The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban earns a below average Total Car Score for the Large SUVs & Crossovers segment.
Like the other models in Chevrolet’s fullsize truck lineup, the Suburban is due for a complete redesign next year, so the Sub carries on for 2013 with few changes. The automatic transmission now has a compression braking feature that doesn’t require being in tow/haul mode to access; and three new exterior colors -- Champagne Silver Metallic, Concord Metallic and Blue Ray Metallic -- will be available.
The coming revamp will most likely update the Suburban’s styling inside and out and include at least one direct-injection engine that will be smaller in displacement and deliver better fuel economy than the outgoing engine but also make more power. What we don’t expect to change is the Suburban’s fundamental nature: its size.
When you have a lot of people and gear to carry, and a travel trailer, boat, or some other recreational toy to tow, the Suburban is usually the vehicle of choice. It is the only fullsize SUV on the market available in both half- and three-quarter-ton chassis configurations, and as such it boasts best-in-class towing capability. It’s also nearly a foot longer than Chevy’s Tahoe, giving it much more cargo capacity aft of the third-row seat.
That seat, though, doesn’t fold out of the way when not in use but has to be removed, an awkward chore at best. That’s one feature we do hope will change with the new model.
The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban is a fullsize SUV capable of seating up to nine passengers. It’s available on half- (1500) and three-quarter-ton (2500) chassis, in both 2WD and 4WD powertrain configurations, and in three trim levels.
The Suburban 1500 is powered by a 5.3-liter V8 that sends 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Suburban 2500 has a 6.0-liter V8 underhood making 352 hp and 382 lb-ft and also hooked to a six-speed automatic.
The LS is the base model of the Suburban, and it’s equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels, tri-zone manual climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, premium cloth upholstery, and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite radio audio system with auxiliary input and USB ports.
Moving up to the LT model brings automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstered and heated front seats, remote starter and keyless entry, and a nine-speaker premium Bose audio system.
The top-shelf LTZ model rolls on 20-inch wheels (1500 models only) and is equipped with a powered liftgate, a backup camera, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row bucket seats with leather upholstery, Side Blind Zone Alert, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with navigation, a seven-inch touch-screen interface and hard-drive-based storage.
The EPA rates the Suburban 1500’s fuel economy at 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined regardless of how many wheels are driven. The 2WD Suburban 2500 is rated at 10/16/12 mpg, while 4WD versions get a nearly identical 10/15/12 mpg rating.
Properly equipped, the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 is rated to tow up to 9,600 pounds; the 1500 model carries an 8,100-pound tow rating.
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