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2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 2WD "Big Man Review" By Steve Purdy


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2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 2WD


By Steve Purdy
TheAutoChannel.com
Michigan Bureau


Regular readers might recall our travel story last spring about a family trip to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe featuring the brand-new, freshly redesigned 2015 Chevy Suburban hauling six intrepid travelers and all their stuff around the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe. We gave the truck excellent marks in just about every category including fuel mileage. We’re now reviewing another Suburban with a different group of miscreants – this time on a fall weekend in Southwest Michigan with a group of college roommates who continue to hang out together even in retirement.

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>Of this group of five couples the girls were all college roommates and three of the guys were part of that social group as well. The other two guys (John and me) married into this raucous group. At least once per year we travel somewhere together and that usually includes a day or two of golf for the guys while the girls indulge in a day of nonstop chat. We have the better deal. While our golf day often coincides with extreme heat or cold or rain, we’re not deterred. This time it was a sunny late fall day but the temperature was 29-degrees as they teed off. (I stayed in the clubhouse with my computer to catch up on some writing.)


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The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban (into which we and our clubs easily fit with room to spare) is one of the largest passenger vehicles you can buy. It is also the longest surviving nameplate for a vehicle that is essentially the same as it started out to be – a station wagon body on a full-size pickup chassis. GM says its first Suburban became part of GMs vehicle portfolio in 1935. Over the years it has included a panel-truck version that does not exist today, but the extra-capable station wagon concept remains. This reporter has owned a few over the years including a wonderfully simple 1966 with small V8 with 3-speed manual column-shift and a 1976 with a 40-gallon fuel tank that needed to be filled just about every week.


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The 2015 Suburban represents a fully updated version of this

This is a wonderful truck for travelers. Six people with plenty of luggage will not only fit but also will be comfortable. Those in the third row will need to be the smallest of your crew, but it’s not too cramped back there. The cargo area behind the third row will swallow an amazing amount of stuff. Below the rear floor we find a handy storage space for stuff we want to hide from view and a removable panel can split the cargo area horizontally. The rear hatch window also can open separately.

I find the driving dynamics of the Suburban to be both pleasant and fun, but I’m one who likes to drclassic. It is now a 6-, 8- or 9-passenger, rear-wheel drive, V8-powered people and cargo hauler that is the roomiest of its genre and now it gets decent fuel mileage as well. It comes in three trim levels beginning at just over $48,000.

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This week’s test truck is the 2-wheel drive, half-ton the top-of-the-line LTZ showing a base price of $61,700. We have the bucket front seats with huge console (bench seat can only be had in the lowest trim level), heated second row buckets with power folding and tumbling, remote keyless start, adjustable pedals, three-zone climate control, Bose sound system, optional power sunroof, premium entertainment package adaptive cruise control, the huge 22-inch wheels, a premium paint color and trailering package. All that adds up to $68,885.

This most recent update of the Suburban includes some modest, but significant, styling changes making it both more attractive and more aerodynamically efficient. It still has its characteristic trucky looks maintaining lots of vertical presence but with some rounded corners, fresh character lines. A new front fascia and new headlight design easily distinguish it from the last one.

Under the hood lurks GM’s 5.3-liter, direct-injected EcoTech3 V8 pumping out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. Using regular fuel this combination gets an EPA estimate of 16 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway - easily best in class. The Suburban is E85-capable as well. With a 31-gallon fuel tank we have an excellent cruising range of between 500 and 600 miles. Our real world experience with the Suburban this week netted us just-under 20 mpg covering a variety of driving conditions.

Towing capacity is listed at 8,300 pounds for the 2-wheel drive and 8,000 pounds for the 4-wheel drive.


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This is a wonderful truck for travelers. Six people with plenty of luggage will not only fit but also will be comfortable. Those in the third row will need to be the smallest of your crew, but it’s not too cramped back there. The cargo area behind the third row will swallow an amazing amount of stuff. Below the rear floor we find a handy storage space for stuff we want to hide from view and a removable panel can split the cargo area horizontally. The rear hatch window also can open separately.

I find the driving dynamics of the Suburban to be both pleasant and fun, but I’m one who likes to drive big things. Some might find it cumbersome just because of its size but the engineers have done a marvelous job of making it feel solid and reasonably nimble. You’ll not find it awkward on twisty roads or in the city as the steering and suspension do not feel particularly truck-like. The high seating position provides a feeling of control and adjustable pedals will help even short people feel confident behind this wheel..

GM’s bumper-to-bumper warranty covers the Suburban for 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrains for 5 years or 100,000 miles.

Competitors in this automotive segment - large, three-row SUV – include Toyota’s Sequoia and the Ford Expedition. You could probably even include the newest Lincoln Navigator that isn’t much pricier. With every new redesign the Suburban moves a bit more upscale and is not far from sibling Escalade either. Suburban will have the advantage of these competitors in cargo capacity and fuel mileage but you’ll want to compare them all out HERE if you need or want to buy a big SUV .

©Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved