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Suburban 1500....or 2500

Old 04-04-2021, 07:32 AM
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Default Suburban 1500....or 2500

Anyone drive both to comment on ride differential ?

Seems straightforward...
2500 can tow about 2,000 lbs more
2500 gets lousy fuel economy 15 hwy vs 20 for the 1500.

Drive train and engines different so thatís a consideration
Old 04-04-2021, 03:23 PM
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What Suburban gets 20mpg? I had a 1500 and never saw more than 15. It rode way nicer than my 3500 pickup though.
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Old 04-04-2021, 03:28 PM
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What year? Only fleet/govt can get 2500 new ones.

My 93 454 3/4 ton gets 5 worst to 15 mpg at best if I try to hypermile it.
09 1/2 ton 5.3 3.08 rear 2wd got 22+ many times on road trips with tail wind. Into wind, 16. Avg is 18-19 on road trips, 14 around town.
Newest 2021 Z71 1/2 ton burb with 5.3 gets like 14-16, still in breakin mode I suspect.
Old 04-04-2021, 06:53 PM
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The 2500...
always the 2500, especially if you can get the 8.1!
Old 04-05-2021, 03:40 AM
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Not sure what you are towing, but splitting the difference and going with a 6.2 equipped caddy or Denali may make more sense.
Old 04-05-2021, 06:22 AM
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I have a 2020 Suburban (1500), with 5.3 and get a tick over 20mpg on hwy driving, it is surprisingly good, actually better then my Honda pilot. Engine temp runs 210 (normal) and a few other changes help improve fuel economy, with that said I would not expect to tow anything substantial with it. The larger motor only comes with top trim package and needs 93 oct fuel.
Old 04-05-2021, 06:44 AM
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What's your price range and how will it be used? If you're towing 12k I'd suggest looking into a 6.6 Duraburb conversion. If you're towing up to 8k I'd look at new with the 3.0 Duramax.
Old 04-06-2021, 03:52 AM
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Currently tow about 5,000lbs rig with 04í Ford Explorer, V6.....tows boat fine.

Next boat may be another 1-2,000 heavier.
Not interested in truck .
Old 04-06-2021, 07:10 AM
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For that weight, I would stick with a half ton. And add the ford to the mix. Much better motor than the AFM 5.3 IMO, and can be had for less money a lot of times on the used market. 2015 - 2017's are particularly a great value as they are the prior body style, but had the 3.5 as standard equipment.

I've towed my 20' DC with my dad's 3.08 geared 5.3 Suburban (2016) a decent amount. It handles that fine in the rolling hills of upstate SC, but not impressive by any stretch in terms of power...especially compared to my Hemi pickup with low gearing. Were it my regular tow rig I would want the 3.42 gears at a minimum, and likely go Ford instead. You can easily identify 3.42 suburbans by the presence of a factory brake controller. It's not a guarantee that is a 3.42 truck, but probability is high.
Old 04-06-2021, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bgreene View Post
Currently tow about 5,000lbs rig with 04í Ford Explorer, V6.....tows boat fine.

Next boat may be another 1-2,000 heavier.
Not interested in truck .
Towing at that weight, I don't think you'd need a 3/4 ton. I don't have personal experience, but by the numbers, the 1/2 burb is more than capable.
Old 04-06-2021, 04:51 PM
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Surprised some report the 1500 just fair towing 5,000 - 6,000 lbs.

Thought the Burb a decent step up from the Explorer which tows my 21í boat on twin axle trailer very easily ...
Old 04-06-2021, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bgreene View Post
Surprised some report the 1500 just fair towing 5,000 - 6,000 lbs.

Thought the Burb a decent step up from the Explorer which tows my 21í boat on twin axle trailer very easily ...
itís physically not a bad setup. The issue is GM tunes them to be boring, economically oriented vehicles for their size. Most of the comments regarding performance is from those of us that are comparing them to Ford/Ram/Toyota in terms of seat of the pants feel. The 5.3, particularly with 3.08 gears, doesnít have the balls of the mainline big motor offerings from any other manufacturer in the segment. Depends on your expectations for towing that weight. Mine is tow at 75-80, basically zero gear hunting in the rolling hills, with the cruise set. My hemi pickup can do that. A 5.3 canít. I canít stand anything less than extra power. 15 vs 20 mpg isnít an issue....I want power.

