What to Look for When Buying a Used Chevy Suburban?

The Chevrolet Suburban has been on the roads since 1933. While it was originally manufactured as a commercial truck, it was later transformed to an SUV model. As an extra-large SUV, the Chevy Suburban offers one of the best passenger and cargo capacity.

Additionally, it provides comfortable driving following its strong powertrain and robust underpinnings. Its towing capability is also an enticing feature when considering this vehicle. In this article, we share tips on what to consider when shopping for a used Chevy Suburban.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Chevy Suburban?

When shopping for a used Chevy Suburban, check out its model year, mileage, engine, rust, installed lift kit, and fuel economy.

Model Year

When hunting for a used Chevy Suburban, go for the current Suburban generation whose model year starts from 2007 to date. This recent version features a sturdier chassis than its predecessor and for this reason, vehicles in this generation offer better performance, efficiency, and comfortable driving. These newer Suburbans also feature additional safety features, including front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags (all three rows), and stability control.

The most recent Suburban generation is available in three trims; base level LS, the fully equipped LT, and the luxurious LTZ. The LS and LT are powered by a 5.3 liter V-8 engine that churns 310 horsepower and 340 lb-ft. A GM cylinder-deactivation technology is also featured to offer better fuel economy.

Previous generation Suburban vehicles (2000 to 2006 model years) are not recommended due to mileage concerns and less refined features.


The Chevy Suburban is one of the best long-lasting SUVs. For instance, the 2019 model Suburban can reach a whopping 200,000 miles. With this mileage, this SUV ranks fourth after the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, and Toyota Land Cruiser.

Essentially, when buying a used vehicle, go for lower mileage. A used vehicle sitting with under 100,000 miles is ideal. However, some drivers on the Chevrolet Forum have bought used Suburbans with over 100,000 miles and faced no engine issues. In this case, you can buy a used vehicle with high mileage between 100,000 to 150,000 miles and still get the best out of it.

That said, used cars beyond the 200,000 miles mark may not be a good bargain as they have been overly used.


Apart from mileage, you will have to conduct an engine inspection when buying a used Chevy Suburban. Start with a visual check by looking around the engine and see whether it is wet. If it is wet and shows sign of built-up debris, it indicates that there is oil or fluid leakage that has not been corrected.

Once you have inspected the engine while it is off, it is time to start it up. Turn on the vehicle and give it time to warm up. A good engine will not have smoke coming out from it, if you notice smoke from the engine, then an oil leak is the problem. While checking out for smoke, stay alert to notice strange noises from the engine such as clanking, knocking, or rapping, which all point to very serious issues.


Used cars may definitely spot rust, especially in humid and saline environments. Surface rust on a used Chevy Suburban can be taken care of easily and should not deter you from purchasing it. In fact, you can use it as a bargaining point and get the vehicle at a discounted price. To check for rust, you can get underneath a vehicle to inspect whether there is rust on the frame. Bubbling in the paint around the doors and wheel wells also indicate building up of rust.

However, if the rust is extensive such that it has eaten a hole into the body or undercarriage, then you should not give it a chance because the repair cost will be too high. Moreover, the rust may extend further as you continue using it.

Installed Lift Kit

Lift kits are usually installed to raise trucks and SUVs. Since they lift the vehicle, they affect the vehicle’s driving, so, instead of a smooth ride, lift kits cause rougher rides. They also affect a car’s fuel economy.

If you are searching for a used Chevy Suburban with lift kit, ask questions and find out how it was installed. Request for paperwork to further elaborate how the lift kit was installed. Steer clear of vehicles where self-installment was involved because it will cost you unnecessary repairs down the line.

Settle for a Suburban with a lift kit that was installed professionally. You can also do without this off-road enhancement, considering the fact that it poses mechanical issues in the future. So, if you are not sure of the benefits of installing a lift kit, simply don’t buy a vehicle that has it.

Fuel Economy

The Chevy Suburban may not be one of the most fuel-efficient large SUV, but there are model years and trim levels that offer good fuel economy. If you are intent on getting a Suburban with the best fuel-efficient capabilities, you can go for recent model years such as the 2017 Chevy Suburban that offers 18 mpg or the 2018 Chevy Suburban with 19 mpg fuel economy.

The newer the Chevy Suburban model, the better its fuel economy. Therefore, go for recent models for better fuel economy, just bear in mind that it will cost you more.

Tips for Buying a Used Chevy Suburban

Once you understand what to look out for, use these tips to help you make a smart purchase;

Find a Trustworthy Dealership

There are several used dealerships in the market and finding a good one may improve your overall buying experience. Buying a used vehicle is a challenge in itself, thus getting a good dealership may make it less difficult. With used cars, you are always hoping to get a car with few mechanical issues and a trustworthy dealership ensures this.

A great dealership is one that provides you with car history reports and guaranteed warranties, which will help you make an informed decision when buying a used vehicle. With a good dealership, you can rest assured that you can get a quality used Suburban that will serve you for longer.

Shop During Daylight Hours

Despite your busy schedule, allocate enough time when buying a vehicle. Do not be tempted to push your car hunting to after work hours when you are available. Although dealers have well-lit showrooms, your eyes may not spot some minor defects on the used vehicle you are planning to purchase.

Shopping during daylight hours, on the other hand, provides you with natural sunlight that helps in your perusal exercise.

Get Your Hands Dirty

When selecting a used Suburban, get ready to get your hands dirty because a thorough inspection is in order. While a used vehicle may look presentable from the outside, the undercarriage may hide lots of defects that may not be observable at face value. To check out for these hidden defects, get down on the ground and open the hood for inspection. Take your time because it is worth it.

While you may be concerned about offending the seller, remember that it is your money you will be parting with in the long run. So, you have to be thorough in your inspection to avoid regrets in the future.

Test Out Everything

A vehicle like the Chevy Suburban has many working parts, and, as such, will require testing out of each one of them. This will help ensure every working part is in good condition. Test out all the buttons as well as mechanical stuff before driving off for a test drive. Since you are testing out the vehicle in daylight, do not forget to inspect the headlights, signal indicators, and brake lights.

If you come across small issues, for instance a burned out headlight, that are inexpensive to fix, you can purchase the vehicle. However, if the defects are costly, like in the case of a damaged heating and cooling system, you can reconsider buying the vehicle. Again, do not feel shy to conduct all these tests to avoid future confrontations with the seller.

Pre-Owned Versus Used Vehicles

A quality pre-owned Chevy Suburban could be a better alternative compared to a used one that you may buy straight from a seller or a car auction. While you may consider buying a used car easier and more convenient, it may cost you more in the future. This is because a certified pre-owned vehicle from a reputable dealership offers manufacturer warranty, free maintenance visits, and many more benefits.

With pre-owned Chevy Suburban, you can rest assured that you will not fork out more money in the future to fix small defects here and there. Since dealerships have these vehicles in low mileage, they will serve you for longer.


Getting a used vehicle is satisfying provided that you know exactly what to look out for. Having informed knowledge on the important aspects helps you get your next best automobile. Therefore, when getting a used Chevy Suburban, check out for important features such as the mileage and engine condition. This way, you will get yourself a Suburban that is worth your money.

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