Monday, August 25, 2014

Used Car Review - Chevrolet Suburban (2000-2007)

Desiring a large American SUV is easy when you follow Myk Belmonte's advice on it.

2000-2007 Chevrolet Suburban

Bet you didn't know that the Suburban nameplate was used in 1933 as a station wagon built on a truck frame until it evolve as the SUV it was known today. Twelve generations later, it gained powerful engines, more space, and a luxurious offspring in the form of the Cadillac Escalade. No other car manufacturer can use the "Suburban" name as General Motors was awarded an exclusive trademark in 1988 and it outlasted vehicles like the Jeep Wagoneer, Ford Excursion, and some other rivals that had gone to heaven.

Let us discuss here the tenth generation model known as the GMT800 that was made available in late 1999 as a 2000 model. One can order this generation of Suburban in 1/2 ton 1500 and 3/4 ton 2500 under the nameplates of Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade ESV (themselves being longer versions of the Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade SUVs respectively). While it gained a larger 8.1 V8 engine, there is no more diesel engine and manual transmission available. After a six year run, the Suburban and its related cousins were treated to a redesign in 2006 dubbed the GMT900.

December 2000 saw the Philippine introduction of the redesigned Suburban, the second generation model offered locally. One change that was done locally is the rear side facing seats, which makes local Suburbans 10 seater models to be tax exempt and it you can have one in 2WD guise. It was sold until 2007 where the next generation model was launched in August of that year.

Value and Costs
Typical with American SUVs, resale prices aren't known to be stellar especially you can buy one for as low as P480,000 for an older unit. There is a reason for such but if you have the money to begin with, you wouldn't complain.

There is no diesel engine, so fuel consumption will affect your savings. Maintenance costs would be similar to the Ford Expedition of the same period. Since this is a bulky SUV, check out the electricals present which may affect the vehicle's performance.

Exterior and Interior
Staring at the Suburban will give you one impression: it is huge. The huge exterior gives you an expansive space inside which we will tackle on the next paragraph. It is imposing at best, given its size. Do take note that pre-2003 models have polished aluminum wheels while later ones have cast aluminum ones.

This is one car that you can transform to a hotel room whenever you want it, since space inside is very very big. You can tag along 8 to 10 (driver included) of your friends for a ride inside, since they have adequate room inside. The first row can accommodate three people thanks to a bench seat, while the last row can accommodate four people facing sidewards that is not comfortable to begin with or two people upfront in comfort. If you encounter a 10 seater model, we suggest you to skip that if possible. A niggle common among American vehicles are their sub par interior quality.

From the Vortec engine family comes a 5,328cc V8 carrying 285hp at 5,200rpm and 449Nm at 4,000rpm that motivates the Suburban. It has the power when you need it at the expense of fuel consumption.

Driving Impressions
Even though it is large outside, it is easy to drive especially with some little practice. Those with senior members of the family wouldn't appreciate the high step in height, but they'll love the smooth buttery ride that the Suburban provides.

If you can afford one at the first place, then the Suburban is one good candidate for a large SUV given it's price. However, we mere mortals would rather be practical and go for something smaller and has a diesel engine. The choice is yours, my friend.
The Good:
  • Lots of space
  • Lots of power
  • Lots of presence
The Bad:
  • Fuel thirsty
  • Interior trim isn't great
  • AUV like rear seats are cramped
The Pick: LS with 8 seats

Engine: 5,328cc Vortec V8 gasoline
Power: 285hp @ 5,200rpm
Torque: 449Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel Consumption: 3-5km/L (city), 7-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear rigid axle with five link

Price (New): P1,900,000-P2,200,000
Price (Now): P480,000-P900,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Toyota Land Cruiser
On Sale: 2000-2007

Chevrolet Quezon Avenue - (02) 374-1250
Chevrolet Shaw - (02) 721-0021

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