2004 Suburban 1500 New Car Test Drive
Since the Chevrolet Suburban first appeared in the mid-1930s, its mission has not wavered. 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 cargo loads. It's based on a 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 Suburban 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. The 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 enhance safety further. New Hydroboost brakes provide power assist even if the engine stalls or is turned off. A tire-pressure monitor is now standard. New options include stand-alone traction control and 17-inch all-weather tires. There's also a new 7-to-4-pin wiring adapter for the trailer package.
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.
Chevrolet Suburban comes with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive and is available in two load ranges, called 1500 and 2500. Most people find the 1500 models meet their needs.
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.
Two trim levels are available: LS ($37,050) and LS 4WD ($39,850), and LT ($41,920) and LT 4WD ($44,720).
LS models come standard with 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, 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.
LT models are more luxurious, adding 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, and many other features.
The Z71 off-road package ($5,215) includes heavy-duty springs and gas-pressure shocks, plus special appearance items outside and LT-grade comfort and convenience features inside.
Entertainment options include a Panasonic DVD player ($1485 on LS, $1295 on LT) with wireless headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks and remote game plug-in. XM Satellite Radio (standard on LT, $325 on LS, plus a subscription fee) receives 100 coast-to-coast channels, many of them commercial-free. An electric tilt-and-slide sunroof is available LS and LT ($995-$1290).