Chevrolet has been building the Suburban for nearly 80 years, making it the oldest nameplate in automotive history. Generations of families have grown up with the Suburban, which is why, despite its massive size and thirst for fuel, it remains an integral part of the American automotive story. With an all-new Suburban on deck for 2015, the 2014 Suburban acts as a holdover model, losing the larger V8 and 9,000-pound tow rating of the now-defunct 2500 model in the process. While the Suburban is good at what it does, it doesn't offer the towing ability or flush-folding 3rd-row seat of the Ford Expedition, or the superior horsepower offered by the Toyota Sequoia.
You'll Like This Car If...
The 2014 Suburban is good at hauling people and stuff, delivers a quality ride and is surprisingly agile for its size. A loaded LTZ is nearly Cadillac-plush.
You May Not Like This Car If...
There is an all-new 2015 model on deck, so if you want something state-of-the-art, waiting a few months might be prudent. If you're looking for best-in-class towing or horsepower, the Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia hold those titles, respectively.
The 2014 Chevrolet Suburban is basically a holdover vehicle until the 2015 model debuts in the first quarter of 2014. As for changes, the LS and LT models gain power-adjustable pedals, remote start, rear park assist and a rearview camera as part of their standard-equipment list.
Driving the Suburban 1500
Usually, an SUV built from a truck frame would ride and drive very much like a truck. But with the 2014 Chevy Suburban, the feel is...
... more like a large sedan, albeit a very long, very tall one. The ride is smooth, the handling surprisingly agile and when equipped with 4-wheel drive (4WD), the ability to forge through snow and over dirt trails is impressive to say the least. The 5.3-liter V8 delivers its power without fuss, aided by one of the nicest 6-speed automatic transmissions ever to grace an SUV. Maneuvering the Suburban isn't as pleasant as riding in it, a result of the 222-inch-long body. In fact, the Suburban is so long that it won't fit in some garages. Thankfully, the rear parking assists and rearview camera help avoid bumper damage and crushing small objects.
ACTIVE FUEL MANAGEMENT The 5.3-liter V8 engine in the 2014 Chevrolet Suburban employs Active Fuel Management (AFM), which can deactivate four of the eight cylinders when the load is light enough. AFM not only helps conserve fuel, but reduces emissions as well.
ADJUSTABLE PEDALS Standard on all trims, the power-adjustable brake and gas pedal assembly helps drivers of all sizes find the most comfortable driving position.
2014 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Details
The Suburban is one of the relatively few new vehicles that can still be had with a 3-passenger bench seat up front. Combined with two other rows of 3-person benches, the Suburban can comfortably carry up to nine people. Alternatively, it can be had with pairs of front- and 2nd-row bucket seats, allowing for greater comfort of two people in each row. Fold-and-tumble 2nd-row seats make for easier access to the 3rd-row seats, which can split and fold in a 50/50 fashion. Cargo room is enormous. Even with the 3rd-row seats up, there is over 45 cubic feet of space.
A visual definition of utility, the 2014 Chevy Suburban's boxy shape stands in contrast to the curves, waves and wild angles adorning other people-movers. Dress one of these – and yourself – in black, and some might suspect you're part of a secretive government agency. Up front is a big, 2-bar honeycomb grille with the Chevy bow-tie icon sandwiched between. The broad sides are highlighted by three boxes of windows and prominent wheel arches. Rear-wheel-drive versions have 8.9 inches of ground clearance, and 4WD versions sit a bit higher, with 9.2 inches of clearance.
The 2014 Chevy Suburban comes in three trims: LS, LT and top-of-the-line LTZ. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with 4WD an option. Base LS versions are equipped with tri-zone air conditioning, power-adjustable pedals, cruise control, Bluetooth, AM/FM/CD player with USB port, rearview camera, 17-inch wheels, and six months of complimentary service to the OnStar Directions & Connections plan. Stepping up to the LTZ trim brings much more, including leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, Autoride suspension, locking rear differential, blind-spot monitoring system, 20-inch wheels, and an upgraded Bose audio system with 7-inch touch screen and 30-gig hard drive.
