Used 1997 Chevrolet Suburban SUV Consumer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
55 reviews
List Price Estimate
$2,565 - $5,440

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4.5 out of 5 stars

An absolute Juggernaut

james_nicklin, 09/20/2011
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
19 of 20 people found this review helpful

Purchased used for $5k @ 150,000 miles. 20,000 miles later I still think it is the Best truck I have ever owned. I have carried two families of 8 (4 car seats and 4 adults). I have hauled 1,500 lbs of equipment with space to spare. I pulled a friends crew cab truck out of 3 1/2 feet of running water (interior and bed flooded) uphill on gravel at idle. It has protected my family through two car accidents in which the other vehicles were totaled and the Suburban withstood cosmetic/no damage. Fantastic comfort for long drives, 3 leather rows. Moving from Tacoma Wa to Phoenix AZ took two tank-fulls for a 1,600 mile drive. Over my 20k miles I have averaged 16.3 mpg and maxed at 19.3

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4.63 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good Vehicle

VinceInCali, 03/06/2006
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

The only problems I have had with mine is the front brakes and the catalytic converter. It seems to run great otherwise

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4.25 out of 5 stars

228,000 miles and doing great!

runner97, 09/29/2012
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

My 97 4dr k1500 has 228,000 miles and is doing great. Just used it to pull my travel trailer 6,000 lb through Penn, Maryland, WV, V, KY, and back to Michigan and did great! Other than regular maintenace as well it is doing good. Can't be more happy with it. I don't think you can find anything better for pulling. Things I wish they would keep in the new suburbans. A simple, tuff, and not be afarid to get dirty suburban. The new ones are to nice. Why would you use it for hauling things in.

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4.75 out of 5 stars

Great truck

hello, 06/05/2010
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

My 1997 chevy suburban diesel is fantastic. the truck is very tough, looks great, and saves money on fuel( get 1300 km a tank, how can you beat that. barely have to put any money in to the vehicle, except for regular maintenance.

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5 out of 5 stars

Best truck I've ever owned!!

jbradabadowski, 10/12/2012
C1500 4dr SUV
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

I use this truck for a work truck. I usually haul from 1500 to 2000 lbs. of tools in the back of this truck and also pull a 5x10 enclosed trailer fully loaded with tools. It now has 260,000 miles and has never given me any trouble other than I had the transmission rebuilt at 175,000 miles. I have worked this truck much harder than was intended for it and it has never let me down. These older ones are stronger and tougher trucks than the newer ones. My wife drives a 2006 Tahoe and it is just not the work horse that my older suburban is although hers IS a good truck. If you can find one of these Surburbans from 1995 to 1999 with the 5.7 engine with decent miles, buy it. You'll love it.

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4.38 out of 5 stars

K2500 4WD Diesel

kegler, 10/24/2003
K2500 4dr SUV 4WD
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I have the diesel version, so my experience is probably different than others. The diesel runs very well and is extremely reliable. It pulls a trailer without problems (both a heavy boat and a camper). Overall, a very nice vehicle that gets better than normal fuel mileage because of the diesel package.

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2.13 out of 5 stars

Needs a full time mechanic onboard.

billman2, 05/29/2012
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

I must have got a lemon like most others. 9k in repairs to go 80k miles and it's due for more junk parts to be replaced. So far trans, intake, alt, a/c 3 times, brakes allways need work, window motors and a few other goodies. Nice work GM... the heartbreak of america.Even with the price of fuel I may burn it just so I feel better.

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2 out of 5 stars

poortruck

walkingman, 04/26/2002
C1500 4dr SUV
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

just this year i have spent over $2000 on this vehicle. stuff like the intake gasket due to the poor selection of antifreeze by gm.,the pitman arm, the power steering pump, the water pump, and rodding out the radiator. just today i have had to call a tow truck to come and get it. this time it is the transmission(bad news) i dont even tow stuff with this vehicle.

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4.63 out of 5 stars

Great Vehicle!

J.R.Gibbs, 04/28/2009
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

We purchased one for family traveling and some trailer towing.. Ours has 185,000 miles on the original engine, transmission. We have had no real problems with it, except we did replace the water pump and radiator due to minor issues unrelated to the quality of the vehicle. This is a very well- built vehicle, and I would recommend it to anyone. Recently, driving 1800 miles and back, we averaged 20.9MPG with the cruise set at 75MPH. If you take care of this vehicle and get one that has not been driven by an idiot kid, you should be totally fine. I do recommend you totally flush out the Dexcool coolant(red) and replace it with green or yellow, as Dexcool is known for destroying gaskets...

