Used 2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV Consumer Reviews - 155 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV Consumer Reviews

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Superior Quality in a Huge SUV
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Michael C
on

Vehicle

2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV 2500 LS 4WD 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A)


Review

I purchased this rare 3/4 ton SUV after it was about a decade old with over 150K miles. A 2003, Chevrolet, Suburban, LT, 2500, 4wd, White with Grey interior. After a lot of research and owning the same model and year, 2003, in a 1/2 ton, 1500, LT, 2wd, for several years, I justifiably sought the BIGGER version. With a family of six very active people who seize the opportunity to take vacations as much as possible, we most definitely used this vehicle to its fullest potential. We all were quite fond of our "BIG BURTHA" & it was slightly emotional trading her in, but with slightly over 300,000 miles, I'm sure there was possibly a big pricey bullet to be dodged. I chose to enhance performance by having it custom tuned. Unfortunately tuning did nothing to improve the typical/usual 12.5 mpg, but it definitely unleashed more performance from the 6.0L beast. I never had it dynoed, but it seemed to often invoke other truck drivers to a race, with its aggressive appearance, including great looking grill, extended finders, and stance. It was always fun watching the cocky smirks on the faces of newer vehicles, convert to shocked frowns, after Big Burtha ran off from their expensively disappointing performance turds. Being a LT package, this traveling Suburbia was simply luxurious with roomy comfortable four Captain Chair seating and overhead DVD entertainment console. Hauling sheetrock or plywood was simply feasible with a simple, yet somewhat cumbersome, removal of the rear bench seat and folding the middle row seats forward and down. One of the primary reasons that we purchased the 2500 version, was specifically due to a superior ride, control and handling. The 3/4 ton models are equipped with heavy duty leaf-springs! There's a night & day difference from the typical 1500 truck chassis with cool springs. The road hop/shake is eliminated in the beefier 2500 truck. Handling around corners with the 2500 Suburban is better than our 2013 Escalade, ESV, Platinum! Over 300K miles on a well enough maintained vehicle and nothing major was replaced. At trade-in, it still ran like new and had great compression, to include a tightly shifting 4L80E tranny. I maintained "Big B" better than most and perhaps not as well as some. Things like the bump-stops needed replacing about a dozen years into its life. We traded it in in 2018, & reason that it will likely be one of the best vehicles that we will have owned during our, to date, more than four decades of driving. In 2014, with no reservations, we took an epic vacation totaling over 5000 miles, which included taking Big Burtha on Rocky Mountain, Colorado offroad trails where small 4X4 Jeeps are common. With nine people piled in our big beast, she climbed everything with the greatest of ease. No lift kit necessary. I just leveled the truck with tweaking the torsion bars, which allowed for bigger tires, and a very slight rub in the rear of the front wheel wells that a BFH alleviated. A unnoticeable slight modification, that proved well worth the effort. This truck conquered Cinnamon Pass and well as a few other off road dirt trails around Silverton, Colorado, and got us back home without any troubles. Despite the poor quality white paint that begin to flake off in small patches around the eleventh year of this vehicle's life, it was, and possibly still is, a very dependable truck, and one that will likely always invoke great memories which it afforded to a large family set on seizing life as fully as possible. For us, not many other vehicles would have sufficiently accommodated our needs like the mighty 2500 Suburban did for about eight years. It was always entertaining to see commercials of much newer vehicles, boasting of amenities that our 2003 model had. In fact, this vehicle offered amenities that the majority of luxury vehicles don't provide. Heated parking assist rearview mirrors, with integrated flashing turn signals in the glass, and they both fold in and out to accommodate those situations. Power adjustable acceleration and brake peddles that are part of the eight way power seats that are heated with two options, and part of an automatic power recall that's programmable to the two separate security remote controls! Temperature and direction display in the rearview mirror, along with automatic tilt at night for bright light dimming. A two way sliding sunroof. The rear hatch glass opens separately from the gate. XM radio capacity, along with On-Star. In my opinion, this Suburban seems to be one of GM's greatest success stories despite the inferior fuel economy. The trade off was worth it for our large family to be accommodated. Now, for a little bit longer we will extend luxury accommodations with a Cadillac, Escalade, ESV, Platinum and then likely migrate into something smaller. After being spoiled by the 2500 LT, I'm not sure we will willingly abandon the amenities and comforts that are designed for bigger American people. Big Burtha was sold at an auction in Oklahoma.