Add-ons and extras for the 2014 Suburban include power sunroof, rear DVD entertainment system with two sets of wireless headphones, Z71 off-road appearance package, 2-speed transfer case, engine-block heater, heavy-duty trailering package, 22-inch wheels, retractable side steps and 3rd-row DVD screen.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Chevrolet Suburban SUV has a 5.3-liter V8 that delivers 320 horsepower and runs on regular unleaded gasoline or E85 ethanol blend. This engine features Chevy's Active Fuel Management system, which cuts power from eight to four cylinders under light-load situations. A 6-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission is standard.
The 2014 Chevy Suburban has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $47,500 for a base LS model, before cash offers and incentives. A top-line, 4WD LTZ model with options can reach over $65,000. At these prices, the 2014 Suburban is slightly more expensive than the Ford Expedition EL and Toyota Sequoia, and nearly $10,000 more than a Nissan Armada. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what other buyers in your area are paying for the 2014 Suburban. Down the road, the Suburban's resale value is expected to be marginal, similar to the Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada, and trailing the Toyota Sequoia.
"This is my 3rd large GM SUV. I started with a 2003 GMC Yukon, then a 2008 Chevy Suburban Z71, and now a 2010 Chevy Suburban 2500. I'll admit I love these things and I may be biased!
This vehicle isn't for everyone. Some people don't like big cars and this is big. Some people don't like gas guzzlers and this thing has a major drinking problem. The prior two half tons got much better mileage but the raw power of the 6.0 liter when hauling lots of people and gear and/or a trailer over mountain passes can't be beat.
I got the 3/4 ton because they don't make them anymore and I have a large family, large dog, and we travel and tow a travel trailer a lot. This beast does the job and is comfortable, luxurious, and a pleasure to drive. And in a winter environment in Montana, just put some 10 ply Blizzaks on her in the winter with around 6000 lbs of weight (GVW) for traction and you can go just about anywhere.
GAS MILEAGE: We can get over 15 mpg on a long trip with no roof accessories or trailer and worst case scenario with roof box and trailer on the windy plains is 8 mpg (but what do you expect when you are towing a sail?).
HAULING PEOPLE: Ours holds 7 with the middle captains chairs. No problem with adults and kids and plenty of luggage. And add a 90 lb German Shepherd...
HAULING GEAR: We have a Yakima Skybox 18 for extra gear on trips and skis in winter. Box is steady on the roof and solid. Have also put bikes on the roof and hitch mount. Never any issues with hauling those. One advantage of the Suburban's length over the Tahoe/Yukons is that there is a massive amount of room behind the 3rd row seat for luggage/groceries, etc.
TOWING: Most trailers are no problem. Brake controls are integrated stock. And with most trailers, especially short distances, there is no need for weight distribution. We got the 3/4 ton because the 1/2 ton was always overloaded and with the trailer it looked like the rear was going to hit the ground. I always opt for safety in a vehicle and I've yet to be able to overload this one with our current gear and trailer. Our trailer is a 18-20 ft class travel trailer and there is no need for a weight distribution hitch on it.
Overall, we love our Suburban. They've been a family staple for 12 years and I don't see that changing."
"I ordered this Chevrolet Suburban 2500. My experience with this vehicle tells me General Motors has significantly improved the quality of the vehicles they build. It has 176,000 miles and I never had to put brakes on it. I never had to do anything to transmission or engine. It has been a great vehicle."
"I had a 2003 Suburban that I loved and traded it in with over 250,000 miles (I bought it used). I purchased a used 2007 with only 78,000 miles on it. I've made less than 2 years of payments and have put only 60,000 miles on it, and it's had a new transmission put in it (thankful for the extended warranty I purchased) and it now needs a new engine. The engine in the 2007 is a mess. There is a problem with excessive oil usage. Chevy's aware of it and won't back it. Which leaves both the dealers and the consumer holding the bag. I hear Chevy has corrected this design flaw, but make sure you do your research before you buy one."