- Comfortably in all three rows
- Excellent infotainment technology
- Refined powertrain
- High quality cabin
I do not like it
- Intimidating dimensions
- Difficult to drive
- Will be expensive
The Suburban’s new and much-needed independent suspension offers numerous advantages, not least of which is greater comfort in the rear rows of seats. In my Premier test model, which is a step away from the High Country trim, the front chairs are supportive and nicely contoured. The second row is spacious and the seats are easy to adjust. They can even be folded down and over in one smooth motion to give you a wide path to access the third row, which is now comfortably seated for adult passengers. Legroom and headroom are adequate on the way back, and the lower pillow is nicely off the floor. Thanks to its extra passenger space, the new Suburban would be a great road trip vehicle.
Climbing on board makes you feel almost tiny in this SUV because its dashboard is high and the interior is so wide that it is difficult to lean over the opposite door panel. Aside from the intimidating dimensions, this Chevy’s cabin is pleasant. None of its materials or controls is an upscale luxury car, but nothing is particularly cheap either. Everything is tightly assembled and nicely laid out. The climate control, located at the bottom of the center stack, is dead easy to use and the new electronic toggle switch is easy to get to and instantly intuitive, although that didn’t stop me from looking for a traditional column-mounted gear stick. If you have a lot of trash to stash, the Suburban’s center console bin is huge and there are a number of other pockets and nooks, including a neat little storage compartment with a sliding lid right on the dashboard.
A 10.2-inch display emerges from the center stack of the Suburban, which is standard on every model. The viewing angles could be a bit better as there will be a slight color shift when you’re not looking directly at the screen. However, this is a minor complaint. The Suburban’s infotainment system is superb, snappy and intuitive. Thanks to the generous proportions of the display, all symbols and menu buttons are large and finger-friendly. Increase the stakes, wirelesslyand are both standard, although an integrated navigation system costs extra.
Forward collision alarm, automatic emergency braking, rear parking aid, and a high-resolution reversing camera are standard tariffs for 2021. But I’m setting my premier trimAside from smaller models, there are many useful devices out there. It has blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic warning, front parking sensors, and a lane departure warning system that isn’t quite as effective as I’d like it to be. On top of that, this vehicle comes with the $ 4,485 Premium Package, which includes extras like a panoramic sunroof, a multi-color head-up display, and even an extremely useful 360-degree camera system that lets you see various Get views for parking and slow maneuvering easier. This group of options also includes adaptive cruise control. Chevy’s implementation of this technology isn’t the smoothest I’ve seen, but it works well enough in most situations.
Predictably, the Suburban feels huge, almost like taking up two and a half lanes of traffic. The steering is fine for a vehicle this size, moderately sharp and about as responsive as you could hope for. As with the other newly designed body SUVs from GM, three chassis settings are also offered here. Coil springs with normal shock absorbers are standard, you can also get coil springs with magnetic dampers, and then there is a square air suspension with magnetic dampers which is only offered on the Z71 and High Country models. My tester is equipped with the middle offer which offers a nice ride superior to the Yukon Denali I recently reviewed. I suspect that’s because the Chevy’s 20-inch aluminum wheels are significantly lighter than the GMC’s gigantic 22’s. It would certainly not be the curb weight; There is only a 3 pound difference between these two vehicles. Overall, this Chevy feels sleek and planted, with its independently sprung rear never flapping from side to side or bucking when driving over major road defects.
Under its chest-high bonnet, the Suburban’s standard 5.3-liter V8 is slightly surpassed. Unloaded, its 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque give it decent acceleration, though it can feel a hint of asthmatic climbing hills struggling against gravity and the 5,824 pounds of this Suburban. Charge it up and you will almost certainly be looking for the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, unfortunately only offered in the High Country model. Well, at least the base engine sounds smooth and throaty, plus the standard 10-speed automatic transmission that was co-developedis a gem. The tuning of this gearbox is responsive and nifty, and far better than that of the Blue Oval, which often feels clunky.
Another reason to choose this larger motor is efficiency. With all-wheel drive, a Suburban with the 5.3-liter V8 is rated at 15 miles per gallon city and 19 mpg highway. In my hands, this vehicle delivers around 17 mpg on mixed driving, which is exactly the combined fuel economy. Getting up to the 6.2-liter engine hardly comes with a penalty. A comparable Suburban with this powerplant is rated at 14 mpg city, 19 highway, and 16 mpg combined. It is a pity that larger V8s are not available in the entire range. Before the year is out, a 3.0 literMotor will also be available.
As for ability, my tester is rated to pull up to 8,100 pounds. The maximum payload is 1,657 pounds. The cargo volume behind the third row is 41.2 cubic feet, an impressive amount. Flip the backmost bench down and that number grows to 93.8 cubes. Drop my tester’s buckets in the second row and they provide 144.7 cubic feet of shipping volume, 23.2 more than a comparable one.
Matching its voluminous body, the Suburban shown here is looking for a staggering $ 74,080, including $ 1,295 for the destination. That’s a lot of greenbacks for a mass market vehicle. As always, when you can get by with less – fewer features, more work cab, and less power – an entry-level rear-wheel drive LS model for 53 grand can be offered at a much cheaper price.
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is a big deal, and not just because of its enlarged size. A far nicer interior, improved dynamics, and a host of high-tech extras available make this three-row SUV an excellent choice when you need a larger vehicle or just want to intimidate other drivers.