2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

What is the longest-running nameplate in the automotive industry? If you said Suburban you would be correct. Now in its 81st production year, the Chevrolet Suburban Carryall offers all of the latest safety and infotainment technology available while still being the mother of modern land yachts to transport families and their stuff.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

All the General Motors fullsize sport utility vehicles received major makeovers for the 2015 model year and for 2016 upgrades include adding the new enhanced driver alert package with power-adjustable pedals, forward collision alert, intellibeam headlamps, lane keep assist, and safety alert seat. There is also side blind zone alert, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and automatic front braking. Electronics have also been updated to include the newest reconfigurable instrument cluster, head-up display, 4G LTE WiFi, and enhanced Chevrolet MyLink with Apple CarPlay capability. Plus there is wireless device charging available in top of the center armrest.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

Make no mistake the Suburban is large. It offers seating for up to eight over three rows and still has plenty of room in the rear for lots of gear while also being able to tow up to 8,300 lbs. One of the most convenient upgrades last year included the power function of the third row seats (which will also reduce the crime factor found in the previous models whose seats were common targets of thieves). I called the Chevy Suburban the modern-day prairie schooner for its capabilities and that definition still holds true.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

Powering the largest sport ute in the Chevrolet fleet is the Ecotec3 5.3-liter V-8 gasoline engine that produces 355hp and 383 lb. ft. of torque. It is mated to the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission and Suburban is available in 4×2 or 4×4 running gear. Our recent tester arrived in top-of-the-line LTZ trim with four-wheel drive. This new Suburban features fully automatic locking rear differential, single-speed electronic transfer case, trailering equipment, front and rear park assist, and magnetic ride control for one of the best on-road experiences in a fullsize SUV.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

While Suburban occupies some of the real estate on the road today it is amazingly maneuverable and easy to park thanks to the modern electronics and minimal blindspots. It is surprisingly quiet on the inside with road and environmental noises kept to a minimum. The big SUV is easy to drive and offers plenty of power when needed. Occupants are bathed in a sea of airbags including GMs inboard front seat-mounted airbags for driver and front passenger.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

Even though this tester arrived in LTZ trim, Chevrolet found a way to add a few more goodies by throwing in the Sun, Entertainment, Destination package that added power sunroof and rear seat entertainment (two overhead video monitors). “Standard” LTZ features include heated and ventilated front seats, power release second row bucket seats, leather everywhere, remote vehicle start and keyless entry, six power outlets including 110V, heated steering wheel, and Bose Centerpoint premium audio system.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

Pricing for a base LS Suburban begins at $49,700. This LTZ 4×4 tester came rolling in here with a window sticker of $72,735. Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Two-wheel drive models rate 1 mpg higher in each category. All Suburban (and all GM fullsize SUVs for that matter) are built in the Arlington, Texas assembly plant.

GearDiary 2016 Chevrolet Suburban: The Tradition Continues

The tradition continues at the Bowtie as the Suburban Carryall lives on as the most capable SUV on the market today. It is a truck in sport ute attire that brings truck-like capability in a civilized package!


About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.