2021 Chevy Suburban review: The incredible bulk

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

Size matters, and if you want something big, the Suburban definitely is.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

If bigger is really better, then the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban it is one of the best SUVs ever made. From width to wheelbase, from length to height, this new model is bigger than its already husky predecessor. Thanks to these oversized dimensions, this machine has a huge appetite for passengers and freight, making it ideal for large families or people who regularly transport bulky goods. Fortunately, however, size isn’t everything. There is a lot to like about the new Suburban that has nothing to do with its enormous size.

Like it

  • Comfortable in all three rows
  • Excellent infotainment technology
  • Refined engine
  • High quality cabin

I do not like

  • Intimidating dimensions
  • Heavy to drive
  • It gets expensive

The Suburban’s new independent rear suspension offers numerous benefits, not least of which is increased comfort in the aft rows of seats. In my Premier test model, which is one step lower than the top of the range High Country trim, the front chairs are supportive and well shaped. The second row is very spacious and the seats adjust easily, even folding and folding in one smooth motion to give you a wide path to access the third row, which can now comfortably accommodate adult passengers. Legroom and headroom are ample in the back and the bottom cushion is pleasantly raised off the floor. Thanks to its extra space for passengers, the new Suburban would make a great travel vehicle.

Stepping aboard, you feel almost tiny in this SUV because its dashboard is tall and the interior wide enough that reaching out to touch the opposite door panel is a struggle. Ominous dimensions aside, this Chevy’s interior is pleasant. None of its materials or controls are luxury car luxury, but nothing is blatantly cheap either. Everything is well assembled and well laid out. The climate controls, which reside in the lower part of the center console, are extremely simple to use and the new electronic toggle shift is easy to reach and immediately intuitive, although this hasn’t stopped me from pawing the air in search of a traditional column gearbox. If you have a lot of trash to hide, the Suburban’s center console bin is huge and there’s a host of other pockets and corners, including a small storage closet with a sliding lid right on the dash.

From the Suburban’s central stack comes a 10.2-inch display, standard on every model. Viewing angles could be slightly better as there is a slight color shift when you’re not looking exactly at the screen, but that’s a minor gripe. Suburban’s infotainment system is superb, snappy and intuitive. Plus, thanks to the generous aspect ratio of the display, all icons and menu buttons are large and easy to use with your fingers. Up the ante, wireless Apple CarPlay is Android Auto both are standard, although an integrated navigation system costs more.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

The interior of the new Suburban is comfortable and of high quality.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, reverse parking assistance, and a high-definition reversing camera are all standard rates for 2021. But set my Premier trim Suburban aside from the smaller models, there is an abundance of useful equipment. It features blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic warning, front parking sensors and lane keeping assistance, which is not as effective as I would like. Additionally, this vehicle comes with the $ 4,485 premium package, which includes gadgets such as a panoramic sunroof, a multi-colored head-up display, and even a very useful 360-degree camera system, which offers a range of different views to help park. and easier low-speed maneuvering. This group of options also includes adaptive cruise control. Chevy’s implementation of this technology isn’t the smoothest I’ve ever experienced, but it works well enough in most situations.

Predictably, the Suburban looks huge, almost as if it occupies two and a half lanes. The steering is appropriate for a vehicle of this size, moderately sharp and responsive as much as one could hope for. Like GM’s other redesigned body-on-frame SUVs, three suspension configurations are offered in this one Chevy. Coil springs with regular dampers are standard, you can also get coil springs with magnetic dampers, and then there’s a four-angle air suspension with magnetic dampers, which is only offered on the Z71 and High Country models. My tester comes with the core offering, which provides a nice ride, superior to the Yukon Denali I reviewed recently. I suspect it’s because Chevy’s 20-inch aluminum wheels are significantly lighter than GMC’s gigantic 22. It certainly wouldn’t be due to the empty weight; there is only a 3-pound difference between these two vehicles. Overall, this Chevy feels smooth and planted, its independently suspended rear never swings side to side or gains while overcoming major road imperfections.

Under its chest-high hood, the Suburban’s standard 5.3-liter V8 is a bit overrated. When empty, its 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque provide decent acceleration, though you can feel an asthmatic touch climbing hills, battling gravity and this Suburban’s 5,824 pounds. Load it up and you’ll almost certainly regret the 420PS 6.2-liter V8 which, unfortunately, is only offered in the High Country model. Oh well, at least the base engine has a smooth throaty sound, plus the standard 10-speed automatic transmission, which was developed in Ford, it’s a gem. Responsive and refined, the tuning of this shifter is far better than that of the Blue Oval, which often feels clunky.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

Yes, there’s a V8 engine buried underneath all that black plastic.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Another reason for opting for that larger engine is efficiency. With all-wheel drive, a Suburban with the 5.3-liter V8 is rated at 15 miles per city gallon and 19mpg on the highway. In my hands, this vehicle is returning around 17 mpg in mixed driving, precisely its combined fuel consumption score. The switch to the 6.2-liter engine comes with very few penalties. A comparable Suburban equipped with that powertrain is rated at 14 mpg city, 19 freeway and 16 mpg combined. Too bad the larger V8 is not offered across the range. Before the end of the year, a 3.0-liter diesel the engine will also be available.

As for capacity, my tester is rated to tow up to 8,100lbs. The maximum payload comes in at 1,657 lbs. The cargo volume behind the third row measures 41.2 cubic feet, an impressive amount. Fold the bench aft further down and that number grows to 93.8 cubes. Drop my tester’s second row buckets and it offers 144.7 cubic feet of carrying volume, 23.2 more than what you get in a comparable Ford Expedition Max.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

You could do a lot worse than the 2021 Chevy Suburban.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Matching its bulky body, the Suburban seen here checks out for an astonishing $ 74,080, including $ 1,295 per destination. That’s a lot of greenbacks for what should be a mass market vehicle. As always, if you can settle for less – fewer features, a more practical cabin and smaller capacity – an entry-level rear-wheel drive LS model can be bought for 53,000, a much more affordable price.

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is a big deal, and not just because of its increased size. A much nicer interior, improved dynamics and plenty of high-tech goodies available make this three-row SUV an excellent choice whether you need a larger vehicle or just like to intimidate other drivers.

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