Chevrolet Suburban

#6 in Large SUVs Overall Score: 8.0 / 10
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2016 Chevrolet Suburban Overview

The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban ranks 6 out of 6 Large SUVs.

The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban has the seating and cargo space, technology, engine power, and towing capacity you’d expect of a large SUV, while delivering the driving manners of a smaller vehicle. Plus, its cabin ...

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SEATING


7-8

MPG


15-16

  CITY


22-23

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


RWD, 4WD

HP


355
See full 2016 Chevrolet Suburban specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, premium cabin
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Strong V8 engine
  • Poised handling
  • Alternatives have higher safety and reliability scores

Notable for 2016

  • Newly standard 8-inch touch screen
  • Standard Apple CarPlay

Chevrolet Suburban Rankings and Research

The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban ranking is based on its score within the Large SUVs category. Currently the Chevrolet Suburban has a score of 8.0 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 16 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.0
Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.6
Safety: 7.9
Reliability: 2_5

Rankings

2016 Chevrolet Suburban Pictures

2016 Chevrolet Suburban Review

By Matt Rand September 20, 2016

The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban has the seating and cargo space, technology, engine power, and towing capacity you’d expect of a large SUV, while delivering the driving manners of a smaller vehicle. Plus, its cabin’s high-class design and soft-touch surfaces might make you think you’re in a luxury SUV.

It’s not a class leader in safety or reliability though. The Suburban’s scores aren’t bad, but alternatives like the GMC Yukon and Chevy Tahoe fare better in both areas. You’ll sacrifice some seating and cargo space with the Yukon and Tahoe, however. If you don’t need the towing capability of a full-size SUV, midsize crossovers like the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse rival the Suburban in seating and cargo space while costing much less.

Still, according to our analysis of the data and reviews that drive our rankings, the Suburban’s admirable mix of luxury, capability, and utility make it a top choice for big, active families.

Suburban Performance

Ample Power

Under the hood, the Suburban’s 355-horsepower V8 engine has plenty of punch to move the big SUV, even when it’s filled with people and gear. The six-speed automatic transmission works well with the engine, producing strong and seamless acceleration when you step on the gas.

Properly equipped, the Suburban can tow up to 8,300 pounds. If you think you’ll need a little more muscle, the Ford Expedition can handle a 9,200-pound trailer. The Suburban’s smaller siblings, the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, can also tow a bit more at 8,600 and 8,500 pounds, respectively.

Competitive Gas Mileage

The Suburban returns 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway – pretty good for a V8-powered, truck-based SUV. At highway speeds, four of the engine’s eight cylinders are seamlessly deactivated, which benefits gas mileage. The Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon match the Suburban’s efficiency, while the Ford Expedition is just a tick behind at 16/22 mpg city/highway.

Drives Smaller Than It Is

Despite the Suburban’s large size, its composed handling and accurate steering make for a relatively easy driving experience. It also has strong brakes, and the ride is generally smooth, although the LTZ trim can feel a bit unsettled at times. The Suburban comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

Suburban Interior

Upscale, Roomy, and Quiet

In terms of cabin aesthetics and build quality, the Suburban’s handsome design and first-rate materials make it look and feel like a luxury vehicle. Plus, not much road or wind noise makes its way into the cabin, which adds to the serene environment.

The Suburban’s front seats are spacious and comfortable, although a standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel (available in upper trims) would make it easier to find a good driving position. Both the second- and third-row seats have enough space for adults to get situated, which isn’t always the case, even among large SUVs. The Suburban has standard seating for eight, but optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to seven. An optional front bench seat raises capacity to nine.

If you don’t need the towing capability of a body-on-frame SUV, midsize crossovers like the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse offer adult-friendly seating in all three rows, and they’re significantly more affordable than the Suburban.

User-Friendly Technology

Physical buttons and knobs on the center stack control major climate and audio functions like temperature and volume, and they’re easy to reach and simple to operate. Selecting a radio station is accomplished through the 8-inch touch screen, which has crisp graphics and intuitive menus, although its response to inputs could be a little faster.

Cavernous Cargo Area

Behind the first row of seats, the Suburban can pack 121.1 cubic feet of cargo, which is excellent for the class. The available power-folding second- and third-row seats make accessing that space easier. Plus, the third-row seats fold flat into the floor, creating an even loading surface. Small-item storage space is also a strong suit, as there’s a handy compartment under the cargo load floor and a bin behind the dashboard.

Buyers with extreme hauling demands should also take a look at the extended-wheelbase Ford Expedition, which can fit 130.8 cubic feet of gear behind the first row. 

Read more about interior »

Suburban Prices, Options, and Trims

The eight-seat Suburban LS starts at about $49,700 and comes with a 355-horsepower V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive, power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, five USB ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay.

