2015 Chevrolet Suburban SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Chevrolet Suburban SUV Review

2015 Chevrolet Suburban SUV
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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ SUV

  • C Edmunds Rating
  • Traditional full-size SUVs are not without a few compromises, but for those who genuinely need their massive passenger, cargo and towing capacities, the revamped 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is a strong candidate.

  • Pros

    Seats up to nine people; big cargo capacity; quiet highway ride; strong V8 power; high-quality interior.

  • Cons

    Extra-large size requires careful maneuvering in tight quarters; high cargo floor and load height; lazy gas pedal responsiveness; nine-passenger configuration only available on base model.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is fully redesigned. Highlights include a quieter, higher-quality interior, a fold-flat third-row seat and improved fuel economy.

Review

In the age of crossovers with three rows of seating, you might think the end times are near for traditional full-size SUVs like the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban. But for car shoppers who need room for big families and the ability to tow big toys, the Suburban is still the premier alpha SUV. Thanks to a full redesign for 2015, Chevy's largest SUV is now better equipped to compete in the modern era, as it picks up a more fuel-efficient V8 engine, a fold-flat third-row seat and an array of new safety and technology features.

As a part of its redesign, the Suburban receives a new 5.3-liter V8 featuring direct injection and cylinder deactivation for better power and efficiency. The new V8 produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than enough for most hauling and towing tasks. Another upgrade is a fully modern interior that's comfortable, stocked with the latest technology and, at the higher trim levels, quite luxurious. Notable upgrades include a new touchscreen interface with added smartphone integration and the latest electronic safety features (which remain vigilant even if the driver is not). Among them are a lane departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring and a frontal collision warning and mitigation system.

The 2015 Suburban also has a redesigned third-row seat. Whereas the bulky and heavy third-row seats had to be physically removed from past Suburbans to achieve maximum cargo space, the new Suburban gets third-row seats that fold into the floor. This convenience comes at a cost -- the load height has risen and 16 cubic feet of cargo capacity have been lost -- but such added versatility is nevertheless a welcome improvement. Plus, the Suburban continues to possess a distinct advantage over its little brother, the Chevy Tahoe: Its third-row seat is more adult-friendly and its cargo area is substantially larger.

Based on its size and capacity, the Suburban is one of the most capable vehicles on sale today, with just a few direct competitors. Options in the full-size traditional SUV realm include the Toyota Sequoia, which offers a very similar blend of functionality, performance and refinement, and the 2015 Ford Expedition, which receives a mild makeover this year. As always, the Suburban's fraternal twin, the 2015 GMC Yukon XL has a few more upscale features and an optional larger V8 engine. Smaller, more space-efficient crossover SUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander can't tow as much and limit passenger seating to eight, but they have better on-road manners. If you need a large, traditional SUV, though, the all-new Chevy Suburban is a great do-anything utility vehicle that won't sell you short on everyday comfort.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is a full-size SUV that's offered in three trim levels; base LS, midlevel LT and luxury LTZ. Seating for eight is standard, but there are two optional seating arrangements. Second-row captain's chairs drop the count to seven, and an available 40/20/40 front bench seat (LS only) increases it to nine.

The LS comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, roof rails, remote ignition, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, heated power-adjustable manual-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, power front seats (eight-way driver with power lumbar, four-way passenger), a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, OnStar emergency communications, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, two USB ports and an SD card slot. The optional Driver Alert package includes power-adjustable pedals, forward collision alert, lane-departure warning and a vibrating safety alert seat.

The Suburban LT adds the content of the Driver Alert package as well as a power liftgate, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, an eight-way power passenger seat with power lumbar, heated front seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, additional interior power outlets and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with three additional USB ports and the 8-inch Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen interface (which includes voice control, smartphone app integration, text-to-voice capability for MAP-enabled smartphones and Siri Eyes Free capability for newer iPhones).

Second-row captain's chairs (power- or manual-release) are optional for the LT. The Luxury package gets you foglights, front parking sensors, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a power tilt-and-telescoping heated steering wheel, heated and power-folding second-row captain's chairs (which drop seating capacity to seven), power-folding third-row seats and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts.

The top-of-the-line LTZ gets the Luxury package equipment plus 20-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive magnetic suspension, xenon headlights, heated and ventilated front seats with additional lumbar adjustment, and a premium 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The Sun, Entertainment & Destinations package is available for the LT and the LTZ and adds a sunroof, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player. Also optional on the LT and LTZ is a Theft-Deterrent package that includes vehicle motion sensors, glass break sensors and a self-powered horn for the alarm.

