The Suburban nameplate is the longest continuously running name used in General Motors ’ lineup. Granted, the model has not been the same for the entire 81 years it’s been in existence, as the nameplate started on essentially overgrown station wagon that was for military use only, then it became a windowed “carryall” truck and didn’t really resemble the modern day model until 1967.
Now 81 years young, the Suburban is going stronger than ever as it enters the 2014 model year and shows no signs of slowing down. With other makers downsizing their full-size SUV s into more agile crossover models, the Suburban remains one of the handful of body-on-frame SUVs left roaming the Earth. Essentially, it is the automotive equivalent of a brontosaurus.
Even though the 2014 model for the most par carries over aesthetically and mechanically, Chevy has tweaked the model ever so slightly to keep it fresh and ready to roll with all-new standard features and a new color.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Suburban
On the outside, the Suburban carries over its design from the 2013 model year, which isn’t a bad thing. The split front grille gives this powerful SUV a semi-luxury look while retaining a rugged personality and the body-colored insert between the two halves adds some extra character to the front end. The headlights and fog lights add some additional ruggedness to this large SUV and the integrated recovery hooks on the underside of the front apron let you know that this full-size SUV is prepped to handle off-road conditions.
Down the side, this bad-boy is pure SUV, as there’s minimal styling and its length shows off its massive cargo/family-hauling capabilities.
As an option, you can toss in the Z71 Off-Road package on all 2014 Suburban LTs. This package adds in tons of aggressive features, including: 18-inch aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, front recovery hooks, under-car skid plate, color-keyed wheel flares, a revised front fascia with a bright chrome grille, and tubular steps.
|Overall length||222.4 inches|
|Overall width||79.1 inches|
|Overall height||76.8 inches|
|Track||68.2 inches (front) / 67 inches (rear)|
|Minimum ground clearance||8.9 inches (2WD) / 9.2 inches (4WD)|
|Step-in height||21.9 inches (2WD) / 22.2 inches (4WD)|
|Ground to top of load floor||31.8 inches (2WD) / 32.6 inches (4WD)|
|Approach angle||16.91 inches (2D) / 16.74 inches (4WD)|
|Departure angle||20.45 degrees (2WD) / 20.93 degrees (4WD)|
|Curb weight||5,672 pounds (5.3L, 2WD) / 5,824 pounds (5.3L, 4WD)|
|Weight distribution||51 percent (front) / 49 percent (rear)|
Standard Exterior Features
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LS
- 17-inch wheels and tires
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LT
- All LS standard features
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ
- All LT standard features, plus:
- Heated power-operated outside mirrors w/ auto-dimming, integrated signal indicators, ground lights and curb-tilt feature
- Power-operated liftgate
- 20-inch wheels
The cavernous interior on the 2014 Suburban is designed to haul tons of people and cargo. Okay, maybe not “tons,” but it can carry up to nine people – bucket seats reduce the total passenger capacity – and can haul up to 137.4 cubic-feet of cargo with all of the rear seats folded down. It can haul 90 cubic-feet behind the second row and 45.8 cubic-feet behind the third row, should you need to haul some passengers around too.
The interior of the 2014 Suburban is clean and looks the part of a luxury SUV, especially on the LTZ models. Keeping things clean are closeout panels under the seat bottoms and door-sill trim plates. The seating is also very flexible, thanks to the option of either a three-person, 60/40-split bench or pair of bucket seats for the second row and a 50/50-split third row.
