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2001 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

4dr 1500 4WD Base

Starting at | Starting at 14 MPG City - 16 MPG Highway

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  • $28,837 original MSRP
Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

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2001 Chevrolet Suburban

Source: New Car Test Drive

Bigger gets better.

by Mitch McCullough

Base Price (MSRP) $25,921
As Tested (MSRP) $39,493

Chevy's Suburban was totally redesigned and re-engineered for 2000. New engines offered substantially more power; a more rigid frame and a re-engineered suspension provided excellent handling; brakes were greatly improved for pedal feel and performance; and the interior was upgraded for greater comfort and convenience.

The whole vehicle was so vastly improved and refined that you might think the engineers would take a year off, but they haven't: 2001 brings more horsepower for the 2500 model's standard 6.0-liter V8. And a new 8.1-liter V8 is now available for 2500-series models for behemoth towing tasks.

For all these changes, however, the Suburban retains the same folksy qualities that people have loved since its 1935 inception: a cavernous interior, strong torque for towing, off-road capability, and a stable, comfortable ride for long-distance travel.

Model Lineup

Suburban comes with a choice of two or four-wheel drive and is available in two load ranges, 1500 and 2500. Three trim levels are available: base, LS and LT. Suburban 1500s come equipped with a 5.3-liter V8. The 2500s are available with a choice of 6.0-liter or 8.1-liter V8s.

Base 1500 models list for $25,921 in 2WD and $28,837 in 4WD. Base-trim 2500s go for $27,780 in 2WD and $30,780 in 4WD. To these prices add $7,423 to upgrade to an LS, or $11,000-plus to move up to the LT. (Exact LT prices are different for 1500s and 2500s, and are discounted slightly if you also opt for the $1,095 power sliding sunroof.)

All Suburbans come with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual front air bags and dual side-impact air bags, but air conditioning is a $1,542 option on base models.

Moving up through the trim levels brings nicer interiors: LS and LT come with power windows, front and rear air conditioning, a compass and remote keyless entry. LS gets a nicer cloth reclining front bench seat with adjustable lumbar support; and bucket seats are an option. LT is fitted with leather seating surfaces and premium full-function heated front bucket seats. LT also comes with electronic climate control, premium CD stereo, the HomeLink universal garage door opener, and GM's OnStar system. Otherwise, the primary functional difference is that LT comes with Chevy's ZW7 Premium Ride Suspension.

Walkaround

Today's Suburban looks strikingly different from pre-2000 models, yet familiar at the same time. All the sheet metal was new for 2000. The entire vehicle looks smoother and more aerodynamic. Sharp edges have been rounded. Most noticeable are the new headlights.

Two tailgate configurations are available. A lightweight, one-piece rear hatch similar to those found on compact SUVs is useful for families and can be opened with one hand. Chevrolet lists it as a no-cost option. Our test Suburban came with traditional side-by-side cargo doors, which I like because they open wide and allow a closer working position to the vehicle's storage area. Cargo doors are also useful when pulling trailers because they will usually clear the trailer tongue jack. And I like them because it's easier to control my dog when I open them. The hinges have been re-engineered for a more finished appearance; and they let the doors open wide without having to disconnect the hinges.

A puddle lamp mounted below the side mirrors shines down to light up the perimeter of the Suburban. It's a nice feature that can be turned on using the keyless remote when approaching the Suburban in a dark parking garage, as it illuminates underneath the vehicle. It can also be used in the backwoods to help you avoid stepping into mud puddles.

Suburban is about 17 inches longer than the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, and nearly identical to the GMC Yukon XL, which was called the GMC Suburban until last year.

Interior Features

Seating has been cleverly designed. The third-row seatback folds down without having to remove the headrests, then the whole thing flips forward to substantially increase cargo capacity. A short prop rod locks it into place. This bench seat can be easily removed as it's mounted on wheels; it weighs 75 pounds, however, so get some help before pulling it out the back end of the Suburban. After removing the third-row seat, flip the seat bottom of the second row forward, fold the seatback down (no need to remove the headrests), flip the floor extension down and you've got a huge, flat cargo space behind the driver's seat. Loading cargo is easy because there's plenty of space for it; lift-over height is lower than that of the Ford Excursion. The spare tire has been moved underneath the vehicle to free up rear cargo space.

The optional cloth bucket seats in our LS were okay, but don't offer as much support as I'd like. LT's leather seats seem more supportive. The second row is quite comfortable. Headphone jacks allow rear-seat passengers to listen to CDs while those up front turn on the radio. Sitting in the third row is surprisingly comfortable for an adult; slide your feet under the seat in front of you and you can ride back there fairly long distances. Getting back there requires folding and flipping the seat out of the way.

Though my height-challenged mother-in-law found getting into the Suburban a bit of a step up, it isn't a problem for those of standard stature. Step-in height is actually lower than before because of the new fully boxed frame. She liked the optional running boards, which make getting in easier.

Driving Impressions

This new Suburban offers excellent handling for a big, heavy truck; and the steering provides better feel than previously. Driving quickly over wet pavement through the San Juan Mountains, high above Colorado's Delores River, we never lost traction. I took turns driving the Suburban on the wet, winding road with the road test editor from one of the major enthusiast magazines. Each of us has extensive racing experience, but we were unable to get the Suburban to come unglued. We drove into wet turns as quickly as we'd ever want to go in a Suburban and never lost grip. We were impressed. The frame is completely re-engineered. The entire front part of the frame is hydro-formed from one piece of metal and is far more rigid than a bunch of pieces welded together.

Ride quality in the Suburban 1500 is smooth, greatly improved over the previous-generation Suburban. The optional Premium Ride suspension features a hydraulically controlled rear self-leveling system to keep the Suburban at normal ride height even when carrying heavy loads. This system offered a good ride quality on the Suburban I drove. The more sophisticated optional Auto-Ride suspension system uses computer-controlled shock damping for improved ride quality over uneven pavement. Whether towing a horse trailer or picking up a soccer team, Auto-Ride continually adjusts the suspension for optimum ride and handling. This technology also helps reduce dive on braking (so that the nose of the vehicle doesn't dip down unduly), and body roll (or lean) during cornering. Most people find the 1500 models meet their needs.

The 2500 models, often referred to as the 3/4-ton versions, are only needed for those who tow heavy trailers. Rated to tow up to 10,500 pounds, they effectively match the towing capacity of the Ford Excursion. Suburban 2500 will ride a bit harsher because its rear suspension uses leaf springs instead of the coil-springs used on the 1500. But the 2500 rides surprisingly well, given its load range, a big improvement over the previous-generation 2500 models and smoother than the big Ford Excursion.

Until last year, Suburbans came with mushy brakes. You had to tromp on them to get the thing to stop. GM redesigned the brake system to address this. The pedal on the new Suburban works smoothly and progressively, which makes is easier to stop without drama. A new Dynamic Rear Proportioning system modulates the pressure applied to the rear brakes for more effective braking. Brake pads and rotors are 40 percent larger and use twin-piston calipers. This new four-wheel-disc brake system reduces 60-mph stopping distances by 20 feet, according to Chevrolet, and the pads are expected to last 40 percent longer.

Cost is the main consideration on whether to get four-wheel drive. Those in the Sunbelt may not see justification for it. But even if you aren't an off-road driver, four-wheel drive can keep you going through snow, or on sandy, unpaved roads, or help pull a boat up a slippery boat ramp. If you don't get a 4WD model, consider the optional traction-assist system for the 2WD models. 4WD models offer several modes of travel and shifting among them is as easy as changing stations on the radio. Press 2WD Hi, then, as conditions grow worse, press the 4WD Hi and 4WD Lo buttons to operate the system like a traditional part-time four-wheel-drive. If conditions are fluctuating, hit the Auto 4WD button and the Autotrac all-wheel-drive system automatically transfers power from a slipping wheel to the wheels with the best traction; no input is needed from the driver.

For 2001, the 2500's 6.0-liter V8 has aluminum heads and a revised camshaft, producing a nice, round 300 horsepower. We haven't tried the new 8.1-liter V8, but responsiveness from either the 5.3 or 6.0 is excellent.

Suburban's automatic transmission comes with a tow/haul mode. Pressing a switch on the end of the column shifter changes the shift points of the transmission. The tow/haul mode improves performance while towing and lessens wear on the transmission. Even when not towing, it works well when driving through mountainous terrain.

Final Word

We love the Suburban. It's a great vehicle for moving cargo, towing trailers, or hauling people. Get sleepy on a long trip and you can simply pull over and stretch out in back.

While Ford's giant Excursion has taken the Suburban's long-held position as the largest sport-utility vehicle, it doesn't match the smooth ride and all-around utility of the 'Burb. Excursion is not a good choice if you're just moving people around. Suburban's greater maneuverability makes it a much more sensible choice for that role.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-Year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty.

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2001 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

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