Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
Wow, the latest generation Suburban is the truth, as is its stablemate, familiarly known as the Tahoe. Both have held their own in the extra-large SUV category with toughness, spaciousness, and ruggedness. But unlike its legendary predecessor, this all-new fleet is endowed with remarkable technology, innovative safety advancements, and satiating comfort features. Essentially, you now receive 2-for-1 in the 2021 Suburban.
Thinking back, I must know at least 20 people — along with cousin Yukon – that own one or the other. Since day one, GM’s SUV collection has been a hot item ticket, so imagine the pursuit of the 2021 models once the economy stabilizes. I was fortunate enough to have had the 2021 Suburban 4WD High Country dropped off for three days of enjoyment and evaluations. My team hauler rolled up in a Graywood Metallic exterior enhanced by a unique High Country signature grille and quad circular exhaust tips. The Jet Black interior featured bronze accents and contrast stitching outlining the premium leather. The High Country is the most elite package out of six Suburban trims, which comprises the Premier, Z71, RST, LT, and the entry-level LS that kicks off at $51,700.
Starting at $75,300 for the Suburban High Country, pricing topped $84,545 and included the $3,355 Technology Package, $1,745 Power Assist Steps, and $1,500 Power Panoramic Sunroof. The truck rolls on 22” Sterling Silver rims and 275/50R22 Bridgestone all-season tires. Its longer wheelbase is backed by an independent rear suspension and Magnetic Ride Control with the $1,000 Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension (up to 4” of ride height adjustment). Essentially, the Chevy does not float like a boat on water, which is a tendency of vehicles of this proportion. Additionally, you can adjust the ride mannerism between Normal, Sport, and Off-Road, and set the truck in Tow-Haul mode when required. I was impressed with the customized road behavior of this big boy.
The Suburban is offered with three engine packages and paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control. However, I’m not a fan of pushbutton gear selectors. I need an actual shifter in my right hand. A 5.3-liter V8 with 355-horsepower sees work in all models except for the High Country, which rocks with a 6.2-liter V8 churning out 420 horsepower. A Duramax 3-liter inline-six turbo-diesel is upgradeable on all Suburbans except the Z71. The acceleration of the 6.2 is just right. Never did it feel sluggish when I needed power the most.
Chevrolet increased the overall length of the Suburban to add supplementary storage behind the third row, which drops down or rises back up by a power switch in the cargo area. The second-row captain chairs can slide 5.5” forward or rearward and can also be flattened from the back position. Under the rear floorboard is a full-length and compartmentalized bin for necessities such as blankets, footballs, tennis racquets, safety kits, or sneakers when you want to stop and run the trails through the high country. For your portable speaker and other large devices, the SUV provides power by way of electrical outlets.
Behind the wheel of the Suburban High Country, you feel like a boss. The precision and craftsmanship are akin to an Escalade. The steering wheel feels taught and premium, like imports from Germany, the center stack is infused with actual knobs for volume, tuning, and tri-zone HVAC, and the 10.2″ multimedia screen can be manipulated by touchscreen or the dials. Really, automakers are going too far with the “screen only” infotainment technology, so I’m happy to see Chevy in the right place. Infotainment 3 Premium with Navigation manages audio from the 10-speaker Bose sound system and the array of Apps like WSJ, USA Today (audio news reading), Spotify, Amazon Alexa, and Marketplace when searching for fuel, food, and more. Of course, OnStar and Trailering are available through the LCD screen. Moreover, a camera view setting allows you to monitor nine vehicle positions with ultra-vivid imagery.
A few other notables include the triple-layered storage pockets on the doors, 30 safety and driver convenience features, a smartphone charge pad, and a hands-free programmable power liftgate that broadcasts the Chevrolet emblem onto the ground. I loved the 15” Head-Up Display that highlights the distance in seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. For the ladies, there is a power sliding console to place purses in prime position. My wife fancied this small but thoughtful touchstone. Lastly, a set of 12.6″ entertainment screens are positioned on the back of the driver and front passenger seats. Although this is pretty played and takes up space, passengers can watch videos, listen to their music, or send directions to the central front screen.
The Suburban nameplate has paved the way for 85-years now and continues to offer customers a suitable platform for road trip escapes, extensive hauling capabilities, and versatile utility. From what I experienced, you certainly won’t be disappointed!
I also want to extend respect to Chevrolet for producing and distributing over 4 million face masks and 230,000 face shields to frontline workers utilizing the infrastructure of its Warren Technical facility. Well done.