Suburban LS base model diesel

Tinbadtin

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Given that nothing seems to be in stock in current market and it’s impossible to compare the different trims in person, asking here: Anyone got a lower trim Suburban here who can share their ownership experience so far? Any regrets not getting certain features or going for higher trims? I’m looking to order an LS diesel with the front seat bench. Can anyone talk me out of it?

Some background (warning long post):
Been lurking here for a while and finally ready to pull the trigger on an order and wanting to get some thoughts from existing owners before I finalize the spec. Or mostly looking for people to talk me in or out of crazy ideas lol.

I’m a “car guy” and have owned many different ones over the years from German luxury to trucks and American muscle. As for my history with Chevy/GM it is a bit of a love hate. My first was an awesome 72 GMC Suburban (no, I’m not that old lol but driving that in my 20’s was a lot of FUN), then an 07 avalanche that was rock solid, except for the cheap plasticky interior but mechanically very sound. Had 150k miles on it when I sold it with just oil changes and brakes/tires. Then a 19 trail boss more recently that gave me nothing but problems: rear window leaks, check engine lights, interior rattles/squeaks.. you name it. Was very disappointed, thought it was maybe because 1st MY issues, but then again the 07 was a first MY too and 0 issues.. go figure.

In the meantime our family also added two more kids (2 sets of twins total) and being a car guy I wanted something big but fun so I splurged and got myself a BMW X7 M50i (nicknamed the beast!!) that I daily and plan to keep for a while (or as long as the warranty runs). My wife drives a Toyota minivan that’s still going strong but getting somewhat outdated. Probably will keep it forever though because, well, it’s a Toyota...

Anyways to get to the meat of it, I’m looking to get the Suburban as a 3rd vehicle (and/or possibly to replace the minivan with down the road). Either way, the main requirement for the new vehicle is to be able to carry 8 (or 9 if needed) in relative comfort.

Originally I was looking at a 6.2 Z71 or RST Burb (because that seems to be sweet spot of capability / styling and overall features I liked) but given what I daily today, I don’t really need to prove my masculinity with the bigger engine, nor will the 6.2 even come close to the performance I’m used to in the Bimmer so then the crazy idea came of why not do something completely different… Why not the diesel?! Almost every review seems to suggest it fits the character of the Burb best and is a very capable engine overall. Especially driving it around town in the low end torque it will likely beat the V8 in feel. Which, most of the driving will be anyway: hauling family + parents + stuff on day trips with maybe an occasional 200-300 mile road trip to the mountains. An added bonus would be the front bench seat but of course the big downside is it only comes on the punishment/poverty/fleet LS trim. I started building one anyway online and checking every box on 4WD LS (with upgrade to the slightly less poverty spec 20” wheels).. for a grand total of ~60k one can get a very capable and roomy SUV… at least, on paper.

Now the part comes where I’m questioning whether I will be able to live with something like that coming from the luxury of a fully loaded X7? The one feature I know I will miss the most, and I even vowed to never get another car without, is the heads up display. But the only way to get that is to step up 20-25k to a HC, which I can’t just stomach the idea to drop 85k on a Chevy. Can’t even believe a “base” 60k is still missing so many of the features a 30k Kia has standard but that’s for another forum to complain about..

Other features I think I will be annoyed not having is simple stuff like auto-dimming mirrors (although those could be likely easily retrofitted?) or not having an electric tailgate (really Chevy?!) or needing to crawl into the cargo space to drop the 3rd row (however in our case, it will likely stay up most of the time…). Or small things like not having a decent sound system (I like to listen to music).

So, what have been all ya’ll experiences? Anyone with low level trims here that wished they got more? Any disappointments from folks who paid top dollar but the extra features didn’t live up to their expectations?
 

MO VietVet

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Welcome to the forum and someone will chime in with their thoughts.
 

Geotrash

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Given that nothing seems to be in stock in current market and it’s impossible to compare the different trims in person, asking here: Anyone got a lower trim Suburban here who can share their ownership experience so far? Any regrets not getting certain features or going for higher trims? I’m looking to order an LS diesel with the front seat bench. Can anyone talk me out of it?

Some background (warning long post):
Been lurking here for a while and finally ready to pull the trigger on an order and wanting to get some thoughts from existing owners before I finalize the spec. Or mostly looking for people to talk me in or out of crazy ideas lol.

