2016 Chevrolet Suburban Expert Review

4.4 Overall Score
Performance 4.2 Comfort 4.4 Styling 4.3 Value 4.4

Editor's Overview

Chevy’s eternally popular Suburban is the peak of the full-size SUV class, with impressive capabilities, inviting luxury, a host of refinements and a remarkable driving experience, all wrapped up in a commanding presence that owns the road in the looks department. With the exception of its General Motors sibling, the GMC Yukon, nothing else really matches up to the 2016 Suburban.

You'll Like The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban If...

You know who you are. If your needs include a cavernous capacity, incredible interior, prodigious power for terrific trailer towing and delightful driving, go no further than the 2016 Chevy Suburban.

You May Not Like The 2016 Chevrolet Suburban If...

Chevy’s big Suburban takes up a lot of parking space and it’s no fuel-economy champ. If you don’t need what it offers, it could be an unfortunate purchase choice. Consider a minivan or smaller SUV, either of which will be much better suited to your needs.

What's New

Since the Suburban was as new as new gets in 2015, changes for 2016 are minimal. An enhanced Driver Alert Package includes several convenience and safety features, there’s an available head-up display, a new standard 8-inch screen with Connected Radio, enhanced Chevrolet MyLink with phone integration and some new colors.

Interior Features

The 2016 Suburban's upscale interior grabs your attention from the moment you step inside; its artful shapes, high-end materials and excellent fit and finish seem more appropriate for a luxury sedan than a full-size SUV. The 2nd-row's comfy seats recline but, unfortunately, don't slide fore and aft. The third row has enough foot- and legroom for adults, at least for shorter trips, and kids will be fine. A high cargo floor provides space for the flat-fold 3rd-row seats, but that space is not wasted – under the floor is a handy hidden storage area.

Exterior Features

For 2016 the Suburban’s exterior shares nothing of design or components with its Silverado pickup truck counterpart. Chevy’s exterior designers had a lot of space at their disposal and used it well; this big SUV has a presence that is decidedly commanding. Long, flowing lines emphasize the Suburban's considerable length instead of hiding it, and the broad front face owns the traffic lane. Dimensionally, the 2016 Suburban is about the same size as all those versions of years past, but then, when you're talking about full-size SUVs, an inch here or there doesn't make much of a difference.

Driving Impressions

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. Exceptionally impressive is the Magnetic Ride Control, available on the upper-level LTZ trim; its advanced shock absorbers continually monitor road conditions and adjust themselves accordingly, delivering both a supple ride and remarkably precise control. Occupants will also appreciate the conversationally quiet interior, whether chatting to each other or taking in some tunes. 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. Except for having to put gas in the tank, the only real downside to driving is parking it at the end of trip, as maneuvering in tight spots takes some awareness.

Pricing Notes

The 2016 Suburban is not inexpensive but, if it’s what you need, it’s the best and biggest available. The base LS carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just above $50,000 for a 2WD version, the mid-range LT starts below $56,000 and the LTZ is around $65,500. Add $3,000 for 4WD. You can keep checking the options list and go way up from there. That's markedly more than a Toyota Sequoia or Nissan Armada, but the Suburban is a lot bigger. It’s more expensive than the Ford Expedition EL but, in that case, the Suburban is newer and, well, nicer. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are paying for a 2016 Suburban. Historically, Suburban resale values have been down around its Ford and Nissan rivals and measurably below those of the Toyota Sequoia. But this new Suburban might start to change that.

Notable Equipment

Standard on all Suburbans is the 5.3-liter V8 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission and a cavernous interior. The base-level LS trim has cloth seats, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors and the new standard Chevrolet MyLink 8-inch diagonal touch screen that includes Bluetooth streaming audio and other features. The mid-range LT trim has forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and the availability of features not offered on the LS. The LTZ models add rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot alerts, up-level audio, heated and cooled seats, the package availability of Magnetic Ride Control, 20-inch wheels and a boat-load of other items.