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4.25 out of 5 stars

Ultimate family hauler - 4wd diesel Sub

4smiths, 04/29/2004
K2500 4dr SUV 4WD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

After 20 months and 24,000 miles, my wife loves this truck for its overall capability and family friendliness. Gets 18mpg @ 75 mph cruising, and 15mpg in strictly around-town driving. The 6.5L turbodiesel is a remarkable powerplant for a full-size SUV, and the 4L-80E transmission is simply outstanding in every way. Surprisingly good handler for such a huge rig, although it will never fool a driver into thinking that it's a sports car!

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3.88 out of 5 stars

Good Value

Fred Red, 09/14/2004
K2500 4dr SUV 4WD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Owned for 7 years - hardly any problems except one bad alternator. Excellent value, huge capacity, dependable performance. One of the better cars I have owned.

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3.63 out of 5 stars

Fun for a big family

northcoast, 03/12/2002
K2500 4dr SUV 4WD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great Truck for a family that is active.

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4.5 out of 5 stars

passes everthing but a gas station

wiscasset, 06/18/2003
K2500 4dr SUV 4WD
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

so far this truck is great, gas consumption is poor 11-13mpg highway or city. lots of power and room for what ever you want. i live in maine and winter driving is very safe with this heavy suv

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1 out of 5 stars

Use to be a Chevy man, till I got this POS!

mike, 06/27/2017
C1500 4dr SUV
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Where to start? Bought new off of lot. Rear axle seals leaked within 90 days, coated brakes with axle oil and reduced braking, dealership would not cover cost. Coolant problems (ate gaskets). Front brakes replaced frequently. Speed sensitive steering would freak out and send you across lanes of traffic. Wipers prone to going out (poor design, fixed with silicon). Master booster leaked. Plastic distributor. ac units and fan blowers went out several times. Drank oil between changes, even from day 1 - Chevy told me that's normal (yet another lie). Leather seats cracked within weeks. Fuel pump failed several times, till I added thicker wire. Dual positive terminals on battery, poor design I had to fix it. Positives - nice smooth ride for long trips. Sold truck to some guy who offered cash, truck is in Mexico.

Safety
1 out of 5 stars
Technology
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Interior
1 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
1 out of 5 stars
Value
1 out of 5 stars
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4.13 out of 5 stars

Great Suburban

JDave, 09/23/2002
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Our '97 Suburban has 86,000 miles on it and the only repairs which I have had to make on it was front brakes, battery and idler arm. I guess we were lucky after reading some of the other reviews. We have been very pleased with it overall.

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2 out of 5 stars

Very Disappointed

araphel, 08/29/2007
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

I've owned this 97 sub SLT for three years. In that time, I've spent $5000 in repairs and it now needs another $2000. This vehicle has really made me doubt General Motors desire to remain in business. Little things that should be easy to fix end up being expensive. What happened to "built like a rock?"

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3.25 out of 5 stars

$$$$uburban

737Captain, 05/01/2002
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

In the last 12 months of ownership: FAILURES: two transmissions, alternator, brakes, ignition, fuel injection, water pump, rear axle bearings, air conditioning. Repair costs: $6800. Mileage now: 74000.

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2.5 out of 5 stars

Oh My God!!!

gcd, 06/01/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I have had everyhting break that you can imagine. Water pump, 3 alternators, exhaust pipe, universal joint, power seat, blower motor, fuel pump, a/c compressor, wiper switch, and a coolant leak on the intake manifold. And of course it all happened after the warranty. JUNK!!!!! Only has 70K miles.

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4.88 out of 5 stars

love it

lilcowgirl , 03/17/2010
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

i bought it with about 150,000 miles on it,the 2nd owner had already replace the tranny & maybe one more thing. one of the tires is wearing a little on the outside so i'm having the front end looked at, which isn't going to cost anything to fix.i went from driving something small to driving it & the suburban was a big difference but once i got used to driving it i loved it.in fact every time i get in it,i don't want to stop driving it because i love driving so much. has plenty of room & i can't wait to go fishing. i would recommend this vehicle to anyone wanting a vehicle to drive for the family,its fun to drive,it has lots of room & lots of power. i hope to be driving it for a long time.

