Reader Question: Suburban Advice?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Lee asks: I have owned a handful of Chevy Suburbans. Currently have a 2010. For marital bliss am considering a “newer” year make. Don’t use or want OnStar. Don’t need or want a black box. Don’t want to have engine cut off at a red light.  Hell, I’m a country boy I can parallel park truck and trailer. So what “newer” (but not brand new) year make/model should I consider? Or are there any such animals left?  Or should I  just make a “new” one out of what I already own. BTW, I’m 67 and hope not to have to retire to the farm for another four years. Would greatly appreciate your advice.

My reply: Avoiding ASS – automatic engine stop/start – is pretty simple. Just go back to 2016 or so. Anything made before 2014 will be free of ASS, which began to appear just a couple of years ago as a “fuel saving” feature.

OnStar and black boxes – Event Data Recorders- are another matter. GM has been installing both – as standard equipment – in all of its vehicles since the mid-late 1990s. The good news is other manufacturers didn’t begin to add similar tech until the early 2000s. The bad news is almost all new cars have some for of “telematics” (e.g., OnStar) and every new car – and car built since the early 2000s – has an EDR.

It might be worth it – both in terms of less aggravation as well as saving money – to invest in your 2010 or an earlier model that’s got a sound frame and body. A new or even nearly-new Suburban is a $40,000-plus “investment.” For less than $20k, you could have a new drivetrain in your 2010 – and no ASS.

That’d be my inclination.

But, if you want something turn-key, have a look at the Toyota LandCruiser… before it  gets “updated.” No ASS – and no direct injection, either. It’s not quite as big as your ‘burban, but it’s pretty close!

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m with Eric! If I were to find a 70’s/80’s ‘Burban that was solid (Would have to requisition from out West!) I’d snag it in a heartbeat and do whatever needed doing. Simple, bulletproof, reliable…..once in good shape would be cheap as dirt to maintain forever.

    Stay FAR away from any of the newer GM stuff!!!!

    LandVCruiser is probably about the best of the current crop….but speaking as an Excursion and F250 owner…it would be way too small for me, so I’d assume it’d be so for you too- and for what ya have to pay for the damned things, you couyld buy several MINT rust-free old Suburbans from CA/AZ/etc which will far out-last anything made today.

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