Notable Options

The 2016 Suburban’s available-equipment list is extensive. Among the choices: Order the LS trim level with the front bench seat and Chevy’s biggest can haul nine people to the movies. For the LT version we like the exceptionally comprehensive Luxury Package which, for $3,110, adds many of the LTZ's luxury touches, and a $3,355 Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package bundles navigation, a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system, a power sunroof and many other items on LT and LTZ trims. Rear-seat DVD by itself is $1,695 and there is a wide variety of wheel choices, all the way up to 22-inchers.

Favorite Features

SUPERB INTERIOR

Step into the 2016 Suburban and expect to be captivated, as nothing here says “truck.” The layout, the artistic flow and selection of materials are far beyond merely very nice. Control operation defines user-friendliness and there’s nearly 40 cubic feet of space behind the fold-flat 3rd-row seat.


EXTERIOR STYLING

We like the commanding looks of Chevy’s big new Suburban. It has a definite attention-grabbing presence, and we particularly appreciate that it does not look like an 8-passenger version of the Silverado pickup, but instead brings its own identity to valet parking. Nothing wrong with a great-looking ride.

Under the Hood

Chevy’s sole powertrain for its 2016 Suburban is a fine one: the very well-proven 5.3-liter 355-horsepower V8 with a 6-speed automatic. The larger engines of years past have been dropped because very few people bought them. No loss; the 5.3 makes plenty of power, cranks out 383 lb-ft of torque, features direct fuel injection and Active Cylinder Management and, if not a fuel-economy leader, delivers efficiency which is at least reasonable, considering the big Suburban’s muscular capabilities. The smooth 6-speed automatic does a good job of keeping the engine in the best part of its power range and 4-wheel drive (4WD) is optionally available. Maximum towing capacity with 2-wheel drive (2WD) is 8,300 pounds, so the 5.3 is more than willing and able.


5.3-liter V8

355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (2WD); 15/22 mpg (4WD)

Editors' Notes

Chevrolet’s eternally popular Suburban was all-new last year and is the pinnacle of the full-size SUV market, with a combination of striking looks, impressive capabilities, noteworthy luxury, detail refinement and a driving experience that makes it tops in its class. Changes for 2016 are understandably minimal, and include new driver aids for enhanced operation, convenience and safety, an upgraded sound system and some new colors. The main competition in this category is the Ford Expedition EL, a popular and capable choice in its own right, but the newer Suburban beats it on newness and refinement, and the import competitors, such as the Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia, simply do not match up on size and capabilities. This really is the top of the full-size SUV class.

Road Test Video Reviews

2016 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Reviews

4.68
80 Reviews
71% 25% 4% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%
Leave your review

Would you recommend this vehicle?

(Select your rating)

There is lots of space in the vehicle for a growing family.

This was our first car with a backup camera, so it took a little while to get used to it but I still tend to look around the old school way. The camera does come in handy when in park lots though. I love the little features of the car such as the little hidden space to store stuff in the dash by just pressing a button and the radio screen slides up and down. I really enjoy the extra USB plugs for charging my phone and connect to the hand free mode while still charging instead of wasting battery by just doing Bluetooth. Car has been very reliable since purchasing in 2016. My kids enjoy have separate seats with the captain chairs we opted for. When we do use the 3rd row it does help the person in the back who is sitting the middle to have that extra legroom from the aisle opening. Overall I enjoy the car especially for my growing family without having to go to a minivan (which my husband did not want to do if he didn't have to).

- Alex P

The Best Vehicle for a Large Family

Mechanically sound vehicle. I have had zero issues with any of the drivetrain. It isn't hard on tire. Oil changes are quite expensive because it uses a lot more oil than a car but I guess that goes along with everything about bigger vehicles, tires are more expensive, fuel, etc. I do have some complaints about the display features. You have to subscribe to Onstar and call them to program a destination to have turn by turn directions on the display. There is no independant navigation function. It brags to be compatible with your phone but it has some quirks. If you have an android phone you cannot cast your display onto the screen. If you have an apple phone the console charging pad does not work.

