New for 2015The Chevrolet Suburban has been significantly revised for 2015, gaining updated styling, a more efficient engine, upgraded interior, longer equipment list, and a quieter ride.
Vehicle OverviewThe Chevrolet Suburban is a three-row full-size SUV that offers seating for up to nine passengers, towing up to 8,300 pounds, and luggage space for the whole family. Luxury features help justify the price increases of some models to more than $70,000, but the capability still remains. The mechanically related Tahoe sits on a shorter wheelbase, but is able to tow 300 extra pounds more than the big Suburban when properly equipped. The Suburban sits at the top of the Chevrolet passenger-hauling lineup, above the Tahoe and Traverse.
SummaryThe 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is powered by a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 that makes 383 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to a six-speed automatic that's EPA-rated rated at 16/23 mpg city/highway in rear-drive trim, and 15/22 mpg in four-wheel drive trim. The capabilities are less than the heavy duty Suburban 2500 from years past, but remains a capable 8,000/8,300 pounds in 4WD and RWD models, 38.9-cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 76.7-cubic feet with the third row folded, and 121.1-cubic feet with both rear rows folded. Useful features abound throughout, such as the 8-inch infotainment screen that hides a lit storage area, power folding third row, hands-free programmable power liftgate, available wireless charging for personal electronics (inductive, requires a special case for the device), available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (requires a subscription), a rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch screen, Bose premium audio system, and hands-free keyless access with push-button start.
Safety features range from industry standard to downright innovative, with adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and a side blind one alert with lane change alert. One of the neat innovations is the Safety Alert Seat, which uses haptic feedback (vibrations) on the right and left of the driver’s seat bottom cushion to warn drivers of threats. Instead of the typical incessant beeping from a backup sensor, the seat will vibrate to alert drivers when pulling into a tight parking spot. The seat will also vibrate when the Suburban’s sensors detect a potential collision, such as when a turn signal is activated and a car is detected approaching from the passenger side the seat will vibrate on the right.
The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), but has not been evaluated by the IIHS.
What We ThinkThe 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is the vehicle for people who want to take passengers, possessions, and powercraft along for the weekend, but also don’t want to give up comfortable luxury touches. In a Driven review of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban we said “for the first time, the cabin’s design and materials reflect the fact that these trucks often share garage space with a luxury car. The dash has greater dimension than before; there are fewer hard plastics; and well-padded surfaces cover the door panels and armrests. The seats have been redesigned, which is good, but we still found the driving position awkward for lack of a driver’s dead pedal.” One of the goals, we’re told, in the redesign was that the Suburban/Tahoe duo, “driver smaller than they are,” to which we said, “The big utes may not drive smaller, but they do drive more confidently, thanks to extremely well-tuned electric power steering and improved brake pedal feel.” Back inside, the Suburban can be equipped with power-folding second and third rows, making cargo/passenger Tetris games much easier.
The Ford Expedition EL (extended wheelbase) matches up directly with the Suburban, and offers several notable advantages in utility, such as a 9,200-pound towing capacity, and 42.6/85.5/130.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the 3rd/2nd/1st rows. Additionally, the independent rear suspension allows for a lower floor in the third row, making it more comfortable. The Suburban fires back with better fuel efficiency (16/23 mpg versus the Ford’s 15/21 mpg), a more comfortable ride, and a more significant styling update than the Expedition.
- Class-leading fuel efficiency
- More confident drive
- High-quality interior
You Won’t Like
- Cramped third row with high floor
- Less cargo and towing capacity than Ford Expedition
- Can get pricey
- Ford Expedition EL
- GMC Yukon XL
- Toyota Sequoia
- Nissan Armada