In the marketplace of full-size family SUVs, the 2017 Chevrolet Suburban is a force to be reckoned with. From its modern exterior to its spacious and well-appointed interior, everything about this big machine is designed to appeal to large families who need a powerful, comfortable and capable SUV that also places an emphasis on safety and strong resale.
You'll Like The 2017 Chevrolet Suburban If...
If you have big needs in the areas of people hauling, cargo hauling and trailer hauling, but you don’t want to drive something truckish or crude, check out Chevrolet’s 2017 Suburban SUV. The Suburban’s ample capabilities, luxurious surrounding and high-tech features are sure to impress.
You May Not Like The 2017 Chevrolet Suburban If...
The 2017 Chevy Suburban is a big, expensive SUV. If you don’t need the extra cargo and towing ability, a 3-row crossover SUV like the Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia or Mazda CX-9 will work just as well, plus deliver better handling, fuel economy and maneuverability at a much lower price.
Chevrolet gives the 2017 Suburban SUV more features this year, including standard Teen Driver and available low-speed, forward-collision braking. The LTZ trim is renamed Premier and given perforated leather seats, while the MyLink system can now remind parents to check the back seat before leaving the vehicle.
The 2017 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.
The 2017 Chevy 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 2017 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.
Thanks to GM’s technological prowess in the areas of engine and suspension design, the 2017 Chevrolet Suburban is a full-size SUV made to ride and drive like a large luxury car. Although it weighs in at nearly three tons, the Suburban is amazingly agile, stable at high speeds and adept in sharp corners. The Premier trim features GM’s Magnetic Ride Control shock absorbers that continually monitor and adapt to road conditions, changing the shock settings in just milliseconds. Inside, passengers will find the Suburban well isolated from outside noise, allowing for normal levels of conversation over all three rows. Power for the 2017 Suburban is supplied by a 5.3-liter V8. With 355 horsepower on tap, it’s not the strongest engine in the segment, but it never feels taxed or strained. The Suburban’s estimated 23-mpg highway fuel-economy figure is an achievement that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.
The 2017 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 over $51,000 for a 2WD version, the mid-range LT starts over $56,000 and the Premier is around $66,000. Add $3,000 for 4WD. 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 2017 Suburban. Historically, Suburban resale values have been better than the Ford Expedition EL, on par with the Nissan Armada and measurably below those of the Toyota Sequoia, but the 2017 Suburban looks to be closing the gap.
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 standard Chevrolet MyLink 8-inch diagonal touch screen that includes Bluetooth streaming audio, apps 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 Premier models add rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot alerts, up-level audio, heated and cooled seats, programmable power liftgate, 20-inch wheels and a boatload of other items.
The 2017 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. Any trim can be equipped with the Driver Alert Package that adds low-speed forward automatic braking, IntelliBeam automatic high beams, lane-keep assist, driver-alert seat and power-adjustable pedals. For the LT version we like the exceptionally comprehensive Luxury Package that adds many of the Premier's luxury touches, and the Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package that bundles navigation, a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system, a power sunroof and many other items.
When one mentions Chevrolet, economy-minded cars and trucks generally come to mind. But the 2017 Chevy Suburban’s interior looks like it could have been pulled from a Cadillac or Infiniti, it’s that nice. User-friendly controls and extremely comfortable seats accompany 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 3rd-row seat.
REAR SEAT REMINDER
Although the Rear Seat Reminder cannot detect a person or child seat in the car, it monitors when the rear doors are opened or closed within 10 minutes of the engine starting or idling. The system will then remind the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle.
Under the Hood
Chevy’s sole powertrain for its 2017 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 (and 8,000 pounds for the 4WD), so the 5.3 is more than willing and able.
355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (2WD), 16/22 mpg (4WD)Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
In the race for full-size family-SUV supremacy, it is hard to beat the 2017 Chevrolet Suburban. From its modern exterior to its spacious and well-appointed interior, everything about this massive machine is designed to appeal to large families who need a powerful, comfortable and capable SUV, one that also places an emphasis on safety and reliability. Although a Ford Expedition EL can tow a bit more, its aging architecture precludes it from offering such features as collision mitigation. The Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia are not as long as the Suburban, but the Armada has a higher tow rating, while the Sequoia holds slightly better resale value. The GMC Yukon Denali matches the Suburban’s size, while offering even more power and luxury.