The LS trim level comes standard with high-end features, including: power adjustable pedals; a rearview camera with a display on the rearview camera; dual-zone air conditioning; a six-speaker audio system with a USB port; and Bluetooth connectivity. As you move up to the LT and LTZ trims, the features only get better.
|Seating capacity (9 total)||min:2 / max: 3||min: 2 / max: 3||min: 2 / max: 3|
|Shoulder room (in)||65.3||65.2||64.7|
|Hip room (in)||60.3||61.8||49.4|
|Cargo volume (cu ft)||Max: 137.4||Behind 2nd Row: 90||Behind 3rd row: 45.8|
Standard Interior Features
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LS
- Power adjustable pedals
- Rearview camera system
- Rearview mirror with display
- Three-row seating
- 50/50-split third row
- Dual-zone manual-control air conditioning
- Six-speaker sound system with AM/FM/CD, USB port and SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- OnStar with 6 months of service
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LT
- All LS standard features, plus:
- Power-assisted second row seat release
- Leather-appointed seating
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Navigation audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD, rearview camera and nine speakers
2014 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ
- All LT standard features, plus:
- Heated and cooled front seats
- Heated second-row seats
- Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Nine-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system navigation radio with touchscreen
- Nine months of SiriusXM radio and XM NavTraffic service
- Power sunroof
- Rear-seat DVD entertainment system
- Third-row DVD screen
Safety is a top priority with the Suburban, as it features a safety cage to keep passengers safe, curtain airbags to help protect rider’s heads, seat-mounted airbags to help prevent harm to passengers’ torsos and front airbags.
Additional standard safety features include: StabiliTrak electronic stability control, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, rearview camera system, seatbelt pretensioners, LATCH system for child seats, and TPMS. The LTZ trim level adds in Side Blind Zone alert.
Since the 2014 model has not been rated by the NHTSA for safety, we have to go with the 2013 model year’s ratings. It received four stars in overall safety, five stars in front-crash safety, five stars in side-crash safety and three stars in rollover safety.
Under the hood, the Suburban carries a familiar pair of engines. All two-wheel-drive models come with the LMG 5.3-liter V-8 engine with a cast-iron block and aluminum heads, but the four-wheel-drive variant uses the LC9 5.3-liter V-8 with an aluminum block and aluminum heads. Both engines produce 320 horsepower at 5,200 horsepower (326 horsepower at 5,300 rpm on E85 fuel) and 335 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm (348 pound-feet at 4,400 rpm on E85).
These engines hook up to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with a 3.08-to-1 rear end. As an option, buyers can add in a 3.42-to-1 rear axle.
The driveline combines to allow the Suburban to get 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway in both rear- and four-wheel drive. Combine that with the standard 31.5-gallon fuel tank and the Suburban can travel as far as 661.5 miles on a tank of gas.
This driveline also nets the Suburban an 8,100-pound towing capacity with two-wheel drive, while four-wheel-drive models can tow up to 8,000 pounds.
|Engines||Vortec 5.3L V-8 FlexFuel (LMG)||Vortec 5.3L V-8 FlexFuel (LC9)|
|Displacement (cu in)||325||325|
|Bore & stroke (in)||3.78 x 3.62||3.78 x 3.62|
|Block material||Cast iron||Cast aluminum|
|Cylinder head material||Cast aluminum||Cast aluminum|
|Fuel delivery||Sequential fuel injection||Sequential fuel injection|
|Horsepower||320 @ 5,200 rpm (gas) / 326 @ 5,300 rpm (E85)||320 @ 5,200 rpm (gas) / 326 @ 5,300 rpm (E85)|
|Torque (lb-ft)||335 @ 4,000 rpm (gas) / 348 @ 4,400 rpm (E85)||335 @ 4,000 rpm (gas) / 348 @ 4,400 rpm (E85)|
|Fuel||Regular unleaded or E85||Regular unleaded or E85|
|EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy)||15 / 21 (2WD) – gas||15 / 21 (4WD) – gas|
|Acceleration (0-60 mph)||8.2 Sec (est)||8.3 Sec (est)|
|Top Speed||135 mph (est)||135 mpg (est)|
Since the 2014 Suburban isn’t available yet and we don’t figure to see it until late summer 2013 at the earliest, we’ll have to rely on the largely identical 2013 model year for footage and opinions.
Edmunds finds the Suburban relatively agile for a large SUV, as it is quoted saying: “From behind the wheel, the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban feels surprisingly civilized for a truck that tips the scales at 3 tons.” However, when fully loaded, Edmunds wasn’t nearly as impressed: ” The 5.3-liter V8 delivers good acceleration with a light load, though performance with a full complement of passengers and cargo or towing a large trailer is just adequate.”