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4.88 out of 5 stars

our 97 Sub

coxmcse, 07/11/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We bought the Suburban for several reasons. First, it can easily haul my wife and I and our three children and still give us a third row seat as well as cargo room. Second, it is a very safe vehicle. Third, it can haul our family, our camping gear and our pop-up camper with ease. This is the main reason we didn't go with a minivan. Fourth, the powertrain is reliable. The entire truck has been reliable ever since we bought it. We did buy used because, like many vehicles, this truck loses value too quick to warrant paying for a new one. This truck was four years old and in great shape and we picked it up for about 45% of the cost for a new one.

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3.25 out of 5 stars

Mechanical

JET, 02/07/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I've had a host of problems with my 'burb'. We had to replace the pinion bearing due to vibration/noisy sound when driving. Have replaced all of our fuel injectors, 5 of the eight went bad within a span of 2-3 months, etc....Not sure if I'd ever buy another...

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3.63 out of 5 stars

A Great SUV for the Family and Trips

TheFamilyMan, 10/25/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Great SUV for the whole family and for taking long trips. Lot's of room in the back (third seat can be removed for extra space). Great for the kids to get in and out. This is a home on wheels.

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3.13 out of 5 stars

Typical American Car

amccoy, 11/15/2002
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Our Suburban has a little over 50,000 on it, mostly city miles. We pull a Coleman popup trailer with it when we go camping which doesn't seem to strain the engine at all, even climbing. Overall, we like the vehicle, however, we have experience our share of the quality problems mentioned by the other reviewers. The transmission went out at just over 42,000, the alternator went out, and the things seems to go through batteries every few years and the brakes are terrible. My transmission guy said that it should have lasted longer than it did, however, after reading the other reviews, I see I am not alone.

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3.5 out of 5 stars

Very poor vehicle

kval87, 12/01/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We are very displeased with this vehicle. in just five short years we have had to fork out over $8000 to fix this "lemon." I wouldn't recommend buying another one EVER.

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4 out of 5 stars

kim's sub

puppy, 12/11/2002
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

family car. great for vacations or road trips with kids and friends. garage keeped ever since it was bought. bought car from friend with 23000 miles on it.

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4.25 out of 5 stars

solid family truck

graniteman, 12/20/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

After owning two GM trucks since 1990, I talked my wife into buying a burb to haul around our four kids. We bought it used with 62k on it. After only a few thousand miles I noticed the auto trans was shifting rough. It turns out the valve body(inside trans)was the culprit. The repair was $700. This burb will flat out roll down the highway-keeping it under 70 IS a problem.We use the 4wd daily to get up our steeeep gravel driveway. It is time for new brake pads,(and rotors I would guess), due to a pulsing feeling during hard braking. Better fuel economy than either of 2500 model pickups 13-18mpg vs. 17-20mpg.

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1.63 out of 5 stars

Gm Junk

western6, 01/02/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We bought this vehicle used. the trans went out at 38000k and gm would not back it beacause we were the 2nd owners of it, we also ha the alternator go. plus severa; brake jobs, o2 sensors. we live on a ranch and the thing rattled apart. we sold it

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3.13 out of 5 stars

I'm buying a ford !!!!

p/o owner!!!!, 01/07/2003
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I bought my 97 chevy 1500 suburban from a used car dealer that is very well know with 46000 miles on it.With in a year and puting 12,500 miles on it the transmission went out($3345.00)the front rotors went bad ($674.00)front tie rods and arms went bad (est.$568.00) I just had the fuel pump go out and computer go out ($933.00)water pump and the list goes on !I must say that the short that happened on the fuel pump and sending unit was in the GAS TANK ! the wires melted ! and if I'm not mistaken red hot wires and gas don't mix ! So in closing I'm trading this car in as soon as I can !

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1.5 out of 5 stars

Suburbans are junk

fdl, 01/07/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Worst vehicle I have ever owned. I've written Chevrolet letters and they don't even respond. The transmissions in these vehicles are defective and GM just ignores their customers. I will never own a GM vehicle again! Do yourself a favor and spend more on vehicles that have high quality and reliability ratings.

