2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban First Look Review: Bigger And Better Than Ever

by Jay Traugott

Chevrolet knows not to mess with a good thing, and yet it was still vital to properly update its long-running large SUV. Now in its 12th generation, the big Suburban is all-new for 2021. It features new architecture, technology, powertrains, and improved driving dynamics. And, of course, it comes standard with three rows of seats. Like its also totally redesigned Tahoe smaller sibling, the Suburban is built on GM's GMT T1XX platform, which also underpins the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Exterior styling is very much in line with the brand's latest design language. Meanwhile, the interior not only boasts greater legroom, specifically for third-row occupants, but the dashboard design and layout has dramatically improved.

With the full-size and large body-on-frame SUV segment currently experiencing a resurgence, it was vital for Chevrolet to get its latest Suburban right. All indicators point to mission accomplished.

Is the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban a good SUV?

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
8.5
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2021 Chevrolet Suburban Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS
5.3-liter V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$51,700
LT
5.3-liter V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$56,500
RST
5.3-liter V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$59,800
Z71
5.3-liter V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
$61,900
Premier
5.3-liter V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$65,300

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A Big SUV Requires A Bold Design

Chevy's designers made the right call not to go too far with the 2021 Suburban's exterior design. Although numerous updates are required, the final look is still bold, boxy, and fairly traditional. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the front end styling. It's more dynamic than its predecessor thanks to the angled lights, LED headlamps, and a large grille. The taillights are also LEDs. If this styling looks somewhat familiar to you then that's because it has plenty in common with the latest generation Silverado pickup truck.

Like the Tahoe, the new Suburban rides on a new platform with an independent rear suspension. There's a 4.1-inch increase in the wheelbase for a total of 134.1 inches compared to the outgoing model's 130 inches.

A total of six trim levels will be available: LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier and High Country. Buyers can also select from up to nine exterior colors and 18-, 20-, or 22-inch wheels, based on trim level.

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A Much-Need Interior Redesign

One of the main reasons people buy Suburbans is because of the vast amount of interior space. And the 2021 redesign doesn't disappoint. The new Suburban features increased legroom of 2.3 inches and 2.2 inches for second- and third-row passengers, respectively. Cargo room behind the third row has also increased by 1. -inches while maximum cargo space, with both second- and third-row seats folded flat is now rated at 144.7 cubic feet, up by 23 cubic feet.

The first thing drivers will likely notice is the redesigned dashboard. It can be equipped with up to five different display screens, though it comes standard with a 10-inch central touchscreen. An 8-inch diagonal information cluster is standard on the top-end Premier and High Country trims while lower trims come with a 4.2-inch cluster screen. A 15.2-inch head-up display also comes standard on Premier and High Country models. The dashboard design is identical to that of the Tahoe. It looks premium with a modern feel. Also notice that the traditional column shifter is gone, replaced by a push-button shifter.

In addition to the increased legroom, rear-seat passengers will benefit from the optional rear-seat media package that consists of dual 12.6-inch LCD touchscreens.

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Power, Towing, & Suspension

2021 Suburban buyers will have a choice of three engines: a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower comes standard on LS, LT, Z71, RST, and Premier models, while the top-end High Country gets a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 hp as standard. There's also an optional Duramax 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel for all trims except for the Z71. It's rated at 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of engine choice, all come paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

As always, the new Suburban was designed with towing in mind. There's an available Max Trailering package that adds a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan, integrated trailer brake controller, Hitch Guidance with Hitch View, and the Chevrolet trailering app. As of this writing, Chevrolet has not released official tow ratings.

An all-new chassis and that longer wheelbase, combined with the independent multilink rear suspension promise an improved overall ride. An Air Ride adaptive suspension system, featuring automatic load-leveling and ride-height adjustment capabilities, is available on High Country and Z71 models. Magnetic Ride Control is also optional.

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Pricing & Competition

When you get SUVs this large, the competition is actually quite limited. Like before, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban will face off directly against the Ford Expedition Max and Lincoln Navigator L. The Suburban's corporate cousins, the also redesigned GMC Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade ESV, should also be mentioned though both are more premium and luxurious.

Official pricing for the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban has not been announced. Chances are they won't be a significant increase over the outgoing model, which ranged from $51,700 to nearly $70,000. Production is planned to get underway in the middle of next year. The 2021 Suburban will continue to be manufactured at GM's plant in Arlington, Texas.

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Chevrolet Suburban Popular Comparisons

$51,700 - $75,300
Price Range (MSRP)
Chevrolet Suburban
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