Used 1998 GMC Suburban SUV

1998 GMC Suburban

1998 Highlights

Depowered second-generation airbags protect front-seat occupants for 1998. Carpeted floor mats become standard. Standard equipment also includes PassLock theft-deterrent system, electrochromic rearview mirror and automatic four-wheel drive on K-series models.

Pros

  • Huge interior with seating for up to 9 passengers. Fun to drive. Great V-8 engine.

Cons

  • Ride on pavement is unrefined. All the good stuff is optional.

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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-SUV 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 was nothing else quite like it on the market, until Ford crashed the party last year with the new Expedition.

For 1998, GMC has added some standard equipment to make its version of the Suburban more upscale. A power driver's seat, PassLock theft deterrent system, and electrochromic rearview mirror are all part of the base price this year. A new Luxury Convenience Package adds a three-channel HomeLink transmitter, 46mm Bilstein shocks, heated front seats, heated electrochromic rearview mirrors, and a power front passenger seat to the top-level SLT. Suburbans with 4WD get a new Autotrac transfer case. Autotrac is a fully automatic 4WD system that will transfer power to the front axle when rear wheel slippage is detected. If rear wheel slippage is excessive, the system switches to "4-Hi" mode with no driver input. Basically, you set it and forget it. Three new colors add some zip to the exterior.

Inside, the modern instrument panel holds a selection of white-on-black analog gauges with zone markings and red-orange needles. 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, but are poorly located so that beverages sit in front of the air vents. Three assist handles help entry/exit. Passenger car tires make less rough-and-tumble Suburbans ride smoothly and quietly. For 1998, carpeted floor mats and a cargo area mat are standard.

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. We do wish the driver's seat backrest didn't feel reclined when in its most upright position. 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 Vortec 7400 V8 a whirl before deciding to accept the base engine.

The Suburban is one our favorites. It's a no-holds barred, no apologies kind of truck that can carry or tow just about anything you'd want to move without professional assistance. With a strong lineup of engines and more room inside than the Ford Expedition or 1998 Lincoln Navigator, we'd take the Suburban so long as we could live with it occupying the driveway rather than the garage.


Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 GMC Suburban.

Sad Owner
disheartened, 11/24/2003
Purchased with 83,000 miles. Now 96,000 miles on the clock. Repairs so far: AC hoses & condensor, ($1,000), front breaks, (Repaired by the dealer), shocks, (%150), front end alignment, (twice so far, $200 combined), intake manifold gaskets, due to coolant leak, ($350). Next trip to the shop is scheduled for 12-2- 03 to diagnose another coolant leak. The dealer can't work on this truck for a week due, I suppose, to all of the other 1998 Suburbans in the shop. Do not buy one of these vehicles.
Solid SUV
I_like_burban, 1/5/2007
I purchased this vehicle with 114000 miles six months ago. I've needed to patch the A/C lines and replace two U joints. Other than that, the Suburban has been solid. Great on long trips, comfortable, MPG runs 13-14 city and 15-16 hwy. Usable cargo space is excellent with the third row seats out, and I can pack 8 people in when all the seats are installed. Good substitute for a full sized pickup if you don't want to sacrifice seating space. The Suburbans tend to run a couple of thousand dollars less than comparable pickups on the used market as well. If you're buying a Suburban with over 90,000 miles, look for one that has already had the transmission rebuilt.
My Lemon
dgalliga, 10/24/2002
I have always liked GM vehicles. Previous to this suburban I had one I purchased in 1992 that I traded on this vehicle with 165,000 miles. It was a great rig. This one however has been nothing but problems since we purchased it. 2 months after we bought it, it needed a new transmission fluid pump, to the tune of $3000. It then had a period of good working for about a year. In the last three months I have had to replace the alternator, the starter, the water pump, the battery, and just learned that I need a brand new transmission today. While the suburban has been an industry standard, I wouldn't recommend this model year.
LOVE it or LEAVE it
kdb, 3/28/2003
For years I've lusted over the Suburban. However, I thought the new style (2000) was less TRUCK and more Sport Utility. So I bought my 1998. I really use this vehicle and drive it hard. With NUMEROUS cross counrty trips,it is truly an ideal vehicle. I am now getting into what I term as it's "MID LIFE CRISES" and have had to spend some serious money to keep it in the running order I demand. If I didn't love the drive and look of this truck I would have sold it. But as it is I plan on passing 200k before that will happen.
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Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 17 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
255 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
255 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
255 hp @ 4600 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
255 hp @ 4600 rpm
See all Used 1998 GMC Suburban SUV features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    0

Used 1998 GMC Suburban SUV Overview

The Used 1998 GMC Suburban SUV is offered in the following styles: C1500 4dr SUV, C2500 4dr SUV, K1500 4dr SUV 4WD, and K2500 4dr SUV 4WD.

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