By on June 13, 2009

For this week’s Your Shitty Economy Car of the Week (YSE), we present the Chevrolet Suburban. For years, Suburban was the only choice for families with four or five kids (or dogs) and a need for heavy towing. In recent times, the Suburban has seen some heavy competition. When GM doubled down on SUVs and created the GMT900 platform, they maintained the fuel hungry ‘burban’s class competitiveness. [Ed: Great landing, wrong airport.] Even with today’s economy and GM’s woes, a new Suburban doesn’t carry a huge discount: there’s $1,000 in rebate cash on the hood. A new base LS 4WD starts at $44,000. A flush customer can bling-out an L(u)TZ well into the $60,000 range. By comparison, this pictured one-year-old 4WD YSE truck clocks in at $24,987. Buyers looking for 2WD (or more miles) could spend less. The huge numbers of GMT900 trucks sold guarantees parts availability for years to come (hold the comments on GM’s bankruptcy). Before heading out to shop, toss in a copy of Dante’s Peak or Clear and Present Danger to watch some “like a rock” Suburbans tearing it up . . . .

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

21 Comments on “YSE Car of the Week: 2008 Chevrolet Suburban...”


  • avatar
    BlisterInTheSun

    Great PSD vehicle, with agents running the fenders and a shooter in the rear. This vehicle will be a law enforcement staple for a very long time.
    Edited for spelling.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Interesting, that unit is at least $10k cheaper than what they are going for around here.

  • avatar

    I never liked Suburbans. Too damn big. Tahoe’s bought as large as I’d go.

    Or an Expedition.

  • avatar
    afabbro

    I wonder how many younger TTAC readers realize that the GM has been offering the Suburban continuously since 1935 (or even earlier, for commercial buyers.

  • avatar

    Now this is a good award.

    @afabbro: excellent question. Even I, who date back to the Eisenhower ADministration (actually to Truman while in utero) didn’t realize the Suburbans went thatfar back.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    Suburbans – vehicle of the ruling class in Washington who loves them for their personal use, only they don’t want any of the unwashed masses to have them.

  • avatar

    Of course, it is funny how times have changed. In the ’60s, the headmaster of my quaker elementary school, Mr. Waring, was a man in the finest Quaker tradition, whose work dress was a blue collar workshirt with a plaid tie and a paper clip for a tie clasp. His family vehicle was a dark green Chevy or GMC truck (I can’t remember which), ample for his five or six children, and his other personal vehicle was an old black Raleigh 3-speed. (A shout-out to any Warings who might happen to be on this site.) And my friends in Seattle, whose parents were a physicist and a mathematician, and whose views towards transportation were very utilitarian, had an International Travelall, and similar vehicles.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    The suburban…the GM flagship of a sinking company.

    I still remember the talk about the hybrid. The last review I read essentially termed it “a gas-guzzling hybrid”.

    My friend just bought one of the loaded Tahoes. He said they offered fantastic deals to get it out the door so maybe it varies by market?

  • avatar

    For years, Suburban was the only choice for families with four or four kids (or dogs) and a need for heavy towing.

    Except virtually no-one I knew or saw with one had four kids and a trailer. The thing is basically the automotive equivalent of an aircraft carrier chock full of Tomcats and Tomahawks anchored five miles off the coast of Iran; an excessive expression of wealth and power with the false belief of security.

  • avatar
    commando1

    “The thing is basically the automotive equivalent of an aircraft carrier chock full of Tomcats and Tomahawks anchored five miles off the coast of Iran; an excessive expression of wealth and power with the false belief of security.”

    WOW! I have never in my life seen a hammer hit the nail right on the head as well as this. Brilliant.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Detroit Iron:
    Suburban 5,900 lbs
    Tahoe 5,505 lbs 2002
    Tahoe 5,715 lbs 2007
    Makes me feel better that GM is slimming their Sherman’s.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Had a 2500 Sub for 7 or 8 years. Pulled a large trailer all over the U.S., with no problems. Couldn’t afford to buy gas for the 454 now, tho.
    But if you NEED one, there is no equal.

  • avatar

    In the 60’s and 70’s, when the suburban family car was a station wagon, our friends, the Furnish family, had a then rare Suburban…and drove their family of 5 kids the length of the Trans-Canada Highway. An adventure! And left one kid at one out-back gas station. It was a madcap family, both parents were M.D.s. Later (’64 or so), the oldest son had a Sprite! with Judson supercharger! and, while we was getting a fancier steering wheel, drove it around with a Vise Grip pliers snapped on the knurled shaft. Way cool then.
    As for the Suburban as a gork…the ultimate super-gork I ever saw was in upstate NY in the early 70’s.
    A old Dodge Power Wagon (with wing fenders, the WWII 4X4, before they stuck the PW tag on simple 4×4 pickups). Station Wagon. Woody! What a honking monster…with a 5 ton rear axle and springs.
    I knew what it was, but the original owner, the typical old fart, knew very well what he had and was not to part with it for love nor money. Patton could have used it for a staff car and faced down Panzers.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    I like the story about the Vise-Grips steering device. I worked at the Vise-Grip plant until it closed last Nov. and moved to China. I hear the chinee VGs aren’t meeting their QC goals. But that’s another story.

