need for weight distribution. We got the 3/4 ton because the 1/2 ton was always overloaded and with the trailer it looked like the rear was going to hit the ground. I always opt for safety in a vehicle and I've yet to be able to overload this one with our current gear and trailer. Our trailer is a 18-20 ft class travel trailer and there is no need for a weight distribution hitch on it. Overall, we love our Suburban. They've been a family staple for 12 years and I don't see that changing."

Best vehicle I've ever owned.

By on Monday, May 18, 2015

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

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

Pros: "Did the job I bought it for dependably."

Cons: "None"

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

"I ordered this Chevrolet Suburban 2500. My experience with this vehicle tells me General Motors has significantly improved the quality of the vehicles they build. It has 176,000 miles and I never had to put brakes on it. I never had to do anything to transmission or engine. It has been a great vehicle."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Chevy has made a mess of the Suburban

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I had a 2003 Suburban that I loved and traded it in with over 250,000 miles (I bought it used). I purchased a used 2007 with only 78,000 miles on it. I've made less than 2 years of payments and have put only 60,000 miles on it, and it's had a new transmission put in it (thankful for the extended warranty I purchased) and it now needs a new engine. The engine in the 2007 is a mess. There is a problem with excessive oil usage. Chevy's aware of it and won't back it. Which leaves both the dealers and the consumer holding the bag. I hear Chevy has corrected this design flaw, but make sure you do your research before you buy one."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

ENGINE IS HORRIBLE

By on Monday, January 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Size, convenience, appeal"

Cons: "engine, gas guzzler"

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

"We bought this car with 100,000 miles on it, and haven't even had it for 2 years, we are now in the process of having the motor replaced because of the issues caused due to the flexfuel(which we never use anything other than regular fuel). We have had it to numerous shops for this issue and told the same from all- "the engine is a nightmare" We LOVE the size of it, its great for our family- but not owning it for even 2 years and having this many issues is very frustrating"

30 people out of 59 found this review helpful

3rd Suburban

By on Saturday, January 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great for carrying large items, Great on the road"

Cons: "getting way too expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great for hauling large objects for my work, Great on long distance on the highway, This last one had many things go wrong with it."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Saturday, January 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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

"My wife and I have had this car for over 7 years and not a single problem. We love it and will buy another now that the body style has changed."

17 people out of 28 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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