2010 Suburban 2500 New Car Test Drive
The Suburban nameplate is the longest-running in Chevrolet history. It is the first vehicle to reach 75 years of production and this year Chevrolet will commemorate that milestone with a 2010 75th Anniversary Diamond Edition Model. It has aged very, very well.
Sometimes you just need something big and strong, with genuine four-wheel drive, and you need it all in one vehicle. Something that will tow a sizable trailer and carry lots of people or haul a load of cargo over primitive roads is an indispensible tool for those who need it. That's the Suburban's mission. It has gotten more luxurious over the years, sometimes becoming a substitute for a large sedan.
The Suburban can handle 137 cubic feet of cargo, or up to nine passengers and 45 cubic feet of stuff, and myriad combinations in between. Two weight classes are offered, the normal 1500 and the heavy-duty 2500.
The Suburban's competitors in the full-size field are obvious. But, once you say Suburban, no other explanation is required.
For 2010 the changes are relatively few in number but significant just the same. All the engines offer Flex Fuel capability, meaning they will operate on gasoline or E85, which is 85-percent ethanol. There is a 6.0-liter with variable valve timing for the 2500 models. All radios have a USB port to accept compatible music devices. The four-wheel drive models have a standard single-speed transfer case, while a two-speed case is optional. There are a couple of new options packages, and the 1LT trim level now includes tri-zone climate control, a Bose nine-speaker premium audio system, power-adjustable pedals, remote start, rear park assist, and locking rear differential. The Z71 Off-Road suspension is available on the 1LT trim level.
The 2010 Chevy Suburban comes with 2WD or 4WD, and in half-ton 1500 series or three-quarter-ton 2500 series. The 1500 and 2500 are available in LS and LT trim levels, and the 1500 is also available in a more luxury-oriented LTZ trim level.
Every 1500 comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine of 310 horsepower, 335 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission. The engines in 1500 models with two-wheel drive have an iron block and those in four-wheel drive models have an aluminum block; both versions have aluminum heads. The 2500 has a 6.0-liter V8 with aluminum block and heads, rated at 352 horsepower and 382 pound-feet of torque, and also with a six-speed automatic. All engines are E85-compatible, which means they will run on 85-percent ethanol fuel, and all have Active Fuel Management (AFM) which switches off half the cylinders when the additional power or idle smoothness isn't needed. EPA ratings for 1500 two-wheel-drive Suburbans are 15 mpg City/21 mpg Highway on gasoline and 11/16 mpg on E85.
The 2500 heavier-duty Suburban has different steering gear, brake parts, suspension, alternator, wheels, tires, axles and fuel tank than the 1500 series. The primary reason for selecting the 2500 over the 1500 is for its greater towing capacity.
Standard equipment on the 1500 LS 2WD ($40,635) and 1500 LS 4WD ($43,480) includes cloth interior, power locks and windows, three-zone air conditioning, leather wheel with cruise and audio controls, tinted rear windows; roof rails (crossbars are extra), folding power heated mirrors, recovery hooks, a seven-wire trailer harness, 17-inch aluminum wheels, three power outlets, AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 sound system with six speakers, center fold-down armrest with storage, overhead console, cruise control, 40/20/40 split front bench seat with six-way power adjustment for the driver, 60/40 second-row seat, 50/50 third-row split-bench seat, and OnStar 8.0 with one-year Safe & Sound service plan. Four-wheel-drive versions add the Autotrac system that has on-pavement all-wheel-drive ability.
LS-grade options include a Convenience package with adjustable pedals, remote start, rear park assist, and rear camera display in rear-view mirror ($1,060), trailer package ($230), locking differential ($295), integrated trailer brake controller ($200), 3.42:1 axle ratio, and engine block heater ($75).
The LT 2WD ($44,145) and 4WD ($46,990) add leather seating, Bose premium sound, automatic locking rear differential, front bucket power seats and a floor console between them, cargo shade, remote start, adjustable pedals, fog lamps, rear audio controls, Bluetooth, and paint-matched mirrors, door handles and side moldings. OnStar is upgraded to Directions & Connections service, which includes Turn-by-Turn Navigation.
The very well-equipped LTZ 2WD ($52,880) and 4WD ($55,625) models add navigation, XM NavTraffic, second-row bucket seats, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, perforated leather seating surfaces, three-zone automatic climate control, Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound, rear park assist, Autoride suspension with rear air assist/self-leveling, and many other features and conveniences.
A Z71 Off-Road Package ($1,830) is offered only on the LT trim level, in 2WD or 4WD. It adds a different chrome grille and fascia, rectangular fog lamps, body-colored fender flares, mirrors and door handles, tubular assist steps, 18-inch wheels with on/off road tires, off-road suspension package, automatic locking differential, skid plate, higher-capacity air cleaner, and badges.
Safety equipment on all models includes dual frontal airbags, full-length head-curtain airbags, front seat-belt pretensioners, a tire-pressure monitor, anti-lock disc brakes with electronic proportioning, and StabiliTrak, GM's electronic stability program with anti-rollover mitigation and traction control. OnStar telematics will send help if the airbags deploy and you don't respond. Safety-related options include rear park assist, rear-view camera, and side Blind Zone Alert. Side airbags are not available.