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2003 SUBURBAN SOUTHERN COMFORT CONVERSION
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Randy Butcher
on

Vehicle

2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV 1500 LS Rwd 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A)


Review

Southern Comfort advertised this conversion as the "Ultimate". I agree. I have 197,000 miles on this Suburban and feel I could get another 190,000 miles out of it. I wax the car every 9 months with Maguier's Carnauba Wax and the Suburban looks nearly new. The ride is superb. Only average 13 MPG. I traveled for a living before I retired and put 130,000 miles on the road. The Suburban is absolutely beautiful. I purchased the Conversion from Moritz Chevrolet in Ft. Worth and their service was tremendous. They don't make conversions like this Suburban any more.


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I LOVE MY TRUCK - This thing doesn't break!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Dan
on

Vehicle

2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV 1500 LS 4WD 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A)


Review

Between 110,000 and 173,000, my most major repairs were replacing a light bulb and clean out a clogged mass airflow sensor. The rest was tires, brakes, shocks, fluids, and a wheel bearing. I've averaged $81/mo over 5.5 years in maintenance and tires. Way cheaper than anything I've ever owned and more than compensates for the gas mileage. It is very comfortable for me (6'4" 210lbs) and I can ride for hours. My only complaint is the rust. I was able to have the insides of the bottoms of the doors ground down, sealed, and repainted and that has held off that rust fairly well. BUT, the rockers, quarters and fenders are rotting very quickly. They probably got worse as I was typing. However, I love my truck so much that even at 173k, I may spring for new panels and paint.


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"The Big Black Hoe" 2003 Black Suburban Z71 4x4
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By André Brocato
on

Vehicle

2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV 1500 LS 4WD 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A)


Review

I bought my Z71 new. Has been an excellent SUV, has 155k miles on it now. Friends say you ought to trade it in. I say WHY, it's loaded, leathers seats, sun roof, etc. I'm fixing to purchase another set of tires for it. I love my Z71. I drive it on long trips, I take to the country. I love the 33 gallon gas tank. I just fill it up at half of a tank ,so it will already to take a trip if need to. The Z71 has a stiffer ride, but everyone that rides in it loves it. I just wish it had a back up camera, thinking about having one installed. It seats 7. I have bucket seats for front and second row, then third row seat. My next one will have 2nd roll bench seat. But that will be a long time from now. Just bought a new SUV for son, he said don't you want it? I said no way, I love my "Big Black Hoe". By the way the name came from a previous SUV , a Tahoe, which I hated, it wasn't big enough. So my Z71 is black and it's larger than the Tahoe. When I first got it I wanted to be the one to put the first scratch on it, so I took it hunting. Hey I didn't get a Z71 to drive on the road only. My Z71 been places that most people wouldn't take their truck. I drive in country during week and weekends take it on road trips, Just take it to local Car wash, and it comes out brand new. The black color exterior color shines so well. My wife has a nicer and newer SUV, but we always take mine on trips. I feel so much safer in my "Big Black Hoe". One negative thing that I haven't figured out yet, is that I have 17 inch wheels and the spare is a 16 inch wheel. You never put a smaller wheel on a 4 wheel drive vehicle. All wheels have to be the same. But I have never had to use that spare yet. I had my first flat tire last weekend, I noticed the tire was lowFriday, but I forgot about it and by Sunday it was flat. I just took my air tank out and filled it up with air and drove to tire place. I buy the best tires, Michelin. For my vehicle. According to my mechanic he said that the 2003 model is a great year. He is right. ( he just changes oil, etc.) As far as MPG, goes I drive different some times I floor it from stop lights, mostly I drive it slow in town, on the highway I drive fast. So I don't care about the MPG. With my 33 gallon tank. I go on a long trip.


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2003 Chevy Suburban LT 2WD F
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Easyserve
on

Vehicle

2003 Chevrolet Suburban SUV 1500 LS Rwd 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A)


Review

This vehicle was purchased off lease in 2006 with 35,000 miles and aside from tires brakes engine oil & transmission oil changes this Suburban has had very little repairs needed - with 1 instrument cluster(dashboard display of speed, fule, temp, volt & tach) and 2 water pumps in the duration of ownership through present day with having now 191,000 miles - still on original drive train. Never really babied the thing as I have been running I-95 up and down the coast many of times as it is a pleasure to drive - even with a full load in back, 5 people seated comfortable and trailering with full load. The only modifications I have made to the truck was a K&N intake kit and Gibson Exhaust for added HP. My only wish list for this vehicle is a 4WD version. It will be a sad day if I have to part with the vehicle.


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