The Car Connection gave the Suburban’s cabin relatively high marks: ” Furthermore its simple, straightforward instrument panel offers the transparency and directness that many high-end infotainment interfaces lose in translation.”
Consumer Guide took some issue with the tightness in the third row by saying: ” "Suburban excels for its refined drivetrain and surprising maneuverability. It’s let down by a 3rd-row seat that’s uncomfortable to sit on and very difficult to remove if you want to maximize your cargo space.”
We still have yet to hear anything on pricing for the 2014 Suburban, but we would say it is safe to think that we’ll see a slight increase with the new standard features. Expect to see a base price just above $43,595 for the LS model.
Reliability and Recalls
Since the 2014 Suburban is not on the market yet, we cannot give a valid assessment of its reliability, but we can base our argument on the 2013 model year. The 2013 Suburban wasn’t known as an unreliable SUV, but it is also not well known for its reliability either. It pretty much sits in the middle of the pack.
Having said that, GM’s notoriously cheap plastic interior is still present in the 2013 Suburban and will make its way into the 2014 model year. As the SUV ages, squeaks, squeals, squawks and rattles are bound to happen in 5 to 10 years. Other than that, the Suburban is just fine in our book.
As for recalls, the Suburban has had a few in this generation:
The park lock cable and/or steering column may not meet spec and result in the shift-interlock and rollaway protection may not work correctly. These could lead to the vehicle shifting from park when it should not (without the engine running or without the brake pedal pressed) and this could cause the vehicle to roll away after the driver exits. GM notified owners and repaired the flaw free of charge.
The Pitman arm in the steering system on some Suburbans was not correctly hardened and it could break, resulting in loss of control. GM notified all owners and repaired the issue free of charge.
The heated washer module on 2009 Suburbans had failures in certain models that resulted in the circuit board overheating and melting. GM notified all customers and is removing all heated washer units and provided new owner’s manuals with this feature deleted.
Additionally, the seal on the fuel system control module on 2009 model year Suburbans can weaken at room temperature and allow water seepage. This water can cause the module to short and cause a check engine light or even a hard-starting condition.
The 2008 Suburban received the same heated washer module delete as the 2009 model year.
The 2007 Suburban had the same heated washer fluid issue as the 2008 and 2009 models, so GM deleted the feature free of charge.
So far, we have yet to hear anything on the 2014 Ford Expedition EL – Ford’s only remaining competitor to the Suburban – so, we’ll stick with the 2013 model for now. This full-size SUV comes standard with a 5.4-liter V-8 engine that falls just a little short: 310 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Despite the power deficiency, the Expedition EL can tow up to 9,200 pounds, beating the Suburban by nearly 1,000 pounds. The Expedition EL can handle up to 130.8 cubic-feet of cargo with all of the seats folded and 42.6 cubic-feet with all of the seats in place. Those numbers come up a little short of the Suburban, leaving the Chevy the better option for folks with tons of cargo to haul around.
The Expedition EL starts out at $43,315, making it pricier than the Suburban , but we definitely prefer the Expedition’s looks over the Chevy.
Gallery Ford Expedition
Like the Expedition, we have yet to hear anything about the 2014 Sequoia, so we are tuck looking at the 2013 model year. The Sequoia trumps all with its 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine that twists out 401 pound-feet of torque. This beastly engine is capable of burning up the roads – yes, we mean that literally – with its insane 6.7-second 0-to-60 mph time.
The Sequoia is not quite the cargo hauler the Suburban and Expedition are, as it only tows up to 7,100 pounds and hauls up to 121 cubic-feet of cargo with all of the seats folded. The Sequoia does, however, feature a beastly looking body and a fair $41,955 base MSRP.
Gallery Toyota Sequoia
With the Suburban obviously set to be the first one of the big SUVs to offer up a 2014 model year, it is all alone for now. Once the Expedition EL and Sequoia hit the market with their 2014 model years, the Suburban definitely has some competition to fend off.
The Expedition is sexier and tows more, but its cabin is not quite as cargo friendly. Additionally, the Expedition is a good bit more expensive. The Sequoia, on the other hand, performs like a sports car from 0 to 60 mph and has a tough-looking body. Additionally, the Toyota’s 5.7-liter V-8 is far more powerful, but it still tows significantly less than both the Ford and Chevy models.
Our opinion is not to jump on the Suburban once it rolls out. Give the Expedition EL a shot and see if it is worth the extra price. Then decide if a 7,000-pound towing capacity is enough for you; if so, the Sequoia may be the way to go.
|Driving||B-||The Suburban offers up a good ride for the segment and handles well for a bulky vehicle|
|Performance||B-||Not the fastest in its class, but it’s slightly above average|
|Look||C||Eh, it’s very dated and it pales in comparison to the competition|
|Value||A||Lowest price in the class, as of 2013|
|Overall||B-||It’s acceptable, but the competition offers up a lot more|
- Higher towing capacity than Sequoia
- Four-star safety rating
- 21 mpg highway
- Not as powerful as its rivals
- Much slower than the Sequoia
- Engine struggles under heavy load
Gallery Chevrolet Suburban 1500
2014 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN ADDS MORE STANDARD FEATURES TO ITS PACKAGE OF POWER AND CAPABILITY
Since it was introduced nearly 80 years ago, the Chevrolet Suburban has enjoyed the success of being the first SUV on the market. This long-running and popular vehicle continues to offer the complete package of space, power and capability highlighted by the latest in automotive advancements.
Along with Chevy Tahoe, the Suburban contributes to Chevrolet’s nearly 50-percent share of the full-size SUV segment.
The 2014 Suburban is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models – in 2WD or 4WD. A six-speed transmission is standard, optimizing fuel economy on the highway through reduced engine speed. The lower-rpm engine speed on the highway also helps provide a quiet interior.
Suburban rides on a long, 130-inch wheelbase, lending structure to Suburban’s spacious passenger and cargo areas, and ensuring a smooth, comfortable ride. The full-size SUV’s architecture combines a distinctive, flowing exterior style with a crisp, precise feel behind the wheel, and exceptional refinement and quietness in the cabin.
Behind the first-row seats, Suburban offers 137.4 cubic feet (3,891 liters) of cargo room, along with up to 8,100 pounds of towing capability (2WD models).
Newly standard features on Suburban’s LS and LT models are included for 2014 through the Convenience Package. It features power adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starter system and rear parking assist. A rear view camera system and a rear view mirror with display are standard on both the LS and the LT.
Suburban exterior features
Suburban’s exterior design is pure Chevrolet, with a large Chevy gold bowtie centered on a twin-port horizontal grille. A streamlined finish includes a grille surround complete with an argent texture or available chrome finish. Aggressively styled fog lamps and headlamps oversee the rugged appearance of the Suburban’s lower fascia, with the front license plate holder, integrated recovery hooks and skid plate.
Other exterior features include:
- Power-retractable assist steps are available on LTZ
- Heated power-operated outside mirrors are standard on LTZ and available on LT. Mirror features include auto-dimming, integrated signal indicators, ground lights and curb-tilt feature
- A power-operated liftgate is available on LT and standard on LTZ
- A range of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels is offered. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard on LS and LT, with 20-inch wheels standard on LTZ
- Dealer-installed accessory wheels include 20- and 22-inch designs
- Exterior color choices include: Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Black, Silver Ice Metallic, Olympic White, Black Granite Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic,and Concord Metallic (late availability).
- The Z71 Off Road appearance package is available on LT models and includes high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, color-keyed wheel flares, an aggressive front fascia and satin chrome tubular assist steps, and bright chrome front grille insert provide the finishing touches to an off-road, outdoor look.
