1996 Chevy Suburban Review

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List Price Estimate:$1,502 - $3,186
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Gaze down the side of a Suburban and all you see is steel and more steel, stretching rearward. Hike yourself aboard and you can't help but feel you're in a truck, ready for the long haul--which is exactly what pleases many owners of these biggies. Compact-vehicle fans have a hard time grasping the appeal, but full-size "truck wagons" have been luring more and more upscale motorists.

GMC claims this mammoth combines the comfort of a luxury sedan with the "tenacity and utility of a packhorse." Except for the nearly-identical Chevrolet model, also named Suburban and priced just slightly lower, there's nothing else quite like it on the market.

For 1996, GMC has reengineered its gasoline V8 engines. Standard is a Vortec 5700 V8, which has gained 50 horsepower and foot-pounds of torque over last year's 5.7-liter engine. The big Vortec 7400 benefits from similar power gains. Long-life engine coolant is installed in both engines, and doesn't need to be changed until the payment booklet is empty.

Inside is a driver airbag and a brake/transmission interlock, which prevents shifting out of "park" unless your foot is on the brake pedal. The modern instrument panel holds a selection of white-on-black analog gauges with zone markings and red-orange needles, but we wish it also held a passenger side airbag. Rear seat heat ducts are new, as is standard illuminated entry. Climate controls are easy to grasp and use, within easy reach of each occupant. Dual cupholders ease out of a compartment at the center of the dashboard, and three assist handles help entry/exit. Four-wheel drive models can be ordered with a new electronic shift mechanism that does away with the bulky shifter in the center of the floor. Passenger car tires make less rough-and-tumble Suburbans ride more smoothly and quietly.

Despite its pickup truck heritage, the Suburban produces a stable and reasonably comfortable, if not exactly cushiony, ride--at least until you stray away from smooth pavement. Gasoline engines tend to guzzle as expected, and if you're planning to carry heavy loads much of the time, or haul a trailer, give the big-block V8 a whirl before deciding to accept the base engine.

Currently, GM owns this niche in the SUV market. Until 1997, when Ford debuts the Expedition, the only way to get a big honking four-door rig like this one is to visit your GMC, or Chevrolet, dealer.

1996 Highlights

Improved engines generate more horsepower and torque. Four-wheel-drive models get an optional electronic shift transfer case. Daytime running lights, rear-seat heating ducts and two new paint colors summarize the changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 Chevrolet Suburban.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
Keeps going and going and going.....
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
I love my 1996 Suburban. I bought it with 154K in 2005 and now it has 201,000 and counting. I have never had a problem with the Burban. I drove it across the country twice. The truck just turned 200K about a month and a half or so and I just replaced the original thermostat, radiator, water pump and hoses. The originals took the truck to over 200K the upgraded units I installed should take her to an additional 200K. I wouldn't trade it for anything!!! The only complaint I might have is the location of the cup holder. It is right in front of the vent, if its cold and you put the heater on your cold drink will get warm. It has been a fantastic vehicle for my family. Highly recommend!!!
4.63 out of 5 stars
Best Car I Ever Owned
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
I bought my suburban @ 120,000 miles and put another 70,000 on over the next 3 years. Never had any major problems. Smooth Transmission, Quiet Engine, Comfortable Ride, Plenty of space, Towed up to 10,000 pounds no problem. It never left me stranded. Extremely reliable. It will take care of you if you take care of it. I did have to replace the fuel pump twice but that was because I tended to drive on a low tank of fuel more often than not. A downer is the fuel economy of course. Take out the back seat, fold down the center row and you have a full size truck; so versatile. Handles awesome in 4 wheel drive. This car will always have a special place in my heart.
5 out of 5 stars
Best Truck Ever Owned
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
I purchased my 96 used w/140K NINE years ago, it now has 205K and I simply love it more then ever. Sadly rust is winning the battle of this beloved vehicle. It has been the greatest vehicle I've ever owned and I've owned them all. Also sadly is the insane sticker price for a new one.
4.5 out of 5 stars
C2500 4dr SUV
This is my father in laws but I use it all the time. We have the big 454 engine. I love it. We tow our travel trailer and this truck has almost 160K miles on it. I love everything about it except for the placement of the vents in the center. They are in a very bad spot and if you use the cup holder, they are worthless. Very strange place and you cannot turn them in far enough. Anyone that owns one knows what I mean. but that is small compared to everything else. Of course the fuel economy is not good, but what do you expect for a 454.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Chevrolet Suburban

Used 1996 Chevrolet Suburban Overview

The Used 1996 Chevrolet Suburban is offered in the following submodels: Suburban SUV. Available styles include K1500 4dr SUV 4WD, C1500 4dr SUV, C2500 4dr SUV, and K2500 4dr SUV 4WD. Pre-owned Chevrolet Suburban models are available with a 5.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 250 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1996 Chevrolet Suburban comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Chevrolet Suburban?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Chevrolet Suburbans are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Chevrolet Suburban for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Chevrolet Suburban.

Can't find a used 1996 Chevrolet Suburbans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Suburban for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $21,138.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 3 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,510.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Suburban for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,705.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $15,873.

Should I lease or buy a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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