2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Overview
2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country is an important product in the Chevrolet portfolio and crucial for GM. Without any doubt, this big SUV is an American automotive legend. It is probably not something like the Corvette or similar. The Suburban is a people’s car. The largest Chevy SUV is a people mover for 86 years making the Suburban the longest-lasting model name in automotive history. In its 12th generation, this icon offers more technology, comfort, driving pleasure and automobile experience than ever.
We tested the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban with the range-topping High Country trim. With an MSRP reaching the 6-figure threshold and this level of safety and comfort features, the Chevy Suburban moves into the territory of luxury full-size SUVs, where GM offers two other and higher positioned products sharing the same basic architecture: The GMC Yukon XL Denali and Cadillac Escalade ESV. But for now, let’s stick to GM’s volume model.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Engine and Powertrain
Even if GM is committed to an electrified future, today’s reality is different. American companies in particular including GM are very much dependent on big trucks and truck-based SUVs for their profitability and survival. And those vehicles that are capable of carrying and towing a lot, need big gasoline (or diesel) engines. Electrifying this category at a large scale will take time. But, it doesn’t mean that big, internal combustion engines cannot be improved until they are dead in bout 15 to 25 years from now.
Under the hood, our tester had the 6.2L, V8 EcoTech 3 engine delivering 620 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 10-speed torque-converting transmission (surely, nobody thought about a CVT in the development process) and a four-wheel drive is standard. An appropriate powerplant for a vehicle of this size.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Interior
Inside the spacious cabin of the Suburban, 7 people can travel comfortably for long distances even if the cargo space may be a bit tight all the seats are occupied. The new generation Suburban grew 4.1 inches in wheelbase and 1.3 inches overall mainly thanks to the new and space-saving multilink rear axle. And this new and more advanced architecture shows its difference in daily driving. Compared with the previous-gen Suburban we tested years ago, this big vehicle drives better, more comfortably and the cornering ability is better. As I moved this big ute on the highway and in the city, I felt like driving a smaller vehicle than it actually is. Obviously, I do not compare it with a sport-ute a la BMW X5 (which would be unfair anyway), but the biggest Chevy got smaller in perception and became more fun to drive. The cabin has an impressive layout while being luxurious and functional. However, the materials used at some places are not premium grade and savings are visible. It is acceptable when you look at it from a broader perspective and remember the model hierarchy where Chevrolet comes after Cadillac and GMC.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Driving Impressions
With the powerplant under the hood we described above, the Suburban delivers sufficient torque in every instance. The acceleration is good for a truck-based big SUV. The average consumption varied between 14 and 16.4 litres which is not a surprise. (See the window sticker below for the theoretical NRC measured values) In its 12th generation, the Suburban has a multilink rear axle. This is arguably the biggest novelty. Compared with the previous-gen Suburban we tested years ago, the current model drives more car-like, more comfortably and the cornering ability is better. Replacing the old solid rear axle, the new system not only significantly improves the ride quality, but also helps with a roomier interior. As I moved this big ute on the highway and in the city, I felt like driving a smaller vehicle than it actually is. Obviously, I do not compare it with a sport-ute a la BMW X5 (which would be unfair anyway), but the biggest Chevy got smaller “in perception” and more fun to drive. The high and easily power-adjustable seating position inspires confidence. However, the long and high hood somewhat restricts the front visibility.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Pricing and Equipment
The standard MSRP of our tester was C$ 84,000 (rounded). With options worth C$13, 000, plus the destination charge of 1,900, the total price is just south of 100K. (C$ 99,433 to be exact)
Please see the the window sticker below:
2021 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Conclusion
Even if General Motors, like many other manufacturers, is moving to an electrified future, gas-guzzlings big SUVs will remain part of the automobile landscape still for many years to come. Big SUVs are not only desirable but also inevitable for comfortable rides, for VIP transport and towing big items from horses to boats to RV trailers. and the Suburban is well-equipped for these heavy-duty jobs.
For more information, please visit: http://www.chevrolet.ca
Article by Varol McKars
Photos by Dan Gunay, Burak McKars, Varol McKars