The Chevrolet Suburban has been around in some form or another since 1935. But its most recent change came in 2015, when Chevy ushered in a revamped look without interfering with the traditional two-box design fans love. Little changed as the 2018 Suburban hit showrooms, but who needs tons of change in a segment with such limited competition?

Best Value

The Suburban has a slew of trims to choose from, each offering a little something more than the next. But the best value is the midrange LT, which adds desirable features like leather seats, heated front seats, and a power liftgate without bumping the price too much. Of course, if you need room for nine people, you’ll have to stick with the base LS trim, as it’s the only one that offers this seating arrangement.

  • Model: 2018 Chevrolet Suburban LT 4WD
  • Engine: 5.3-liter V8
  • Output: 355 hp / 383 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 16 City / 23 Hwy
  • Options: Four-wheel drive ($3,000), Sun, Entertainment, and Destinations Package ($3,030, SiriusXM NavTraffic, rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-Ray player, third-row Blu-Ray/DVD screen, and Chevrolet MyLink with 8-inch screen and navigation)
  • Base Price: $56,595 (including $1,295 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $63,125

Performance

Chevy Suburban

The 2018 Suburban’s truck-style frame allows it to tow up to 8,300 pounds, while its standard 5.3-liter V8 manages the immense weight surprisingly well. It also delivers a smooth ride, even on rough roads, although minimal feedback comes through the steering.

But its best attribute is also the source of its biggest flaw, as that body-on-frame underpinnings result in truck-like handing. While other SUVs and crossovers can zip through corners in more car-like fashion, the Suburban is distinctly truck-y in this sense, with lots of roll, squat, and dive. It feels cumbersome, and every bit like a big truck.

While its six-speed automatic transmission is plenty capable and well-tuned, it is getting long in the tooth compared to today's nine- and 10-speed gearboxes.

Interior and Exterior

The Suburban’s throwback looks are a blessing to drivers that eschew the swoopy crossovers of today. That said, its unconventional headlights give the Suburban the character it’s lacked in previous generations. The new RST package also adds a little extra character to this blocky SUV.

Cargo hauling is the Suburban's specialty, as it boasts nearly 40 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, 77 cubes with the third row folded, and a cavernous 122 cubes with both rear rows folded.

The interior can be a little oversimplified, especially in the base LS trim. The base model also suffers from a less-than-ideal dashboard set up that cuts into the middle passenger’s legroom.

While there is tons of cargo room in the Suburban, its high cargo floor may make it tough to load larger items.

The Best and Worst Things

The Suburban’s do-it-all nature is a rarity in today’s world of uni-body crossovers and fuel-economy concerns. It can tug along a massive trailer or the Brady Bunch and never break a sweat.

That said, it’s truck-like setup may not be for everyone. Not only does it ride bouncier than most crossovers and handle like a pickup, but its load floor is very high, making grocery hauling a bit of a task.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chevy Suburban

The Suburban is perfect for a big family who also needs to haul a trailer. With up to a nine-person capacity and more than 8,000 pounds of towing strength, this throwback SUV is perfect.

Those looking for a daily commuter will find this behemoth way too much for zipping in and out of traffic. Plus, its horrendous 23 miles per gallon highway rating gobbles gallons of petrol like Pac-Man.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Chevrolet Suburban has its key group of buyers: those who need big passenger room and huge towing. For the typical buyer, though, there are far better options on the market.