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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
does it all, and does it well
didn't feel as unwieldy as other large vehicles
the automatic transmission sometimes seems to shift a little abruptly
Kelley Blue Book
Performance in the Suburban sense means hauling, towing, and transporting-but in all, the 2010 Suburban goes down the road quite well for a nearly three-ton-heavy truck.
The Suburban engine lineup is simplified for the 2010 model year. All Suburban 1500s use a 320-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 for motivation and team the power to standard rear-drive or optional four-wheel drive through a six-speed automatic transmission. Kelley Blue Book says acceleration "is vigorous from a standstill, if less so to pass or merge," and Edmunds reports "for such a big truck, the Chevrolet Suburban is relatively quick when unloaded and can reach 60 mph in under 9 seconds." Kelley Blue Book also notes that the transmissions "sometimes seems to shift a little abruptly," but Motor Trend observes, "once up to speed, the six-speed does a good job of choosing the right gear."
The engine is flex-fuel capable and comes with cylinder deactivation, and it can deliver fuel economy as high as an estimated 14/20 mpg. The powertrain isn't really taxed by ordinary passenger duty, and it can tow up to 8,100 pounds.
The obvious drawbacks to its size come with handling; the ride quality is very good, as the sheer mass blunts most potholes and road seams, but quick steering has hardly any feedback, and the Suburban simply isn't the kind of vehicle that's used for aggressive, corner-hugging driving. It maintains control over the road quite well for a vehicle of its size, however. Edmunds compliments the handling and points to the Suburban's "new suspension system" with its "coil-over shocks up front and a five-link setup out back, plus more precise rack-and-pinion steering." They add, it's "not exactly nimble around corners," but it has "more composed handling and a smoother ride than before," with the ride "always comfortably controlled." Cars.com contends that "while it's no sports car, the Suburban didn't feel as unwieldy as other large vehicles, and its highway ride was much more comfortable than the [Ford] Expedition's."
The 2010 Chevrolet Suburban performs well for such a large vehicle-and tows and hauls with the best of the full-size utes.