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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 New for 2011

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 275 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 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

Greatest SUV ever

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very fun to drive, very comfortable"

Cons: "None"

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

"This truck has been a great highway cruiser. Purchased the LT3 with optional 366 hp L76 all-aluminum 6.0L High Output engine, this engine option also required the 4L70E Heavy Duty transmission and 4.10 ratio locking rear differential (4WD). While not particularly gas friendly (didn't care, see engine option ordered above), this baby absolutely launches itself down a freeway entrance ramp when you put the pedal down. Electronic suspension rides like a dream. Pretty much every available option on my rig, cruises in comfort and style. Aside from the usual maintenance, recently replaced rear coil springs as left rear spring broke, $150 tab with tax and labor. Love it."

awesome

By on Sunday, May 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great motor, AC seats, Lots of room"

Cons: "Current pricing to high"

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

"Best vehicle we've ever owned.. Not 4wheeldrive... Only issue was right side mirror motor stopped working after 5 years.... Third row seat sucks.. Uncomfortable.. All others are great.. Love the AC in the seats... Have taken a lot of trips in it.. Gave $60 grand for it in 2011.. Cant see paying the $75 grand they want for them now though...But a very nice vehicle if your looking for space and good gas mileage.."

Excellent Family Vehicle!

By on Monday, May 2, 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"

13 people out of 24 found this review helpful

the worst quality ever for an american car

By on Thursday, October 1, 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"

19 people out of 39 found this review helpful

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