Go

2012 Chevrolet Suburban 2500

Overview
Share this page
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?

2012 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

Say what you will about the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban SUV, be it praise or scorn, at the end of the day the Suburban has survived as long as it has because it fills a huge need. Whether you've got a small brood of offspring or a big toy that needs transport to the summer vacation spot, you'll need the seating space, cargo room and towing capability of the 2012 Chevy Suburban. Available in 1500 half-ton and heavy-duty 2500 3/4-ton models (the 2500 increases the Suburban's max payload and tow ratings), the 2012 Chevy Suburban SUV fears no task. Yet, despite its critics, today's Suburban isn't really the gas-thirsty hog it once was, nor does it handle poorly and drive like an old-fashioned truck. In fact, the 2012 Chevy Suburban SUV has an EPA rating of 21 mpg on the highway, is loaded with the latest GM safety equipment and, despite its bow-tie badging, is a pretty luxurious cruiser.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you require the ability to carry up to nine people and/or need to tow more than 9,000 pounds, the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban is up to the job. And, since the Suburban seems to be the vehicle of choice for most government agencies (and Hollywood films portraying said agencies), your kids might actually think your new SUV is cool. Get it in black.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban SUV achieves decent fuel economy on the highway, around-town jaunts will likely yield much lower figures. The Suburban is big and it's no joy to try and fit it into crowded shopping-mall parking spots or maneuver through narrow confines. If you don't need the Suburban's towing capability, the 2012 Chevy Traverse crossover SUV may be a better choice.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chevy Suburban SUV receives a new navigation radio option, while the standard StabiliTrak now includes trailer sway control and hill start assist. The LTZ trim gains a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and side blind zone alert, while the LT trims gains heated leather seats.

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 2012 Chevrolet Suburban SUV delivers a 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 6-speed automatic transmission, though more powertrain noise makes its way to the cabin than some 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.

2012 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 Details
2012 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 photo Interior

With its available front bench seat, the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban can seat up to nine passengers, although we suspect most will have the 8-person configuration and front bucket seats. A clever set of fold-and-tumble second-row seats makes for easier access to the third-row seats which, when not in use, can be folded flat. Unfortunately, unlike the Ford Expedition, whose third-row seat folds flush into the floor well, the 2012 Chevy Suburban's third-row seats must be manually removed, requiring some labor on your part as well as a place to store the 50/50-split seats. As for the interior itself, we'd say it's conservative yet attractive, with a few too many hard plastic bits on base trims, but a nicer set-up on the premium LTZ. Naturally Chevrolet gives the Suburban lots of storage areas, cup holders and power outlets, as well as up to 137.4 cubic feet of storage space behind the front-row seats.

Exterior
2012 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 photo

Of all the cars on your dealer's lot, the one that stands out head and shoulders (or bumpers and roof racks) above the rest is the 2012 Chevy Suburban SUV. Despite its massive size, Chevy has given the Suburban a clean-slate look, with smooth sides, flushed side glass and simple, straight lines. Its body-on-frame architecture is shared with stable siblings the Silverado pickup and Avalanche truck, but somehow the Suburban manages to come off less work truck and more limo. Chevrolet's careful attention to detail includes engineering minimal gaps between body panels and a restrained use of chrome trim. Tire and wheel packages range from the standard 17-inch set all the way to the available 20-inch chrome-clad wheels on the LTZ trim. Dealer-installed accessories include 20- and 22-inch wheels. Side step rails make accessing the roof a bit easier and big side mirrors help eliminate blind spots. If there is one weakness in the Suburban design, it's the lack of a vented rear side-glass panel, something the third-row passengers would probably appreciate.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Chevrolet offers its 2012 Suburban SUV in three flavors: LS, LT and LTZ. 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 SiriusXM satellite radio service and OnStar's Turn-by-Turn navigation tool. The LT adds upgrades such as leather upholstery, heated front seats, triple-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals and a remote-start system, while the LTZ packs on second-row bucket seats, heated and cooling front seats, Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio, a heated steering wheel, navigation with a rearview camera and SiriusXM's real-time NavTraffic updates.

Optional Equipment

There's no shortage of optional equipment available for the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban SUV, as Chevy offers the 2012 model with a variety of stand-alone features and equipment packages. The options include a power sunroof, power-retractable running boards, a remote-controlled rear DVD unit with wireless headphones, a blind-spot system and 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 2012 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 gasoline). 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 6-speed automatic transmission, serves to improve the efficiency of Chevrolet's heavy-hauling SUV.

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm (gasoline)
326 horsepower @ 5,300 (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm (gasoline)
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), 11/16 (E85)

6.0-liter V8
352 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
382 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/16 (2WD), 10/15 (4WD)

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?

2012 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"

14 people out of 25 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

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement