In the center of Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, Michigan rolled out the latest iteration of the Chevrolet Suburban – the longest running nameplate in automotive history. An icon in its own right, it has been the vehicle of choice for road-tripping families, shuttles for dignitaries, and the backbone of Hollywood transportation. With so much cachet from its decades of being a vehicle that America depends on, it only makes sense that the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban continues to build on what it does best: everything.
Much of the same is with the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban as it is with the new Tahoe. Which means a new platform that finally utilizes an independent rear suspension, a trio of burly engines consisting of two V8s and a diesel, serious interior improvements, more desirable trim levels, and cutting-edge technology.
While we invite you to read up on the big details in our 2021 Tahoe reveal story, we will go over the significant differences between the two iconic utility vehicle nameplates here. And really, that simply means talking about the dimensions.
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban sees a 4.1-inch (105 mm) increase in the wheelbase and a lower cargo floor, thanks to the integration of an independent rear suspension. No longer is a live rear axle encroaching on interior space. With that, the new Suburban has the most passenger and cargo space of any SUV, with maximum cargo volume expands 19 percent to 144.7 cubic feet even though the Suburban’s overall length increases less than 1 percent. Know any coastal millennials that could make an apartment out of this thing?
Lastly, second and third row legroom both see increases of two inches, while the second row seats can slide an amazing 10 inches.
For a more detailed breakdown, enjoy the following:
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban will utilize the General Motors T1 platform which first debuted under the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks –with one key difference– a fully independent rear suspension and a longer wheelbase. The improved architecture looks to make key improvements in the realms of passenger accommodations, cargo capacity, and driving dynamics.
The inclusion of IRS is an absolute game-changer in terms of ride and handling, with the platform much more capable of quelling body motion from bumps and road imperfections. Chevy actually claims the 2021 Suburban offers the most advanced suspension in the segment, with available Magnetic Ride Control and a first-in-class Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.
Not only did we accurately report to you yesterday about what the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban will feature under the hood, but we were the only ones to do so. To reiterate: the Suburban continues to use the same formula that has made it successful for many years, with a few new key improvements.
First up is a 5.3L V8 rated at 355 horsepower and comes standard on LS, LT, Z71, RST, and Premier models. Then there’s the big bruiser 6.2L V8 rated at 420 horsepower which comes standard on High Country and optionally across other trim levels. Both engines feature Dynamic Fuel Management technology which we first saw on the 1500 full-size pickup trucks. DFM can optimize engine efficiency by selectively shutting down as many as 7 cylinders across a broad range of driving conditions, including when towing a trailer. Collectively, the engines also feature automatic stop/start technology, direct injection and variable valve timing.
Now for the big news, there’s going to be an optional Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel available on all models except Z71. The Duramax is rated at 277 horsepower and a robust 460 lb-ft of torque. Significantly, no other SUV in class offers a diesel engine, and it should give the new Suburban some of the best fuel economy ratings in the segment – which are TBA. All engines will be matched with a new 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control.
Inside, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban offers more connectivity and larger displays than ever before which joins a new rear-seat media system. Chevy’s new infotainment system is the star of the show and leads all competitors with a large, 10-inch-diagonal color touchscreen as standard – but that’s just one of five configurable screens offered in the redesigned Suburban.
Absent, you may notice, is the column shifter. In its place is a button system – like the C8 Corvette.
Technologies pioneered by Silverado will be present, including a trailering app with trailer profiles, trailer tire pressure, and temperature monitoring and Side Blind Zone Alert for trailering.
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban will also sport Chevy’s industry-first trailering label that provides all the required information about their truck’s exact capacities.
There will be up to nine camera views – more than any competitive full-size SUV. Had trouble seeing before? You probably won’t now.
In terms of safety, Automatic Emergency Braking standard will be standard on all models, along with available technologies like HD Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Front and Rear Park Assist, and a Head-Up Display.
There will be a Max Trailering package available and includes a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan, an integrated trailer brake controller, Hitch Guidance with Hitch View feature and the Chevrolet trailering app.
The permutations are almost dizzying:
An 8-inch configurable color instrument and information cluster are standard on Premier and High Country; a 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information center is standard on LS, LT, RST and Z71. There’s a 15-inch(!) Head-Up Display standard on High Country and available on Premier. Suburban offers an available rear-seat media package that includes dual 12.6-inch-diagonal LCD touchscreens that offer independent connections and the ability to mirror content from an Android phone to a screen along with allowing rear-seat passengers to send navigation points to the central infotainment screen in the front.
Like all GM vehicles, the Suburban features a built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot with available 4G LTE data, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, multiple USB charging ports and, wireless charging with charger cooling.
The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban also utilizes General Motors’ all-new Global B electronics architecture which brings five times more data-processing power than the current models. The ECU is encrypted and can handle over-the-air updates, and has 4.5 terabytes per hour of processing power – enough to run semi-autonomous and autonomous systems alike–however, no announcement regarding such capabilities have been made so far. Other upgrades from the Global B architecture include more tangible things like better screen resolution.
If you’re not exhausted by all this information yet, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban will offer six different trim levels, more than any SUV competitor.
It starts with LS and the up-level LT trim, but then there’s RST which brings a super street-inspired personality with a black ice finish on the grille, RST-specific seats, plus black and black-chrome exterior trim, and 22-inch wheels.
Next is Z71 which is Chevy’s legendary off-road-focused package. It now includes more unique visual and performance attributes than ever before like a front fascia with a higher approach angle to aid off-road capability, standard 4WD and includes a two-speed transfer case with Hill Descent Control, along with 20-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, and a front skid plate.
Premier trucks bring finer equipment and technology with features like Magnetic Ride Control, navigation, an eight-inch-diagonal reconfigurable instrument cluster, premium Bose 10-speaker audio system, 12-way power vented and perforated front bucket seats, power-folding rear seats, heated steering wheel, and the full suite of driver safety aids. Lastly comes the High Country, a new addition for 2021. It gets a unique grille with bronze accents and High Country badging and an interior with trim specific sill plates, seat embroidery, and expanded color and trim choices. All High Country trucks get the 6.2L V-8 engine with Magnetic Ride Control, and 22-inch wheels with chrome inserts.
As with the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, look for the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban to go on sale in mid-2020 in North America. All of these cash cow utility vehicles will be manufactured at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly facility, which has received more than $1.4 billion in investments since 2015.