Review Chevrolet Suburban Price
Boxy, useful, and straightforward, the Suburban continues to perform its duties for American families like it has ever since its debut in 1935. With a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 and a six-speed automatic transmission, it has enough muscle to tow up to 8300 pounds while the optional four-wheel drive delivers all-road confidence. With seating for up to nine and vast storage space with the rear seats up or down, the Suburban is perfect for large families who need to haul their gear to distant locales.
2015 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD
Now in its 12th generation, Chevrolet’s Suburban has been a constant on the automotive scene since long before marketing lexes such as “SUV” and “crossover” were but a gleam in the eye of an ambitious marketing executive. Competitors have come and gone, but the Suburban has remained on course, offering body-on-frame construction, scads of interior space, and proficient towing skills for families with lots of stuff and the need to move it.
Based on many of the same mechanical underpinnings as those on the latest Chevrolet Silverado, the Suburban hierarchy consists of three levels: LS, LT, and LTZ, and four-wheel drive is a $3000 option across the board. A fully boxed frame serves as a stout foundation for upgraded body mounts, aluminum front control arms, and a relocated rear axle with a slightly wider rear track. GM’s new direct-injected, gen-five 5.3-liter V-8 provides 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 35 horsepower and 48 lb-ft over the outgoing Suburban’s port-injected 5.3-liter V-8. The V-8 backs up to a six-speed automatic transmission and is the only powertrain combo available. Standard on 4WD Suburbans is Autotrac 4WD with a single-speed transfer case.
On the outside, the newly invigorated fascia gets the swept-back, wraparound-headlamp look similar to that of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, the treatment giving way to slab-sided minimalism in its slightly creased profile. It’s an honest look, one that impresses without trying too hard. In basic black as was our LTZ test truck, it has the same understated look of power displayed by the convoy of Suburbans that accompany the nation’s president when he’s on the move. Unfortunately, the optional power running boards ($1750) retract automatically when the doors are closed, which prevented us from getting our junior G-man moves on.
Room to Roam
The formula for the Suburban’s interior is largely the same as before: comfortably accommodate as many people and as much stuff as possible. Fitted with the second-row buckets and a 60/40 folding third-row bench seat, our test truck was configured in seven-seat format, but if you don’t mind trading buckets for benches, seating arrangements for eight or nine are still available. We love the handy controls Chevy added this year just inside the rear tailgate that fold the second and third rows flat, eliminating the need for crawling in and searching for the manual releases. LTZ trim brings heated-and-cooled front leather seats, heated seats in the second row, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless start, remote start, power-adjustable pedals, and MyLink infotainment with an eight-inch touch screen. Our test example had the $3305 Sun, Entertainment, and Destination package, which adds a sunroof, rear-seat DVD, and navigation, plus an additional nine months of SiriusXM listening to the MyLink radio. The Suburban’s control layout follows that of the new Silverado, still with a few too many tiny buttons, although they have been corralled into groups focused on their respective functions. And the Suburban’s seating position, although comfortable, is slightly outboard of the steering wheel. These traits are annoying at first, less so with familiarity.
Safety plays a part in the 2015 refresh, our LTZ test truck arriving with a backup camera plus forward-collision, lane-departure, blind-zone, and rear-cross-traffic warning systems. A center-mounted airbag protects front-seat passengers in far-side impacts. Adaptable cruise control added $1695 to the bottom line. Improved security measures were also part of the plan for the Suburban update, and our test vehicle included a $395 theft-deterrent system. Sensors for interior movement, inclination, glass breakage, and more are tied in with the vehicle’s alarm system, which can shut down key-control systems to make the vehicle almost impossible to start or move for the unauthorized.
Run Silent, Run Deep
As seasoned Suburban-philes know, most traffic yields in the presence of Chevrolet’s largest SUV, leaving a clear berth that it might not for, say, a minivan. The electric power-assisted steering is a light touch at any speed, and at 3.4 turns lock-to-lock makes maneuvering about as pain-free as possible. At nearly 19 feet stem to stern, however, it does take a whopping 43 feet to turn the Suburban around, and drivers will need to experience only one five-point turn before learning to select parking spaces accordingly. The feeling is the same at highways speeds, with steering direct but tiller-like, devoid of any useful feel or feedback. Even so, the ’Burban requires little correction on the highway, devouring miles effortlessly when the need for interior volume trumps sporting performance. Sure, there’s some body lean—less with our LTZ because of the included magnetic ride control dampers—but when pressed, our test drivers pushed the Suburban to 0.77 g on our 300-foot skidpad, reporting moderate understeer.
Weighing just over the mighty three-ton mark—6015 pounds on our scales, even with the aluminum hood and tailgate Chevy added for 2015—the Suburban posted a surprising 15.5-second sprint in the quarter-mile, hitting 91 mph in the process. Our tester did have the $500 Max Trailering package that, in addition to upgrading the transfer case from a single- to a two-speed unit and adding dash-mounted trailer-brake controls, swaps the stock 3.08:1 rear axle for a shorter 3.42:1 ratio.
What the 5.3 V-8 lacks in raw power it makes up for in smooth competence, responding instantly and eagerly to inputs. (Customers in need of more grunt will want to scoot over to a GMC dealership and check out the Suburban’s cousin, the Yukon Denali XL with the 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8.) GM’s cylinder-deactivation feature is nearly seamless in operation, any millisecond delays in operation offset by the increased efficiency. We saw 15 mpg in mixed driving, at the low end of the EPA’s 15 city and 22 highway mpg estimates. Braking follows the same formula, hauling the Suburban down from 70 mph in 190 feet. Chevrolet tells us it tweaked the brakes for 2015 and when combined with the new 18-inch standard wheels—our tester wore the LTZ-spec 20-inch polished aluminum spinners with Continental CrossContact 275/55 tires—would result in improved braking and handling. (Fun fact: A 2007 Suburban LTZ with 20-inch wheels we tested also stopped in 190 feet.)
The company’s latest numbers indicate 65 percent of Suburban buyers opt for LTZ trim, which means most examples of Chevrolet’s largest SUV are going out the door well equipped. In an age of downsizing, the Suburban remains the one Chevrolet that will accommodate up to nine passengers and their gear with 39.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third-row seats and 121.1 with the second and third rows folded. In a constantly changing world, it’s comforting to know the Suburban’s depot hack mission has stayed the same.