It’s official. The new 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is now the largest SUV. All thanks to a full redesign. Big space means genuine comfort for up to 8 people and it also means more cargo space than any competitor. It is also the culmination of almost 90 years of development, the oldest nameplate in the auto world, and a high selling Chevy. Specifically, it has more room for second- and third-row passengers. Let’s see what the largest SUV has to offer.
This largest Suburban starts at $52,995. You can actually see how Chevy reinvented its longest-running nameplate with the all-new 2021 Suburban. It’s not only bigger but it is also better than ever. It has a lot of similarities with the redesigned Chevy Tahoe. But its added length and newly adopted independent rear suspension offer more cargo and third-row space. Those features make the Suburban the largest SUV of Chevy, and a serious rival to huge alternatives like the Ford Expedition Max. On top of its familiar V-8 engines, it now has a diesel option with loads of torque. And if those aren’t enough, it also comes with a myriad of obligatory equipment including countless infotainment features and contemporary driver assists.
The 2021 Suburban starts an all-new generation that offers significant improvements. The most significant update is the SUV’s first-ever independent rear suspension which gives way to a better interior packaging freeing up room in the cargo space and third row. The new Suburban also has extra length than its previous model and comes with more technology than ever including first-time equipment like an air suspension and a smaller Duramax diesel engine.
Experts are recommending the RST model. This time, this trim model is no longer the expensive and high-performing Suburban it once was. Now, it is mainly a sporty appearance package that can come in a diesel engine. They also recommend to go with the latter instead of the standard 355-hp V-8 and add all-wheel drive.
Exterior of the 2021 Suburban
The 2021 Chevy Suburban meets the expectation of the many on the outside. They are similar, differing only in the length and wheelbase, with the Chevy Tahoe. The Tahoe has a 4.9-inch stretch to its wheelbase over its predecessor and a 6.7-inch overall length increase, while the Suburban gets a 4.1 inches in wheelbase and 1.3 inches overall. On the front, the styling is a softer and less athletic version of the polarising look of the 2019 Chevy Silverado pickup truck. It has clear family similarities to the pickups but still distinct enough to have its own style.
The two lowest trim levels which are the LS and LT has the standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, nine available colors (Black, Summit White, Empire Beige Metallic, Midnight Blue Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, Graywood Metallic, Cherry Red Tintcoat and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat). But things get more interesting when you go to the next trim, which is the RST, as it has the street-inspired character plus a blacked-out trim and 22-inch wheels. The next trim is the off-road model called Z71 which features a unique grille, 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and a revised front bumper for better approach angles off-road. Next to it is the Premier trim which is packed with chrome, a dual exhaust and 20-inch wheels. The top-of-the-line High Country has a unique branded trim, 22-inch wheels and a bronze-accented grille.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Suburban comes with a pair of V-8s and a diesel 6-cylinder for its engine lineup. All of them are paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission and either all-wheel or rear-drive. A 355-horsepower 5.3 liter V-8 comes standard on all trims but the top-of-the-line High Country model. This top-tier model has a default 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 but comes with the optional diesel 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine. The latter only produces 277 horses and its 460 lb-ft torque can match that of the bigger V-8. The 2021 Suburban can also be equipped with an adjustable air suspension and adaptive dampers. The adjustable air suspension makes it possible for the Suburban’s ride height to be manually and automatically raised or lowered. This allows enhanced passenger accessibility, ground clearance and aerodynamics. Anyone who wants sporty styling like 22-inch wheels and blacked-out exterior trim should go for the RST trim. The more rugged-looking Z71 model comes with 20-inch wheels wrapped with all-terrain rubber, underbody skid plates and a 2-speed transfer case that gives traditional four-wheel drive.
Fuel Economy of the 2021 Suburban
The bigger Suburban will provide the same fuel efficiency as the shorter Tahoe based on the EPA rating. The 5.3-liter V8 gets 16 mpg in the city, 20 on the highway and 18 mpg when combined. But if you upgrade to a 6.2 liter V-8 the fuel economy drops to 15 mpg in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg when combined in rear-wheel drive. The thriftiest option is expected to be going with the diesel engine but the EPA has not yet released estimates for this engine. Both gas-only powertrains use fuel-saving tech that involves auto stop/start and cylinder deactivation.
2021 Suburban’s Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The all-new 2021 Suburban’s cargo and passenger is definitely bigger than the previous models. You will enjoy a couple more inches of legroom on its second and third rows. On top of that, the second-row seats add adjustments which allows them to slide fore and aft. The 2021 Suburban’s cargo space also increases by 23 cubic feet with a total of 145. Thanks to the Suburban’s new design and independent rear suspension the load floor is now lower and flatter. You will still get to enjoy most of its popular options like the wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated seats, but this time the digital gauge-cluster display and the head-up display are larger than before.
