1994 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 6.5 turbo diesel


Amazing utility


The PMD (Pump Mounted Driver) location is a notorious flaw of 6.5L diesels, but it is easily cured by easy to install kits from several reputable aftermarket vendors. Even when relocated to a cooler location (heat kills it, and GM thought it wise to mount it in the engine valley where temps get very high), it is smart to have a spare on hand ($250).

The front differential 4WD actuator is also a flawed design because it is thermal-actuated. Problem is, when you need FWD it is often in snow, crossing water, or in cold weather, which causes the actuator to not engage. Whoops! Not sure what the GM engineers were thinking on this design. Fortunately, it too is easily corrected by aftermarket vendors.

The airbox is also quite restricted in stock form. And the stock exhaust is probably too restrictive too. Generally, mods to increase airflow to the turbo are a good idea, so long as you don't sacrifice proper air filtering.

The 6.5 doesn't lend itself to huge HP and torque gains without sacrificing durability -- a strong suit of this engine. Properly serviced, they can go well over 300K miles, even 500K!

General Comments:

This is supremely versatile vehicle. It handles surprisingly well for its size, has a tight turning radius (far tighter than my 94 Pathfinder), and is surprisingly nimble and easy to drive.

The 6.5 turbo diesel gives it a long range and exceptional fuel economy when driven conservatively; around 2000 to 2200 RPMs, the sweet spot for the 6.5. Fuel economy oddly is not linked to how heavy the vehicle is loaded up or if it is even towing a light trailer. I can get 19 or 20 MPG on the freeway whether I have 11 people inside with all their gear, or if it is just myself.

Regarding the 11 person capacity, I added a high quality fourth row bench facing rearwards, in order to add belted seating for three kiddos, who love sitting back there (the favorite spot for kids). This makes the Suburban the ultimate kid hauler.

I've never had a better SUV. Good luck finding diesel Subs though. GM only made them between 1994 and 1999. They are fairly scarce in good condition.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2012

1994 Chevrolet Suburban Silverado 5.7L 350


I'd recommend this Chevy to anyone with a family!


Water pump went out at 90,000 miles $30

A/C went out at 100,000 miles (fixed it) $1k

Alternator went out at 75,000 miles $100

Pitman Arm messed up (my fault) $50.

General Comments:

I've owned both a 1980 Chevy Blazer and this 1994 Suburban. Both vehicles drive almost identically. (Chevrolet stuck with what worked!)

There are a lot of reviews I've seen that say the parking isn't so good on these trucks. It's not hard at all if you know exactly what you're doing. Just make it a little wide and you'll slip right in.

Aside from regular maintenance, which is dirt-cheap as this truck uses about 80% the same parts as the earlier-era Chevys, the A/C is the only thing that irked me. It was relatively easy to fix (I was able to replace all the bad parts myself).

The handling is rather mushy now (14-plus year old suspension!) That's next on the shopping list. I'd sooner put a thousand dollars into replacing the suspension on a proven truck than buy whatever's coming out of the factory these days.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2008

1994 Chevrolet Suburban K1500 5.7 gas


It's good, but has stupid design flaws that are minor details


I got a mysterious leak in the radiator twice and replaced it twice. The second time I replaced it, I did the work myself and found out why it kept developing a leak. There is a screw that holds the plastic piece above the bumper that is the wrong type of screw. The screw has a pointed tip and goes though the plastic piece on the bumper and into the part of the engine compartment infront of the radiator. It takes 2 to 5 years for the radiator to move forward just enough to jar itself into that screw and create a very small hole in the tank on the driver side.

I fixed it by screwing the screw half way out.

I have pictures if anyone wants to see them.

General Comments:

Radiator leak cased by a screw that is pointed instead of flat and the screw is too long.

The leak happens only on the driver side because the passenger side screw is beyond the width of the radiator.

A sealant will seal the tiny hole for about a week.

I have pictures.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th August, 2005