Suburban interior features
Inside the 2014 Suburban, the cabin features have been designed with a great attention to detail. There are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, with models featuring “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. Suburban also has the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous cup holders and storage compartments.
The Suburban offers three rows of seating, standardon all models. The second row is available as a three-passenger bench with a 60/40 split or two bucket seats. The third row features a 50/50-split design and is removable. A power-assisted second row seat release feature is available on LT and standard on LTZ. Additional interior features include:
- Leather-appointed seating is standard on LT and LTZ
- Heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row seats are standard on LTZ
- A heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on LTZ
- Dual-zone automatic climate control on LT and LTZ; dual-zone manual-control air conditioning on LS
- A rear-seat entertainment system is available on LT and LTZ, including DVD player with remote control, two overhead displays, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks and remote game plug-in
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard on all models
- Audio system with AM/FM/CD and USB port is standard on LS and LT
- Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is standard on LTZ and a Bose nine-speaker sound system is standard on LT. A six-speaker sound system is standard on LS
- Navigation radio with touch-screen operation is standard on LTZ and available on LT
- Bluetooth phone connectivity is standard on all models
- Power-adjustable pedals are standard on all modelsRemote vehicle starter system is standard on all models
- The Convenience Package is standard on LS and includes power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starter system, rear park assist, rear vision camera and inside mirror with camera display
- The Luxury Package is available on LT and includes heated second-row seats, power-release second-row seats, power liftgate, universal home remote and outside heated power-adjustable/folding mirrors
- The Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package is available on LT and LTZ and includes an additional nine months of SiriusXM radio and XM NavTraffic service, power sunroof and rear-seat DVD entertainment system with third-row DVD screen. LT also includes audio system with navigation, AM/FM/SiriusXM radio with CD and rear vision camera. A capable powertrain
All Suburban models are powered by a 5.3L V-8 (aluminum engine block on 4WD models) that effectively balances power and efficiency. Variable valve timing helps the 5.3L optimize performance, efficiency and emissions, while GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivating technology helps improve fuel economy in certain light-load driving conditions. It is also E85-capable.
The engine is paired with GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.
The variable valve timing system allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement). It also helps reduce exhaust emissions. It manages valve overlap at optimum levels, eliminating the need for an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology increases fuel economy approximately 6 percent under the federal government’s required testing procedure, and potentially more in certain real-world driving conditions. AFM temporarily deactivates four of the engine’s cylinders under light load conditions and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is required. The transition takes less than 20 milliseconds and is virtually indiscernible
Chassis and suspension
Built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, the Suburban incorporates a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, multilink rear suspension with coil springs and rack-and-pinion steering. It has a longer wheelbase that enhances a smooth ride and supports high towing capacity of up to 8,100 pounds.
Suburban’s stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enables precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components.
Other features include:
- Wide front and rear tracks – 68.2 inches front/67 inches rear – enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel
- The Autoride suspension system is standard on LTZ and features a segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system that provides a refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position -*damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors
- Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation
- A single-speed transfer case is standard on LS and LT 4WD models
- A two-speed transfer case is standard on LTZ 4WD and available on LS and LT 4WD models
- A trailering package with a 3.42 axle ratio, external transmission cooler and engine oil cooler is available on LS, LT and LTZ models; and a two-speed transfer case on 4WD models
- The standard axle ratio on all models is 3.08
- A locking rear differential is standard on LT and LTZ models and available on LS.
- Suburban safety and crash-avoidance features
Safety is a top priority in the Chevrolet Suburban. Engineered with a strong body structure, the vehicle absorbs crash energy and provides a protective “safety cage” around occupants. Standard head curtain side air bags provide rollover protection for all seating rows, while seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger, also standard, provide thorax and pelvic protection. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment.
Additional safety features include:
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
- Standard Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound
- Standard rear view camera system designed to provide the driver with
- a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
- Side Blind Zone alert is standard on LTZ
- Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
- LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in two of the second-row seating positions
- Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on all models
- Standard remote keyless entry system provides a second function for the red panic button; drivers can use it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.