• Feb 16, 2010
75th Anniversary Diamond Edition Chevrolet Suburban Click above for high-res image gallery

Listen to enough of the bloviation, and you'll start to believe that full-size, traditional SUVs are the root of all evil. While the hue and cry has gone up far and wide branding these truck-based vehicles as four-wheeled carcinogens, there are enough legitimate reasons to purchase a Chevrolet Suburban or Cadillac Escalade that General Motors is going ahead with the next generation.

SUVs have traditionally been healthy profit-earners for General Motors. Though sales dropped by 25 percent in 2009, sales are picking up once again and exports remain strong, all making a good case for the revamping and keeping the truck chassis. Work had been idled on the GMT900 architecture's replacement while GM went through its bout with Chapter 11 and fuel prices spiked. Moving the Tahoe, Escalade, Yukon, and Suburban to a version of the unibody Lambda platform had also reportedly been considered. In the end, buyers opting for the big SUVs really want and need what they do; from three rows of seats to truck-strong towing and heavy-duty four-wheel-drive systems, so General Motors is apparently keeping the basic formula, confirming to Automotive News that all current versions of GMT900 have a future. The fact that GM SUVs are practically ubiquitous as congressional transporters probably doesn't hurt the case for revamping the full-size SUV line, either. After all, Capitol Hill has a massive stake in GM, and they might as well get some new armored Escalades for politicians publicly stumping for small, fuel-efficient cars, right?



[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Listen to enough of the bloviation, and you'll start to believe that full-size, traditional SUVs are the root of all evil... "

      Jeez, Dan, I don't think it was ever that black-and-white. The vast majority of enthusiasts who frown on the Tahoe/Suburban's ilk know that they fill a legitimate need in the marketplace--the annoying part was that 95% of them (no, that is not a scientific figure) went to soccer moms and dads who couldn't park them, blocked your view, and slowed you down on your favorite roads. You'll notice they never caught any flak before the '90s, when the public started using them as outsized kid taxis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Give me a HYBRID SUBURBAN and I will buy it without thinking twice!!! Until then, I see no reason to replace my 1999 Suburban for a paltry 3MPG increase.

      I've thought of having one custom made (taking drivetrain of hybrid Tahoe and installing into a Suburban) but it would end up costly and not warranty covered.

      Seriously, going from 15MPG to 21MPG in a truck this big is nothing to laugh about, and when you're already plunging down nearly $50K, it's a pretty easy choice to make.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What about the mild hybrid versions?Are they being canned?
      Tom Milam
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would love to buy a factory b-fuel Suburban. We currently have two (2) Honda Natural Gas Vehicles and they are great. Fuel is $139 a gallon. the oil stays so clean, that it is hard to check. Question: Does anyone know if there will be a factory bi-fuel Suburban for 2013?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hopefully, with the new generation, they'll bring back the diesel Suburban, at least for the 2500. I've been waiting 11 years for a Duramax Suburban, and GM has been teasing me the whole way.
      brpshack
      • 2 Years Ago
      Plug-in Hybrid version of the 2500 series Suburbnan I would buy tomorrow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most Suburban owners drive a 9 seat, 5,500 pound, 12 mpg, 4 wheel drive dump truck, which is never taken off pavement, with one person in it, a huge trailer hitch on it that tows nothing, because they are urban cowboys, because they can. Wretched Excess!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good. These vehicles have a definate place. I agree that housewives and families of four who do nothing more than haul groceries with it are wrong to own one. However, there is a huge demographic who fill it up with 6-9 family members and their luggage, and gear all while towing the boat, travel trailer, etc. These people couldn't fit the whole family into a pickup truck, nor do they want one. The GMT900s are practically the only choice for gobs of interior volume and the towing capacity of a full size pickup. Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada may be V8 BOF but they are no Chevy Suburban.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, they have independent suspension.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most of the comments are positive. I do worry about what kind of people make the comments on what other people should drive. It is a free USA, for awhile anyway, and one should drive what the heck they desire. Not drive something based on some person’s perception of what they ‘need’.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thank you. We bought a new camper at the Chicago camper show at the Stevens center and looks like we'll have to get another burb. Hope the greenies see the wife drive it to the beauty shop.
      bg
      • 2 Years Ago
      i have an 04 suburban with 200k, and my wife has an 08 sequoia. i do like the suburban a lot, but with 4 kids under age 7 and a job that requires hauling a ton. unless the new suburban has fold flat 60/40 3rd seats and second row of seats all being able to independently fold flat, slide, and recline. i'll have to reluctantly get a sequoia. i'm not sure on the suspension differences, but the sequoia drives infinitely better. howver, i do just simply prefer the suburban over others. wish they would put metal bumpers back on them and leave the plastic to the crossovers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if they are gonna put the new LML dmax in the 3/4 ton sub?
      • 4 Years Ago
      A smart automaker refines and improves what works and isn't broken, the Suburban, Tahoe and their variants as well as the GM fullsize trucks are certainly not broken. They are excellent vehicles.

      I have one of these with the 6.2L and average 14-16mpg city. It achieves 20-23mpg highway. About 16mpg overall for my driving. For a large vehicle that hauls eight people, all their stuff, and can tow a train while passing cars that is amazingly good fuel economy.

      I'll put it into perspective another way. My friend has an Acadia, it has a much weaker V6 that doesn't perform any better nor can it tow much. He averages 16mpg overall too. If anything that's less efficient that what I have. The V8 in mine doesn't need to be caned to move mass either. The Acadia revs hard to pull itself around. You cannot beat the torque of a V8. Fuel economy in crossovers isn't really any better than traditional SUVs.

      Another friend of mine had an STi for quite awhile, a four cylinder turbo, he averaged 16mpg overall as well. At the time I had an LS2 GTO in my stable with a manual, that car returned 18-19mpg overall city with it's 400hp V8. It also didn't work very hard to move either.

      I will certainly consider buying the next generation provided they don't dumb it down into a tall, overbloated FWD car with a weak engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My 02 Suburban averaged about 15 mixed and 17 highway but I rarely ever drove the speed limit so it's possible to hit 20's if driven conservatively in the mid-west. The only people that doubt these claims are usually folks who have never owned an LSx.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you drive the double-nickel, and 4x2?
        Tire pressure?
        • 4 Years Ago
        My 2003 4Runner gets 16-17 mpg overall. I'm a bit skeptical that a Suburban can get 20+ mpg on the highway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, public perception says V8 + big = evil So it generally is, no matter what logic is brought to the table. So GM has its work cut out for it to keep these around and still make CAFE.

        So even though logic says V6 + car chassis isn't really that much better, it is still usually 1-2mpg better and that really is the bottom line, you and your friends results notwithstanding. I don't understand why people expect a huge difference, but I think measured out over time, it is a significant difference. Comparing two performance cars really doesn't work either. People love to point fingers at the STI for not being economical even though they have 4 cylinders (and Evo(, but they are not economy cars, despite what they are based on. They are rally cars and don't have a super overdrive 6th gear to drop into and put along at 1800 RPMS at highway speeds, its just not feasible. So what if your V8 GTO got better mileage? So a V12 Lambo should get even better mileage right? Since it is an even bigger engine? No, they are the worst of all. GM has done a good job with the LSX but they are the exception, not the rule.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My '95 Suburban 2500 gets 22mpg highway lightly loaded.
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