2008 Chevrolet Suburban 2LT 5.3L Flex Fuel from North America

Summary:

You buy this vehicle because it is a huge people and cargo mover

Faults:

Power door lock problem - repaired under warranty.

Rear axle bearing problem - repaired under warranty.

General Comments:

Very comfortable seating and climate control. All passengers are treated well as far as A/C and heat vents are concerned. The view of the road is superb. Quiet ride and handles well for such a large vehicle. Controls are well positioned and easy to use. Nice use of technology and security of On-Star is a plus. Airbags are everywhere, and electronic stability control is always standing by. I tow a travel trailer, and it handles the job well.

I am a little disappointed in the seating configuration of my Suburban. I have the 8 passenger version. I can remove the back row of seats to increase cargo space. The middle row folds and tumbles forward to facilitate entry/exit to the back row. Neither row reclines. Legroom is excellent in the middle row and adequate in the rear row. I wish the middle row seats were removable, but they aren't.

Interior finish is good, but there are a lot of hard (and easily scratched) plastic surfaces. This could be better. The front driver and passenger areas are very nice, but get progressively cheaper-looking toward the back of the vehicle. The leather seating is very nice and the driver and front passenger seating is adjustable in every position you can imagine. In addition, my Suburban has the adjustable accelerator and brake pedals that help you find that "just right" driving position. The reverse assist is helpful in warning you of objects that you might not see while backing up.

I love the exterior of the vehicle. It has a tough, no-nonsense look. I prefer the way the Suburban looks over most other vehicles of this type. I don't care for gussied-up trucks like the Escalade or trucks designed to spend most of their time driving the kids to school, with enough horsepower to drive consistently 20 MPH over the speed limit.

The Flex fuel engine is nice especially when gasoline is selling for almost a dollar a gallon more. With a 31 gallon gas tank, you can save 10 to 15 dollars per tank. I get 4 mpg less when using the E-85 than I do running regular gasoline. I do not notice any performance differences between E-85 and Regular gasoline. I have found that my "break-even point" is about 40 cents per gallon. That is - if the price difference between gasoline and E-85 is less than 40 cents per gallon, (E-85 is less expensive than gasoline) it is more economical to use the more expensive gasoline because of the mileage difference. This engine has cylinder deactivation, and it is impossible to feel it shift in and out of 4 cylinder mode. Very nice. Gas mileage is around 20 mpg on the highway and 16 overall running gasoline, and while on E-85, 16 highway and around 14 overall. Towing my trailer is a nice 13 MPG (gasoline), which is the best mileage I have ever gotten pulling it. It was a nice surprise.

It has some great towing features, like a trailer towing mode for the transmission and alternator, and the extra large mirrors eliminate the need for towing mirrors to be added. There is a transmission temperature gauge, and you do not have to take the vehicle out of overdrive to tow a heavy trailer. This helped me achieve a 13.1 MPG average, towing my 21 ft travel trailer on a 1000 mile trip from Colorado to Northern Idaho and back last summer.

I have had just a couple of minor issues with the vehicle, but I couldn't be happier with the way my dealer has handled them. With such a complex vehicle, I opted for the extended warranty for peace of mind.

I am disappointed that GM no longer builds the Suburban in Janesville, WI but has moved production to Silao, Mexico.

I like the vehicle for what it is - a big, powerful tow vehicle with room for 8 if I need it and 3 big dogs. I have other vehicles for everyday use. I realize that with vehicles being so expensive, most people have to find that one that does everything they like to do. This is not a "drive to work" everyday vehicle. You will be disappointed in the operating costs if that is what you intend to do with it, but if you are looking for decent tow vehicle, comfortable on long road trips that will handle bad weather while returning good fuel economy, the Suburban really shines. GM provides many transmission/axle ratios, so it is possible to get a vehicle tailored especially for you and the job you want to do. I really like it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th March, 2011

12th Nov 2013, 13:17

Left Milwaukee @ 10 a.m., (0900 rocky mountain time), and ended up in Denver at 3 in the morning. Drove straight through, most comfortable ride imaginable and got 20 MPG. Go Chevy, keep it up.