Monday, February 8, 2016

Used Car Review - Chevrolet Suburban (2007-2015)

Large is the theme and Myk Belmonte has one for this review.

2007-2015 Chevrolet Suburban

When it comes to vehicle names, the Suburban name dates back in 1935, which means it will celebrate 81 years in existence. It started as a station wagon built on a 1/2 ton truck frame using wood and specifically assembled for United States National Guard and Civilian Conservation Corps units. Twelve generations later which saw different emission standards going strict and economic crises that had gone through, it stood the test of time especially that other rivals were killed, the Suburban is going strong. We bet that the great-grandfathers during its early years had their great-grandchildren ride the latest models. Some information: a thirteenth generation model will be released in 2019 and will utilize Ford's 10-speed automatic transmission under a joint venture.

What we will be reviewing here is the eleventh generation, that was first produced in January 2006 as a 2007 model (yes, Americans are obsessed with model years) and dealer deliveries commenced in April. What is new for this generation include an aerodynamic styling since it ditched several boxy cues of its predecessors, a redesigned dashboard, and improved seats. The formulas are still retained, which are larger engines, a long length, the options between a 1500/2500/3500 ton carriage, and the various seating capacity which can be ordered for six to nine persons.

Locally, this SUV arrived in May 2007 together with the Tahoe, days after the midterm elections which occurred that time. Unlike the smallest brother, both 2WD and 4WD options were made available to the buying public.

Value and Costs
If your budget dictates those Thailand assembled PPVs but your heart shouts luxury level, then a second hand Suburban is a bargain between P1,600,000 to P2,500,000. Don't expect resale values to be similar with a Japanese luxury SUV but for the price, it is decent enough.

No diesel engine is available here, especially that it had been discontinued a long time ago; an available powerplant is a 5.3 V8 gasoline which is fuel thirsty but you shouldn't complain if you are into these types of vehicle. Parts availability are not to the level of several mass market American models, so finding a parts specialist shop or importing from abroad are several of your options. With this being a luxury SUV, many electrical parts come present and inspect them if they work or not. While you're at it, inspect the spark plugs and the transmission if they are on the poor side.

Exterior and Interior
Just like we said in our previous paragraphs, the Suburban receives a more modern looking exterior and sheds its boxy styling prevalent in the older models. Compared to the Tahoe's 5,100mm length, this one gets a massive 5,600mm which means more space inside and more patience that the driver must deal while maneuvering. 4WD models can be distinguished by their standard fender flares and skid plates, something that models that are two wheel driven don't get.

Going big means you have a lot of room for seven people inside, especially that no more cramped seating of the older models come standard but rather all three rows face front. An improvement that is seen here is that no more cheap touches come standard, though some may persist in small percentage. Do take note that a manual mode and push button for trailer towing is situated in the column shifter, while a power tailgate comes standard. A long list of entertainment system equipment includes a DVD player with overhead display. BOSE sound system, and two wireless headphones.

Still from the Vortec family range is the 5.3 V8 petrol that possesses 326hp at 5,300rpm and 470Nm at 4,400rpm. Although this is the entry level among the engine options, it feels strong despite the active fuel management that will only use four cylinders during normal operations and all will be used when driven fast. Do take note earlier models have four forward gears, while a 2010 gains an additional two more.

Driving Impressions
Compared to its predecessor, handling is more agile while steering and braking is better. However, you wouldn't be bringing this vehicle to drag races but a stability control comes standard if things go wrong. Ride quality is more composed than the previous one, which is an ace. Overall, it now matches the Expedition toe-to-toe.

Previous model Suburbans aren't stellar vehicles to begin with, however the twelfth generation model improved itself in a lot of aspects. Innovations include a cylinder shut-off mechanism and other goodies not found in the predecessor make it a good choice if budget permits.

The Good:
  • More interior space
  • Power and cylinder deactivation mode
  • Improved interior quality
The Bad:
  • Not so good fuel economy
  • Low third row seat
  • Maneuvering takes time
The Pick: 2WD more than enough

Engine: 5,328cc Vortec V8 gasoline
Power: 326hp @ 5,300rpm
Torque: 470Nm @ 4,400rpm
Fuel Consumption: 4-6km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 4 or 6 speed automatic
Suspension: Front and rear coil spring

Price (New): P4,500,000
Price (Now): P1,600,00-P2,500,000
Rivals: Ford Expedition EL
On Sale: 2007-2015

Chevrolet Shaw - (02) 721-0021

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