If the Suburban seems like a vestige of the past, when gas was cheap and hybrids weren't even a glimmer in most manufacturers' eyes, well, it sort of is. At seventy-seven years old, the Suburban is the automotive industry's longest-running nameplate. What is even more surprising is that, in all those years, the Suburban hasn't veered from its mission: a big, capable truck with lots of room for people and cargo. In fact, with an overall length of well over eighteen feet and an interior capacity of nearly 138 cubic feet, the Suburban can carry more people -- a maximum of nine -- and more cargo than any other sport-utility for sale in America. A vehicle this big needs a powerful engine, and the Suburban can be equipped with one of three V-8s all mated to a six-speed automatic. The half-ton (1500) model comes standard with a 5.3-liter V-8 with 320 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque but can be upgraded with an optional aluminum-block version of the same engine that adds 6 hp and 13 lb-ft. Three-quarter-ton (2500) Suburbans get a 6.0-liter V-8. Both engines can burn E85 and use Active Fuel Management to switch from eight to four cylinders to save fuel while cruising. Interior appointments are decent but lack the quality and cohesiveness of Chevy's recent efforts like the Cruze and the Equinox. Fortunately, the Suburban can be equipped with a plethora of comfort and convenience features, including a DVD entertainment system with eight-inch screens for the second and third rows, touch-screen navigation, heated seats for first- and second-row passengers, and a backup camera.
Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim Levels: LS, LT, LTZ
Body style: SUV, 6- to 9-passenger
Engines: 5.3L V-8, 320/326 hp, 335/348 lb-ft
6.0L V-8, 352 hp, 382 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Capacities: Towing 8000-9600 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 45.8/90.0/137.4 cu ft
Suburbans equipped with the navigation system get a revised radio with a built-in 80-gig hard drive and the ability to pause and rewind live broadcasts. Electronic trailer-sway control and hill-start assist are now included in the standard stability and traction control systems. SiriusXM weather service is also newly available.
Dual-stage front and side air bags and side curtain air bags are standard, as are ABS, a tire-pressure monitor, and traction and stability control. A backup sensor system, a rearview camera, and blind-spot warning are optional. OnStar is standard and includes a system that automatically notifies first responders when an accident is detected by in-car sensors.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 10-15 mpg city/15-21 mpg highway
- Never have to leave anyone, or anything, behind
You Won't Like
A big, old-school sport-ute that's ideal for people who like to take it all with them.
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