2008 Chevrolet Suburban Review

Pros & Cons

  • Seats up to nine people, class-leading cargo capacity, attractive interior, comfortable seating and ride, smooth V8.
  • Optional third-row seat doesn't fold flat, acceleration is sluggish when fully loaded, portly curb weight hampers handling.
List Price Range
$10,500 - $14,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

It doesn't have a fold-flat third row and it's heavier than we'd like, but if you need a full-size SUV with maximum capacity, the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban is a compelling choice.

Vehicle overview

The first Chevrolet Suburban was introduced during Franklin Roosevelt's first administration. Nineteen presidential terms and 71 years later, the Suburban is still truckin', providing big families with the type of space and utility that today's growing onslaught of crossover SUVs just can't match.

Dramatically redesigned and improved last year, the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban continues to impress with its handsome and well-built interior, smooth V8 engines and improved road manners. As always, the big Chevy sports a traditional body-on-frame truck chassis with a solid rear axle, but body stiffness was increased last year and a coil spring front suspension was added to create a better ride. A new rack-and-pinion steering system improves handling, while more powerful brakes do a better job of halting the hefty SUV.

Few vehicles can seat eight people, let alone nine, and for those who truly need this type of seating capacity, the Suburban is really only matched by its GMC Yukon XL clone and a handful of full-size vans. Furthermore, its cavernous cargo hold and mighty towing ability are hard to beat. Competitors like the Ford Expedition EL and Nissan Armada offer advantages such as a fold-flat third-row seat, but overall we think the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban is an excellent choice among jumbo SUVs.

2008 Chevrolet Suburban models

The 2008 Chevrolet Suburban full-size SUV is available in half-ton 1500 and 3/4-ton 2500 models. Both are available in two main trim levels -- base LS and luxurious LT -- and with a variety of packages. Most folks should be happy with the well-stocked LS, which counts a 40/20/40-front split bench seat, side assist steps, full power accessories (including six-way driver seat), dual-zone climate control, rear seat air-conditioning, a CD/MP3 player and a trip computer as standard features.

The LT comes standard with steering-wheel-mounted and rear seat audio controls, front bucket seats with a center console, foglamps and color-keyed exterior trim. Three major equipment groups are available on the Suburban LT: LT2, LT3 and LTZ. The LT2 package adds leather seating, an in-dash six-CD changer, power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starting and rear parking assist. Move up to the LT3 and these features are added: heated front seats (with 12-way driver adjustment) and a Bose audio system with satellite radio. The Convenience Package 2 adds heated washer fluid, rain-sensing front wipers and a power liftgate to the LT3.

Setting the Suburban LTZ apart are 20-inch alloy wheels, a locking rear differential, a power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding second-row seats with heat, the Autoride rear air suspension and a third-row seat. Many of the features that are standard on upper trim/package levels, specifically the third-row seat, are available on the lower levels as options. Other major options for the Suburban include a navigation system, a rearview camera, power-retracting running boards and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

2008 Highlights

Side curtain airbags are now standard on all models. The 3/4-ton Suburban 2500 now comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and stability control. OnStar's turn-by-turn navigation is now standard on LT and LTZ trim levels.

Performance & mpg

Chevrolet offers two V8s for the 2008 Suburban. Standard on the Suburban 1500 (half-ton) is a 5.3-liter V8 with 320 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with GM's cylinder deactivation technology, this V8 promises better than normal fuel efficiency to the tune of 14 city and 19 highway for 2008. A 6.0-liter V8 that pumps out 366 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque is optional on LT3 and LTZ trims. Both 1500 V8 engines come with a four-speed automatic. A 6.0-liter V8 matched to a six-speed automatic that packs 352 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque comes on the Suburban 2500 (3/4-ton). With either the 1500 or 2500 model, buyers have a choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive. An automatic locking rear differential is optional on all trims except the LTZ, on which it's standard. Properly equipped, the Suburban 2500 can tow up to 9,700 pounds.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on all Suburbans, as are stability control and GM's OnStar emergency communications system. Turn-by-turn navigation has been added to OnStar on LT and LTZ models. A three-row side curtain airbag system with a rollover sensor is standard on all Suburbans. In government crash tests, the 2008 Chevy Suburban was awarded a top five-star rating for protecting the driver and passenger in a frontal collision.


