1994 Chevrolet Suburban Reviews

1994 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 6.5 turbo diesel from North America

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 6.5 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired153000 miles
Most recent distance182000 miles
Previous carNissan Pathfinder

Summary:

Amazing utility

Faults:

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 from North America

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 5.7L 350 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance112000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Silverado

Summary:

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

Faults:

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 SLE 5.7 V8 from Guatemala

Model year1995
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 5.7 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired152000 kilometres
Most recent distance165000 kilometres

Summary:

It really hauls!

Faults:

The alternator went dead, when I was towing a Camarzo Z28 o the drag strip! Kinda funny to have that problem in that specific time.

Other than that, just the usual maintenance.

General Comments:

It handles really good, but the thing eats gasoline like you would not believe. It just makes about 18 kilometers per gallon.

Added some "performance" parts trying to get a better fuel mileage. I installed headers, a TBI spacer and a "cyclone fuel saver". Even though the gas mileage was improved somewhat, the performance is awesome.

I got the C2500 built in Mexico. Since it came from Mexico, I tought that I was going to have plenty of problems with it, but so far, it has impressed me with the reliability. The interior noise was a bit high, due to loose interior panels, but after securing them in place, the ride is much more civilized.

However, what really amazes me is that this thing really hauls! I mean, I knew that the suburbans with that HUGE 350 engine were capable of towing and all, but after hauling a Z28 in a trailer, and having 8 passengers (plus me) on it, and being able to drive it like if I was alone, man, I am telling you, I was shocked. There and then I decided to overlook the gas mileage. I am converted!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2005

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 6 reviews