Sun/Entertainment/Destination Package ($1,940 -- includes power sunroof, rear seat DVD entertainment system, nine additional months of XM radio); Heavy-Duty Trailering Package ($230); Side Blind-Zone Alert ($500); Trailer Brake Controller ($200); Black Granite Paint ($195)
$59,645 (plus $950 destination charge)
Naturally aspirated, port-injected V8, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
5,328cc (325 cu-in)
Pushrod, two valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
320 @ 5,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
335 @ 4,000
Six-speed automatic and column shifter with shifter-mounted button
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 4.03; II = 2.36; III = 1.53; IV = 1.15; V = 0.85; VI = 0.67; reverse = 3.06; FD = 3.08
Not a chance of wheelspin at launch, so pedal overlap just heats up the torque converter. Discovered that automatic shifts occur 500 rpm below engine redline, so best run came with manual shifting (using button at the end of the shift stalk). Upshifts are quick yet smooth, too. Engine sounds overworked, yet healthy and sophisticated.
Seriously, what are you expecting from a 3-ton truck? Happy to report brakes are fade-resistant, while the pedal remains firm and confident.
Skid pad: One finger on the spoke of the steering wheel is all that's required to hold the Suburban on the arc of the skid pad circle. Frankly we wouldn't want it any other way. Stability control gently reduces throttle at precisely the moment understeer sets in, hence identical runs with stability control engaged or disengaged. Slalom: Once the stability control is disengaged, the slow-motion oversteer reminds you why stability control is there in the first place, plus it's barely faster than with stability control engaged. Less is more here, as simply missing the slalom cones is a genuine accomplishment, and friction-free steering that offers surprisingly good precision helps a bunch.