2004 Chevrolet Suburban

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$37,600

starting MSRP

2004 Chevrolet Suburban

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Passenger space
  • Cargo capacity
  • Steering feel
  • Reasonably easy to drive

The bad:

  • Excessive size
  • Fuel economy
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Rear visibility with cargo doors
  • Maneuverability

5 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Chevrolet Suburban trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Three V-8s
  • Nine-passenger seating
  • Side-impact airbags
  • Z71 Off-Road Package
  • Available Autotrac 4WD

2004 Chevrolet Suburban review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
It’s not quite the largest sport utility vehicle on the U.S. market, but the Suburban definitely warrants a king-size designation. Ford still holds the title for having the biggest SUV, with its Excursion.

The Suburban is available with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. It is built on the company’s full-size Silverado pickup truck platform, which is also used for the Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs. The Suburban is offered in half-ton (1500) and three-quarter-ton (2500) capacity ratings and in LS, LT and Z71 trim levels.

Quadrasteer, a four-wheel steering system that reduces the turning diameter by 21 percent, became available in 2003 on the 2500 series. GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability system is offered on half-ton Suburbans equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8 engine.

Half-ton models gain a tire-pressure monitor and Hydroboost braking for 2004, and front passenger-seat occupants get a seat belt reminder. Traction assist is available and includes a locking rear differential. The popular Z71 Off-Road Package features a firmer suspension, 17-inch tires and tubular side steps.

Exterior
Chevrolet describes the Suburban as the “right size.” This SUV is able to fit inside average-size garages. Equipped with four side doors, it rides a 130-inch wheelbase and measures 219.3 inches long overall. Buyers can choose between the standard aluminum liftgate and dual swing-out cargo doors. Power camper mirrors are optional.

Interior
With its standard trio of three-place bench seats, the Suburban can accommodate as many as nine people. Optional seating arrangements include twin bucket seats for the front and middle rows. The middle and rear bench seats fold down and are removable.

With the middle and rear seats removed, cargo volume expands to 134 cubic feet, which is enough to carry a 4-by-8-foot plywood sheet. Adjustable pedals come with or without a memory feature. XM Satellite Radio and a Panasonic DVD entertainment system are available. All Suburbans have trizone climate control.

Under the Hood
The sole engine in the light-duty Suburban 1500 is a 295-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8. A 325-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 is standard in the 2500 series, and a 320-hp, 8.1-liter V-8 is optional. All engines team with a four-speed-automatic transmission.

The Suburban comes with rear-wheel drive or Autotrac four-wheel drive, which engages automatically to maintain traction. Suburbans equipped with the 8.1-liter V-8 engine can tow as much as 12,000 pounds.

Safety
Dual-stage airbags and a passenger-sensing system are installed. Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags are standard.

Driving Impressions
Obviously, not every SUV buyer needs this sort of passenger and cargo space. Consumers who are satisfied with the Tahoe would likely be pleased with a Suburban, which is basically more of the same.

Once you’re behind the wheel, this SUV handles with reasonable ease and doesn’t feel much like a behemoth. The trucklike drone is minor. Acceleration is sufficiently swift from a standstill and for passing, but the reaction of the automatic transmission can be a tad slow. Steering has a rather light feel, and the Suburban stays neatly on course. Sudden moves aren’t a good idea, and around-town maneuverability has its limitations, but otherwise, the Suburban isn’t particularly difficult to drive. The split back window in Suburbans equipped with cargo doors can be a distraction.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 8/27/03

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.5

Most recent consumer reviews

2.0

the worst car ever

It is bad, so hard to drive and, so not safe the seats hurt my back and it needs better seats.It even is not that fast and it was a bad experince driveing.

4.4

Can’t go wrong with a Chevy Suburban 😀

We have really enjoyed this vehicle over the years. We have done numerous trips in multiple situations. Z71 package great in rain, sleet, snow; tows great 👍

5.0

This car has been the safest most reliable truck

I still own this vehicle. It has pulled a 30' long trailer with seven people and all their stuff, up mountain passes and through snow and never left us stranded. We have used it for field trips full of kiddos and carpooling. It now has 190k and finally had to replace the transfer case. It was hit by another Truck and we survived because its so solid. We had it repaired, even though Liberty Ins wanted to total it. So I still drive this amazing truck and I love it! So many happy memories with this vehicle. I would cry if i had to part with it.

See all 36 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2005

GMC Yukon XL

$36,310

starting MSRP

2005

Chevrolet Tahoe

$35,820

starting MSRP

2003

Chevrolet Suburban

$37,050

starting MSRP