The long-running Chevrolet Suburban is a very useful SUV. The addition of electronic stability control as a standard feature makes it a more attractive option for some potential buyers. Three-row SUVs are popular alternatives to minivans, but the third-row seat is usually a compromise. Often, the seat is very uncomfortable and cargo space is reduced to accommodate the seat.
Alerts
There are 8 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard 2000-2002, available 2006, standard from 2010. ESC available from 2003, standard from 2006. Head protection air bags available in 2007, standard from 2008.
Road Test

The long-running Chevrolet Suburban is a very useful SUV. The addition of electronic stability control as a standard feature makes it a more attractive option for some potential buyers.

Three-row SUVs are popular alternatives to minivans, but the third-row seat is usually a compromise. Often, the seat is very uncomfortable and cargo space is reduced to accommodate the seat. The Suburban can easily carry up to eight passengers, as well as their luggage.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear, 3 third
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 5.3-liter V8 (295 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2005 Chevrolet Suburban owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Air door actuator failures are common and some are difficult to access"

Anonymous, MO (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"AC does not work when outside temp goes high, which is when you need it most"

Anonymous, AR (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"System in AC would go full hot and would not return to normal operation until the engine was turned off and after a brief delay restarted. That cycle would continue throughout the time the car was in use"

Thomas L., VA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Failure of an 'actuator' (device that controls temps in the passenger cabin)- this was the 3rd 'actuator' (all different) that has failed"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Driver zone will go full hot when AC is on or full cold when heat is selected"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"the blend door has been disfunctional for about 4 years"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Blows hot on drivers side when A/C is on"

Dan S., CA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"For no reason the heated seats on the drivers side will turn on. I unplug the seat for the summer, but then there are no other controls of the seat. Very annoying"

Richard M., SC (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"AC Coolant leaks. Source of leak. It found"

Anonymous, AL (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Line to rear A/C unit cracked"

Anonymous, KY (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"there is a break in the line to the back of the vehicle - expensive to fix, may seal off rear AC from system and recharge for just the front AC - much less expensive than full replacement"

Phillip L., ME (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Unexplained leakage"

Peter W., CT (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Line to rear A/C was corroded"

Anonymous, MT (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"The AC leaked for the Rear AC"

Anonymous, MN (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

"Front air conditioner has stopped cooling due to compressor failure. Also this vehicle has always had a problem maintain correct temperature in passenger compartment. At times I have had to shut engine off and restart vehicle to get air conditioning"

David R., IA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace"

Angela M., TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

"Both compressors failed. This is the second time I've had to replace both"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Blower (fan) motor

"A/C fan just quit. Repaired 3 times. A/C temp has not worked correctly since. You have to place on Auto and turn temp to 68 in order for it to cool. Turn the rear to same and then push recirculating!!! Very frustrated, as I know how it worked before"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

"During the year needed service to replace blower resistor and the actuators"

Anonymous, KY (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"U joints"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Electrical failure

"The Heating and Cooling system controller has failed"

Joseph L., VA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

"Often while driving, an in-dash error message reads something to the effect of "electrical system failure", among the many other problems I've had with this vehicle"

Justin R., NM (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"4-wheel drive automatic selector was intermittent. Fixed by dealer"

Harry A., MS (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Could not shift between 2wd and 4wd Common problem with 2005 suburbans"

Anonymous, AR (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"For the last 9 of my 10 years with this car, its 4WD system has engaged on its own - probably as many as 100 times. I have spent over $1200 on repairs in that time but the problem always returns. By 2014 I gave up having it looked at; Chevrolet has"

Larry H., NC (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Differential

"Bearings needs replacement"

Anonymous, VA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"I have experienced a whining noise when I am driving along and begin to decelerate . The dealership said to continue driving until it gets worse. They said that it sounds like my differential needs to be replaced"

Joe C., NY (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"With traction control message and I come to a stop or slow down sign and stepping on gas to go forward nothing happens. Scary in traffic"

Vernon A., WI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace the transfer case"

Vernon A., WI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Experienced a well known and common failure of the transfer case shift motor"

Bradley D., NM (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Driveline vibration

""U" joints"

George C., FL (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Heated or cooled seats

"There is a short in the driver's side heated seat. About $1,000 to replace"

Robert H., SC (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Electronic control of drivers seat now works in reverse for all functions"

Chris E., TN (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

"Driver side seat heaters come on intermittently. Have to turn of with swithch on door. Mechanic tried disconnecting door swithch haowever that did not work as the heater could not be turned off. problem remains intermittent"

Anonymous, LA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Interior lights

"Lights in the steering wheel are burning out"

Robert H., SC (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Tire pressure monitor

"Intermittent operation. Hard to diagnose. Fairly expensive to replace all 4"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Clock

"Clock and thermometer in mirror no longer function"

Chris E., TN (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Gauges

"failure of instrument panel "Ghost" codes "reduced Engine Power""

Anonymous, MA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"The motors that drive speed, tach, oil pressure, and water temp quit!"