I’m a “car guy” and have owned many different ones over the years from German luxury to trucks and American muscle. As for my history with Chevy/GM it is a bit of a love hate. My first was an awesome 72 GMC Suburban (no, I’m not that old lol but driving that in my 20’s was a lot of FUN), then an 07 avalanche that was rock solid, except for the cheap plasticky interior but mechanically very sound. Had 150k miles on it when I sold it with just oil changes and brakes/tires. Then a 19 trail boss more recently that gave me nothing but problems: rear window leaks, check engine lights, interior rattles/squeaks.. you name it. Was very disappointed, thought it was maybe because 1st MY issues, but then again the 07 was a first MY too and 0 issues.. go figure.

In the meantime our family also added two more kids (2 sets of twins total) and being a car guy I wanted something big but fun so I splurged and got myself a BMW X7 M50i (nicknamed the beast!!) that I daily and plan to keep for a while (or as long as the warranty runs). My wife drives a Toyota minivan that’s still going strong but getting somewhat outdated. Probably will keep it forever though because, well, it’s a Toyota...

Anyways to get to the meat of it, I’m looking to get the Suburban as a 3rd vehicle (and/or possibly to replace the minivan with down the road). Either way, the main requirement for the new vehicle is to be able to carry 8 (or 9 if needed) in relative comfort.

Originally I was looking at a 6.2 Z71 or RST Burb (because that seems to be sweet spot of capability / styling and overall features I liked) but given what I daily today, I don’t really need to prove my masculinity with the bigger engine, nor will the 6.2 even come close to the performance I’m used to in the Bimmer so then the crazy idea came of why not do something completely different… Why not the diesel?! Almost every review seems to suggest it fits the character of the Burb best and is a very capable engine overall. Especially driving it around town in the low end torque it will likely beat the V8 in feel. Which, most of the driving will be anyway: hauling family + parents + stuff on day trips with maybe an occasional 200-300 mile road trip to the mountains. An added bonus would be the front bench seat but of course the big downside is it only comes on the punishment/poverty/fleet LS trim. I started building one anyway online and checking every box on 4WD LS (with upgrade to the slightly less poverty spec 20” wheels).. for a grand total of ~60k one can get a very capable and roomy SUV… at least, on paper.

Now the part comes where I’m questioning whether I will be able to live with something like that coming from the luxury of a fully loaded X7? The one feature I know I will miss the most, and I even vowed to never get another car without, is the heads up display. But the only way to get that is to step up 20-25k to a HC, which I can’t just stomach the idea to drop 85k on a Chevy. Can’t even believe a “base” 60k is still missing so many of the features a 30k Kia has standard but that’s for another forum to complain about..

Other features I think I will be annoyed not having is simple stuff like auto-dimming mirrors (although those could be likely easily retrofitted?) or not having an electric tailgate (really Chevy?!) or needing to crawl into the cargo space to drop the 3rd row (however in our case, it will likely stay up most of the time…). Or small things like not having a decent sound system (I like to listen to music).

So, what have been all ya’ll experiences? Anyone with low level trims here that wished they got more? Any disappointments from folks who paid top dollar but the extra features didn’t live up to their expectations?
Congrats on being a dad of TWO sets of twins. Wow!

I'm the sort of guy who notices every time I miss a feature that I didn't get but wanted on a car. Like you, I've owned new BMWs, Land Rovers and other luxury brands. I *love* the creature comforts. Over time, it adds up to owner dissatisfaction for me if I don't have them. My previous vehicle before I bought my first Yukon XL Denali was a 2002 Chevy Suburban LS. I liked it well enough but it always felt stripped-down to me and over time I found myself craving the fancier equipment, hence the Denali.

4 kids does tend to shift your priorities, and there will be times when you'll wish you could fit one more kid in there. So it comes down to knowing yourself well enough to know which features you're going to miss most: the creature comforts or the ability to seat 9. If I were in your shoes, which is genuinely hard to fathom because I only have 2 kids, I still think I would prefer the luxury amenities over the extra seat up front. We've fit 6 kids plus 2 adults in our 2012 with the 2nd row bench, and everyone has a seatbelt. I've also done that with 2 adults sitting in the cargo area for a short trip, for a total of 10.
 
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Bill 1960

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I intentionally purchased the LS trim SSV, because easy to clean and care for plus fewer gadgets to fail met my use case. I’ve owned a number of similar work truck trim vehicles over the years. Last summer we put 10k miles on touring the country and it was great. Lots of long days.

