View Poll Results: Chevy Suburban - Still Relevant?
- 115. You may not vote on this poll
Solid Yes - Still fills an essential need.
Somewhat Yes - The world has changed, so has it.
Somewhat No - Gas prices too high & smaller families today.
Solid No - It served it's purpose, time to move on.
09-17-2011, 04:06 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
- Arlington, Texas, United States
- Blog Entries
Has the Chevy Suburban seen the end of the road? How do new Suburbans compare?
Do you have a modern Chevy Suburban? If not, would you buy one?
Anyone over the age of 30 must remember the old-style Chevrolet Suburban. All of our parents had one it seemed, and many of our grandparents had one as well. Am I right? It was the perfect vehicle for hauling kids during the week, towing a boat to the lake, picking up groceries one day and a few sheets of 4'x8' plywood the next.
Once it got a few miles on it, Mr. Smith, who used it for the family truckster, decided to sell it. So, Mr. Johnson bought it and he was going to use it as a contractor vehicle, or for his landscaping crew or to go to job sites. When a major mechanical problem occurred with the 350 or 454, the engine was rebuilt. The same for tranny issues as well because the overall life of the vehicle was so lone with different owners able to get different uses that it might stay on the road for 20+ years.
That's the way it was, at least from the early 1970's until at least the 1999 model (and for some configurations until the redesigned 2007 model).
QUICK PHOTO HISTORY OF THE CHEVY SUBURBAN
Starting with perhaps the 1973 Suburban, when you looked at the interior, you got a pretty basic layout and configuration. Yes, it could haul some people, but the rear deck has a smaller 3rd passenger seat as an option (or 3rd party) and most people had the two-row configuration with a fold-flat rear seat - yes, allowing you to haul a 4x8 sheet of anything that comes in a 4x8 sheet.
The Suburban has changed dramatically on the interior
NOW, when you look at the 2007+ models, built on the GMT900 platform, you get a different interior layout. No longer is the Suburban the all-purpose vehicle it once was. It's clearly not designed for anything except for people hauling. The 3rd row seats do some out, but try folding flat the 2nd row and getting a sheet of plywood in the back. Can't be laid flat.
Suburban sales have dropped of sharply over the past few years, mostly due to the high cost of fuel and the thirsty nature of the 'burban itself.
Has the purpose for the old-style Chevy Suburban gone and will never return?
My question is - if nothing else, should a utilitarian version of the Suburban be offered once more to meet the hand-me-down paradigm that worked so well for two or three generations? Or, have other vehicles such as the Avalanche, Silverado and Traverse stepped in to fill the market gap left when gasoline prices went sky-high, leaving the Suburban as a dinosaur of the past, with no real purpose in the 21st century America?
Thoughts? I'd love to hear them.
Last edited by Steve; 10-03-2011 at 03:23 PM.
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09-17-2011, 07:39 PM #2
The Suburban is a icon at GM. I think they will keep it.:cool:
2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab
6" Skyjacker lift w/Edlebrock dual front remote resoviour shocks, single rear remote. Rancho skid-plate.
17" x 9" M/T Classic Lock Wheels, 35" BFG A/T or M/T tires
4.10 PercisionGears w/factory locker, T/A Performance rear-end cover
Banks CAI intake, ported throttlebody, JBA coated headers, over-sized Magnaflow cats, Magnaflow cat back exhaust, Diablo tuned
B&M aluminum deep transmission pan
Warn brush guard w/Warn 9.5 XP winch, PIAA bulbs, Line-X bedliner, AWS Black tool chest, Extang tonneau cover
Weather Tech floor mats
Cover-Craft seat covers
Dash mat cover
Formula One window tint
One black Lab in rear seat.
09-17-2011, 08:56 PM #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
personaly i dont like the look of the new ones post 07. I think the 07+ tahoe does basicaly the same thing. I dont think they will get rid of them all together but the need for them has dropped off because of the crossovers and gas prices. But then again i expected pontiac to be around forever.