For such a big truck, the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban is fairly quick and can get to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds. However, the 5.3-liter V8 Suburban doesn't feel nearly so quick when carrying a load of passengers. Plus, dipping into the power will quickly pull mileage down to the low teens. There are only so many ways to trick physics: Depending on the model, a Suburban can weigh anywhere from 5,600 to 6,300 pounds. A new suspension with coil-over shocks up front and a five-link setup out back along with rack-and-pinion steering make for more composed handling and a smoother ride than before. But with its hefty curb weight, the Suburban doesn't feel nimble around corners -- not that that should come as a surprise. Aimed for the horizon on an interstate, there aren't many better cruisers than the 2008 Suburban. The cabin is quiet at speed, and the ride is comfortably controlled over bumps.


Like the rest of GM's full-size SUVs and trucks, the Suburban's interior is a marked improvement over past iterations. Materials quality is good, fit and finish is spot on and controls are logically laid out. Depending on how you equip the Suburban, it can seat six to nine people -- a total surpassed only by full-size vans. Cargo capacity is also immense, with a maximum of 137.4 cubic feet -- a full 40 cubes larger than a Nissan Armada and a few more than the Ford Expedition EL. Although the Suburban's second row is available with a power-folding feature, the optional third-row seats must be removed manually to optimize cargo space. Based on our experience, those dense seats feel like they're constructed of depleted uranium and removing them requires not only a strong back but the ability to wrestle them out from deep inside the interior.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Sinking More Money Into my 2008 Suburban
LT 1500 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
So very disappointed with my 2008 Suburban. The car stalled in motion and I lost control. Had it towed to the dealership and told my CPS (Crank Shaft Sensor) failed but my VIN is not covered under the recall (GM06083) which is for the same issue. $500 out of my pocket. Dealership - no help! Called GM - no help. Called NHTSA - filed safety complaint. Thankfully not many cars were out on the road but I could have been hit and having my young son in the car was nerve racking. 15 months ago engine went - again another known problem but no recall on my VIN. Very disappointed Chevy owner here! Been a Chevy owner for 20 years. Stand behind what you build!
Do Not Purchase a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban
Junk!! My Suburban has required air bag sensor replacement ($300), the 4 wheel drive stopped functioning for unknown reasons, the Stabilitrac stopped functioning for unknown reasons, the Traction Control stopped functioning for unknown reasons, exterior lighting stopped working (puddle lamps, license plate lamps), and window buttons stopped working. All before it hit 80k miles! The frame and undercarriage is rusted beyond recognition too. General Motors is proven unreliable and proven to be unable to build a sound vehicle. I will never buy another GM vehicle and I think the company should have been allowed to go bankrupt.
Do Not Buy With Active Fuel Management
LS 1500 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
The Active Fuel Management System causes major problems on this vehicle. $2,000 in fixes so far and it isn't fixed. World Class trained Chevy Technicians are having problems figuring out how to deal with the AFM and how to fix the problem. Next step $4,500 to go in a look and maybe fix the problem. Maybe. Suburbans were supposed to have a great engine. The Active Fuel Management ruined it. Don't let them lie to you. There is also a special memo inside of Chevy mechanics only talking about a high oil consumption problem that needs 11 parts added to the vehicle to fix the problem at your own cost. Chevy won't tell anyone outside of their network that they had to have Chevy engineers come up with a band aid. They also won't cover any of the cost. Do not buy a 2008 Suburban from anyone.
Will own nothing else
This is our 4th sub/Tahoe. The best so far, but. The door actuators are a problem with this year sub. All four doors have failed. The steering wheel covering bubbled but was replaced on warranty. The sun visors are bubbling, as well. Bought this vehicle for the snow and so far, so good.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban

Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban Overview

The Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban is offered in the following submodels: Suburban SUV. Available styles include LT 1500 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A), LT 1500 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), LS 1500 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), LS 1500 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A), LT 2500 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl 6A), LS 2500 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl 6A), LT 2500 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 6A), and LS 2500 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 LT is priced between $10,500 and$14,990 with odometer readings between 131415 and222781 miles.

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 2008 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) 2008 Chevrolet Suburban for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2008 Suburbans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,500 and mileage as low as 131415 miles. 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 2008 Chevrolet Suburban.

Can't find a used 2008 Chevrolet Suburbans you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Suburban for sale - 7 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $12,569.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 1 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $25,278.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Suburban for sale - 7 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $17,824.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $11,620.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 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.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Suburban lease specials