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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