With the Chevrolet Suburban undergoing a complete, next-generation makeover in 2007, changes to the 2006 models are minimal. There is a new upscale LTZ trim line, relocated catalytic converters on 1500 models, revised extendable outside rearview mirrors available on 2500 models, OnStar and satellite radio antennae combined into a single unit, and a standard tire pressure monitoring system.
The new LTZ features a 6.0-litre V8, all-wheel-drive, 20-inch chrome wheels, Z55 suspension, monochromatic front and rear bumpers, chrome grille bar, door handles and tubular assist steps, and LTZ-specific trim, interior and exterior colours.
The Suburban is available in half-ton (1500) and three-quarter-ton (2500) configuration, and both can be ordered in two- or four-wheel-drive. Half-ton models come only with a 5.3-litre V8, although a flexible-fuel version of that engine is available. The standard engine in the 2500 is a 6.0-litre V8, which can be optioned up to an 8.1-litre V8. All use a four-speed automatic transmission.
LS and LT trim lines are similarly-equipped, regardless of the truck size or driveline. The LS includes fog lights, heated mirrors, roof rack side rails, 16-inch aluminum wheels, variable intermittent wipers, tri-zone manual climate control, colour-keyed carpeting with floor mats, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, cloth interior, 40/20/40 split-bench front seat with six-way power driver adjuster, 60/40 second-row bench seat, third-row folding bench seat, CD/cassette player, automatic headlamps, tire pressure monitor and OnStar.
The LT adds power foldaway mirrors with reverse tilt, puddle lights, integrated turn signals and driver’s side auto dimming, roof rack cross bars, 17-inch aluminum wheels, electronic tri-zone climate control, floor console, HomeLink garage door opener, cargo net and cover, power-adjustable pedals, personalization feature, leather interior, front bucket seats with ten-way power adjust and driver’s side memory, and six-CD changer with second-row audio controls and headphone jacks.
It’s big, bulky and thirsty, but the Suburban – which shares its underpinnings and engines with the Silverado pickup – delivers an ultra-smooth ride that could be mistaken for a large sedan (at least, until you need to make some quick manoeuvres and its massive bulk sends you a reality check). Unlike many three-row vehicles, its third seat will actually hold adults in comparative comfort. The Suburban also appears in GMC’s line-up as the Yukon, and over at Cadillac, where adding $27,775 to the base all-wheel-drive Chevrolet version will get you into the Cadillac Escalade.