sadly GM has a great motor that meets that expectation (6.2), but they want you to get the extra super loaded version to be considered important enough to enjoy it. The others let you get the big motor in a work truck or platinum trim, and everything in between.
Old 04-06-2021, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
itís physically not a bad setup. The issue is GM tunes them to be boring, economically oriented vehicles for their size. Most of the comments regarding performance is from those of us that are comparing them to Ford/Ram/Toyota in terms of seat of the pants feel. The 5.3, particularly with 3.08 gears, doesnít have the balls of the mainline big motor offerings from any other manufacturer in the segment. Depends on your expectations for towing that weight. Mine is tow at 75-80, basically zero gear hunting in the rolling hills, with the cruise set. My hemi pickup can do that. A 5.3 canít. I canít stand anything less than extra power. 15 vs 20 mpg isnít an issue....I want power.

sadly GM has a great motor that meets that expectation (6.2), but they want you to get the extra super loaded version to be considered important enough to enjoy it. The others let you get the big motor in a work truck or platinum trim, and everything in between.
Is this a recent thing? I had an 2001 Silverado with the 5.3 and I was really impressed with the power it had. It didn't get anywhere near 20mpg though, 15, maybe 16 on all hyw.

I imagine the 6.2 being available in the heavier truck has to do with cafe standards
Old 04-06-2021, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Cap View Post
Is this a recent thing? I had an 2001 Silverado with the 5.3 and I was really impressed with the power it had. It didn't get anywhere near 20mpg though, 15, maybe 16 on all hyw.

I imagine the 6.2 being available in the heavier truck has to do with cafe standards
2001 5.3 had great power, and was inline with other offerings of the time. power numbers went up significantly since then.

itís not that itís horrible, itís that compared to the others itís way behind. GM has taken the ďthatís good enoughĒ approach to power with the 5.3, where as the other OEís have regularly sought to make their offerings feel significantly stronger. Again, itís sufficient, but itís not a motor where you always have acceleration and hill pulling ability without gear hunting on tap. I basically want a half ton to pull 5k like a 2500 diesel pulls 10k....without any drama, gear hunting, or decelerating on hills....all while keeping up with traffic. The 5.3 isnít the motor for that. If you are one that doesnít mind listening to one head down in the hills and scream, or mind running mid to low 60ís, it fits the bill.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:35 PM
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I wasn't satisfied with my 2000 5.3L 1500 Suburban towing 4600 lbs. and it had a 4.10 rear end. I have significant hills to deal with however and hated it dropping into 2nd gear.
Old 04-08-2021, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Not sure what you are towing, but splitting the difference and going with a 6.2 equipped caddy or Denali may make more sense.
Escalade out of price range and has worse QA rating than Burb
Old 04-08-2021, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by apostate View Post
I wasn't satisfied with my 2000 5.3L 1500 Suburban towing 4600 lbs. and it had a 4.10 rear end. I have significant hills to deal with however and hated it dropping into 2nd gear.
Wow and I thought the Burb a towing step up from my V6 Explorer which tows my 5,000 lb rig fine !
Old 04-08-2021, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bgreene View Post
Wow and I thought the Burb a towing step up from my V6 Explorer which tows my 5,000 lb rig fine !
Define towing? Are you talking local stuff on flat land, or running 75 in the hills for hours at a time? What is your expectation for "fine?"

My personal expectation is basically performing like an unloaded truck up to about that weight...even in the hills. Only sacrifice I like to make at that weight is fuel economy. Other folks don't mind running in the right lane at 55-60.
Old 04-08-2021, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bgreene View Post
Wow and I thought the Burb a towing step up from my V6 Explorer which tows my 5,000 lb rig fine !
My 'burb had a 4 speed automatic where 4th was overdrive so only 3 usable gears while towing. I have significant hills which is where it struggled. I'd turn off A/C and get a running start but it would downshift to 2nd and fall to ~45 mph. On flat land or mild hills it was fine. I kept it for 19 years so it wasn't that bad but the 3.5L ecoboost that replaced it is so much better.
Old 04-08-2021, 02:04 PM
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The 2500 rides a little harder but not crazy. The real differnce is the 2500 will feel very good while towing 8000 lbs. The 1500 will feel Ok but not great.

Finding a clean used 2500 is NOT easy.
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