The iconic three-row SUV simply refuses to die.
Despite many of its rivals failing over the years, the Chevrolet Suburban is still in production today. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the popular three-row SUV, making it the auto industry's longest-running nameplate. In fact, the Suburban is the first vehicle to reach 85 years of continuous production, which is an impressive feat.
"While the world has changed significantly, the Suburban is just as relevant today as it was in 1935. Suburban created the sport utility vehicle – offering an unprecedented combination of passenger comfort and cargo capacity," said Paul Edwards, Chevrolet marketing vice president. "That has earned Suburban the trust of a wide range of people – from families to law enforcement, and even a starring-role in pop culture."
"The name Suburban is so widely recognized that at various times over history it was used by a few vehicle manufacturers," said Leslie Kendall, curator at the Petersen Automotive Museum. "But the Chevrolet Suburban – the forerunner of the modern SUV – has stood the test of time. From family road-trips to dignitary protection, to TV and film and everywhere in-between, over the last 85 years the Suburban has become a fixture of Americana."
The Suburban was first launched in 1935, back when it was known as the Suburban Carryallm and was the first heavy-duty, truck-based wagon of its kind. Its heavy-duty truck-based chassis increasingly proved popular with commercial customers, but its popularity with private customers increased after World War II.
However, it achieved mainstream fame during the 1990s SUV boom and remains an American automotive icon today. The original 1935 Suburban had room for eight occupants, while removable seats provided a large 115.1 cubic foot cargo area when the second-row seats were folded and third-row seats removed. Power was provided by inline-six-cylinder engine that produced 60 horsepower.
Fast forward to today, and the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban seats up to nine and offers up to 121.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the second and third-row seats are folded down. Under the hood is a 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 horsepower – that's seven times the power of the original 1935 model. The iconic three-row SUV's legacy will continue for future generations too, as an all-new Suburban is expected to arrive in 2020.