Opting for the Enhanced Driver Alert Package ($695) adds lane keep assist, forward collision alert, and the vibrating safety alert seat.

The Suburban LT ($54,730) has the all the features in the Enhanced Driver Alert Package plus a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats with memory settings for the driver, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.

Choosing the Luxury Package ($3,110) adds features like push-button start, heated rear seats, a power-folding third-row seat, a power and heated tilt and telescopic steering wheel, wireless phone charging, a hands-free power liftgate, front and rear park assist, side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alert.

The Sun, Entertainment, and Destinations Package ($3,355) gets you a sunroof, a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system, and an upgraded MyLink infotainment system with navigation.

At the top of the lineup, the Suburban LTZ ($64,440) comes standard with unique exterior trim, an adaptive magnetic suspension, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, and all of the above features except the Sun, Entertainment, and Destinations Package, which is optional. Larger wheels, power-retractable running boards, adaptive cruise control, front collision warning, automatic braking, and a head-up display are also available.

Second-row captain’s chairs that reduce capacity to seven are optional with any trim, while a front bench seat that boosts seating to nine is available in only the base LS. Four-wheel drive is a $3,000 option with any trim.

See 2016 Chevrolet Suburban specs and trims »

Suburban Safety and Reliability

The Chevy Suburban isn’t a standout in terms of crash test scores. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing, the Suburban received only three of five stars in the rollover crash test, four stars in front crash protection, five stars in side crash protection, and a four-star overall rating. While those scores aren’t bad, the Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Ford Expedition all fared a little better.

With the optional bench seat in the second row, the Suburban has four sets of LATCH connectors for car seats: three in the second row, and one in the third. Models with second-row captain’s chairs have three sets of LATCH connectors.

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors come standard with the Suburban, while lane keep assist, forward collision alert, front and rear park assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, front collision warning, and automatic braking are optional. Most rivals can be equipped with similar technology. One less-common feature that’s optional with the Suburban is the safety alert seat. When the Suburban is at risk of colliding with another vehicle, the safety alert seat will start to vibrate to get the driver’s attention.

The Suburban’s predicted reliability rating is about average, but alternatives like the Tahoe, Yukon, and Toyota Sequoia may save you some trips to the mechanic as they age. Chevrolet covers the Suburban with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about safety »

Read more about reliability »

Other SUVs to Consider

For utility-minded buyers, the Ford Expedition is a strong choice. It has a class-leading towing capacity of 9,200 pounds, and if you opt for the EL model (about $48,000), you’ll get class-leading cargo space of 130.8 cubic feet (9.7 more than the Suburban). The Expedition’s interior materials and design aren’t as premium or attractive as the Suburban’s, but its cabin technology is user-friendly, and there’s enough seating space for adults in all three rows. Plus, the ride is smooth and comfortable, and like the Suburban, the Expedition is easy to pilot for its size.

The Toyota Sequoia starts at about $4,000 less than the Suburban, and it offers a muscular V8 engine, roomy seating in three rows, and a smooth ride. It also has lots of cargo space, but the Suburban beats it by 1 cubic foot. The Sequoia can’t tow as much as the Suburban, and it gets worse gas mileage at only 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. On the other hand, you’ll appreciate the Sequoia’s very comfortable second-row captain’s chairs. Toyota’s SUV also has a higher predicted reliability rating than the Suburban, so you may save some money in maintenance and repairs if you choose the Sequoia.

Compare the Suburban, Expedition, and Sequoia in more detail »

Details: 2016 Chevrolet Suburban

The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban can seat up to nine people, and a 5.3-liter V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive are standard. Four-wheel drive is optional. Three trims are available: LS, LT, and LTZ. The Suburban was fully redesigned for the 2015 model year and only sees minor feature changes for 2016. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2015 and 2016 model years.

The 2016 Suburban comes with power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, five USB ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay.

Options include a power sunroof, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, navigation, a wireless smartphone charging pad, head-up display, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, front parking sensors, and forward collision warning with automatic braking.

See 2016 Chevrolet Suburban specs and trims »

  • "The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban combines massive passenger, cargo and towing capabilities in a way that few other vehicles can. But depending on your priorities, some rival SUVs or crossovers might work out better overall." -- Edmunds
  • "Chevrolet's eternally popular Suburban was all-new last year and is the pinnacle of the full-size SUV market, with a combination of striking looks, impressive capabilities, noteworthy luxury, detail refinement and a driving experience that makes it tops in its class." – Kelley Blue Book
  • "Chevrolet knows there are plenty of competitors for its family hauler, especially from the likes of the new Ford Expedition EL and Toyota Sequoia, so the company upped the ante last year, giving the Suburban more features, more luxury, more power and better fuel efficiency." -- AutoTrader
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