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Bird Buster

Opinions on switching from Chevy Tahoe to Suburban

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Bird Buster
Interested in hearing from guys that have owned both Tahoes and Suburbans. I have owned an 02 03 and currently 06 Tahoe Z71. Due to recent birth of my son giving us 2 kids now I am thinking of looking at a Suburban for the extra space. I can't afford new so looking at 07 thru 2010 models with less than 75K miles. Would the Suburban be worth the purchase? I know in 2009 Gm switched to the 6 speed auto transmission in these two vehicles. Was this an improvement vs 4 speed and worth a look at models with? Also for those that have owned both pre 07 models And post 07 models which did you prefer? I have read in my research that the 07 models had a more car like feel.  Thanks for feedback.

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gunsrus

I owned a 2002 Tahoe Z71 . It was my wife's car . Sadly I just traded it with 122,000 miles with not a scratch on it . The lifters were extremely noisy and my mechanic said dump it now . It was perfect with 3 dogs and the logging roads I hunt . I had been looking for a Suburban but honestly I can fit what I need in the Tahoe and more so now that I have the place in Maine .

We bought a 2015 Tahoe LTZ . I have to say I am amazed at the mpg we get with this new vehicle . It is far better than the 2002 .

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martino 55
We bought a new Tahoe back in 03. I would say that was the best veh. I've ever owned. Worked out great with 3 kids and a dog. We just recently bought a 2012 Suburban z71 pkg. 1500.with 41,000 miles. Super comfortable and loads of room. My question to you is are you planning on using it as an everyday veh.? If so, depending on where you live the tahoe would be better for everyday city driving. We bought our Suburban for weekends and travel. It would not be practical for parking and rush hour traffic, everyday use. Just my opinion.

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UplandHntr

Ive owned 2 K5 blazers and 3 suburbans. 93, 01 and now have a 2010 z71. I love this truck. I call it a truck as I think I may be one of the few left in the country that still use a suburban as a truck.  It hasnt let me down yet. I think the suburban is 18" longer than the tahoe - all in the back end. I pulled the 3rd row seat out and put it in storage the day I got the truck. I always have a 3rd seat thats brand spankin new...the rest of the truck..not so new. I had a throttle body sensor that gave up the ghost last month which couldve ended badly. Thank God for google for a temp fix in the middle of the night!

I wouldnt hesitate to buy a 2010 Suburban. And the 6 speed is much nicer. I have a 3.45 rear end I think and Im at 2000 rpm's at 75ish (I think)

I do wish I had Navi in it.

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SEPAlander

I owned a 2002 Tahoe Z71 . It was my wife's car . Sadly I just traded it with 122,000 miles with not a scratch on it . The lifters were extremely noisy and my mechanic said dump it now . It was perfect with 3 dogs and the logging roads I hunt . I had been looking for a Suburban but honestly I can fit what I need in the Tahoe and more so now that I have the place in Maine .

We bought a 2015 Tahoe LTZ . I have to say I am amazed at the mpg we get with this new vehicle . It is far better than the 2002 .

Not to hijack this thread, but I also currently drive an 02 Tahoe Z71, and have noticed there is more noise on start up until oil gets through the lifters.  Goes away once oil is circulated and the moving parts under the valve cover are lubricated. I wouldn't classify this as lifter noise, as it goes away, but I'd appreciate what your mechanic told you and why he advised you to dump the car. Besides the mileage, it's been a great vehicle, but I'd rather not wake up one day and find I need to go buy a new car because repairs on the Tahoe are more expensive than it's worth.

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gunsrus

The lifter noise in mine was constant and loud . Several on this board suggested that it was nothing to worry about and that the vehicle would do over 200,000 miles easily but I couldn't take that chance hunting out of state with 3-4 dogs in the car .

I only used the car in the Fall and my wife babied it driving six  miles to and from work everyday .

I keep my vehicles spotless , no rust , oil change every 3000 miles and follow all Chevy maintenance .

I hated to see this car go .

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PaFlyfisher

Hundreds of millions of people have 2+ kids and manage with vehicles much smaller than your Tahoe. If you want a Suburban, fine, but I can assure you that you don't "need" one because of kid two unless there is some unique reason.

I speak as a parent of twins, still in the stage where traveling includes a ton of stuff, 2 pack and plays for them to sleep in, and we bring our dog most of the places we go.

Point is, if you don't really want to get a new vehicle, you will be fine with what you got.

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salmontogue

We went from a full-size but very tired 190K+ SUV to a four-door Ram 1500 with the eco diesel  Fuel economy is around 24 in general driving and 30 plus or minus on all highway driving.  We have an insulated cap and there is a heater included on the cap that works from an isolated auxiliary battery charged by a second alternator that came on the truck.