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3.13 out of 5 stars

Junk from the Get-Go

Honest Abe, 01/24/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This truck broke down day one. Within the first three months all of the fuel injectors were replaces, with multiple visits. The power assisted steerting took three visits to repair. A bunch of minor problems, but a trip to the dealership is still a problem. The front disc brakes are gone every 6 months. At 100,000 the real costs started to add up, new transimission, radiator, engine and the list goes on. It's fair to say that $15K in repairs have been done to this truck inside 150,000 miles.

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1.88 out of 5 stars

Sub sux

Ivan Paynter, 03/02/2002
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Nothing but problems since day one.!! My 1997 Suburban which is a beautiful Truck, BUT: I have "Invested" twice the value just to keep it running for these past five years. It's a timed obsolesces disaster. I believe Chevy engineered this vehicle to breakdown and allow for greater return on their bottom line, via parts and labor. Knowing what I know now, I would NOT buy another!

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4.75 out of 5 stars

1997 Chev Sub k1500

greedorfear, 07/11/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I am really enjoying it so far. I have only put 1200 miles on it so far. but i do plan on taking it all over the east coast

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4.38 out of 5 stars

k1500sub

brun0tc, 08/18/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This is a great vehicle overall.Perfect for towing except for the 5.7 is a little lite,go for the big block opt.

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5 out of 5 stars

SUBURBAN

FREDERICK, 08/31/2003
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

THE SUBURBAN IS THE BEST VEHICLE IVE EVER OWNED I CANT WAIT TO SAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO GET A NEW ONE

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4 out of 5 stars

My first and only Burb

Weasel628, 09/04/2003
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

No major problems at all. Regular maintenance upkeep has kept us rolling along. The whole family (7) & dog can fit comfortably. On long trips, all the luggage fits in the rear. Can Expedition owners say the same? We love the way the vehicle travels on the highway. Will keep it until the cows come home.

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4 out of 5 stars

evaluation of 97 suburban

rfrankjr, 09/09/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Only needed to replace brakes and tires...still had orginal exhaust with 106,000 miles on it. Not one problem with engine but did change oil every 3,000 miles.

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4 out of 5 stars

It's a lemon, but it runs good.

TSgt Vaz, 10/03/2003
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I purchase this vehicle for one purpose and it was for my family. They have enjoyed traveling around the US with it. I have had alot of electrical problems with this Suburban, but it has performed wonderfully for me. It has 116,000 miles on it and it still running good. I just travelled 7,000 miles this july. My family was very comfortable riding in it.

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2.63 out of 5 stars

Heart attack of America

Airmike, 10/24/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Where can I start, brakes inadequate for this heavy vehicle- rotors always going out - calipers replaced ,on the 3rd transmission - replaced fuel pump - universal joint - alternator - starter - water pump - heater control valve - a/c evaporator - battery post problems - fusible link - it now has 146000 miles, I have owned for almost 3 years , about $9000 in repairs. Every time I think nothing else can go wrong , it does. If you own one of these I strongly suggest joining AAA, they have towed me 3 times this year. Don't get me wrong, I have a 86 K1500 truck and it is great, I guess I got a Friday or Monday build.

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4.13 out of 5 stars

Lovin' it

Sub-2, 11/12/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This is my second Suburban. The firsat was a '92 2wd. This truck is a big improvement over my '92. The ride quality is awesome. There is a little corner sway that is common in big SUVs.I give Chevy an A for effort on this truck.

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4 out of 5 stars

Mine has been good to me

Bulletproof Burban, 05/12/2005
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I like mine, it has been a reliable companion. I have had to replace wear items, but nothing unusual, and it has never left me stranded in 6 years and 110K miles. I have no complaints about its reliability, and I am a Toyota salesman! Been off road way more than the average Suburban, and never broke down or got stuck. It has been coast to coast, and gets 21- 24 highway. Worst highway mileage I ever got was 19 MPG before I had it tuned up. I will get another of this generation, a Gold 1999, when I return to living in the mountains. They are easy to maintain yourself. I only have used my '97 off road and in the winter, but I bet I could put a million miles on one.

