2007 Chevrolet Suburban Performance

$7,681 - $9,965

2007 Chevrolet Suburban Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban was new.


Performance: 8.5

The majority of reviewers agree that the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban offers much-improved and respectable performance. USA TODAY sums up the majority view, saying the "Suburban is not for everybody. But those who need its extra size will be rewarded with a slick-looking, well-furnished, easy-driving truck that's both powerful and -- by the standards of its class -- easy on fuel."

Acceleration and Power

The half-ton 2007 Chevrolet Suburban comes with a standard V8 5.3-liter engine and has a V8 6.0-liter option. On the three-quarter ton model, the 6.0 is standard. The 5.3-liter makes 320 horsepower with 340 pound-feet of torque. The 6-liter makes 366 horsepower with 380 pound-feet of torque. Most reviewers found the 5.3 adequate and said the bigger engine might appeal to those who need the power for heavy-duty towing. The majority view was reflected in the in USA TODAY: "A 6-liter, four-wheel drive (4WD) LTZ test truck ($56,000, loaded to the gunwales as opposed to $49,000 for the 5.3-liter LT3 test truck) didn't seem much snappier than the 5.3 model, though. If you need the extra grunt for towing, or you live in the hilly high country, the 6-liter might be worthwhile."

With either engine, reviewers were impressed by the Chevrolet Suburban's initial responsiveness. The car, according to several tests, went from 0 to 60 in less than 10 seconds. The Detroit News found, "The Suburban responds quickly and eagerly" and USA TODAY says the engine "delivers a fair amount of punch for a three-ton truck."

One of the major improvements in the 2007 Chevrolet Suburban over previous years is the Active Fuel Management System, intended to improve the notoriously gas-guzzling truck's fuel economy. The system works by switching automatically from eight to four cylinders when full power is not needed, and improves fuel economy by about 10 percent. Most reviewers seemed impressed, especially given that the system doesn't sacrifice power. As one reviewer at AutoWeek put it, "If anyone says he can tell when four of those eight cylinders deactivate, he's lying." The 5.3 liter 2WD V8 gets an EPA estimated 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway. The 5.3 liter 4WD "E85 FlexFuel Engine," which is available as an option on the 2WD, gets an EPA estimated 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 on the highway, but can operate with either unleaded gas or a cleaner-burning though less efficient ethanol/gasoline mix. The 6.0 liter 2WD gets an EPA estimated 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 on the highway; with 4WD that engine gets an EPA estimated 13 in the city and 17 miles per gallon on the highway.

Most reviewers found the four-speed transmission smooth though longed for additional gears found on other SUVs. "Unfortunately the 5.3 liter and 6.0 liter engines remain saddled with the carryover four-speed automatic transmission," says Forbes, summing up the majority opinion.

Handling and Braking

The 2007 Chevrolet Suburban draws nearly universal praise for its improved steering and handling capabilities. New Car Test Drive reports, "this Suburban rides and handles much sweeter than any before it: less undulation and more precision." And a reviewer at USA TODAY says, "the big Suburban drives small, nimbler and easier to handle in tight spots than its size suggests. It might not be your first choice for the shopping mall lot on Christmas Eve, but if you can live with the length, it's not intimidating."

Reviewers found the steering more nimble than other large SUVs, but the Chicago Tribune reviewer points out some tippiness because of its size. "Handling is decent though no vehicle 222.4 inches long, almost 80 inches wide and almost 5,800 pounds is going to turn with the grace of a ballerina. Body lean is pronounced, especially at speed, and backing off the gas when the pavement veers sharply either way is as wise as stepping on the pedal when approaching a steep incline." On the road, most testers found the Suburban functional if not much fun. "Hit cruise control on an open stretch of freeway, and it's almost like riding in a living room to the next town," says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Autobytel found "the passing power lacking" though praised the "wonderful American V8 burble" and credited the Chevrolet Suburban saying, "when stuffed with a full load of human cargo, the Suburban doesn't behave much differently than when unloaded."

Also improved is a new suspension system. A reviewer from Forbes summed up the majority opinion, saying "The Chevrolet Suburban rides on an all-new chassis with a fully boxed frame that's stiffer than before for added refinement with reduced noise, vibration and harshness. A wider track and a lowered center of gravity contribute to enhanced on-road stability, while a revised suspension provides a compliant ride and more-precise handling qualities." The top-of-the-line LTZ trim style comes with Autoride suspension system with wheel sensors that monitor road surface to reduce bumpiness.

Most reviewers note the improvement in braking from earlier Suburbans. New Car Test Drive reflects the majority opinion: "The new brakes with vented rotors are bigger (13 inches in front and 13.5 inches rear) and the dual piston calipers are stiffer. It's an important safety consideration, especially when towing. The brakes worked well and were easy to modulate, something lacking in the Suburbans of two generations back."

Off Roading

The Chevrolet Suburban has an optional off-road package that includes a specialized suspension, larger fog lights, a chrome grill, 18-inch wheels and larger recovery hook openings. Though Motor Trend did not test the off-road package, it was nevertheless impressed with the Suburban's capabilities once it left the pavement saying the truck felt "composed when traversing the various washboard surfaces we came across in our Death Valley-adjacent photo locale."

All Wheel Drive

Most reviewers liked the 4-wheel drive system, which adds about $2,800 to the truck's base price. Motor Trend says "Electronically activated on-the-fly transitions from 2WD/4WD and 4Hi/4Lo are just a convenient wrist-twist away in both." Consumer Guide liked that it "can be left engaged on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing."

However, the Suburban given to the reviewer at USA TODAY had a glitch in the four-wheel drive. "A 'service 4x4' warning light called attention to a failure in the 5.3-liter test truck. GM examined it and blamed a component called a front axle sensor and actuator. It apparently was shifting the front axle into its 4WD setting occasionally and unbidden. That created extra drag and friction that hurt fuel economy and agility." The reviewer asked a company spokesman about the problem and he said it was very rare.


The two-wheel drive half-ton model of 2007 Chevrolet Suburban can tow up to 8,100 pounds, the smallest capacity of Suburban trims. The four-wheel drive three-quarter ton truck, which has the maximum capacity, hauls up to 9,700 pounds behind it.

Most reviewers praise the Suburban's towing capabilities and said its towing capacity might be reason enough to buy the truck. "There are some people who need a big, powerful vehicle that can carry eight adults and tow a four-ton trailer," says the Orlando Sentinel, reflecting the view of many reviewers.

Besides its size and power, other features of the Suburban make it prime for heavy-duty towing. All transmissions, says New Car Test Drive, "have a Tow/Haul mode, which reduces shifting and makes the shifts quicker, so the transmission doesn't work so hard when pulling a big load."

Performance Options

1500 Half-Ton Model

The 5.3-liter half-ton Chevrolet Suburban comes standard with an eight-cylinder engine, rear wheel drive, four-speed transmission and an electronic stability control system. Consider adding the four-wheel drive if you drive in winter weather or are concerned about slippery conditions. Available in three trim models, the top-of-the-line model also comes with Autoride suspension.

2500 Three-Quarter Ton Model

The 6.0-liter three-quarter ton Chevrolet Suburban comes with an eight-cylinder engine, four speed transmission, rear-wheel drive and a trailering suspension system. Four-wheel drive adds an extra cost to the base price.

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