Introduced in 1935, Chevrolet Suburban is the original SUV and the oldest continuous nameplate in automotive history. Seventy-eight years later, it continues with the same blend of spaciousness and capability that has distinguished it for generations.
For 2013, Suburban is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models – in 2WD and 4WD – as well as half-ton and heavy-duty ¾-ton series. (LTZ is available only on half-ton.) A Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed is standard on half-ton models, optimizing fuel economy on the highway via reduced engine speed. Also, the lower-rpm engine speed on the highway enhances interior quietness.
All models ride on a 130-inch (3,302 mm) wheelbase, which supports the Suburban’s generous passenger and cargo capability, while enabling a smooth ride. It is based on GM’s full-size SUV architecture, which features sleek, exterior styling; a sharp, precise driving feel; and excellent interior refinement and quietness.
Behind the first-row seats, Suburban offers 137.4 cubic feet (3,890 liters) of cargo room, along with up to 8,100 pounds (3,674 kg) of towing capability (half-ton 2WD models). When properly equipped, Suburban ¾-ton can tow up to 9,600 pounds (4,354 kg).
New for 2013 is a trio of exterior colors, including Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic (late availability) and Blue Ray Metallic (late availability).
Also new is powertrain grade braking in the normal transmission mode – it was previously incorporated only when the Tow/Haul mode was activated. It uses engine torque to help slow the vehicle on descents, which helps reduce brake wear.
Suburban design and exterior features
Suburban features the global face of Chevrolet, with a large Chevy gold bowtie centered on a twin-port horizontal grille. The grille surround is inset with an argent texture or available chrome finish. Fog lamps and headlamps feature detailed optics. The lower fascia, incorporating the front license plate holder and integrated recovery hooks, is aggressively styled with a skid plate look that enhances Suburban’s rugged, off-road appearance. Additional features include:
• Power-retractable assist steps are available on LTZ
• Heated power-operated outside mirrors are standard on LTZ and available on LT. They include auto-dimming, integrated signal indicators, ground lights and curb-tilt feature
• A power-operated liftgate is available on LT and standard on LTZ
• A range of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels is offered. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard on LS and LT, with 20-inch wheels standard on LTZ
• Dealer-installed accessory wheels include 20- and 22-inch designs
• Exterior color choices include: Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Black, Silver Ice Metallic, Olympic White, Black Granite Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic (late availability) and Blue Ray Metallic (late availability).
The Z71 Off Road appearance package is available on LT models and includes high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, color-keyed wheel flares, an aggressive front fascia and satin chrome tubular assist steps, and bright chrome front grille insert provide a one-of-a kind appearance.
Suburban interior standard and available features
Attention to detail is a hallmark of the Suburban’s cabin. There are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. It also has the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous storage compartments.
Three rows of seating are standard on all models. The second row is available as a three-passenger bench with a 60/40 split or two bucket seats. The third row features a 50/50-split design and is removable. A power-assisted second row seat release feature is available on LT and standard on LTZ. Additional features include:
• Leather-appointed seating is standard on LT and LTZ
• Heated and cooled front seats and heated second-row seats are standard on LTZ
• A heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on LTZ
• Dual-zone automatic climate control on LT and LTZ; dual-zone manual-control air conditioning on LS
• A rear-seat entertainment system is available on LT and LTZ, including DVD player with remote control, two overhead displays, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks and remote game plug-in
• SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard on all models
• Audio system with AM/FM/CD and USB port is standard on LS and LT
• Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is standard on LTZ; Bose nine-speaker sound standard on LT and six-speaker sound system standard on LS
• Navigation radio with touch-screen operation is standard on LTZ and available on LT
• Bluetooth phone connectivity is standard on all models
• Power-adjustable pedals are standard on LT and LTZ and available on LS
• Remote vehicle starter system is standard on LT and LTZ and available on LS
• The Convenience Package is available on LS and includes power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starter system, rear park assist, rear vision camera and inside mirror with camera display
• The Luxury Package is available on LT and includes heated second-row seats, power-release second-row seats, power liftgate, universal home remote, outside heated power-adjustable/folding mirrors and inside auto-dimming mirror
• The Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package is available on LT and LTZ and includes an additional nine months of SiriusXM radio and XM NavTraffic service, power sunroof and rear-seat DVD entertainment system with third-row DVD screen. LT also includes audio system with navigation, AM/FM/SiriusXM radio with CD, rear vision camera and auto-dimming inside rearview mirror.
All half-ton models are powered by a 5.3L V-8 (aluminum engine block on 4WD models) that balances power and efficiency. Variable valve timing helps the 5.3L optimize performance, efficiency and emissions, while GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivating technology helps improve fuel economy in certain light-load driving conditions. It is also E85-capable.
Suburban ¾-ton features the Vortec 6.0L V-8, rated at 352 horsepower (262 kW) and 382 lb.-ft. of torque (518 Nm). Like the 5.3L, it also features variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management. It is paired with the heavy-duty Hydra-matic 6L90 six-speed automatic.
The variable valve timing system allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement). It also helps reduce exhaust emissions. Because it manages valve overlap at optimum levels, it eliminates the need for an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology increases fuel economy approximately 6 percent under the federal government's required testing procedure and potentially more in certain real-world driving conditions. AFM temporarily deactivates four of the engine’s cylinders under light load conditions and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is required. The transition takes less than 20 milliseconds and is virtually indiscernible
The 5.3L engine is backed by GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission, while the 6.0L is matched with the higher-capacity 6L90 six-speed.
Suburban chassis and suspension
The Suburban is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension (1500 models) or independent front suspension with torsion bars (2500 models), leaf-spring rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Its longer wheelbase enhances ride smoothness and supports high towing capacity of up to 9,600 pounds (4,354 kg) on 2500 models and 8,100 pounds (3,674 kg) on 1500 models.
A stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components. Additional features include:
• Wide front and rear tracks – 68.2 inches (1,732 mm) front/67 inches (1,702 mm) rear – enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel
• The Autoride suspension system is standard on LTZ and features a segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system that provides a refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors
• Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation
• Four-wheel disc brakes with hydroboost are standard on 2500
• A single-speed transfer case is standard on LS and LT 4WD models
• A two-speed transfer case is standard on LTZ 4WD and available on LS and LT 4WD models
• A trailering package with a 3.42 axle ratio, external transmission cooler and engine oil cooler is available on LS, LT and LTZ models; and a two-speed transfer case on 4WD models
• The standard axle ratio on all models is 3.08
• A locking rear differential is standard on LT and LTZ models and available on LS.
Suburban safety and crash-avoidance features
Chevrolet Suburban has a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. Head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows are standard, and seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment.
Additional safety features include:
• StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
• Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound Available rearview camera system designed to provide the driver with
a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
• Side Blind Zone alert is standard on LTZ
• Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
• LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in two of the second-row seating positions
• Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on all models
• Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Suburban. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Suburban also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.