I installed an overhead electric hoist that connects to four lift rings on the cap.  Disconnect six fasteners cap to truck, disconnect the heater connector in the bed, push the hoist remote button and the cap is free.  Installation is nearly as easy except positioning is important and much easier with two people, although it can be done by one once you get the hang of it.  Towing, properly equipped is limited to 10K which is plenty except for the largest trailers.  So far, it has been just fine and the economy is astonishing.  The ride and comfort is more like a luxury vehicle than a truck.

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Talon1

My wife has an 05 Suburban and we love this vehicle. Haven't had any major problems with it. We've had a few minor repairs. I own a Ford Expedition and between driving the two, I don't think that the Suburban seems more cumbersome to drive.

We usually get about 20 mpg on the interstate.

My wife has said that she would like a smaller vehicle. We were thinking about a Subaru Forester for her. If we do that, I am going to keep the Suburban or myself. It will be my "Truck".

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martyg
Hundreds of millions of people have 2+ kids and manage with vehicles much smaller than your Tahoe. If you want a Suburban, fine, but I can assure you that you don't "need" one because of kid two unless there is some unique reason.

I speak as a parent of twins, still in the stage where traveling includes a ton of stuff, 2 pack and plays for them to sleep in, and we bring our dog most of the places we go.

Point is, if you don't really want to get a new vehicle, you will be fine with what you got.

Totally agree. Unless you are making six figures a month it doesn't seem like a wise financial move.

The market will be in a state of confusion this year, and industrials are coming back. But that money into something like CVX (best if you did it 4 weeks ago), default dividend payments to be reinvested and forget about it. You will thank me when you retire.

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WyomingArt

Owned 4 Suburbans in 47 years, all bought used. Can't say enough good about them for northern states, small towns, bad roads and long mountain winters.

If I lived in the city or commuted, or didn't fly fish, bird hunt, elk hunt, float rivers, tow a boat, a firewood or travel trailer,  or haul kids to sports, maybe something else would work better.

With the closest major shopping is 90 miles away, you load them to the roof for your two, maybe 3 trips per winter and have a happy wife. She's been known to nap in the back on a Thermarest during long drives. and you don't have to pack scientifically!

Now, years into retirement, old age, bad knees,  and no mountain goat chukar climbs, I drive a Tacoma, but when the kids were young a Suburban was our daily driver.

Downside: cost and gas mileage.

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charlo slim
Owned 4 Suburbans in 47 years, all bought used. Can't say enough good about them for northern states, small towns, bad roads and long mountain winters.

4 used 'burbs here also, but in only 35 years :(  What can I say -- the kid rolled one of them, in it's functional infancy.  Current large ride is a '95, bought with 90k miles, in near pristine condition, wearing $1000+ in near-new Michelins, for $5.5k.  Another $800 for needed repairs at purchase, and  She is currently at 160 k miles, purring along just fine. We carry only liability insurance, and she wears "permanent" registrati0n/plates (substantial $ savings both).

In addition to more room, Burbs have some advantage over Tahoe's on icey roads - more weight and longer wheelbase.  So better stability.  Downside - more weight = lower mileage.  I doubt that the latter amounts to much, but just guessing on that.

The key to the $$ equation IMO (assuming that one actually needs the 'burb capabilities at times) is to pair one with a fuel-efficient sedan or  

wagon.  Then use the 'burb ONLY when actually needed.

FWIW

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hayslope
I'm on my 8th Suburban.  Traded the last one in on a new one a few years ago.  It had 345000 miles on it.  Never any major repairs on it.  I love the longer wheel base, especially in the winter.  Plus I can load it up for hunting and fishing trips.  I don't ever foresee being without one.

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WyomingArt

Apologies for my failing memory. Another downside of driving a Suburban; some years back all three dogs got skunked simultaneously.

The trip home would have been better with them in the back of our old pickup.

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WI Outdoor Nut

I will toss in my $.02.  My brother and biggest hunting partner has had many Tahoes.  By the time we ran our 3 dogs and gear, it was packed.  If skunked, a real mess.  Good buddy of mine runs a 'burb.  You can get 3 dogs and up to 3 guys but it is packed as well.  For room wise, the 'burb is much better than the Tahoe, but not nearly as good as a truck.

Most of my hunting buddies are now switching to a 4 door truck with a topper on the back.  I run a ford f150, but chev, dodge and others make the same type of truck.  We can run up to 6 dogs and 3 guys in my truck with pretty good ease.  4 dogs in the back, and do have to move crates a bit, but not too much of a PIA.  Then two crates stacked in cab.  Or a combo of 4 guys and 4 dogs.  You can't run this much in a Tahoe or Suburban.  My main hunting crew is usually 4 guys and 7 dogs.  This gives us a lot of flexibility.  On my topper I run what are called windoors - and you can reach just about anything you need.  With insulated mud river kennel covers, I have had my dogs toasty warm in lows in the -10 range.

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