For 2007, the Chevrolet Suburban is completely redesigned: there are new engines, a stronger chassis, a redesigned exterior and an improved interior.

Based on GM’s new full-size platform, the new Suburban rides on the same wheelbase length as in 2006, but is longer and wider. Engine choices are a 5.3-litre V8, or a 6.0-litre V8 with variable valve timing (the 8.1-litre from 2006 is not offered); both use Active Fuel Management, which shuts off half the cylinders under light load for improved fuel economy. A flexible-fuel compatible 5.3-litre (able to run on E85, a mixture of 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent gasoline) is standard on 1500 4×4 and all LTZ models, and optional on other 4×2 models, although that fuel is still difficult to find. All engines are mated to a four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission.

The Suburban is offered in 1500 or heavy-duty 2500 configuration, in 2WD or 4WD, and in LS, LT and LTZ trim lines; there’s also the popular Z71 Off-Road appearance package, with larger recovery hook openings, larger fog lamps, unique grille and 18-inch wheels.

Features on the LS include 17-inch aluminum wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, deep-tinted windows, heated mirrors, roof rack side rails, variable intermittent wipers, manual tri-zone climate control, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote starter prep package, trailer package, tire pressure monitor, 40/20/40 front split bench with six-way power driver’s adjuster, second-row 60/40 folding seat, OnStar and CD/MP3 player with eight speakers.

The LT adds front bucket seats with six-way power driver’s adjuster, colour-keyed door handles, fog lights, roof rack crossbars, cargo cover, and second-row audio controls with headphone jacks.

The LTZ is available only with 4WD, and adds heated leather seats with 12-way driver and passenger power adjusters, heated outboard second-row seats, power liftgate with keyless remote control, power folding mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming feature, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, heated windshield washers, rain-sensing wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, garage door opener, remote starter, automatic rear level control suspension, curtain airbags, rear parking assist system, and premium Bose nine-speaker sound system with subwoofer, six-CD/MP3 player and XM Satellite Radio.

Also appearing as the GMC Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade ESV, the redesigned Suburban is even bigger than before, but with slightly improved fuel economy figures. It delivers an ultra-smooth ride and one of GM’s best-ever interiors; it feels like a big car, until you need to make a hard turn and it reminds you just how bulky it really is. Interior room is correspondingly impressive, although the third row cuts down on immediately accessible cargo space; however, it’s easily removed from the vehicle, to improve cargo capacity while still providing plenty of room for first- and second-row passengers.

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