New (and bigger) on the outside. The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban lives by simple rules: size matters, bigger is better, and anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
Chevy’s truck-based, full-size SUV is back with a full redesign. The overhaul has increased wheelbase to a whopping 134.1 inches, and total length now sits at nearly 19 feet. We’d advise measuring your garage.
The styling draws inspiration from the Chevy Silverado, with an imposing grille and slabby sides creased at the beltline. It’s a striking look, made more impressive by the size. The Suburban shares much in common with the related Chevy Tahoe, but the design looks more spectacular here.
Bigger inside, too. The stretched dimensions have paid dividends in the cabin. The previous generation’s third row was notably cramped, but the new Suburban treats way-back passengers to nearly 37 inches of legroom. That’s more than the second row of many compact sedans.
In the second row of the Suburban, legroom has also increased to 42 inches. The previous model wasn’t uncomfortable for four or five passengers, but the new one is downright spacious. The front seats, as usual, are deluxe.
As you’d expect of a body this large, cargo capacity is exceptional. The Suburban has over 41 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which is already more than most SUVs. Fold all the seats, and capacity expands to a minivan-esque 144.7 cubic feet.
The same under the hood. The sheet metal may be new, but the Chevy Suburban’s power is mostly unchanged. The two most common options are V8s of 355 and 420 horsepower. Both are quite capable of moving the Suburban’s bulk, and we expect them to be paired with a forgiving ride.
Maximum towing capacity will also remain unchanged at 8,300 pounds. That’s respectable for a full-size SUV, although the Ford Expedition can manage slightly better.
The new kid on the block is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel, which matches that larger V8 with 460 pound-feet of torque. Official pricing hasn’t been announced, but the turbodiesel will likely be a pricey upgrade. It's by far the most efficient option, managing 23 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA.
Nearly modern. To go with its capacious interior, Chevy has updated the Suburban’s dash with a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen. That’s a lot of real estate, but the Suburban retains some physical buttons for functions like climate control.
More safety features come standard this year, notably automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. That said, advanced features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control remain optional. More manufacturers are making this technology standard, and we wish Chevy would follow suit.
If you have any doubt that the new Suburban is still a good old-fashioned SUV, look no further than the fuel economy. Excepting the turbodiesel, most Suburbans won’t do better than 17 mpg combined. We never expected the Suburban to be eco-friendly, but expect to stop at the pump often.
Final thoughts. The new 2021 Chevy Suburban takes the virtues of the previous generation and dials them up a notch, which should earn it plenty of fans. It looks the part, it adds some worthwhile tech, and it grows even larger inside and out.
Fuel economy and standard safety features remain among its flaws. Do most buyers need a car this large? Probably not, but we suspect that won’t stop them from buying one.
Check prices for the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban »