2020 Suburban New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban is still the largest full-size SUV on the market. Based upon Chevy's full-size Silverado pickup truck, the gargantuan Suburban can carry as many as nine passengers.
With a heritage dating back as far as 1935, the Suburban rolls into the 2020 model year as a carryover model. It's expected to be redesigned as a 2021 model for its 12th generation.
Two strong V-8 engines are available, each capable of providing plenty of energy for most tasks. Mating with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the 5.3-liter V-8 develops 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. GM's familiar 6.2-liter V-8 can be equipped on the range-topping Premier model. It's rated at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and mates with a 10-speed automatic.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available on each trim level. The optional engine comes in an RST Performance or Premier Plus Special Edition option package, priced near $5,500.
Because each of the Suburban's V-8 engines can shut down four of its cylinders while cruising on the highway, they're reasonably fuel-efficient considering their massive dimensions. GM's 10-speed automatic transmission helps, too.
RWD models with the 5.3-liter V-8 are the lightest and most efficient, EPA-rated at 15 mpg city, 22 highway, and 18 combined. 4WD lowers fuel economy to 14/21/16 mpg. With its 10-speed transmission, the 6.2-liter V-8 is rated at 14/23/17 mpg with RWD or 14/20/16 mpg with 4WD.
Crash testing has yielded a troubling score. The NHTSA gave the Suburban a four-star overall safety rating, but it earned only three stars for rollover prevention. The agency noted that the Suburban's high center of gravity contributes to greater rollover risk, but the figure is still worrisome. The IIHS hasn't tested the Suburban.
The Suburban doesn't come with any standard active safety features, but moving up to the midrange LT trim brings automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, and lane-departure warnings. The Premier trims also comes equipped with blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change alert. These features are available on lower through extra-cost packages.
The Chevy Suburban comes in three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. Prices include $1,295 destination charge.
The base LS starts at $52,995 and comes with cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, three-zone climate control, Bluetooth, and an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
Upgrading to the $57,795 LT trim adds active safety features along with leather seat upholstery, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, and a power liftgate.
Topping the trio, the Premier is priced from $66,795. It brings heated and cooled front seats, navigation, wireless-charging, blind-spot monitors, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, keyless ignition, and a hands-free power liftgate.