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2005 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

4dr 1500 4WD LT

Starting at | Starting at 14 MPG City - 18 MPG Highway

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  • $41,565 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

Printable Version

2005 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

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2005 Chevrolet Suburban

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

As familiar as the family dog, the Chevrolet Suburban cruises into 2005 with the same maximum-size virtues that have kept it a best-seller for so many years. Since the 'burb first appeared, it has never wavered from its mission. It remains the first choice for anyone who needs to haul six or more people plus their cargo. Suburban offers a cavernous interior with seats that fold down for monster loads.

Suburban is based on GM's superbly engineered full-size truck frame. Its V8 engines deliver strong torque for towing heavy loads, and it's supremely stable when pulling heavy trailers through nasty, windy weather. Suburban provides a stable, comfortable ride for long-distance travel. Last but not least, it's fully capable of slogging down muddy two-tracks, whether in pursuit of the great outdoors or to get some work done.

The 2005 model year brings some minor improvements. Fuel economy is improved. A revised tire-pressure monitor is now standard, alerting drivers when a tire needs air. New options include stand-alone traction control and 17-inch all-weather tires. The Z71 off-road package is available for 2WD models. A touch-screen navigation radio is available. The OnStar telematics system is upgraded with enhanced hands-free operation. Interior trim has been revised. Running boards are more aerodynamic. There's also a new 7-to-4-pin wiring adapter for the trailer package.

Completely redesigned for model year 2000, the Suburban then received a substantial update for 2003, with more than 40 major changes designed to enhance safety and improve reliability. The StabiliTrak electronic stability program became available for improved control on slippery surfaces. New airbag systems were designed to better protect children and adults of various sizes. Adjustable pedals became available for the comfort and safety for drivers of smaller stature. Brakes were refined, and an all-new electrical architecture promised improved reliability. XM Satellite Radio became available, along with a new Panasonic DVD system for back-seat monkeys. Changes for 2004 enhanced safety with Hydroboost brakes that provide power assist even if the engine stalls or is turned off.

Heavy-duty Suburban 2500-series models can be ordered with Quadrasteer electronic four-wheel steering for dramatically increased maneuverability in tight spaces and improved control when towing a trailer.

Model Lineup

Chevrolet Suburban comes with a choice of two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) and is available in two load ranges, called 1500 and 2500. The numbers don't really relate to anything and the term 1500 is often dropped in conversations. Most people find the 1500 models more than meet their needs.

That adds up to four basic permutations: 1500 2WD ($37,850), 1500 4WD ($40,650), 2500 2WD ($39,450), and 2500 4WD ($42,350). Suburban 1500 models come equipped with a 5.3-liter V8. The 2500 models are available with a choice of 6.0-liter or 8.1-liter V8s. No diesel is currently available.

The LS is the standard trim in either load range, which includes three-zone manual air conditioning, a 40/20/40 split bench front seat with six-way power for the driver, 60/40 split folding middle bench seat, fog lamps, assist steps, powered and heated outside mirrors, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and a rear window defogger. A Preferred Equipment Group ($1,035) adds bucket seats with upgraded cloth upholstery, a floor console, and a Bose nine-speaker audio system with rear controls and headphone jacks. XM Satellite Radio ($325) is optional.

The more luxurious LT ($5,710) brings automatic climate control, leather seat inserts, power folding mirrors with in-glass turn signals and electrochromic dimming on the driver's side, the Bose stereo, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and many other features. LT is also available for the 2500 ($5,320).

The Z71 off-road package ($6,185) includes heavy-duty springs and gas-pressure shocks, appearance items outside and LT-grade comfort and convenience features inside. Z71 is now offered on 2WD and 4WD 1500s, but not on 2500s.

Entertainment options include a Panasonic DVD player ($1,485 on LS, $1,295 on LT) with wireless headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks and remote game plug-in. The touch-screen navigation system is optional as is an electric tilt-and-slide sunroof.

Walkaround

There's no mistaking the 'burb. The Chevrolet Suburban looks like an old friend. It hasn't been completely redesigned since 2000, and the 2005 model retains a family resemblance to Suburbans far older than that. The Suburban name dates back to the 1946 Suburban Carryall and its role then was similar to what it is for many people today.

2005 has brought a couple of exterior changes. Most people probably won't even notice that the running boards, or assist steps, have been redesigned for better aerodynamics and, says Chevrolet, better durability.

