Passenger vehicles don’t get much bigger than the Chevrolet Suburban. In your writer’s driveway, the latest version of the brand’s massive family and gear hauler took up a space normally occupied by two compact sedans. In the average crossover, travelling with four of my larger pals is snug, but here, there’s room to stretch out and lounge, and room for bags and bags of gear in the back behind all of that stretching out and lounging. My canoe, which typically overhangs the front and rear of a ute, fits fully within the Suburban’s footprint. It barely fits into an average parking space, and when pulled into my average-sized garage, it leaves more of its ass hanging out than an aspiring rapper.
So, cue the Simpson’s ‘Canyonero’ commercial. This thing’s a tank-beast.
A housekeeping note: the Suburban is a specialty vehicle capable of transporting, with room to spare, eight people of actual people-like size, their things, a grand worth of groceries and a big boat or trailer in tow. In top-grade trim with all the toys, like my tester, pricing came in north of $80,000. That’s with dual TV screens and air conditioned leather seats and pop-out step boards and seats that fold and flip with a button press and the like. The point? A loaded Suburban is a lot of machine, and beyond what the average family-minded shopper likely needs. However, if you’ve got plenty of kids and plenty of toys to haul, it’s one of your only alternatives to gutting a school bus.
But Suburban supports its hefty price tag in more ways than by just being massive.
First, it’s a glorious-looking machine. Finished in a conversation-starting Tungsten flake paint covering its several square miles of sheet metal, the new look is a decided departure from the new GM pickup range, especially in the front fascia. It looks handsome. Blocky. Rugged.
For the most part, two types of people drive Suburbans: cops, and serious dads. And in this latest Suburban, both of these will enjoy a seriously classy-looking hauler.
The new cabin pulled its weight heavily towards the tester’s price tag, too. Stitching, wood trim, semi-squishy plastics, soft leathers and a selection of interesting colours, materials and textures keep the eyes and fingertips busy on board, while a tidy, high-tech looking cluster of controls is arranged neatly on the centre stack. Don’t miss the navigation screen, which slides open to reveal a forearm-deep cubby with USB charging port for keeping precious electronics out of sight and feasting on delicious electrons. The centre console storage bin is nearly elbow-deep, and even rear-seat passengers get some cubbies and cupholders to help stay organized on the go. No issues with space in here, for items big or small. And though the feature list is a lengthy one, the look and feel of the cabin now, for perhaps the first time in a Suburban, contributes equally towards the price.
2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 4WD, dashboard. Click image to enlarge