The Chevrolet Suburban is a distinct vehicle in more ways than one. Most notably, it was introduced in 1935 and boasts the longest continuous production run of any vehicle – an honor that’s not about to be threatened. The 2021 model year starts the Suburban’s twelfth generation, as Chevy has redesigned it to be bigger and better than ever.
While the ‘21 Suburban shares many of the same attributes that highlight the redesigned Tahoe, its increased length and brand-new independent rear suspension deliver more cargo volume (a best-in-class 144.7 cu. ft. of cargo volume, to be exact), third-row space, and best-in-class second-row leg room of 42 in. This is the largest vehicle in Chevy’s lineup, and its new available Duramax diesel – which supplies a hefty amount of torque – is reflective of its sheer brawn. Not only that, the ’21 Suburban now comes with plenty of standard driver-assist technologies and a slate of useful infotainment features.
The 2021 Chevy Suburban is offered in six trim levels: the LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country. A pair of V8s and an all-new turbo-diesel six-cylinder make up its engine lineup. The sole transmission is a 10-speed automatic; rear-wheel drive comes standard on most trims, with the option for four-wheel drive (the Z71 gets it standard). The default V8 is a 5.3-liter that creates 355 hp and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s standard on all trims except for the High Country, which gets a 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. The 3.0-liter turbo-diesel, which makes 277 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, is available for all trims but the Z71.
Of course, this is not your grandfather’s Suburban: 21st-century adaptive dampers and an adjustable air suspension are available for an exquisite ride quality. With the adjustable air suspension, ride height can be automatically or manually lowered or raised. On the rugged end of the spectrum, the Z71 gets all-terrain tires on 20-inch wheels, protective skid plates on the underside, and a two-speed transfer case. A few trailering assistance technologies are optional.
Equipment by Trim Level
The base LS comes with heated side mirrors, LED headlights and taillights, automatic rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, manual 60/40 split-folding second- and third-row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, and a rearview camera. The LT adds a hands-free liftgate, a wireless smartphone charger, and power-adjustable heated front seats (memory functions for the driver’s seat). Buyers can add the Luxury Package to get a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, and power second- and third-row bench seats. Another add-on, the LT Signature Package, contains everything found in the Luxury Package plus a panoramic sunroof.
The RST receives 22-inch wheels with wheel locks, a unique front fascia, black interior and exterior trim, and perforated leather-upholstered seats with trim-exclusive badging and contrast stitching. The Z71 gets the aforementioned off-road enhancements, plus roof-mounted side rails, and it’s eligible for the Z71 Signature Package, which includes the same features as the LT Signature Package. The Premier and High Country have auto-dimming side mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and memory functions for the side mirrors and heated steering wheel. While a head-up display is available for the Premier, it’s standard on the High Country. A power-sliding center console is optional for all trims but the LT.
Safety and Technology
The LS, LT, RST, and Z71 each get a nice active-safety bundle with automatic emergency braking, a following distance indicator, rear park assist, and forward collision alert with pedestrian braking. Lane change alert with side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning are available. These are standard in the Premier and High Country, as are front and rear parking sensors. Enhanced automatic emergency braking is optional.
The LS gets the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system, which includes a 10.2-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming, satellite and HD radio, a six-speaker audio system, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The LT, RST, and Z71 upgrade their sound with a nine-speaker Bose system. Integrated navigation is optional on those trims but standard on the Premier and High Country. These two trims also receive a premium Bose audio system with ten speakers.
Based on model year EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
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