Since it’s introduction in 1957 the Suburban has evolved from it’s barebones roots into a true luxury ride coddling its occupants. In the process though, has the Suburban become less of a truck? We spent the week with the all-new generation for 2015 in the 4WD LTZ trim and here’s what we found.
The Chevrolet Suburban is an icon. The suburban came into being when trucks were trucks and “SUV’s” didn’t even exist. Since it’s introduction in 1957 the Suburban has evolved from it’s barebones roots into a true luxury ride coddling its occupants. In the process though, has the Suburban become less of a truck? We spent the week with the all-new generation for 2015 in the 4WD LTZ trim and here’s what we found.
While many things have changed over the years, many have not. Chevrolet’s Suburban is still a wagon body style built upon a truck frame with a small block V8. That also means you can configure the Suburban to tow up to 8300 lbs. Meanwhile in it’s current iteration called EcoTec3 (L83) the small block V8 produces 355-hp and 383 lb.ft. of torque. It now features cylinder deactivation and is mated to a 6-speed automatic that in 4WD trim is good for 15 city/22 highway MPG.
While the Suburban has maintained its familiar the shape, the exterior styling is all new. The new design is somewhat squared off but with some deep character lines it comes off as sleek while still remaining bold looking. Chevrolet also incorporated some neat touches like the scalloped from turn-signals to help make it look unique. One thing they didn’t touch though, was the enormous size; at 224″ long, 74″ tall, and 80″ wide, this is a massive vehicle.
Where massive size really pays off is the Suburban’s interior. There’s ample room everywhere including the 3rd row. In fact the Suburban, and it’s GM stable mate, remain the only vehicles available with seating for 9 people. Chevrolet has done a admirable job on the interior styling completely making you forget it’s really a truck. The design is contemporary, the materials are soft and top quality including french stitching, and you can even configure the interior with up to 13 USB outlets.
Surprisingly from behind the wheel the Surburban drives like a much smaller vehicle. Sure you’ll always be aware of it’s imposing size, especially in parking lots, but it’s as smooth and quiet as a luxury vehicle. The steering has decent feel for such a large truck and Chevrolet’s small-block V8 has more than enough grunt to get you going. Overall in our week with the Suburban, we averaged 18 MPG and saw as high as 21 MPG on the freeway at extra-legal speeds – commendable for such a large vehicle.
Another area where Chevrolet has really improved the Suburban is technology. Long gone are the truck days of old with antiquated decade old amenities. The Suburban packs every available creature comfort including advanced safety, MyLink with Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free, and OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity. Our 4WD LTZ test vehicle starts at $67,980 with almost everything standard, but a 2WD LS starts at only $50,195. So if hauling people, their stuff, and a trailer all at once is what you need, there is no better choice.