Buying Advice Please.

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by nottmbantam, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Rockstar 100 Posts


    Hello, newbie here. I'm a British expat living and working in Saudi Arabia. Currently have a 2007 Trailblazer, but looking to buy a GMC Suburban, around 95 / 96 kind of age. The main reason is just wanting something bigger and I really like the idea of having a big block engine as I'd never dream of being able to run something like that back in the UK.

    These trucks are very very popular here, the average Saudi family is quite large, so they hold their value really well as being a popular people carrier. Doing some basic research, a 1995 2500 model 454 block will fetch around $6000. There is of course a successful trade in importing the trucks directly from USA to here, where there is a ready market for them.

    Fuel is cheap here so , my TB has an 80-ish litre fuel tank which costs around $12 to fill up.

    So - onto questions, bearing in mind that I'm after a 2500 7.4L engine:

    Do they all come with 4x4 drive?
    If so, are they electronic switching or manual switching ( lever in floor pan ). 1994 and earlier seems to be manual switching?
    How big are the fuel tanks - capacity?
    Are the rear seats fully fold down flat or do I have to manually remove them?
    What are they generally like to service and maintain?
    Are the 'barn door' rear access better or the fold down doors? Practically speaking.

    Daft questions:
    Why does it have little lights on the roof?

    Daft but Curious:
    What are they like to drive - I've never driven one. Closest I came was a Yukon.

    Why should I avoid 1997 models ( as read on another thread )

    Any other info gratefully received.

    I'm off down the local car market tomorrow to have a closer look, so far, just been searching online. I did post an identical thread on GMC Owners Forum, but after 250+ views, I had zero replies - hoping to get more joy here. Cheers.
  2. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Your lucky with cheap gas cuz the 454 will guzzle it down. The lights on the top are clearance lights. That's a truck thing I guess you could say.
    The barn door or tailgate option comes down to what you prefer. For me I'm partial to the barn doors because I'm a fan of the old school burbs that came with them.
    My family has had tons of burbans and as long as they were well maintained then they will last. Not all will be 4x4 so make sure to check for that. I'm not sure bout the 4x4 being manual or shift on the fly. But a Manuel shift transfer case back then would usually have less issues now. Hope that helps and welcome to the club
  3. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Rockstar 100 Posts

    Wow - super duper quick reply - thanks, appreciated. Found one on a local website - trying to communicate with the seller who doesn't speak English, and my Arabic is more than useless.

    As mentioned, the fuel economy is no issue, due to it being so cheap, so the size of the engine has to be biggest possible!

    What the deal with the third row seats - do they fold down fully flat? I also prefer the barn door rear access - but its not a deal breaker.
  4. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Lucky I wish I could get gas that cheap I'd be driving my cobra daily
  5. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    the third row seats do not fold flat. They fold down and tilt forward, then you can remove them from the truck. They are not light. That being said, I can take mine out by myself.
  6. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Rockstar 100 Posts

    Ah - ok. Main reason for asking about the third row, is that the winter time is more popular season for going out into the desert. The summer is just too hot. Winter time is ideal, but I was actually thinking of using the truck to sleep in rather than pitch a tent! Fold up the rear seats - huge storage for all the camping gear, then it doubles as a bed!

    Must say, this forum is FAR better than the wash out at GMC Owners....
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    I am not sure how the second row works for the 1994 model. In my 2005 the second row folds down flat so it is level with the floor that the 3rd row sits on. So, if i take out the third row and fold the second row flat, I can fit a 4'x8' sheet of plywood in it and still close the rear door.

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