Originally introduced in 1937, the Chevrolet Suburban marks one of the longest-standing models in the history of the U.S. automotive industry. In the vehicle’s more than 70-year history, the full-size Suburban has been a mainstay for big families looking for passenger space and utility. Receiving a drastic redesign the previous year, the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban shows an impressive modern take on the model, with an attractive, well-built interior; good drivability; and a powerful line of V-8 engines.
The 2008 Chevrolet Suburban classifies as a full-size SUV that comes in two versions: the half-ton 1500 and the three-quarter-ton 2500. Additionally, both models offer three trim levels: LS, LT, and LTZ.
Even the base LS comes fairly well-equipped with features that include a 40/20/40 front split bench seat, side assist steps, power accessories, dual-zone climate control, rear air conditioning, a trip computer, and an audio system that’s equipped with a CD and MP3 player.
The more luxurious LT version is equipped with front bucket seats, a center console, foglamps, color-keyed exterior trim and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. There are also three major equipment groups available for the LT: the LT2, LT3 and top-of-the-line LTZ.
Body Styles: full-size SUV
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Suburban LS, Chevrolet Suburban LT, Chevrolet Suburban LTZ
Having been completely redesigned in 2007, the Chevrolet Suburban undergoes few changes for 2008. These include the addition of side-curtain airbags on all models and the option of OnStar turn-by-turn navigation on the LT and LTZ. A six-speed automatic transmission and stability control debut for the three-quarter-ton Suburban 2500.
The 2008 Chevrolet Suburban features a traditional body-on-frame truck chassis on which sits its aerodynamic and handsome exterior. Massive in size, the 2008 Suburban boasts clean, flowing lines; a square-jawed front end; and a decidedly contemporary feel.
Interior material quality for the 2008 Chevy Suburban is good and the Suburban’s controls look sensibly laid-out. Cargo and passenger capacity for the Suburban seem immense. When properly set up, the 2008 Suburban accommodates up to nine people. Maximum cargo capacity totals an impressive 137.4 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
For such a large vehicle, the 2008 Suburban moves surprisingly fast and makes 60 mph in less than nine seconds. This largely results from its beefy, 5.3-liter, V-8 engine. However, this acceleration significantly diminishes after loading the Suburban with passengers and cargo. Leaning on the gas pedal also drags the fuel economy down a bit.
Both versions of the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban prove much too heavy to take corners well. But the Suburban’s suspension makes for composed handling and a generally smooth ride.
The 1500 comes standard with a 5.3-liter V-8 that produces 320 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. However, opting for the higher LT or LTZ trim allows the option of a six-liter V-8 that generates 366 horsepower and produces 380 lb-ft of torque. Both engine choices for the 1500 match with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The heavier 2500 also comes equipped with a six-liter V-8 that produces 352 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. That engine pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Rear or four-wheel drive remains available for all versions of the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban.
Standard safety features for all versions of the 2008 Chevrolet Suburban include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, and GM’s OnStar emergency communications system. The LT and LTZ feature turn-by-turn navigation. Another standard feature for all versions of the 2008 Suburban, a three-row side-curtain airbag system with a rollover sensor, improves protection for all occupants. The 2008 Suburban receives five out of five stars in government crash tests for frontal collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chevrolet Suburban: 14/19 mpg city/highway
- Great family vehicle, especially for long trips
- Quiet ride
- Absorbs irregularities in the road
- Surprisingly good acceleration
- Slightly better fuel economy than similar vehicles
You Won't Like
- Maximizing cargo space requires removing the third-row seat
- Very heavy third-row seat proves difficult to remove
Massive space and towing ability, along with a quiet and comfortable ride.
If You Like This Vehicle
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