- Leeanne P

2016 Chevy suburban. Family of 6!

The 2016 Chevrolet suburban fits our needs for a family of 6. The bucket seats offer space for my 5 year old twins to get to the back bench seats where they can put on their own seat belts. Also, speaking of 4 kids under 5, the rear storage is large enough to always have extra room for toting around strollers, groceries, or luggage during road trips. We also pull a family travel trailer with this vehicle, towing capacity seems a lot larger than what we needed but towing with it is average. Our trailer is approx. 4, 000 lbs with which the suburban does fine. It just does not like to go up hills very fast.

- Clark W

While this car may have some cons. They outweigh the pros by a lot!

While it does up a ton of gas and is pretty slow and clunky, it's engine has very good horsepower with quick start up. The features like in car entertainment and built in Wi-Fi and navigation outweighs the cons of this vehicle. The seats in the front and middle rows are very comfortable, which is great for road trips. Also the Wi-Fi is better good and the radio support is amazing. The only thing I wish this car had was more electrical ports and better back row seats. Besides that this is an amazing car for a huge family on road trips.

- Anthony L

Excellent vehicle for a family !

I own a 2016 Chevrolet Suburban it is a must for a big family. This vehicle is comfortable and has a lot of room. The dual DVDs are a must when traveling with kids. A feature in the newer suburbans and newer Chevys that I love is the child lock for the back doors. It is a button on the drivers window panel instead in the actual back door. This was genius ! The only thing I wish could improve would be a little more room in the third seat. It works great for my 10 and 6 year old, but having an adult back there is a little uncomfortable.

- Casey H

2016 Chevy Suburban is Comfortable and a perfect fit for a large family

The 2016 Chevy Suburban is a great comfort vehicle. We needed something large because we have a family of 7. Also, something that is capable of hauling trailers, etc. Mileage is good for city driving, I don't do highway much but the comfort of the ride is very nice, it's not a rough ride. The trunk has the open button feature on the tailgate as well as the key fob. It has a press to start feature as well which is very nice if its raining me Plenty of cargo space in the back

- Erica B

Chevy suburban is great, just wish the 3rd row was easier to access.

We really enjoy the room the suburban has to offer. With 2 toddlers and another baby on the way this vehicle has plenty of room and comfort for everyday use and when we travel to visit family. The only negative with this vehicle is accessing the 3rd row of seats. You have to fold down the door seat to enter the 3rd row, this would be fine if the seat was removable but it is not and the only trim package that offers the bucket seats is the very expensive ltz package.

- Whitney H

Great large family suburban!

I really love the amount of space in the suburban has. We are a family of 6 so space is very important to us. We use a double stroller and it is able to fit in the trunk with plenty of space left over to fit our groceries. The only reason why I did not rate the suburban huger was because the feature that has to charge the phone while placing it in the middle of the front seats broke very easily. Other than that, it has great safety features as well.

- Claudia M

It is safer than a minivan since it is higher up.

The pros of the Chevrolet suburban are the space in the car for all of the kids and being higher up feels safer. The back of the suburban holds two double cars seats for my kids. We even drive our family of six down to Florida in the suburban and all four food, luggage and strollers fit. The cons is the TV screens burn out. We have had to take them back twice so far to get fixed. It was covered under warranty.

- Danielle A

Suburban smooth ride - heated seats.

The front seats are heated which is a plus however I wish the back seats were heated as well. I do not like the leg room in the third row. It is enough for a child not an adult. We have TVs installed which make road trips with the kids easy. I wish the sound system was better our old car had Bose which is a better system all together. I think the rear camera should be better it is hard to see at night time.

- Crystal T

Leave your review