Suburban Chevy
Chevrolet

Chevrolet Makes Already Large Suburban Even Larger for 2021

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Suburban Chevy
Chevrolet

Suburban Sprawl

Tony Soprano's big, brawny SUV just got bigger and brawnier. The Chevrolet Suburban — the hefty vehicle driven during much of the iconic HBO series by late actor James Gandolfini playing fictional mobster Tony Soprano – has gotten even beefier as part of a 2021 redesign. Chevrolet upgraded the Suburban (base price: $52,995 including a $1,295 destination fee) with a longer body, engine options, an available air suspension system and more. Built on the same platform as the Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup, the Suburban is one of the largest 2021 SUVs available. I recently tested a top-of-the-line Suburban High Country, which carries a $72,300 starting MSRP.


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Exterior
Chevrolet

Exterior

My big Suburban came in a macho black exterior with black tinting on the rear windshield and rear side windows. One of the first things to strike you about the Suburban is how long it is: Chevy added 4.1 inches to the wheelbase and 1.3 inches to the vehicle's length as part of 2021's redesign. That takes the vehicle's length out to 18.8 feet. The Suburban's brawny hood stands some 4 feet off the ground, positioned atop LED headlights and a large four-slot grille with a big Chevy logo.


Large front doors are outfitted with big side mirrors that fold and unfold automatically as you approach or depart the vehicle with key fob in hand. My test model also came with 22-inch wheels and large Bridgestone tires. Additionally, my Suburban featured a great optional panoramic sunroof, and optional electric running boards extend outward when you open any of the car's doors. Those help you climb into the cabin, which sits 16 inches off of the ground. (Both features are part of a $5,605 High Country Deluxe package, which also adds adaptive cruise control, adaptive air suspension, and more.) The Suburban also features a large liftgate that opens or closes with the touch of a button on the key fob. And my test vehicle's rear area came with a roof spoiler, rear wiper, and two sets of dual chrome exhaust pipes.


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Chevy Suburban Interior Front
Chevrolet

Interior Front

My Suburban's cabin came with heated and cooled front seats finished with nice perforated, stitched leather. These seats offered good headroom, legroom and hip room, thanks to 12-position electric seat adjusters. The car also featured black stitched leather on the vehicle's door interiors, as well as on its heated steering wheel and its dashboard. Additionally, the dashboard came with a large analog speedometer and tachometer, as well as small digital gauges measuring oil pressure, battery power, engine temperature, and fuel level. Other equipment on my test Suburban included a great 10.2-inch touchscreen to control the SUV's navigation, three-zone climate system and 10-speaker Bose premium AM/FM/SiriusXM/Android Auto/Apple CarPlay stereo. The touchscreen had a great 360-degree backup camera. Other nice features included a handy wireless phone charger and a voice-activated system to control the stereo and other systems.


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Second Row of Chevy Suburban
Chevrolet

Second Row

My test Suburban's second row came with two heated captain's chairs that boasted great legroom, headroom, and hip room, although a little twinge in my lower back told me I wouldn't want to sit there for really long trips. Both rear seats featured optional $1,995 DVD screens mounted on the rear of the front seats, and their own climate zone for added comfort.


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Third Row Chevy Suburban 2021
Chevrolet

Third Row

The Suburban's third row hosted 60/40 split fold-down seating that was pretty easy to access by climbing between the second row's captain's chairs. The third-row seats offered excellent headroom, good hip room, and decent legroom for two adults. But while they can theoretically accommodate three adults, a trio of grown-ups would probably find the space pretty tight for anything more than short city trips.


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Chevy Suburban Cargo Area
Chevrolet

Cargo Area

The Suburban comes with excellent cargo capacity, even when all of the vehicle's seats were in use rather than folded down. The SUV's main cargo bay offers 41.5 cubic feet of space, which can easily accommodate three or four large suitcases and perhaps three to five knapsacks. If you need more room, the High Country's second and third-row seats fold flat with the touch of a button on a control panel (which also includes a handy household-style electrical outlet). Drop down both the second- and third-row seats and you'll create a truly mammoth 144.7 cubic feet of storage space that can easily handle a dozen or more large suitcases, or even a big item such a three-quarter-sized refrigerator. If that still isn't enough cargo capacity for you, the Suburban can tow as much as 14,500 pounds when properly equipped.


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Chevy Suburban
Chevrolet

Road Test

My test Suburban's 420-horsepower V-8 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, air suspension, and on-demand four-wheel drive teamed up to produce a muscular but relatively smooth ride. Press the Suburban's keyless startup and the engine comes to life with a quiet rumble, like a pickup truck that'd been sort of muted. The Suburban also comes with a unique set of push buttons on the dashboard for "Park," "Reverse," "Drive," etc., rather than a traditional shifter.


The SUV's large size gives drivers a great "high-up" roadview, and large windows and excellent backup camera make for good sightlines in all directions. Backing up and parking are also relatively easy for such a large vehicle, and the Suburban brakes and corners well. Additionally, you can toggle with a quick touch of a button between two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and a special four-wheel drive setting with low ground clearance. That makes a Suburban capable of handling most any road or weather condition.


My test Suburban accelerated reasonably well for such a large vehicle, revving up to a fairly modest 5,600 rpm to go from zero mph to 60 mph. As for fuel efficiency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the Suburban High Country at 14 mpg/city, 19 mpg/highway and 16 mpg/combined, thanks partly to an unobtrusive start/stop system that cuts the engine when you're idling at a stoplight. I logged exactly 16 mpg in combined city/highway driving during a weeklong test drive.


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Chevy Suburban Wheel
Chevrolet

Pricing

Of course, it's not surprising that such a large SUV comes with a sticker price that's big to match. From a base starting at $52,995 including destination fee, the Suburban can range up to my top-of-the line High Country edition with a $74,595 base MSRP including destination charges. Add in options and subtract a $500 discount currently available on the High Country Deluxe package and my test model clocked in at $81,045. (Though you may want to keep in mind it's a vehicle you may be driving well past the 200,000-mile mark.)


Still, that big price falls roughly in line with that of the Suburban's competition. A base Suburban lists for just a tad more than the $51,690 Ford Expedition, $51,995 GMC Yukon, $49,995 Nissan Armada, or $50,295 Chevrolet Tahoe. The Suburban also costs significantly less than the rival $87,030 Toyota Land Cruiser. And since the Suburban is a large, costly U.S.-branded vehicle, shoppers can expect lots of room for dealmaking. While the only incentive Chevrolet was offering as of this writing was a special $599-a-month lease for select customers, expect the automaker to add others, including cash rebates, as 2021 wears on.


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