Large SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $37,900 – $54,800*


2015 Chevrolet Suburban


2015 Chevrolet Suburban


2015 Chevrolet Suburban

Pros:
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Quietness
  • Trailer-towing capability
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability
  • Price

With many midsize crossovers combining sizable space and 3-row seating with less bulk and better V6 economy, it would seem as though the market – and argument – for these traditional full-size SUVs would be on the decline. But with their recent updates, Suburbans combine the room and comfort of a luxury car with unmatched cargo space and towing capacity, making them a thoroughly justifiable entity in our broad automotive landscape.

Overview

The Chevrolet Suburban was redesigned for 2015, gaining new styling, more horsepower, and a host of new safety and technology features. The Suburban shared its basic design with the Chevrolet Tahoe, but it is 14 inches longer than the Tahoe in wheelbase and 20 inches longer overall. The extended length gives the Suburban notably better rear cargo room and 3rd-row seat space than its Tahoe sibling. GMC sold versions of the Tahoe and Suburban named Yukon and Yukon XL, respectively. The new Suburban’s body was a bit longer, lower, and wider than the previous-generation model—passenger room was increased, but cargo room was down slightly. The 3rd-row seatbacks folded flat into the floor. Designers raised the cargo floor to accomplish this, which made for a higher liftover, but also allowed for some handy under-floor storage bins. The new engine was a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower—35 more than the previous engine—and its EPA ratings were 10 percent better. New safety features included forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Some of the new safety features used GM’s Safety Alert Seat, which vibrated to warn the driver of potential obstructions. Interior materials were much improved over the outgoing Suburban, especially on higher-end models. Enhancing the upscale feel were new available features such as adaptive cruise control, a power-folding 3rd-row seat, and keyless entry and starting. The very notion of a hulking, V8-powered full-size SUV seems anachronistic to many shoppers these days, but for those who need the power, interior room, and towing capacity that only a large SUV offers, the all-new Suburban is an excellent choice.

Yearly Updates

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

All Suburbans have a 5.3-liter V8 that produced 355 horsepower teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Either rear-drive or full-time four-wheel drive may be installed. A two-speed transfer case is available.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.3/325
Engine HP 355
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 383
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

15/21

Road Test

All Suburban models come with GM’s “EcoTec3” 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8. Acceleration – at least with just two people aboard – is more than adequate. The only fly in the ointment is that the 6-speed automatic transmission (which is standard on all models) occasionally exhibits some delay before downshifting when the throttle is stabbed while underway.

Vehicles tested had GM’s Magnetic Ride Control adjustable suspension, which replaces the “regular” suspension used on base models. They also come with 20-inch wheels vs. the 18s standard elsewhere. The ride was very jittery even on roads that appeared smooth, though the suspension did a good job of absorbing larger bumps, controlling bounce over pavement swells, and limiting body lean in fast turns. Other drivers we spoke to noticed the same thing, and a couple who had a chance to drive “lesser” models had no such complaints. The nervous ride was surprising, because we’ve driven other GM vehicles with Magnetic Ride Control and never had the same impression. It’s possible this could be corrected with computer reprogramming, but it was enough to make us encourage people to “Try before you buy.” But in other ways, these big SUVs – while hardly nimble – don’t feel as ponderous as their generous size would suggest. They’re also very quiet inside, with little in the way of road, wind, and bump noise filtering through to the cabin.

From the driver’s seat, audio and climate controls are within easy reach. The former consist of tuning and volume knobs with station selection being controlled through the touch screen. As in most such arrangements, this can make some simple procedures a multi-step affair, but we generally found the system to be fairly easy to use and logical in operation. Climate controls consist of rotary knobs for temperature and fan speed, with individual push buttons for air distribution. We prefer a rotary knob for air distribution, but this “separate button” arrangement is far better than the repetitive-step single button used in some systems.

All models have a column-mounted gear lever, which compared to a console-mounted one frees up a lot of handy storage space. And storage space is a strength in these vehicles. In addition to the rather low-mounted and hard-to-reach glovebox, there’s a huge console box with Aux, 12-volt, and two USB outlets along with an SD-card slot. For smaller stuff, there’s a forward console bin (with more 12-volt and USB jacks) and two cupholders (all covered), side console bins, and large map pockets. Also – and this is really neat – the dashboard screen flips up to reveal a roomy “hidden compartment” behind it.

Our test LTZ was fitted with a particularly ritzy-looking two-tone (brown/dark brown) interior accented with satin-finished silver trim and swatches of wood. There were lots of padded surfaces including the dash top, dash face, and door tops. Add that – along with copious amounts of 1st– and 2nd-row space – to all the high-tech and luxury features available (including such amenities as heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats), and these big SUVs can compete head-to-head with premium sedans when it comes to luxurious accommodations.

Less impressive is visibility. The front and rear roof pillars are fairly thick, but they aren’t nearly as bad as the two sets of side pillars, which create huge blind spots over your shoulders. The newly standard rearview camera helps when backing, but we found ourselves wishing for larger outside mirrors to aid in lane-changes.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2015 Chevrolet Suburban

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 8
80%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
80%
Cargo Room - 10
100%

Other

Value - 9
90%

Total: 74

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
130.0 224.4 80.5 74.4 5664
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
121.1 31.0 9.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
42.8 39.1 45.3 39.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2015 Suburban 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

None
Description:

Recall History

2015 Suburban
Description: Turning key in ignition switch may be difficult. If stuck in Start position, key may suddenly snap back to Accessory position and cause loss of engine, steering and braking power, as well as airbag deployment.
2015 Suburban
Description: A faulty Electronic Power Steering module may cause a sudden loss of power steering assist.
2015 Suburban
Description: Curtain side airbags may be punctured on mounting hardware and not deploy properly.
2015 4WD Suburban
Description: A short in the transfer case switches could cause the transfer case to shift to neutral unexpectedly. If the vehicle is parked, it could roll. If the vehicle was moving, it would lose power.
2015 Suburban
Description: A leak in the transmission-oil cooler could cause a fire.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.