Infotainment and Connectivity
We all know that modern families need some entertainment when travelling and the 2021 Suburban can definitely meet those needs with its infotainment and connectivity features. It also has an optional rear-seat entertainment system which has 12.6-inch screens placed behind the front seats. Every trim has several charging ports throughout the cabin plus a Wi-fi hotspot. There is also a standard 10-inch touchscreen placed in the center stack and supports Android Auto capability.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have not yet conducted a crash test to the 2021 Suburban so no data is available. Still, you can have an idea of how it can deliver safety with its driver-assistance technologies along with its innovative assists for towing. Its key features include blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, standard forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevrolet has a competitive limited and powertrain warranty plus a more complimentary maintenance compared to all of its competitors except for Toyota. The Suburban’s limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles. Its powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles. You’ll also get complimentary maintenance for the first visit.
The 2021 Suburban comes with six trim levels namely, the LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier and High Country. As mentioned earlier, all trims come standard with a 5.3-liter V8 (355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft) paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is available as an option on all trim models but it comes standard on the Z71 trim. You can also choose between a single- or two-speed transfer case. There are also two other engines available:
There’s the 6.2-liter V8 exclusive for the High Country trim. An optional turbocharged 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder diesel engine will be available in the last quarter of 2020. It will be offered across all trims except for Z71.
LS comes standard with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 10.2-incg infotainment touchscreen, eight-passenger seating (2-3-3), front-row bench seat is optional on LS only, and forward collision mitigation which will warn you of an impending collision and automatically apply the brakes in certain situations.
You’ll get all the LS features plus auto-dimming rearview mirror, hands-free liftgate, nine-speaker Bose audio system, wireless charging, driver-seat memory settings and heated front seats.
This trim model offers these features special RST seats with contrasting stitching, unique front fascia and black exterior trim and 22-inch wheels.
This trim is for off-roaders equipped with a unique front fascia to improve ground clearance, hill descent control, front skid plate, tow hooks, two-speed transfer case for low-range gearing and all-terrain tires.
The Suburban Premier takes the standard equipment to another level with the addition of these features: lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, 10-Speaker Bose audio system, magnetically controlled shock absorbers for better ride and handling capabilities, digital instrument panel and 10-speaker Bose audio system, heated and ventilated front seats.
As expected in its top-tier, the Suburban High Country adds luxury by providing a special grille with bronze accents, surround-view parking camera system, head-up display, a 420-hp 6.2 liter V8 engine, and rear pedestrian alert system.
Several of the features on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower trim levels. Other notable options, depending on the trim level are: a panoramic roof, Max Trailering package, rear entertainment system, air suspension that can lower or raise the ride height of the vehicle, and a traffic-adaptive cruise control which can adjust speed to maintain a constant distance between the Suburban and the vehicle in front.
Is the 2021 Chevy Suburban better than its predecessors?
The new 2021 Chevy Suburban is definitely a step-up to previous models. It provides more room, comfort and has more useful technology. The independent rear suspension is definitely a plus although Chevy still needs to do more for ride comfort. But no question, the 2021 Chevy Suburban is hands down the best Suburban so far, just needs a little more work.
But how does it compare to its rivals? Let’s see how Chevrolet Suburban compares to its rivals.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban versus Ford Expedition
When battling with Ford Expedition, the big Chevy is not a clear winner. In fact, many car reviewers prefer the Expedition Max over the previous Suburban, and although Chevy is able to catch up this time, it has still not overtaken Ford. The Big Chevy can give better value and more engine options, and has a nicer interior. But the Ford Expedition does better in ride and handling, not to mention its EcoBoost. If you are also going to use your vehicle for towing, Expedition is the better choice as it is more equipped with useful accessories.
The extended-wheelbase version of the Ford which is the Max is a good alternative to the Suburban. It also has massive space for passengers and cargo. They also have impressive tow capacity. But there are few features that the Chevy Suburban has that Expedition does not have like the diesel engine option.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban versus GMC Yukon XL
Suburban’s corporate twin which is the Yukon XL has a different design and some lightly upgraded interior materials to set it apart from the Chevy. But with the Cadillac Escalade being the top tier as GM’s true luxury SUV, the Yukon XL is slightly lost. It is more expensive than the Suburban without bringing additional features that would justify the pricier cost.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban versus Cadillac Escalade
Cadillac Escalade is the better option if you want a more luxurious ride and a real on-road presence. It also has the big Suburban’s capability, and it is mechanically similar. It also can accommodate the same number of people that a Suburban can and can tow the same boats as the Chevy. But of course, expect it to cost more. You’ll pay for the price of the luxurious accommodation it offers. The 2021 Chevy Suburban starts at $51,700. That’s way cheaper than the Cadillac Escalade which starts at $77,490.