All Suburbans are pre-wired for towing and feature a 2-inch receiver, but a Max Trailering package is available across all trim levels and includes specific gearing and a trailer-brake controller. On the LS and LT, the Max Trailering package adds air suspension with increased load capacity and leveling. Other notable options include 22-inch wheels, roof rack crossbars and power-extending running boards.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2015 Chevy Suburbans are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine that makes 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission transmits power through the rear wheels on 2WD models or all four wheels on 4WD models.

Four-wheel-drive Chevrolet Suburbans come standard with a simple, single-speed 4WD system that will likely serve you just fine on slick winter roads. If you need more capability, a more traditional 4WD system with a two-speed transfer case and low-range gearing is available via the Max Trailering package. A locking rear differential is standard on all Suburbans.

Properly equipped, the maximum tow rating for the 2WD Suburban is 8,300 pounds, and 8,000 pounds for the 4WD models. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg combined regardless of driveline (16 city/23 highway for 2WD models and 16/22 for 4WD).

During Edmunds performance testing, a 2015 Suburban with rear-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. That's one of the quickest times in the segment, and it's especially impressive when you consider the Suburban's sheer size and weight.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Chevy Suburban includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. An airbag located between the front bucket seats (when so equipped) is standard and aids in side-impact crashes. Also standard are rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

Optional safety equipment includes front parking sensors, forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, a vibrating safety-alert seat, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.

In government crash tests, the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban received four out of five possible stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection.

In an Edmunds performance test, a rear-wheel-drive Suburban came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet, which is a long distance even for a full-size SUV.

Interior Design and Special Features

The overall quality and design of the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban's interior is noticeably improved compared to the previous-generation SUV. Materials are of high quality, and the gauge cluster's crisp white-on-black graphics are a snap to read day or night. The central information display is intuitive to navigate and its graphics are simple and easily interpreted. Both the standard 4.2- and optional 8.0-inch central color infotainment displays feature sophisticated (and in some cases reconfigurable) graphics options. Unfortunately, MyLink can sometimes be slow to respond to your touch inputs.

Most shoppers will find the front seats comfortable and reasonably supportive. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel in the LS model will make it harder for some people to get an ideal driving position, however. Second row space is excellent, while the third row offers much better legroom than Chevy's smaller Tahoe. Keep in mind, though, that if you're looking to the Suburban for its nine-passenger capacity, remember that it's only available on the base trim level.

Given the very cumbersome nature of the previous-generation Suburban's third-row seat removal procedure (not to mention their vulnerability to smash-and-grab thieves), we're happy to see Chevy has finally integrated the third row firmly into the truck's floor. The fact that both the rear rows are power operated is an added benefit. The downside to these stow-away seats is a higher cargo floor loading height, which makes it more difficult for shorter owners to load strollers or bigger shopping hauls.

Even with the reduction in maximum cargo space for 2015, the amount of room in the back of a Suburban remains truly impressive. With all seats occupied, you'll have 38.9 cubic feet for luggage, which is substantial for any three-row vehicle. Fold the third-row seats down and there are 76.7 cubic feet; fold both rear rows and it increases to 121.1 cubes. These figures are several cubic feet more than Chevy's Traverse crossover and on par with big SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia. The Ford Expedition EL offers more.

Driving Impressions

As always, one major benefit of choosing Chevy's traditional full-size SUV is standard V8 power. And the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban's 5.3-liter V8 engine is certainly beefy enough to pull around a full complement of passengers and gear. It's also plenty smooth and refined. On the whole, the cabin is as hushed as a luxury car's, especially on the highway.

We're less fond of the drivetrain's lazy responses to gas pedal inputs, a result of GM's efforts to calibrate it for maximum fuel economy. There's a noticeable delay when pressing on the gas pedal, whether you're trying to execute a pass at highway speeds or accelerate from a stop.

Especially with the LTZ trim's adaptive suspension, the Suburban feels relatively secure when going through turns and it soaks up bumps with ease. We cannot recommend any of the fashionable 22-inch wheels, however, as their mass combined with their tires' lack of cushioning sidewalls adversely affects ride comfort. Also keep in mind that this is still a large and heavy truck-based vehicle, and large crossover SUVs will generally be easier to maneuver and park as well as being more composed on rough pavement.

