- Modern looks
- Better interior space
- Standard 10.0-inch touchscreen
- Standard automatic emergency braking
- Independent suspension
- All aboard the U.S.S. Suburban
- Won’t fit in many garages
- Lacking many standard safety features
- Tahoe seems just as capable now
The 2021 Chevy Suburban is a super-size SUV ready for the biggest families with the most cargo.
Sometimes a barge is better.
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is the latest in a long-running series of mega-sized family warships, a name that traces back to the early 20th century when people weren’t necessarily smaller—maybe they just needed less stuff.
With the Suburban, Chevrolet has an even bigger grocery-getter than the related 2021 Chevy Tahoe, which we cover separately. The Suburban measures 225 inches from nose to tail, nearly 19 feet—more than halfway to a first down if you’re handing off kids to someone in the back. It’s bigger this year than last, with an optional new turbodiesel and more leg room.
When it goes on sale in mid-2020, the 2021 Suburban will be available in LS, LT, Z71, High Country, Premier, and RST trim levels. Chevy hasn’t yet said how much the 2021 Suburban will cost, but it’s likely to trump the 2020 model’s starting price of more than $52,000.
Styling and performance
The 2021 Suburban shares most of its looks with the Tahoe except, you know, there’s more to look at. The ‘Burb draws heavily from the Silverado that it’s based on, including its snout and the massive maw.
The biggest Chevy pinches its grille in toward the middle with daytime running lights, but it’s just as upright—just as imposing—as before. Along the sides, the Suburban plays with the available daylight with creases and bends—at least when it’s not blocking the sun.
Inside, the Chevy is more up-to-date than the Silverado, which we expect will change at some point soon for the truck. A big 10.0-inch touchscreen is drilled into the dash for infotainment in all models and there are hard buttons for climate controls and gear selection.
Dressier trims such as High Country and Premier get their own touches such as leather upholstery, but no Suburban is lacking in creature comforts for the team.
Under the hood is a choice between two carryover V-8 engines: a 5.3- or a 6.2-liter that makes 355 or 420 horsepower, respectively. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 that makes 277 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque is available in the Suburban for the first time in two decades, its key is relative fuel efficiency.
A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models and drives the rear or all four wheels, when optionally equipped.
The Suburban rides atop a four-wheel independent suspension for the first time this year, which should help the Chevy ride more smoothly. An optional air suspension coddles passengers further with a load-leveling rear end for frequent towers.
Comfort, safety, and features
Like the Tahoe, the Suburban fits three rows of seats that seat the team and more—older generations could fit up to nine—but the ‘Burban has more room for cargo.
The Suburban rides atop a wheelbase that measures more than 11 feet long, and the 2021 Suburban is 225.7 inches from bumper to bumper.
The first row is still palatial, and the second row is longer by more than two inches with 42 inches of leg room. Row No. 3 offers nearly 37 inches of leg room, which is more than some compact sedans’ back seats.
Behind the third row, the Suburban has more than 41 cubic feet of cargo room—more than nearly any crossover on the planet with two rows. With the seats folded forward, the 2021 Suburban’s cavernous 144.7 cubic feet is more space than most of Rhode Island.
Chevy says all Suburbans will get automatic emergency braking as standard equipment with pedestrian detection. Safety extras will include blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and a surround-view camera system.
Features and options aren’t yet available, but leather seats, 22-inch wheels, rear-seat touchscreens, and a flotilla of convenience features are likely.