But we will miss the side-by-side cargo doors that are no longer available at the rear. GM says they didn't sell very well, but we found them useful when pulling trailers because they would usually clear the trailer tongue jack. They also made it easier to control a dog while opening them. Nonetheless, for 2005, all Suburbans come with the one-piece rear hatch with separately opening glass that most families prefer. The hatch is lightweight and can be opened with one hand. It comes with a window wiper/washer, and the one-piece window affords the driver a good view rearward.

 

A puddle lamp mounted below the LT's side mirrors shines down to light up the perimeter. It can be turned on using the keyless remote. That's a nice feature when approaching the Suburban in a dark parking garage, as it illuminates underneath the vehicle. It can also be used in the backwoods to spot mud puddles before you step in them or to find things that were dropped or placed around the vehicle. We found them useful one night when we dropped our keys while climbing out of the vehicle.

The Suburban is 22 inches longer than a Chevy Tahoe. In most respects, it is identical to the more luxurious GMC Yukon XL.

Interior Features

Climbing into a Suburban is a challenge for some. Younger, taller people find it easy. Running boards make it easier for others. The Suburban's step-in height is lower than it was with pre-2000 models, a benefit of the current model's fully boxed frame.

Once inside, the Suburban is roomy and friendly. The optional cloth bucket seats ($1,035) in our LS were okay, but didn't offer as much support as we would have liked. The LT's leather seats seem more supportive, but we think there's room for improvement here. Big and cushy, they are similar to the seats found in all of GM's full-size pickups and SUVs. Owners often disagree with our assessment.

Power-adjustable pedals allow shorter drivers to sit farther back from the steering wheel and farther away from the airbag, reducing the chance of injury should it deploy. Dual-level airbags inflate with less force in less forceful collisions. Sensors in the front passenger seat and seat belts measure the size and weight of the front-seat passenger and disable the airbag for child-size passengers.

The second row is quite comfortable and very roomy. Headphone jacks allow rear-seat passengers to listen to CDs while those up front tune in the radio. Even 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 for fairly long distances. But getting back there requires folding and flipping the second-row seat out of the way, easiest for younger people.

Part of the allure of the Suburban is its ability to haul vast quantities of cargo, and cleverly designed seating maximizes its potential. 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. The one-piece seat can be removed and is mounted on wheels, but it weighs 75 pounds, so removing it is a lot easier with a second person to help. After removing the third-row seat, flip the bottom of the second row forward, fold the seatback down (again, no need to remove the headrests), flip the floor extension down and you're looking at one of the biggest cargo spaces in the world of SUVs. It's nice and flat, so you could stretch out and go to sleep here. (We know. We've done it.) Loading cargo is easy because there's plenty of space for it. The spare tire lives underneath the vehicle, freeing up rear cargo space.

Driving Impressions

Ride quality in the 2005 Chevy Suburban 1500 is smooth, greatly improved over the previous-generation (pre-2000) models. The standard Premium Smooth Ride suspension features a hydraulically controlled rear self-leveling system to keep the Suburban at a normal ride height even when carrying heavy loads. We've found this system offers good ride quality.

The more sophisticated, Autoride suspension ($1,120-$1,170) uses computer-controlled shock damping to improve ride quality over uneven pavement. Whether towing a horse trailer or picking up the soccer team, Autoride continually adjusts the suspension for optimum ride and handling. This technology also helps reduce dive when braking (so that the nose of the vehicle doesn't dip down unduly), and body roll (or lean) during cornering, both of which improve stability.

Handling is excellent for a big, heavy truck. The steering is responsive and doesn't isolate the driver from the road. The Suburban grips the road surprisingly well for such a large vehicle. We never lost traction while pushing hard over wet mountain roads on a rainy day in Colorado. Two of us, both with racing experience, took turns driving into wet turns as quickly as we dared and the Suburban never lost grip. We were impressed. Part of this is due to its superbly engineered chassis. The entire front part of the frame is hydroformed from one piece of metal, a design that's much more rigid than a bunch of pieces of frame welded together.

Brakes on all Suburbans work smoothly and progressively, providing stopping power without drama. Four-wheel discs with dual-piston calipers ensure good stopping performance. A Dynamic Rear Proportioning system continuously balances the front and rear brakes for maximum braking without activating the ABS. Once it does activate, the ABS allows the driver to maintain control of the steering in an emergency braking maneuver. Hydroboost braking uses power-steering fluid pressure instead of engine vacuum to reduce braking effort. That provides added safety, with more reserve power assist for braking under specific conditions. The system will continue to provide sufficient power assist to stop the vehicle even if the engine stalls or is turned off.