09-17-2011, 10:33 PM #4
What other vehicle has lasted this long through gas shortages and economic downturns? The Suburban is an incredible vehicle and will continue to live on. Whether they call it a Suburban, Yukon XL or whatever. What other car company makes anything similar? The Excursion? Done, they don't make them anymore. There is nothing like a Suburban.2009 GMC Sierra 5.3L running on E85
Black and chrome
Borla dual exhaust
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4300k High/Low Beam HIDs
Westin Ultimate Bull Bar with PIAA 540s
Blacked-out tail and third brake light
09-17-2011, 10:48 PM #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Grand Prairie, Texas
- Blog Entries
Hmmm the Suburban, she's been around since before I was born.
With a family of 9 kids our family cars were always a Suburban and a pick-up with a camper, my parents bought a new Suburban every 3 or 4 years from 1962 to 1978.
After the kids left home Suburbans were replaced with a Crew Cab truck and the pick-up with a sedan.
My siblings never felt the need to own a Suburban, their families werent that large and they didnt travel that much, mine wasnt either but I wanted a large vehicle to travel from duty station to duty station in comfort that could tow a large load, the Surburban filled that need.
My parents Suburbans were utilitarian vehicles, we didnt think twice about muddy kids and dogs jumping in, hose it out when we get home it'll be fine, I dont remember any of them having Carpet until they bought their last one in 78, it was also the first one with electric windows and door locks. Their pick-ups started getting pwr wndws and lcks in 74. Their 70 model was actually an odd vehicle it only had three passenger doors, might be why it only lasted until 73, or maybe the new bodystyle tempted the parents.
My first Suburban had plastic floor mats in the rear and was a great substitute for a pick-up, later ones were just to fancy to carry all that greasy dirty stuff so I started buying utillity trailers to haul stuff in. Now I wouldnt mind a Suburban but there isnt enough room in the back and its just to nice to toss my dirty gear in so I buy trucks.
My conclusion would be GM has just plain worked themselves out of the market by making the Suburban too much of a fancy SUV and forgotten why they originally built the Suburban, bring back a plain jain affordable version with plastic floor mats that can take some mud and less creature comforts and I suspect you'll see the popularity rise.
09-20-2011, 09:10 AM #6
12-26-2011, 12:47 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Hello Matt here, I own a 2003 z71 suburban.
Up and back to the lake. Fall of 2009 we relocated our family to Argentina where wife's from, and we brought this vehicle with us as it only had 70K miles on it. Due to some red tape etc, we were finally able to start driving in sept. 2010. Checked all the fluids again, ok. February of 2011, on a road trip the vehicle shut down without warning. Holy s..., I restarted it, it kept driving, tis happened after about four hours on the road, and continued to happen without warning roughly fifteen times over the next five hours, nearly killing my family and I on several occasions. Had the truck looks at, diagnosed, changed the fuel filter as bad fuel was suspected, tranny fluid ok. On the return trip we made it eight hours without issues when it started shutting down again without warning at highway speeds. Well, after another few weeks of sporadic in town use it stopped shifting into third gear. Had it diagnosed locally, but I did not have much confidence in this mechanic so I shipped 600 miles to someone trustworthy near family. This was in september, got a good German mechanic that completely reviewed the tranny overhauled it and the solenoids that correspond, the guy works on automatics but typically Mercedes and BMW. So the tranny is in new condition, he replaced the fuel pump which was causing the vehicle to shutdown, but the tranny still will not shift third gear or fourth obviously. Four months later and almost two years without being able to use it, we are running slim on options, more so in a country where this vehicle does not exist. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, sincerely Matt SOL in Argentina.
12-26-2011, 07:25 PM #8
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
09-18-2011, 12:44 AM #9
The new Suburbans are a lot more "soccer mom" oriented compared to the more boxy versions of the 'burb from the 70s until the late 90's IMO. It was and still is a great vehicle to do pretty much, well, anything haha. As mentioned above, you can haul your tools with it one day, take your friends out that night and tow your boat (along with all of your gear) the next day. It's a great vehicle and being the longest running vehicle nameplate in history, I'm confident that the Suburban will be around for quite sometime, in some way, shape or form.
09-18-2011, 11:19 PM #10
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
- Seattle, WA
- Blog Entries
I think they got "uncool" for a while, for all these milf soccer moms that got into driving their smaller suvs and crossovers. While it might be true (??) that familes are getting smaller, car seats are manditory for even more years now so having a large suv is going to be a requirement for many many families still.
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