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4.38 out of 5 stars

A woman's review

truckinmom, 03/04/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Was afraid to drive such a big vehicle, but my husband wanted it and now I love it - I wouldn't trade it for the world. My kids love the room it has and we can carry the whole extended family around instead of taking two cars everywhere. As well as you can haul just about anything in it. It's an all around great vehicle and would recommend it to anyone. I find that I don't drive very fast in it, I drive faster in my Pontiac, just because my braking distance is longer than a regular car so I put extra distance between myself and other cars and I simply enjoy driving my Suburban.

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5 out of 5 stars

Comfort, visability, Power

Kevin01145, 01/24/2004
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I actually really am sorry to let this one go. I have a trailer and love to pull all sorts of things. This rig has been absolutly fabulous!

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4.5 out of 5 stars

The 4 Suburbans Owner

Cherokawa, 03/08/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

I'm a long time Suburban owner. I have 4 of them. My Likes are the sound system. for a factory stereo, it is outstanding. I like the feel of saftey in a truck like the Suburban, ( I hate the "Yuppie" word SUV )but it's loaded with more plastic and softer metal than the previous Suburbans I own. But still held up real well in the 60mph accident I had and I walked away, and drove away after the police finished the report.The utility truck I hit didn't fare out so well.the thing I hate the most is the Fuel Economy, but 12mpg local is pretty good for the weight and size of the truck. 17mpg highway with a 38 Ft. travel Trailer isn't too Shabby either.

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3.38 out of 5 stars

Bring you Wallet

MN-Suburban, 05/21/2004
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased new; Back in the shop within one week; In the shop every 6 months. On my 3rd tranny and I don't tow anything! So far, $14,000 in repair bills. To the point now that fixing it is still cheaper than a new truck payment. I'll try and hang on for 10 years.

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4.63 out of 5 stars

SUV of the Year

Elgast, 08/21/2004
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We have owned 3 Suburban and we love them. Our last one was totalled last week (a car pulled out in front of us while we were going 60+mph) The car handled beautiful. After a head on collision with another car we just wouldn't have any other vehicle. Besides we have 4 kids and need the space.

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4.63 out of 5 stars

SUV of the Year

Lovin the NW, 08/21/2004
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

We have owned 3 Suburbans and we love them. Our last one was totalled last week (a car pulled out in front of us while we were going 60+mph) The car handled beautiful. After a head on collision with another car we just wouldn't have any other vehicle. Besides we have 4 kids and need the space. We did have to put a transmission in our 2nd one HINT: Have them put a shift kit in.

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4.75 out of 5 stars

Wonderful car

Treyb0, 02/28/2008
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

This car was love at first sight. I have had no problems with this car and either has my dad(the first owner). I can drive like a maniac in this car. Rollover nothing. Just don't do too stupid of stuff and you're fine. Not fuel effecient at first look, but if you look at it as you hold 8 people and if those eight people were each driving their own car each car would have to get 105 mpg to burn as little gas as the Suburban. Also the towing capability is supurb which you can't get in any fuel effecient car. I would highly recomend this vehicle to anybody wanting to buy a car.

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2.13 out of 5 stars

Sub-par-bun

Sub-par-bun, 04/14/2003
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

6 "extended shop visits" in six years. Major transmission work - twice. Head gasket. FUEL PUMP - WIRES SHORTED OUT AND MELTED (fuel pump is IN the gas tank), lucky to be alive. Water pump replaced. Rear end diff work. Glad I didn't buy a 4x4 (twice the repairs?) and glad I did buy the extended warranty (wish it was still in force). Still interested? Good, mine is for sale.

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4.75 out of 5 stars

Surburban to 300k

AC, 10/07/2007
C1500 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Bought at 80k 4 yrs old. Now 10 yrs at 180k...still running strong. One year with $2500 in repairs, but standard maintenance every other year. Replaced serpentine as much as tires, but not sure why. Other than that perfect vehicle. 42 gallon tank...goes the distance. Garage 4 years, in the elements for 6...paint in great condition after 10 years and seldom waxing.

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2.75 out of 5 stars

A true lemon

jgm, 05/27/2003
K1500 4dr SUV 4WD
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Clearly the least reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Breaks down every 15,000 miles. I average $1000-$2000 of unscheduled repairs each year. The transmission just gave out completely yesterday. I'm kind of glad, now I have a good excuse to buy another vehicle.

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