2020 Chevrolet Suburban

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2020 Chevrolet Suburban Review: An SUV That Delivers

by Aiden Eksteen

Not only is the Chevy Suburban one of the longest-standing nameplates in the world, but it's also Chevrolet's largest SUV offering in the US; a full-size three-row SUV geared towards meeting the people hauling and towing needs of the 21st century. To that end, it's loaded with creature comforts and driver-assist features along with spacious seating for up to eight occupants. A 5.3-liter V8 engine is this behemoth's beating heart, producing outputs of 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, fed via a six-speed automatic gearbox to either a standard two-wheel-drive or optional four-wheel-drivetrain. A beefier 6.2-liter V8 engine upgrade is available for the Premier, flexing outputs of 420 hp and 460 lb-ft, it comes mated to a ten-speed automatic gearbox. The Suburban is a legendary SUV with a name that is recognized throughout the U.S., but it's not the only one out there, with the Ford Expedition Max and the GMC Yukon XL proving just as appealing.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
7.8
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2020 Chevrolet Suburban Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Suburban?

Chevrolet has drawn out the lifespan of the eleventh-generation Suburban for a good five years now and has recently announced that a new generation of the Suburban will roll out for the 2021 model year. Subsequently, the brand's largest SUV gets barely any enhancements or alterations moving into the 2020 model year. In fact, the only revisions to the Suburban lineup are the deletion of the Deepwood Green Metallic and Pepperdust Metallic from the exterior color palette, totaling the exterior color options at nine for the 2020 model year.

Pros and Cons

  • Luxurious ride quality
  • Commodious and upscale cabin
  • Expansive and versatile cargo bay
  • Impressive payload and towing capacity
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Difficult to maneuver in tight streets
  • Oh-so-heavy fuel consumption
  • Reliability rating is unimpressive
  • Listless throttle responses
  • Impractically high load floor

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2020 Chevrolet Suburban Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1500 LS
5.3L V8 Flex-fuel (FFV)
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$51,700
1500 LT
5.3L V8 Flex-fuel (FFV)
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$56,500
1500 Premier
5.3L V8 Flex-fuel (FFV)
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$65,500
See All 2020 Chevrolet Suburban Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Unfortunately, with the Suburbans size, heft, and rugged equipment, its ride quality isn't necessarily luxurious; while more minor road imperfections and undulations are adequately dispersed of, larger obstacles do tend to rattle the rear of the cabin especially - a negative aspect of its pickup truck underpinnings. Its large, heavy chassis otherwise manages to remain relatively well-mannered, and its cabin is nicely isolated from most outside and engine noise. In terms of handling, the Suburban is actually pretty solid, always feeling firmly planted to the road, and never overly top-heavy. Its mammoth weight is inescapable, however, and it can be difficult to maneuver, especially in tighter spots, but it manages to remain composed around turns even at its limits.

Its steering is expectedly numb and there isn't much feedback given to the driver at all; it feels overly light too and delivers sluggish responses to driver inputs. The Suburban is, nevertheless, still reasonably easy to guide through city streets and cruises the highway effortlessly. The brakes deliver plenty of confidence, thankfully, providing effective stopping power while bringing the hefty SUV to a stop in good time, and without compromising its stability. The Suburban is more of a luxury offering rather than a rugged off-roader, that's despite its standard-fit locking differential, low-range transfer case, and all-terrain tires. Its extensive wheelbase and running boards are simply an impracticality when it comes to climbing rough terrain, but a benefit to passenger comfort instead.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban A Good Car?

Despite its less than consummate safety ratings, the Chevrolet Suburban SUV is still an exceptional SUV. It's a firm American favorite simply because it's both luxurious for the class, and practical, too. Its two V8-equipped powertrains are powerful and refined and avail the Suburban with great, easy drivability and immense capability. It's not a very fuel-efficient vehicle at all, but it's equipped with a large 31-gallon gas tank which will still get it to where it needs to be on a straight trip. The Suburban will also deliver that journey reasonably comfortably in terms of ride, in a cabin that's high-end, commodious, and tranquil, and comprehensively outfitted with creature-comforts, keeping all passengers entertained whether it be seven, eight, or nine. All of these perks make the Suburban an exceptional family hauler and an ideal SUV for taking on vacation, not forgetting its 8,300-pound towing capacity which means the boat can come too. There are SUVs in the class that are more comfortable on the road and are easier to maneuver around town, maybe even more fuel-efficient too, but the Suburban has a legendary legacy and would be a great buy regardless.

2020 Chevrolet Suburban Comparisons

Chevrolet Tahoe Chevrolet
Ford Expedition Ford

2020 Chevrolet Suburban vs Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe is essentially a smaller variation of the Suburban. In comparison, the Tahoe's wheelbase measures 14 inches shorter. It's also slightly more affordable, with a starting MSRP of $49,000. Passengers will find the Tahoe's third-row seats are a lot less spacious than the Suburban's and also that there's significantly less cargo room in the trunk, with only 15.3 cubic feet on offer. The Tahoe is a bit easier to maneuver around, though, by virtue of its shorter body, and it's a little more frugal on gas, thanks to its lighter weight. Otherwise, both are pretty much identical in every other regard; both offer the same powertrains, the same trim lineup, and the same features, both even offer the same seating configurations. At the end of the day, the Suburban offers advantages in passenger and cargo room, two very important factors in this class, where the Tahoes' easier maneuverability and slightly more fuel-efficient performance aren't really beneficial.

See Chevrolet Tahoe Review

2020 Chevrolet Suburban vs Ford Expedition

Perhaps the Suburban's number one competitor, the Ford Expedition, is as much of a venerated contender and as much of an experienced nameplate as the long-standing Suburban is in the USA. Both are similarly packaged as premium SUV's and are closely priced to another as well. A more powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and polished ten-speed auto gearbox give the Expedition a slight edge over the Suburban with its base and optional V8 powertrain. While Chevy's IntelliLink infotainment system is exceptional, it's beat by Ford's Sync 3 system, which, while more user-friendly and high quality, is also linked up to a superior 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen Play audio system, delivering far greater entertainment quality overall. The Expedition can only seat a total of eight occupants though, so if you need space for nine, the Suburban is your choice. On the other hand, the Expedition will haul greater loads, so if you have a speed boat to tag along, the Expedition is your go-to option. The Expedition takes the vote as the better vehicle for how much value it proffers for the money.

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