2020 Chevrolet Suburban Review
  • Car Review

2020 Chevrolet Suburban Review

By Autolist Editorial | November 2, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • The third-row of seats is better than the Tahoe.
  • There are two potent V8 engine choices.
  • The features are user-friendly.
  • There is a lot of cargo space.

Cons:

  • The large wheels negatively influence the overall ride quality.
  • It is not very fuel-efficient.
  • The driver assistance technology is not a standard option.

Vehicle Type: A full-size SUV.

Price Range: $50,800 - $70,925

Powertrain: The base LS has a 5.3-liter V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-foot of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission powers the standard rear-wheel drive or the optional all-wheel drive.

A second, more powerful option is available:

The Suburban Premier has an optional 6.2-liter V8 engine that outputs 420 horsepower and 460 pound-foot of torque. It comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

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Overview:

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The 2020 Chevrolet Suburban is the long-wheelbase version of the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe. Like its standard wheelbase counterpart, it can comfortably seat up to nine passengers in the LS trim with the middle seat upfront.

The Chevy Suburban is one of the longest-standing nameplates globally and is Chevrolet's largest SUV offered to the United States. The three-row, full-size SUV has been geared towards meeting the hauling and towing needs of the 21st century with a towing capacity of up to 8300 pounds.

Chevy has extended the lifespan of the eleventh-generation Suburban for five years, with the new generation only being launched for the 2021 model year that will introduce a completely new design for the Chevy Suburban.

Looking back at previous versions, the 2020 model year does not have many enhancements or big changes compared to 2019 and earlier versions. The only revision for the 2020 Suburban is the removal of the Deepwood Green Metallic and Pepperdust Metallic paint colors. Instead, the Black Cherry Metallic paint color has been added to the exterior color palette. With a reshuffle of exterior color options, there are a total of nine available colors for the 2020 model year. You will still be spoilt for choice.

A popular rival of the Suburban is the Ford Expedition. They go head-to-head when competing for the most cargo space in the full-size SUV class, but the Ford Expedition does come out best with overall engine performance thanks to its powerful turbocharged V6 engine. The Expedition has better towing and handling, and overall, it offers a more comfortable ride. While the Ford overtakes the Suburban in these areas, it does come at a slightly higher price tag.

Staying underneath the Chevy brand, the Suburban competes with an internal rival, the Chevy Tahoe. The Tahoe is basically a short-wheelbase version, and despite being closely matched, there are some differences between the SUVs. The Tahoe costs slightly less than the Suburban and has a higher predicted reliability rating, but while you may enjoy the smaller savings, you will get a smaller third-row of seats and less cargo space than the Suburban. The two Chevys have the same two engine options and similar standard and available features; choosing which one is best for you may come down to how much cargo space you need and your available budget.

The GMC Yukon is another rival of the Suburban in the class of large SUVs. The standard model competes better with the Tahoe, and they are comparable in size and space, but the Yukon XL is practically a carbon-copy of the Suburban. The GMC is more expensive than the Chevy despite sharing the same powertrain choices, interior quality, handling capabilities, and similar standard features. You would save your dollars staying with the Suburban.

Overall Score: 7.1/10


Safety Features: 7/10

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Suburban a four-star overall safety rating out of five stars. It received three stars in the frontal crash test, four stars in the frontal crash test, and five stars in the side crash test.

The LS trim features an integrated rearview camera, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control, and Teen Driver settings, which allows you to set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers. You can also monitor their driving habits and performance.

Unfortunately, the Suburban lacks standard driver-assistance features, and the IIHS is yet to submit their review at the time of writing this.


Value: 7/10

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The solid capability and the array of standard features help justify the Suburban's cost, especially since the overall style, finish, and design keep this older model looking new.

There are other SUVs in the same class that offer more comfort on the road and are easier to maneuver around town, but the value is found behind the legendary legacy of the Suburban name, and with competitive cargo space, it is a great buy at a reasonable price.

In comparison to its rivals, such as the Ford Expedition, the Suburban has a competitive warranty and is one of the few SUVs that include complimentary scheduled maintenance. The Toyota Sequoia does, however, offer better complimentary maintenance.


Tech Features: 8/10

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You will be pleased with the standard selection of features, which are expansive even for the base LS trim model. Standard features include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth audio streaming, 4G LTE mobile hotspot, and a 4.2-inch instrument cluster.

Chevrolet's IntelliLink software is one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems in the SUV market and is packaged well with comprehensive functionality.
The infotainment system provides a plethora of charging points that include five 12-volt outlets and five USB ports.

The clearly marked physical knobs and buttons on the center stack are also user-friendly and will allow you to adjust climate and audio settings.


Practicality: 8/10

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The LS and LT trim models can seat up to eight passengers with a standard three-seater second-row bench seat. A front three-seater split-bench seat is an option for the LS trim and will increase its passenger seating to nine. The Suburban Premier can seat up to seven passengers with two bucket seats in the second-row.
The Suburban's third-row has about 10-inches more legroom available than the Chevy Tahoe; however, the high floors do disrupt the comfort.

With all the seats up, there are 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the third-row seats allows 76.7 cubic feet, and dropping both second and third rows yields 121.7 cubic feet of cargo space.


Styling & Design: 7/10

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The 2020 Suburban is nearing the end of the eleventh generation, and yet it is still an SUV that carries an attractive and modern aesthetic and unique styling. While there have been no notable exterior changes from previous versions, there have been some changes to the available exterior paint options.

All trim models feature black roof-mounted rails and black assist steps.
The LS and LT models have a dominant black mesh front grille and HID halogen headlights. These models also ride atop 18-inch high-polished alloy wheels.
The Premier trim is framed with chrome bars and has front fog lamps adorning the front of the SUV and 20-inch high-polished alloy wheels.


Driving Experience: 6/10

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Even though the Suburban has large dimensions and an outdated rear suspension, it drives smaller than it really is because of the accurate steering and controlled body motions.

The pickup-truck underpinnings diminish this Chevy's ride quality, especially against smoother rivals like the Nissan Armada.

The Suburban RST has standard adaptive dampers and large 22-inch wheels, but this doesn't seem to make a big difference to the jittery vibrations experienced on even the smoothest roads.

You can expect the steering to be numb with minimal feedback provided to the driver, and it feels overly light with sluggish response to driver inputs.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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Despite the two V8 engines utilizing cylinder-deactivation technology to help fuel efficiency, the Suburban is not shy about guzzling gasoline. Still, it is fairly efficient for its size and overtakes the Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia with better fuel consumption.

The EPA estimates the 5.3-liter V8 all-wheel-drive engine will earn 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Despite the EPA estimate, some Chevrolet Suburban reviews have observed 19 mpg on a 200-mile highway fuel-economy route.

The EPA estimated the 6.2-liter V8 engine at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.


What’s it Going to Cost Me?

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The 2020 Chevy Suburban LS starts at an MSRP of $50,800 and features a 5.3-liter V8 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard across all trim models; however, all-wheel-drive is available for approximately $3,000. Standard features that accompany the LS trim include cloth upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a household-style power outlet, the Teen Driver System, tri-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. The standard Chevrolet infotainment system includes an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB ports, voice recognition, satellite radio, six-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and HD radio.

The Enhanced Driver Alert package costs about $695. It adds forward automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, a safety alert driver's seat, automatic high-beam headlights, and power-adjustable pedals.

You can also discount the LS model's cost by $250 if you replace the standard front bucket seats with a three-person bench seat.

The Chevrolet Suburban LT starts at an MSRP of $55,800 and shares the same engine and standard features as the LS trim. The LT trim adds leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, driver's seat memory settings, a universal garage door opener, a nine-speaker Bose premium stereo system, a power liftgate, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Enhanced Driver Alert package comes standard with the Suburban LT model.

At an estimated cost of $3,530, you can purchase the Sun, Entertainment, and Destinations package, which features navigation, a sunroof, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

The Luxury package can be purchased for roughly $2,860 and adds heated second-row seats, proximity keyless entry, power-folding second-row and third-row seats, front parking sensors, a hands-free power liftgate, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, and a power-tilt, heated and telescoping steering wheel that has memory function.

The Chevrolet Suburban Premier starts at an MSRP of $65,500 and shares the same 5.3-liter V8 engine as the LS and LT trims. In addition to the standard features of the LS and LT models, the Premier features ventilated front seats, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, an electronic-adjustable suspension, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo, navigation, wireless device charging for your cellphone, as well as all the same amenities as the Luxury package.

The Sun, Entertainment, and Destinations package costs $3,035 for the Premier trim and adds a sunroof and a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system with a screen in the third-row.

If you need more power, then another drivetrain is available for the Suburban Premier that offers a 6.2-liter V8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. This option starts at an MSRP of $70,925.

The Performance Package for this trim costs about $5,390 and adds an 8-inch driver information display, a third-row entertainment screen, and a head-up display. The Premier Plus Edition features a wide range of appearance, performance, and convenience enhancements.

Four Suburban Appearance packages can add more value and features to your Chevy. You may enjoy the aesthetic options below for your Suburban:

The RST Edition starts at $2,705 and includes black-painted aluminum wheels, black emblems and badging, body-color door handles, a black sport grille, headlight accents, beltline moldings, and roof rails, and black outside mirror caps.

The Texas Edition (for the LT trim) starts at $3,110 and includes a Texas emblem, black roof-rack rails, and all the same features offered by the Luxury package.
The LT Midnight Edition starts at $1,835 and features black emblems and black roof-rack rails, as well as black-painted aluminum wheels.
The Premier Plus Edition (for the Premier trim) starts at $11,675 and is not for the faint-hearted if you have a tight budget. This package adds power-retractable assist steps, 22-inch chrome-painted wheels, a polished exhaust, and black roof-rack rails.

Suppose you have already added an Appearance package or you are not too focused on the exterior. In that case, there are four Suburban Performance packages/ options available to enhance your Chevy's performance and give you a little more power/

Max Trailering Package: This starts at $300 and is available across all the Suburban models and includes a 3.42 axle ratio, an air-leveling suspension system, and a trailer brake controller.
Performance Air Intake System: Available across all trim levels, and pricing starts at $675.
Front Performance Brake kit: Available across all trim levels, and pricing starts at $2,895. This kit adds red Brembo calipers and larger Duralife rotors.

If we wanted to purchase a 2020 Chevy Suburban, we would opt for the top-of-the-line Premier model. This model is the most versatile trim for seating, performance, and options. It comes comprehensively fitted with an array of standard features that may curb you from needing to purchase additional packages and kits. There is also the optional engine choice of the 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission, which improves the overall driving performance and experience within the Suburban.


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See more 2020 Chevrolet Suburban Photos.