Looking for an SUV with generous cargo and passenger capacity? The 2017 Chevrolet Suburban might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
SPEAKER 1: I'm editor, Travis [? Langdus, ?] and this is an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Chevrolet Suburban. For 2017, the Chevy Suburban doesn't see too many changes, pretty much stays the same except for a few new items like a low speed emergency braking system that pairs with it's Collision Warning System and a Teen Driver Mode for your secondary drivers. But that's pretty much a good thing. The Chevy Suburban is big, utilitarian, can tow a lot. It can seat up to nine passengers. It can tow as much as 6,300 pounds in the right configuration. It is really big though and that kind of gets in the way if you're living in a city, trying to maneuver it in tight spaces. A lot of the crossover based competition is going to be better if you want good fuel economy on the highway and things like that. And also when it comes to the Suburban's nine passenger configuration, you can only get it on the base trim levels. The trim level you see here, as we go into the interior and open it up, has fewer than nine seats. It's got the two cabin seats up front, two in the rear, and then three wide in the back. And that back seat is actually a little bit flat and a little uncomfortable for road trips. If you're going on a long distance trip, you might not want to be sitting back there. There's a lot of cargo capacity though. And as we mentioned, you can tow quite a bit with the Suburban. Also the fit and finish is nice. There are multiple trim levels. A lot of different options you can add to the Suburban. Pretty much any way you want to get it you can. And up front, there's a lot of nice tech that can be had. The Chevy MyLink System is pretty easy to use. Lots of good knobs and buttons on the dashboard. Easy to press when you've got gloves on in the cold. And also nice big chunky steering wheel. Bottom line, the 2017 Chevy Suburban is super utilitarian. It's great for big families. But it's also worth checking out its rivals like the Ford Expedition and the Toyota Sequoia. For more Edmond's Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
The 2017 Chevrolet Suburban is the archetype for all traditional truck-based, sport-utility vehicles. It's enormous, with a massive steel ladder frame under it for maximum strength, and every version comes powered by GM's legendary small-block V8 engine. Not that at 5.3 liters the small-block is actually small in displacement or, at 355 horsepower, power production.
Except for an interruption during World War II, Chevrolet has kept the Suburban in constant production since 1935. And for most of its history, the Suburban has been the sort of vehicle that transported railroad crews to far-off worksites or taken students in university geology departments out looking for abnormal sedimentary rock formations in the desert. It is in fact the oldest model name in automotive history.
For 2017 the Suburban line has a few updates. First, the top-of-the-line model is now called the "Premier." Second, there's now an automatic low-speed emergency braking system integrated into the available forward collision warning system. For paranoid parents, Chevy now offers a standard teen-driver location management system to supplement the traditional threats to dock allowances, ground them for a month or make them walk the dogs. And finally there's a reminder now to check the backseats for any stray kids left back there before they grow into teenagers who will need location management and threatening.
Keep in mind that the Suburban is 203.9 inches long overall. That's one-tenth of an inch short of 17 feet and weighs in at a linebacker more than 5,000 pounds. But all that vastness is used to accommodate up to nine passengers in three rows of seats. Then there's still some room for their toys and luggage, too. And if that's not enough, well, it can also tow up to 8,300 pounds.
Behind that 355-hp small-block V8 all Suburbans use a six-speed automatic transmission. When fitted with standard rear-wheel drive the EPA rates the Suburban at a commendable (for its size) 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway). When equipped with four-wheel drive, those numbers drop to 18 mpg combined (15 city/22 highway).
When it comes to competition, there's the GMC Yukon XL, the luxury liner Cadillac Escalade EXT and the long-wheelbase Ford Expedition EL. The Cadillac and the Denali version of the Yukon XL are available with a 420-hp, 6.2-liter version of the small-block V8 that may be attractive to some buyers willing to pay the freight for it. And the Expedition EL has a 365-hp turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 under its hood.
If you need maximum passenger, cargo and towing potential in an SUV, you can't go wrong with the Chevrolet Suburban. But it always pays to know exactly what you want before it becomes exactly what you're buying. So use the tools here on Edmunds to do your research and get a great deal from a great dealer.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.