Now going on 83 years, the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban carries the industry’s longest-running nameplate. Still the go-to vehicle for big families with big needs, the Suburban is hard to beat. Its only real competition comes from the extended-length Ford Expedition Max, a vehicle that is both newer and able to tow 1,000 more pounds than the Chevy.
You'll Like The 2018 Chevrolet Suburban If...
If you need maximum space short of driving a bus, the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban has you covered. Its sleek exterior strikes an imposing stance, and its massive interior is filled with cleaver features to keep the kids happy on long trips. A robust V8 and 8,300-pound max tow rating also come in handy.
You May Not Like The 2018 Chevrolet Suburban If...
You can tow up to 9,300-pounds with a Ford Expedition Max, plus you’ll get a better ride and flat loading floor as well. If you just need a roomy 3-row SUV without the added bulk, check out the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot or the 2019 Subaru Ascent.
For 2018, the Suburban gains a new RST (Rally Sport Truck) package that brings 22-inch gloss-black wheels, gloss-black trim and unique badging. LED daytime running lights are made standard on all trims, and new dealer-installed options include a Borla exhaust and Brembo brakes.
The 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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.
GM has put everything it knows about suspension and steering systems into the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban, and in doing so has created a massive SUV that rides and handles with remarkable ease. This nearly 3-ton body-on-frame family hauler rides more like a large luxury sedan than a truck-based SUV. Agile in tight confines and stable at high speeds, the Suburban is able to round corners without instilling a sense of top heaviness one might expect of such a tall vehicle. Premier models further improve the ride with a set of magnetically adjustable shocks that adjust to road conditions in just milliseconds. The Suburban’s 5.3-liter V8 generates 355 horsepower, not the best in class but more than enough to move this mammoth Chevy with vigor, even when fully loaded. Equally impressive is the 23-mpg highway fuel-economy figure, a number thought impossible for a vehicle of this size a mere decade ago.
The 2018 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 $51,400 for a 2WD version, the mid-range LT starts over $56,500 and the Premier is around $66,125. 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 now less expensive than the new Ford Expedition Max, but not as sophisticated. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are paying for a Suburban. Historically, Suburban resale values have been better than the Ford Expedition, on par with the Nissan Armada and measurably below those of the Toyota Sequoia, but the 2018 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 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.
Today’s Suburban bears little resemblance to the first vehicle to wear the name, with an interior that could easily grace any number of luxury cars. Wide comfortable seats, a sleek dash and intelligently designed controls are joined by 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 3rd-row seat.
REAR SEAT REMINDER
By monitoring the opening of the rear doors before the engine is started, Rear Seat Reminder operates by reminding the driver to check the rear seat for valuables, pets or children before exiting the vehicle.
Under the Hood
Chevy’s sole powertrain for its 2018 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.
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)
Having first been introduced in 1935, the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban carries the industry’s longest-running nameplate. Still the go-to vehicle for big families with big needs, the Suburban is hard to beat. Its only real competition comes from the all-new extended-length Ford Expedition Max, a vehicle that offers a higher tow rating than the big Chevy by 1,000 pounds. But, the Suburban’s ace in the hole is its upscale interior, proven 5.3-liter V8 engine and numerous high-tech infotainment and driver-assist features. Neither the Nissan Armada nor Toyota Sequoia can match the Suburban’s dimensions, although those looking for even more power and even greater creature comforts can find it in the Suburban’s twin, the GMC Yukon Denali.