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ SUV

Average Consumer Rating (See all 6 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice ride, very capable vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my experience with this vehicle as my agency assigned vehicle (emergency services). This 2015 suburban replaced my 2009 suburban. I started driving this vehicle in October and I just turned 10,000k miles this week (26 Jan). PROs: Very nice ride, car-like feel. Quiet. Great support in the seats. Smooth but not soft. Solid and stable at high speed (I've hit 102 with it, running lights and siren). Corners well for a vehicle of this size. Interior has a nice quality feel to it. I love the USB ports! Plenty of cargo room for my purpose (after we pitched the 3rd row seat that it wasn't supposed to come with, according to purchasing spec). The new headlamps are awesome, project well! CONs: For my purpose, the acceleration sucks! There is a huge delay in response from the gas peddle to wheels turning. At times, it is as if the truck is trying to figure out which gear to hit. By comparison, my personal vehicle is a 2500 Ram with the 6.4L Hemi, and also has a 6-speed transmission. There is no hesitation on my Ram when I punch the peddle. Chevy needs to work on this point. Another pet peeve is the windshield wiper controls. The outboard control operates the rear wiper blade / washer. The center control on the stick operates the front wipers / washers. That is completely backwards and anti-intuitive. The front wipers being what we use the most - why would that control not be the most immediately accessible in the outboard position on the turn stick? My 2009 suburban had the same stupid stick. I was hoping Chevy had changed that by now. My only other complaint is the low ground clearance. For a 4-wheel drive, it sits low. So low in fact, those running boards it came with are a trip hazard. I'm removing and tossing them as well. I'm now looking into a lift package. 75% of the value of 4WD is ground clearance. During Snowmeggeden 2016, I was plowing with my front air dam (also useless) and bumper. I've got to get some lift on this thing. OVERALL: Still a very nice vehicle and I enjoy driving it, despite the minor annoyances. If you are not doing crazy stuff the 4-wheel drive thing shouldn't be an issue for you. When my older pickup dies, I will likely replace it with a suburban.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Severe buffeting/booming, no gm support

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

Drive it a lot before you buy. These trucks have an issue where the roof comes detached from the roof bows. This causes cabin booming like being inside a big drum. The roof will start to flex causing pressure changes that hurt your ears. It sounds like driving with a window down when they are all up. Our dealer reattached the roof bows but they came detached in a few months and the issues returned. GM will not support anymore work and will not return calls regarding the buy back we had been pursuing. It appears only legal action would work at this stage. Beyond this issue the truck is great. Fuel economy is incredible for a vehicle of this size. The interior is best in class. Unfortunately, this booming/buffeting issue is to hard to live with.



19 of 19 people found this review helpful

Absolutely love my 2015 suburban ltz (but....)

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

I really love this car and very happy with the purchase. This is much bigger than my 2006 Honda Pilot that I was happy to get ride of (that thing was a lemon; coming from a guy who's owned 2 Hondas in the last 22 years). This drives well, not as lively as the 6.2L Denali, but my wallet and gas mileage appreciates that. Love all the radar and safety features, hands free, etc. Radar comes in hand when parking this lovely beast. Mileage is incredible. Over 2500 miles so far and I'm averaging in the 18+ mpg range. Mixed driving City/Hwy. On the Hwy, I got 26 mpg to San Antonio from Austin. I was ecstatic! Update May 2016: This car saved my life. I was hit head on in accident (Volvo S40 slid into me, doing 50+, while I was sitting still) and the car was amazing! Airbags and the car crumbled in all the right spots. I've got whiplash, concussion and some neck and back issues, but I'm alive and the car kept me safe. I won't drive anything else. I insisted on a Suburban Rental that afternoon. This rental Suburban got 27.1 mpg on a recent trip. Crazy good mileage. I consistently get 22+ mpg in my LTZ on road trips and trips to clients. I ordered a new Suburban LTZ to replace the other one that was Totaled in the accident. Chevy, you've got a customer for life!



8 of 18 people found this review helpful

Big problem

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

The big new feature that so many we're looking forward to, the overdue power third row fold down seats do not work. They hit the second row and will not go down!! See suggested improvements



19 of 31 people found this review helpful

2,500 mile in my 2015 suburban - a memo to the brand team

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

Just rolled over 2,500 in my 2015 Suburban LTZ 4x4 (MSRP just over $ 71k). I have driven a Suburban since 1995 and I think this my 16th or 17th. LIKES 1) The comfort of the ride and (lack of) wind noise at speed is unbelievably quiet and in spite of the mass of the vehicle it is taunt. Have owned higher dollar Mercedes and BMW sedans and this Burb is better than both of them. 2) Gas mileage is def up from my last one (2013 LTX 4x4). Trip computer actually showed one segment at 20.4 MPG (highway at 75 cruise). Around town is right at 14 MPG...which is an improvement.




Sweet ride

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

This is my third sub. You cannot beat it for hauling the family around the country. Pros, everything except for the transmission. My sub hunts for the correct gear. I use the manual transmission when starting up hills. GM has to create a transmission that shifts in milliseconds not seconds. It drives me crazy.



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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban Suv in VA is:

$61.50 per month*
*Disclaimer

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