It's no wonder GM went bankrupt; they deserved it!
The transmission failed at 187000 3 months after I bought it for 2 G's, and I had it rebuilt twice in the next 13 months by a transmission place (not a good idea). The first time it came with a 12,000 mile, 12 month warranty. I was a Fed Ex over the road driver at the time, and only drove it 565 miles in following 13 months to come.
Shortly after, the transmission went out again. Wouldn't go in reverse. Took it back to the same shop 5 blocks from home, only to find a whole new crew working there. New service manager says they should have replaced the reaction shell as well as the rear planetary gears, and offered to rebuild it a second time for free, even though I was one month past the warranty. The low miles I put on it during the warranty is what saved me, but with strings attached. There would be no warranty with the 2nd rebuild, and no paper work for the work done either. So I went along with it since it was a freebee.
The day after the 2nd rebuild, it wouldn't go out of first gear. Took it back and they fixed it again the next day for free again. It was a spring too tight that got stuck, and they put in a different one.
Two weeks later the speedo stopped working, but I had to hit the road and didn't have time to mess with taking it back a 4th time. And to this day the speedo works sometimes, but not always. Probably just a cable that's not right.
Other than that, it's been good enough mechanically. But the GM junk interior is awful. The door panel wants to fall off. Squeaks and rattles all over the place. Only one door lock works. 3 windows won't roll up all the way right. I have to help the driver's door window go up with my hand. My Tercel, a year older, was much better built and had far less rust.
The Suburban gets lousy fuel mileage and is gutless on the highway. But it got top honors on a website as being #1 of the top ten vehicles in the US least likely to get a speeding ticket. Being that I am a trucker, this is a good thing, but not a fun thing.
The steering radius and ABS brakes are outstanding.
The A/C still blows cold front and back, with no leaks, even though I bought it in Arizona. And yes the cargo space is great, but it's a lousy tow vehicle because it's so underpowered.
Would I buy it again if I could roll back the clock ? No I would not. But I am keeping it because of the rebuilt transmission. The later variations of the 700R were built better than the early 80's models were. These days I just use it for yard work, pulling a truck trailer made from a 3/4 ton 80's Ford pick up. It's 33" feet long from front to back with the trailer hooked, and the boxy aerodynamics make them look good together actually.
The steering has way too much slop in it.
The driver's seat is worn funny so that the left side is much lower than the right side.
The radio doesn't work.
Only one door lock will work with the key, and all the electric locks work from the passenger side door switch only.
The headliner looks like crap falling apart.
The coils around the shocks are skinny as tooth picks, and hardly do a thing.
The 1500 series was the soccer mom model with a 2 bolt main motor. If I had to buy another one, I'd get the 2500; better 4 bolt main motor and better suspension.
My first car back in the 70's was a 56 Nomad with a Vette mill that punched out 30 over and a Muncie M22, 68 Camaro buckets with two tone silver and graphite grey paint I bought for a grand. Compared to that, this thing is a flat out piece of crap overall, with the exception of the brakes turning radius and A/C. God I wish I never sold that car LOL. But I still have pics of it and the memories :) The only bad thing about the 55 thru 7 Nomads is the tail gates leaked. Google it if you want to find out why; I am out of here.
GM junk in gargantuan proportions when it comes to integrity. And you've got to have two sets of tools to work on it. The reason being is that every year they upgrade something, they do it in metric. But the stuff they don't change around is still standard from the old days. So you need both standard and metric size tools to work on one vehicle. Newer post millennium vehicles are not so bad with this.
11 to 13 MPG, yet there are still government websites that claim it gets 18 to 22.
Takes forever to warm up on a cold day, but on the flip side, it's never overheated either. It's too gutless to overheat, but it does its job so I can't hate it too bad. And sometimes I still like it. Just not as much as I wish I could like it.
It's like having a sickly pet. You love it for some reason, but kind of wish you never got it in the first place.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd June, 2013