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2011 Chevrolet Suburban 2500

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2011 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 Review

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High gas prices are the talk of the day, leading many car buyers to focus on smaller, more efficient models. For some people, however, bigger isn't necessarily better, but it is necessary. Especially well-suited for large families and those who tow a camper, boat or horse trailer, the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban is a completely modernized version of a genuine workhorse. It's available in light-duty 1500 and heavy-duty, three-quarter-ton 2500 guises and three trim levels: the base LS, the mid-level LT and the upscale LTZ. Inside its cavernous confines is seating for up to nine occupants, cargo space that maxes out at 137.4 cubic feet, and all of the available luxuries and amenities required by families, contractors, and others.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need the towing capacity of a full-size pickup truck coupled with the capability to seat nine people or fill an expansive dry and secure cargo area, the 2011 Chevy Suburban (and similar GMC Yukon XL) is arguably your best choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

It takes a lot of fuel to haul this much mass up and down the road. With prices at the pump continuing to trend upward, buyers should ask themselves if they need the Suburban's space and utility enough to justify the expense.

What's Significant About This Car?

Chevy has treated its largest SUV to a few tweaks this year, including the availability of new exterior colors, a new 20-inch chrome wheel option and a towing package that now includes an integrated trailer brake controller.

Driving the Suburban 2500

Driving Impressions Despite being an extremely large SUV built on a truck frame and designed to pull or carry heavy loads, the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban delivers suitable comfortable ride around town and...

on the highway. Occupants will certainly feel the bumps, but the suspension does an admirable job of absorbing them. All models benefit from capable V8 engines and a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, though more powertrain noise makes its way to the cabin than drivers may prefer.

Active Fuel Management Technology
This technology is also known as cylinder deactivation. In light load situations, such as cruising on a flat highway, power is cut from eight to four cylinders in an effort to conserve fuel. As soon as more power is needed, all eight cylinders are automatically put back to work.

Power-Operated Running Boards
The available power-operated running boards, which pop out when a door is opened and retreat when closed, are of considerable help for passengers who find getting into and out of the Suburban to be difficult.

2011 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 Details
2011 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 photo Interior

Inside the 2011 Suburban is a cabin that includes seating for up to nine passengers, with standard front buckets that can be replaced by a split three-passenger bench seat. The third-row bench is easily accessed courtesy of an available second-row fold-and-tumble feature. That third row is, however, a bit old school in that it cannot be completely folded into the floor; it must be removed if you wish to maximize cargo space. Interior materials are acceptable, if not high-end, and the overall appearance is stylish yet understated. Storage is plentiful, with generous armrest storage and multiple pockets and cupholders.

Exterior
2011 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 photo

When it comes to vehicles you can buy off your local dealer's lot, there's not much capable of casting a shadow over the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban. It's a full-size SUV, indeed. Modern styling shared with the Chevy Tahoe and Avalanche models allows the body-on-frame rig to appear big, yet refined at the same time. That's due in part to restrained hood and fender bulges as well as precision body gaps that were introduced with the Suburban's last redesign. The whole package rolls on 17-inch wheels, which can be replaced by new-for-2011, dealer-installed, chrome 20-inchers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Chevrolet offers its 2011 Suburban 1500 in three flavors: LS, LT and LTZ, while the Suburban 2500 comes in just LS and LT. Shoppers considering the LS will discover a list of standard features that includes USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and complimentary access to satellite radio service and OnStar's Turn-by-Turn navigation tool. The LT adds upgrades such as leather upholstery, triple-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, and a remote-start system, while the LTZ packs on second-row bucket seats and a rearview camera.

Optional Equipment

There's no shortage of optional equipment available for the Suburban, as Chevy offers the 2011 model with a variety of stand-alone features and equipment packages. The list includes a power sunroof, power-retractable running boards, a remote-controlled rear DVD unit with wireless headphones, a blind-spot system and dealer-installed chrome wheels measuring up to 22 inches. For a more aggressive look and added capability, the Z71 Off-Road Package fits the Suburban with off-road tires and suspension components, skid plates, an automatic locking rear differential and a chrome grille.

Under the Hood

Chevrolet equips its 2011 Suburban 1500 with a 5.3-liter V8 that delivers 320 horsepower when running on gasoline, or 326 horses if the fuel tank is filled with E85 (a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas). The heavy duty Suburban 2500 packs a bigger punch with its 352-horsepower 6.0-liter V8. Both engines feature Chevy's Active Fuel Management system, which cuts power from eight to four cylinders under light load situations. This technology, along with a standard six-speed automatic transmission, serves to improve the efficiency of Chevrolet's heavy-hauling SUV.

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5400 rpm (gasoline)
326 horsepower @ 5300 (E85)
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm (gasoline)
348 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), 11/16 (E85)

6.0-liter V8
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
382 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/15 (2WD), 10/15 (4WD)

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2011 Chevrolet Suburban Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 268 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

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."

5 people out of 10 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."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my suburban!

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable seating, reliable, secure"

Cons: "Gas"

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

"My 2008 Suburban is the best vehicle I have ever owned!! I would purchase another when the one I currently have stops working for me. I average 30K a year in miles and everyone is comfortable in it when we take road trips or even into town for shopping."

9 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Good for my family of 5

By on Sunday, June 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "Door handles could have been more durable."

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

"I loved the vehicle. We need more power to pull our boat, camper,and other toys. My 3 boys traveled quite well in this vehicle. We've had the boat 2 years and it's too heavy for the 1500 engine."

12 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Like the car don't like it's oil use

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Like the car for a ride and room"

Cons: "Caring a case of oil in the back"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Bought this car used and almost ran it out of oil because I never imagined it would use oil as it does. Then I find out that other people have the same problem I have never had this problem with any other Chevy engine I have owned before and I have owned several dating back to a 1957 convertible . So beware if your looking at these."

4 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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