Rob H., GA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Spedometer shows I'm doing over 130 when driving. It also shows I'm doing 12 mph when parked"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"speedometer failed at 80000 miles"

Garth K., GA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"The performance of the car is not affected by this problem but the indicator light cannot be de-activated without the system being fixed and the price for this repair is very expensive! For the low mileage put on the car, we've learned to live with it"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Auto ride system pump was replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"One loose tie rod end replaced"

Anonymous, IA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Driver's side Front Wheel bearing; noisy, now replaced"

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Required replacement of wheel bearing"

James L., NM (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Wheel bearing failure, the other side failed over a year ago"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Power Steering started making terrible noises. Cost 1,800 to replace and repair"

David R., IA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Corrosion from salt equals failure"

Jason L., IL (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"the ABS sensors needed to be replaced. The ABS indicator light was always going on along with the stability control and traction control lights. The dealership fixed one sensor and sometime later the other sensor needed to be replaced"

Joe C., NY (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Calipers

"Blown seals on rear passenger caliper"

Anonymous, WA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Brakes wore out- replaced"

Joel L., PA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Brake shoes needed replacement due to normal wear"

Gloria B., KY (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Parking brake

"Parking brake handle has broken four (4!) times. Parking brake adjustment also required (expensive)"

Anonymous, VA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"I had to replace break pads and rotors twice in less than a year. Ultimately, the entire caliper assembly needed replacement. I've been told this is common in these cars. Otherwise, it's been a great car"

Joseph L., VA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"converter pluged"

Anonymous, SD (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Flex fuel sensor went out and dealer wanted $1600 to replace. I fixed the problem myself using an ebay signal replicator"

Justin R., NM (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)
Fuel cap

"was leaking and caused a malfunction"

Anonymous, OK (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Fuel injection system

"broken throttle body wire"

Anonymous, MD (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Inoperable"

Dave C., NC (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"One of the four O2 sensors died and needed to be replaced"

Bradley D., NM (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Overheating

"The suburban needed the exhaust and refrigeration replaced, which is why it was overheating. Along with that, it needed new spark plugs and some sealants replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Thermostat

"The thermostat went out and needed to replaced. It was the original thermostat"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Water pump

"Anti Freeze Leak determined to be water pump. Dealership replaced water pump. Anti Freeze leak got worse. Dealership said steam was from spilled anti freeze on engine. Turned out to be leak at firewall connection to heater hose. Dealership should have replaced heater hoses when replacing water pump. Even then did not replace heater hoses, just connector at firewall"

David R., IA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Water pump leaking (bearing failure)"

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

"Failed"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Radiator

"Radiator is the suspected leak, Have had the system pressure test twice from local shop, they say no measurable loss of pressure yet when engine has been running and hot you can smell coolant and ther reservoir needs to be filled a least monthly"

Anonymous, WA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Never towed with this vehicle, but experienced complete transmission failure at about 109k miles. Transmission services always performed on time. Never ran low on transmission fluid"

Matthew M., CA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

"Problem was transfer case, not transmission. Car not drive-able. Major repair required"

Anonymous, VA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Transmission goes out like all surburbans made it to90000 miles before first transmission out"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Torque converter

"torque convertor cracked after transmission replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Had a leak from the plastic cover under cowl"

Anonymous, TN (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Wind noise

"I had a cracked windshield which when replaced by my Chevrolet dealer resulted in unacceptable wind noise when at any speed over 45 mph. Told it was "unavoidable""

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Squeaks or rattles

"The squeaks and rattles actually were related to the alternator"

Donna C., TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

"Lifter tick"

Anonymous, MO (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Required replacement of oil pump"

James L., NM (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

"The locks on both front doors went bad and had to be replaced. The dealer did a poor job of replacing the drivers door. A local mechanic, non-dealer, did a better job on the passenger latch and had to replace the driver door latch"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate latch/lock handle broke so tailgate could not be opened. Latch and handle had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

"Rust on both rear quarter panels"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

"Various spots on the body show rust and paint bubbling up. The vehicle is cleaned regularly but we do have the harsh Wisconsin winters"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"simply does not work - the integrated radio/CD/nav unit is way to expensive to replace - so just listening to the radio"

Phillip L., ME (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Steering wheel controls

"Horn works intermittently"

John W., WA (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Muffler

"It rattles when the truck is cold"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"The alternator went out and had to be completely replaced"

Donna C., TX (2005 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Control module for Transfer Case failed. Had to rebuild Transfer Case actuator. Note: The Model Z71 is missing from your list"

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Chevrolet Suburban Unsure 5.3-L V8)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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