Simultaneously I have a pickup with all the bells and whistles, which I appreciate when I drive it. Heated/cooled seats, 360 cameras, great stereo…

In my case I care more about the driving experience; brakes, steering, NVH, handling than I do about the luxury add-ons. Give me a good driving car over a luxurious but un-engaging barge any day.

At the end, though, only the man in the mirror can say what your priorities are. Best of luck in coming to a decision.
 

wsteele

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Being a guy who actually doesn't miss all the bells and whistles when I am driving something without them (and cherishing simplicity over complexity by my nature), my advice to you would be to go simple and put the money you save into a college saving plan :). On the other hand, reading your post, the foregoing is probably bad advice.

I recently bought a new Sierra 1500 AT4 and it was a pretty low optioned model, all they had on the lot these days (1st vehicle I have bought without a sunroof in a very long time). I haven't missed the lack of sunroof and pretty sure I won't, so I slapped a set of electric steps on her and called it good. So far, very happy with the purchase, although it is a 6.2L and can say with authority, your choice of Diesel will help with that college fund... :)
 
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Tinbadtin

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Haha - thanks for the responses and the congrats (and yes, can confirm, 4 kids is a lot of work lol). You guys aren't helping though with all the mixed opinions :)

I've def been in situation Geotrash described where I would regret not getting X or Y feature/package so I tried to objectively approach the FoMo that comes with not having the top level trims. What do I really care about in daily use ? (besides bragging rights) and when it comes down it, I also agree with the other commenters that the actual driving experience is probably most important like handling, comfort, engine response, etc.

Can anyone talk to the differences in suspensions between the "Magnetic ride control", air suspension and the regular suspension in the LS? Does it really make a big difference in daily driving? If so, what does? I personally don't care too much for changing ride height and I will most likely not be towing much or at all. How much does choosing an LS compromise on the ride qualities?
 

olyelr

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Magnaride is not the air suspension/ride height changing suspension persay (although most do have air shocks in the back for leveling loads). The magnaride system is electronic shocks, which change dampening some thousands of times per second. If you get a model with magnaride, it will most likely be riding like shit within 50k or so anyway with locked up/blown out electronic shocks. Ask me (and zillions of other) how we know.

My wifes ‘22 tahoe high country, from what i can tell, does not have magnaride. It rides just as good, if not better than her ‘16 denali xl with magnaride.
 
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Tinbadtin

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Magnaride is not the air suspension/ride height changing suspension persay (although most do have air shocks in the back for leveling loads). The magnaride system is electronic shocks, which change dampening some thousands of times per second. If you get a model with magnaride, it will most likely be riding like shit within 50k or so anyway with locked up/blown out electronic shocks. Ask me (and zillions of other) how we know.

My wifes ‘22 tahoe high country, from what i can tell, does not have magnaride. It rides just as good, if not better than her ‘16 denali xl with magnaride.
Thanks, so sounds like that base suspension is not a big step down from magnaride in terms of ride quality? I would also assume the introduction of IRS, if anything, is a bigger improvement for ride quality than magnaride over previous generations..

What about the air shocks? Are those just to control ride height or do they change the driving dynamics like on premium German cars? In both the current X7 as previous Audi's equipped with air suspension I found that to be the sweet spot and most noticeable between different driving modes (sport = stiffer / less body roll and comfort = more suspension travel to "glide" over the road)
 

wsteele

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Haha - thanks for the responses and the congrats (and yes, can confirm, 4 kids is a lot of work lol). You guys aren't helping though with all the mixed opinions :)

I've def been in situation Geotrash described where I would regret not getting X or Y feature/package so I tried to objectively approach the FoMo that comes with not having the top level trims. What do I really care about in daily use ? (besides bragging rights) and when it comes down it, I also agree with the other commenters that the actual driving experience is probably most important like handling, comfort, engine response, etc.

Can anyone talk to the differences in suspensions between the "Magnetic ride control", air suspension and the regular suspension in the LS? Does it really make a big difference in daily driving? If so, what does? I personally don't care too much for changing ride height and I will most likely not be towing much or at all. How much does choosing an LS compromise on the ride qualities?
I can't speak for the Magnaride, but my 2007 Yukon SLT has the Autoride (electronic damping adjustment) and Auto Level (air shock leveling in the rear) and I really liked it. The ride on the street was really nice and the leveling worked great when I was towing my race car all around the west.

There is a cost for that comfort as at 100K, we replaced the shocks and struts and it was a pretty big number compared to conventional dampers.
 

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