Over the last two years I've driven more of GM's full-size sport-utility vehicles than I can shake a stick at. I've driven Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models; some decked out in full LT or SLT regalia, others with minimal options. No matter what the configuration, the trucks have always been a hit with Edmund's staff members and their families. Their spacious interiors, powerful engines, stupefying cargo hauling and towing capabilities and strong good looks are just some of the attributes that Edmund's staffers have raved about when evaluating these trucks. Nevertheless, I wasn't thrilled to be taking delivery of another Suburban when it was dropped off late this spring. I mean, really, there's just so much praise you can pile on one truck!
I'm always surprised when a Suburban is delivered. Their sheer size and towering height seems to dwarf everything else in a parking lot. What surprised me about this model is that, even when parked next to another Suburban, it still looked huge. That's because this was not a regular Suburban, it was, in fact, a K2500, which is the Mac Daddy of the entire General Motors lineup.
The "K" in its name, along with all other GM full-size trucks, denotes that the model we tested was a four-wheel drive vehicle. (The "C" designation indicates a two-wheel drive product.) The "2500" indicated that our tester was the most heavy-duty version of the Suburban available.
What makes the K2500 so special? Well, there is the available Vortec 7400 V8 engine that makes 290 horsepower @ 4000 rpm and 410 foot-pounds of torque @ 3200 rpm. That's 30 more horsepower and 80 more foot-pounds of torque than a K1500 equipped with the Vortec 5700 is capable of making. This powerhouse enables the K2500 to tow 10,000 pounds, a full ton more than the vaunted Ford Expedition. There is also the size. The K2500 stands more than 1.5-inches taller than the K1500 and it weighs a healthy 400 pounds more.
Like GM's other full-size sport-utes, the K2500 is a pleasure to drive. Its towering height gives a commanding view of the road, and its big engines makes overtaking slower traffic on steep inclines a breeze. As we've noted before, the brake pedal feels mushy and the steering is a bit numb, but we think that this could be because GM engineers don't want a truck this size to handle too responsively. The big transmission in this truck shifts surprisingly smoothly under regular acceleration. I did, however, notice that the transmission shifts into reverse accompanied by an abrupt bump and shudder.
Despite its size, the interior of the big 'Burban is not as comfortable as it could be. The front seats are flat and mushy, secondary controls are a long stretch for the driver and the front seat cupholders are not placed strategically (The cupholders for the front seat passengers block the center air vents in the dash panel when in use). Thankfully, clambering aboard the K2500 is not as difficult as it appears. Despite it's impressive ground clearance, the K2500 was easier to enter than the last Ford Expedition that we tested, thanks to a lower step-in height. Second row passengers should be comfortable because of the huge amount of legroom and seats that seem to offer more support than the front chairs. Third row passengers, well, they may just have to lump it. Climbing into the third row seat of a Suburban, or any SUV, is a feat best left to gymnasts, contortionists or children with soft bones.
The K2500 Suburban is bigger and heavier than the K1500, and it can tow a little more. Nevertheless, I have to ask, "Who needs this thing?" It doesn't offer any more cargo area, comes with the same types of optional equipment, doesn't carry any more people, yet has a base cost of $1,584 more than the lesser model. Is $1,584 worth more horsepower, torque and a higher towing capacity? Not unless you're planning on dragging Rhode Island to the West Coast. The K1500 Suburban is more than up to the tasks that any normal family could throw at it.
Maybe that's the key, maybe the K2500 Suburban isn't for normal families. Maybe it is built for a race of giants who carry huge loads and tow entire mountains across the countryside. That must be it, because I can't think of another useful application for such a serious piece of machinery.
Chevrolet's Silverado pickup truck, the basis for the Suburban, has just been redesigned for 1999, and that means that the current Suburban day's are numbered. Furthermore, Ford is introducing an SUV based on their new Super Duty line of trucks that will be even bigger, God forbid, than the already huge K2500. So, if you are one of those mountain-hauling giants, you may want to wait awhile and see what your options are. You know, so the giants down the street don't show you up in a year.
1998 Chevrolet Suburban Overview
The 1998 Chevrolet Suburban is offered in the following submodels: SUV. Available styles include K2500 4dr SUV 4WD, C2500 4dr SUV, and K1500 4dr SUV 4WD. Suburban models are available with a 5.7 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 255 hp, depending on engine type. The 1998 Suburban comes with four wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The 1998 Suburban comes with a basic warranty, a roadside warranty, and a powertrain warranty.
Is the 1998 Chevrolet Suburban a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1998 Chevrolet Suburban and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1998 Suburban featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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How do people like the 1998 Chevrolet Suburban? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1998 Chevrolet Suburban and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1998 Suburban 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1998 Suburban.
Review I've been a fan of CHEVY since my first car (68 Chevelle). But this Suburban has shaken my faith in the most reliable engine, the 350, ever built. First problem with the transmission at 10k miles, gear replacement. Then 4-wheel drive issues, when in 4-wheel HIGH or LOW the car feels like it is braking when turning the steering wheel; the dealership can't find the problem & said do not use the 4-wheel drive feature (makes sense?). More problems w/ trans. @ 45k miles - lost REVERSE. Since then - an exhaust manifold leak & a head gasket replaced (this SUV only has 53k miles on it). Now A/C problems. AGAIN I say - BIG disappointment!
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What options are available on the 1998 Chevrolet Suburban?
Available Chevrolet Suburban 1998 Submodel Types: SUV
Exterior Colors: Black, Summit White, Tungsten Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Siren Red Tintcoat, Silver Birch Metallic, Blue Velvet Metallic, Pepperdust Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, Graystone Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Sheer Silver Metallic, Havana Metallic, Light Pewter Metallic, Sport Red Metallic, Bermuda Blue Metallic, Dark Gray Metallic, Gold Mist Metallic, Taupe Gray Metallic, Black Granite Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Dark Green Metallic, Sable Metallic, Blue Granite Metallic, Brownstone Metallic, Indigo Blue Metallic, Redfire Metallic, Slate Gray Metallic, Black Mist Metallic, Amber Bronze Metallic, Blue Topaz Metallic, Deep Ruby Metallic, Forest Green Metallic, Green Envy Metallic, Medium Charcoal Gray Metallic, Onyx Black, Steel Green Metallic, Victory Red