Seat Time: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

March 3rd, 2014 at 10:12am

2015 Chevrolet Suburban in Black Front Passenger Side in Lake Ta

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: General Motors
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Suburban
Model Range: 4-door, body-on-frame, full-size utility
Competitors: Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada
Trim Levels: LS, LT, LTZ
Price Range: $48,295 – $64,700
Made in: Arlington, TX
Drivetrain: 5.3L V8 355hp (250 Kw), 383 lb-ft (519 Nm); 6-speed automatic; 2WD or 4WD
EPA Ratings: 2WD 16 city/23 hwy; 4WD 15 city/22 hwy

Read on for John McElroy‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Notable Features:

  • 2015 Chevrolet Suburban Center ConsoleAll new design inside and out
  • Magnetic rheologic dampers used for the first time on a full-size SUV
  • Fold flat 2nd and 3rd row seats. Bigger 2nd door ingress
  • Sophisticated anti-theft system that includes two interior motion detectors
  • Center console airbag for side impact protection of front seat passengers

Final Impression:
The redesign of the Suburban takes this iconic SUV to a new level. The looks alone convey a much more sophisticated vehicle. The imposing grille and strong bone-line that runs front to aft, just under the beltline, imparts a sense of heft and strength. Inside, the instrument panel is a well-crafted combination of grilles, grates, inserts, accents and trim pieces that provide a luxurious aura never before seen in the Suburban. In the LTZ model that I drove, the IP, door trim panels, seats and console were wrapped in stitched leather with thick French seams.

Not only does it look more expensive, it is. The base price is now $2,000 higher than before, though admittedly it has more content. For such a large vehicle it’s quite easy to drive. The electric power steering feels direct and precise. When equipped with the MR shocks, the ride is surprisingly good. Thanks to that, and a new type of shear body mounts that join the cabin to the frame, it has none of the vibration or resonance typically found in body-on-frame trucks. In fact, it feels more like a passenger car than any truck that comes before it.

But watch out. I also drove a GMC Yukon XL Denali with the same MR shocks and it felt coarser than the Suburban. GM engineers were vague about why, but said they’re still improving the calibration of the MR controls. If you’re in the market for one of these, I’d recommend test driving several different models to make sure you’re getting one of the good ones. Other than that, it’s safe to say that this is the best Suburban to hit the streets ever since the first one came out in 1935.

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