The numerical designations Chevrolet uses on its SUVs and trucks denote their general payload capacities and whether they are intended for light- or heavy-duty use, so the differences are mainly in mechanical components. One key stat: The Suburban 1500 is a “half-ton” SUV with a base payload of 1,514 pounds, and the Suburban 2500 is a “three-quarter ton” with a base payload of 2,421 pounds, making the 2500 the better choice for heavy lifting.
Compared to the 1500, which comes with a 320-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8, the Suburban 2500’s unique standard features include a 352-hp, 6.0-liter V-8; heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode; heavy-duty engine oil and transmission oil coolers; a heavy-duty suspension with leaf rear springs (instead of coil springs); and truck tires (instead of passenger-car tires) with greater load-carrying capability.
All that extra muscle allows the Suburban 2500 to carry more weight and tow heavier trailers (up to 9,600 pounds versus 8,100) and allow owners to brag about what brutes they drive. You can find out more about the differences between the Suburban 1500 and 2500 in the Cars.com Research section.
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