  • avatar

    scarey: I worked at the Vise-Grip plant until it closed last Nov. and moved to China. This is the sort of thing that moves me to despair. Our management and the business schools that train them should be moving Heaven and Earth to keep American industry. It isn’t just the jobs, it’s the industrial base and the knowledge and imagination/experience base that leads to new products, industries and jobs. This is a living, breathing, symbiotic entity that is being destroyed (and taking America with it) in name of short term profit.
    When you take jobs and industries overseas, not only do the jobs here disappear, but another part of the future of America goes along with. It is simply one of the most treasonous things an American can do.
    The Chinese are not dumb: we outsource parts, then industries and finally our financial viability. Thus passes the Wonder of the World.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “I worked at the Vise-Grip plant until it closed last Nov. and moved to China.”

    Meanwhile, the retail price of Vise-Grips didn’t come down, but the management pays themselves ever more money for their brilliance.

    Part of the crisis the US is in right now is that we finally reached the tipping point where so many decent paying jobs have been moved out of the country that there isn’t enough income being earned by the remaining workers at the remaining jobs to actually support the economy we had become accustomed to. For a while, massive borrowing covered up this ever growing sink-hole. Eventually, however, the covering tore and the hole was revealed.

    Individual companies acting to boost their profit margins have, in aggregate, added up to a hallowed out economy. It is in many ways a “tragedy of the commons” problem. Ayn Rand’s acolytes like to believe that as long as each individual acts ruthlessly in their own self-interest, everything will work out for the best in the aggregate.

  • avatar

    While the meaning of “hollowing-out” is readily appreciated, an even better phrase, if more obscure, is “mining the pillars”. In the old anthracite tunnel mines, the miners would leave some of the coal in the form of pillars to hold up the roof. When the mine played out, sometimes the management would have the miners take out the pillars starting at the far end and working towards the surface. Sometimes that goes OK, but very often the roof falls in on the miners. The management, of course, is safe on the surface.
    America’s management is now mining the pillars.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i still can’t understand why they didn’t have a big diesel?

    i’ve driven a Range Rover with a 2.7 litre twin turbo diesel V6 and it fairly motored (and got upwards of 28 mpg)

    i can’t imagine a four litre turbo diesel struggling with 6,000lb

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    I like the Suburban, and I hope there will always be one. If you need 4WD, what are your choices for a vehicle this large wiht configurable interior space? A Toyota Sienna AWD is the only similar vehicle (aside from GM’s full size, AWD vans). The Suburban will tow too, by the way, if you need it.

    I’ve personally driven 4WD Suburbans at 70-75 on the highway that have achieved 18-20MPG. Look on the owner-blogs for the Sienna AWD, and you’ll see they rag on it’s crappy mileage, at only 1-2 MPG better then the Suburban.

    Gas isn’t everything. The lower maintenance, the cheaper parts availability, and the more plentiful dealers lower your ownership costs too (depreciation aside, of course).

    And it’s SO NICE not to pull into that prick Toyota dealer, local monopoly.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    I wonder how many younger TTAC readers realize that the GM has been offering the Suburban continuously since 1935 (or even earlier, for commercial buyers.

    I know that…and I am 24. But didn’t production stop for the war?

    ————

    I love the ‘Burban. Nothing can match it’s utility.

    I would love to own a earlier 2500 ‘Burb with the 8.1 V8. I have no need for it…but I am sure it would be fun.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    My parents had a Suburban in the ’70s and we drove all over the west pulling a camping trailer as my dad would take off work for a month every year to do so. It wasn’t as nice as the current Suburban, but what found memories I have. My brother and I would play with our trucks in the back (the days before seat belts).

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Jeff_M: If speed limits weren’t too low to begin with the camera issue would be moot. It’s almost as...
  • mcs: “But requiring the road to be prepped is a little silly. ” Actually, I’ve been thinking about...
  • ToolGuy: Penultimate picture: I purchased the plane shown in the photo and was dismayed to learn that it has no...
  • 28-Cars-Later: I suspect a bit more than you wanted to spend but an E46 manual/convertible… that’s also...
  • 28-Cars-Later: Was that GS a sedan or coupe? I could see a clean manual coupe commanding some cash… not that...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber