By KBB.com Editors
The most stylish Suburban to date soldiers on for 2010 with a host of technological and creature comfort upgrades. The Suburban hauls more passengers and cargo than anything in its segment, a fact not overlooked by those who need such convenience or capability. Cousin to the GMC Yukon XL and Chevrolet's own Avalanche SUV/pickup, the Suburban is also related to the shorter full-size Tahoe sport-utility. The 2010 Chevrolet Suburban can be had with two- or four-wheel drive, and in regular 1500 or heavy-duty 2500 models. Depending upon the model, a variety of V8 engines are available, from a 5.3-liter Flex-Fuel V8 on 1500 models to a 352-horsepower, 6.0-liter Flex-Fuel V8 on the 2500 versions.
If you're a fan of big passenger-carrying wagons, and can cope with the operating costs, SUVs don't get much bigger than a Suburban. Boat and trailer owners in particular gravitate toward Suburbans, which offer up to 8,100-pounds towing capacity (or 9,600 pounds for the two-wheel-drive 2500 series).
Unless you really need this much passenger- and cargo-hauling capability, a smaller vehicle, such as the GMC Acadia, might be a better choice – especially if gasoline prices continue to fluctuate.
For 2010, the 6.0-liter V8 now features variable valve timing and is E85 Flex-Fuel compatible. A USB port is added on all models, while the Z71 off-road suspension can now be ordered with the 1LT package. A single-speed transfer case is made standard on four-wheel-drive models; a two-speed transfer case is optional.
Driving Impressions Refinement, though markedly improved, shines less brightly in Suburbans than in shorter-length GM trucks. With four-wheel drive and the 6.0-liter V8, GM's latest automatic transmission is a vast improvement over...previous units, which sometimes seemed to shift a little abruptly. Despite an abundance of sound deadening materials, there is noticeable engine noise under harder acceleration. However, ride comfort is considerably more appealing; it's pleasantly absorbent and cushiony on smooth surfaces and copes reasonably well with bumps. Acceleration is vigorous from a standstill, if less so to pass or merge. The Suburban feels more truck-like than smaller SUVs and, on the expressway, it behaves admirably.
Active Fuel Management Technology
Chevrolet is one of several automakers offering V8 engines that can automatically switch to four-cylinder operation as a fuel-saving measure, and it's a welcome feature. Considering the propensity of big SUVs to guzzle gasoline, every little bit of technology that reduces consumption is a bonus.
Power-operated Running Boards
Sure, they might tap you in the shin if you're standing too close, but the Suburban's optional power running boards are wide enough to really help passengers who might have trouble climbing aboard.
There is more passenger space and improved seating comfort compared to previous generation Suburbans, along with greater overall refinement – including enclosing the "close-outs" around seat bottoms for a cleaner appearance. Rear-seat passengers get increased shoulder room, and the driver benefits from a lower instrument panel that helps increase front-seat space. Two-tone color schemes use softer, low-gloss materials for the instrument panel. The third-row seat is removable, and a power-release fold-and-tumble second-row seat is available.Exterior
At 222.4 inches overall on a 130-inch wheelbase, the Suburban is undeniably a biggie. With body-on-frame construction, it's clearly a truck – though fancier in appearance than many cargo haulers. Improved aerodynamics are credited to a more sleekly-angled windshield and tighter body-gap tolerances, while a bulging power-dome hood adds to visceral appeal. Prominent fenders have integrated wheel flares, and the lower fascia displays a skid-plate look to enhance the rugged aura. Standard 17-inch wheels can be replaced by 20-inchers.
Three trim levels are available: LS, LT and LTZ, with three sub-divisions of the LT level (1LT, 2LT and 3LT), and with either two- or four-wheel drive. Standard LS equipment includes daytime running lights, head-curtain side airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, GM's OnStar emergency and communications system, side steps, split-bench front seat, cloth upholstery, heated power mirrors and remote keyless entry. The 1LT adds tri-zone automatic air conditioning, Bose nine-speaker audio, power adjustable pedals, remote start, ultrasonic rear park assist and a heavy duty rear locking differential. Additional equipment on the LTZ includes Autoride suspension, heated and cooled front-row and heated second-row seats, power-release folding second-row seats, a power liftgate and 20-inch wheels.
The Z71 Off-Road option includes larger recovery-hook openings, more prominent foglamps, platinum chrome grille trim and on-road/off-road tires on 18-inch wheels. Power articulated running boards automatically move downward and outward as the doors open. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist is available, or the optional rearview camera displays the view behind the vehicle. The optional DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system features an eight-inch screen and in-dash loading. Also optional is the 6.0-liter V8 engine and a touch-screen navigation system, and, for vehicles not equipped with a navigation screen, a rearview camera display included in the rearview mirror. Side Blind Alert is available, but only on the LTZ trim.
With two-wheel drive, the Suburban 1500 has a standard iron-block 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower. Four-wheel-drive models get a standard all-aluminum V8 also rated at 310 horsepower. Suburban 2500 models contain an iron-block 6.0-liter V8 that generates 352 horsepower. All three engines feature Active Fuel Management technology are E85-compatible.
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD)
5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 (2WD, E85), N/A (4WD, gasoline), N/A (4WD, E85)
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
382 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
By Christal (TX) on Thursday, June 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "low maintenance, reliable and comfortable"
Cons: "not economical in gas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had an older suburban and now the 2008 and I LOVE my suburban. I have had no issues with my suburban and it is at 175,000. I love everything about my suburban except for gas because of gas prices going up. My kids are all moving out and have their own cars now and I would like a smaller car but I am having a really hard time finding a SMOOTH riding car like the suburban is. The heated seats are a must now to me and not many cars have them. The dual radio has been the ultimate life saver when the teenagers are in the car and for the first time I have actually been able to control the radio because of the earphone jack and separate radio in the back. The space for my kids friends with long legs is especially great because they can sit in the back and not have to sit up front just to have leg room. The separate A/C control in the back helps a great deal so the people in the back can be comfortable and the driver doesn't have to compromise to be comfortable too. My suburban also has heated back seats for kids for long rides and it has been a dream car for me. Hard to find an equally enjoyable replacement for this one!"
By Jimmy P (CO) on Monday, May 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,500overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "size and comfort, power, style, looked good"
Cons: "Poor electrical systems and motors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Great out of the box, but all door locks, rear hatch, side window defrost, tow gear, electric windshield heater, CD player broke between 9 months and 3 yrs. Engine quit at 126,000 miles."
By Frank (OH) on Sunday, April 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel economy for the size; space; features"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great vehicle! I haven't had any issues with it in four years of driving it. It has plenty of space and great features. Fuel economy is close to 20 mpg in the warmer months."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Jsan (MO) on Sunday, March 31, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 127,059overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "It handle surprisingly well for how big it is."
Cons: "Engine and transmission failing!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The engine was poorly designed and they could have done a better fuel program that would meet each customers need. Its also really big so not a city vehicle at all. And lastly Transmission problems."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By warren (AL) on Tuesday, March 05, 2013
I don't own this caroverall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "absolutely wonderful ride the last of a dyingbreed"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"why on gods green earth wold ANYONE buy an 80k dollar toyota land cruiser whe they could have the suburban and all of the reliability comfort room style wonderful driving dynamics and overall quality along aith the best resale in the business. for 57k!!! nuff said!!!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By MJ (OH) on Friday, December 14, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, comfortable +++, Safety features"
Cons: "Pricey, big to park, fuel."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is a luxury car. Extremely comfortable with nearly every imaginable comfort, "bell and whistle". The "flex fuel" option allows me to have averaged 16.4 mpg...I drive about 15 country miles back and forth to work each day and then a bunch of "around town" stuff...nto bad for this size vehicle. We also travel 12+ hrs with two little ones on a regular basis to visit family. It is very comfortable for us all, and we can fit a TON of stuff in there (this does not help me control my over-packing tendencies...lol). I could not imagine being any happier with a car. I have the White diamond exterior paint...gorgeos! The color is what I couldn't resist...but I now love the rest of it just as much. This also handles very well in snow, and mud...the heated seats are heavenly and it actually cools pretty quickly in the summer despite the amount of space that needs cooling. Downside: It is a little drifty in high winds (like 40+mph....we live in a VERY flat part of the midwest). It does cost a fair amount of money to fill the tank."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful