2018 Chevrolet Suburban

Performance


$50,200 MSRP
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2018 Chevrolet Suburban Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2018 Chevrolet Suburban delivers everything that most people want in a large SUV. It has a powerful V8 engine and a smooth ride. It’s not the most nimble SUV on the road, and fuel economy – as is the case for this entire class – isn’t great. Still, the Chevy Suburban is a great choice for carting the family around, hauling cargo, and towing some stuff.

  • "You already know the Suburban doesn't perform like a low-slung sport sedan. Just like a good 300-lb NFL linebacker, the Suburban will surprise you with its speed, its athleticism and its sheer will to get the job done." -- Autotrader
  • "… the Suburban is an eager partner in all kinds of outdoor adventures, and few vehicles deliver so much capability at this price point." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Science works. Chevrolet's 2016 Suburban, at close to three tons, drives pretty much like a luxury car with a lot of room inside. Clearly, the engineers have spent quality time on ride and handling, and all models of the Suburban deliver an exemplary driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The Chevy Suburban features a 5.3-liter V8 engine that puts out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard. The engine delivers plenty of power and the transmission shifts smoothly. However, you’ll have to stomp the gas pedal to get moving, as throttle response is tuned to improve fuel efficiency. The Suburban can tow up to 8,300 pounds, which isn’t as much as rivals like the Ford Expedition can manage.

Fuel economy is a drawback for all large SUVs, but the Suburban’s ratings are typical for the class. It earns an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Ratings drop by about 1 mpg if you opt for four-wheel drive.

  • "As for power, the big 5.3-liter V8 has plenty to spare and is easily capable of surpassing the 20 mpg mark when driven at reasonable highway speeds." -- Autotrader
  • "The stout 5.3-liter V8 under the 2017 Suburban's hood is easily up to the task of hauling a full complement of people and cargo, although the heavy effort of the throttle pedal (a measure to improve fuel economy) makes the vehicle react sluggishly. The lethargy that results means that the driver needs to get on the gas pedal earlier and more aggressively when merging onto a highway or passing slower traffic." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The only engine choice is a fine one: the familiar and long-proven 5.3-liter V8, which is seamlessly competent, strong, quiet and smooth." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Handling and Braking

As you might expect, the Suburban’s incredible size is a hindrance in parking lots and confined spaces. However, it won’t hold you back on the road; the Suburban corners fairly well and exhibits little body roll. The steering is also sharp. This Chevrolet rides smoothly and absorbs road imperfections with ease. The available Magnetic Ride Control (standard in the Premier trim) further improves handling and ride comfort. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

  • "On narrow roads, the Suburban requires a vigilant hand at the wheel, but when the road starts to twist and turn, it proves easy to keep inside the lines. The steering responds precisely to inputs, and the gas pedal requires only the lightest touch to increase velocity. GM's StabiliTrak stability control does an excellent job of keeping the Suburban's 5,500-lb bulk in check, especially during emergency-avoidance maneuvers." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2017 Chevrolet Suburban is one massive SUV, and this is readily apparent when you're behind the wheel. As a truck-based SUV, it's not nearly as agile or maneuverable as car-based crossovers, and multiple-point turns will be a common occurrence in tight confines." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The electric power steering provides reduced steering effort in parking lots and surprisingly good on-center highway feel, as well as nice effort build-up on winding roads. A redesigned braking system provides solid, confident pedal feel while remaining easy to modulate." -- Car and Driver (2015)
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