StabiliTrak ($750) offers improved control on uncertain surfaces. StabiliTrak measures where the driver is steering against where the truck is actually heading and, when necessary, reduces engine torque or selectively applies the brakes to individual wheels to correct the Suburban's path. StabiliTrak is offered on all Suburban 1500 models, except for those equipped with the Z71 package. We highly recommend opting for StabiliTrak.

The Suburban 2500, often referred to as the 3/4-ton or heavy-duty model, is only needed for towing heavy trailers. The 2500 is rated to tow up to 12,000 pounds, which is one big, heavy trailer. The 2500 rides harsher than the 1500 because its rear suspension uses leaf springs instead of the 1500's coil springs. But the 2500 rides well, given its load range, and it makes for an outstanding tow vehicle, capable of comfortably crossing the U.S. with a big trailer with Gibraltar stability and plenty of power for those long grades through the Rockies. The current 2500 represents a big improvement over previous-generation (pre-2000) 2500s.

Quadrasteer electronic four-wheel steering ($1,995) is available for 2500 models, which dramatically increases maneuverability in tight spaces by turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction from the front wheels. The turning diameter of a With Quadrasteer, the turning radius is reduced from the standard 44.3 feet to 35.2 feet. In practical terms, a Suburban with Quadrasteer can negotiate a U-turn that otherwise calls for stopping and backing up. Quadrasteer makes it much easier to park in tight spaces, such as underground garages and crowded parking lots. But it really comes into its own when towing a trailer. Backing a trailer into a parking sp

Summary

Chevrolet Suburban is a great vehicle for moving cargo, towing trailers, or hauling people. It's at its best when employed for all three tasks at the same time. The seats fold down for big cargo capacity. Get sleepy on a long trip and you can simply pull over and stretch out in back.

New Car Test Drive editor Mitch McCullough is based in Los Angeles and has towed race cars all over the U.S. with Suburbans and slept in them on fly fishing trips.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$37,850
Model lineup:
Suburban 1500 LS 2WD ($37,850); 1500 LT 2WD ($43,560); 1500 LS 4WD ($40,650); 1500 LT 4WD ($46,360); 2500 LS 2WD ($39,450); 2500 LT 2WD ($44,770); 2500 LS 4WD ($42,350); 2500 LT 4WD ($47,670)
Engines:
295-hp 5.3-liter ohv V8; 325-hp 6.0-liter ohv V8; 320-hp 8.1-liter ohv V8
Transmissions:
4-speed automatic with tow/haul mode
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual front air bags with dual-level inflation, ABS with Dynamic Rear Proportioning, LATCH child-seat anchors
Safety equipment (Optional):
side-impact airbags, traction control, stability control
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Janesville, Wisconsin; Silao, Mexico
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Chevrolet Suburban 1500 4WD LS ($40,650)
Standard equipment:
three-zone manual air conditioning, automatic headlamps, automatic door locks, child security rear doors locks, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, three power outlets, AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo with eight speakers, cruise control with telltale, remote keyless entry with alarm, inside mirror with electronic compass and temperature readout, sunshades with extenders, power windows, cast aluminum wheels, dual power heated outside mirrors, six-way power driver's seat, side-assist steps, fog lamps, rear window defogger
Options as tested:
Trailer Package ($305) includes trailer hitch platform, wire harness connector, transmission oil cooler; high-back reclining bucket seats ($1,035) includes six-way power adjustment and center console; locking rear differential ($295); off-road skid plate package ($95)
Destination charge:
850
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$43,230
Layout:
four-wheel drive
Engine:
5.3-liter ohv V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
295 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
330 @ 4000
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
13/17 mpg.
Wheelbase:
130.0 in.
Length/width/height:
219.3/78.8/75.4 in.
Track, f/r:
65.0/66.0 in.
Turning circle:
42.3 ft.
Seating capacity:
8
Head/hip/leg room, f:
40.7/61.4/41.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
39.0/61.6/39.1 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
38.6/49.2/36.1 in.
Cargo volume:
131.6 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
8100 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, upper and lower control arms, torsion bars
Suspension R:
live axle, upper and lower trailing links, Panhard rod, coil springs
Ground clearance:
8.4 in.
Curb weight:
5219 lbs.
Tires:
P265/70R16
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS and Dynamic Rear Proportioning in.
Fuel capacity:
31.0 gal.

Printable Version

2005 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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Side Impact Crash Test - Front n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

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

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2005 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.

Miles

Months

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 for model years up to 2014.

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

2005 Chevrolet Suburban Sport Utility

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