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2013 Chevrolet Suburban Overview
For over 75 years various iterations of the Chevrolet Suburban have been lugging people, cargo and trailers along the roadways of America and the world. The 2013 edition of this ultimate full-size SUV has come a long way since its inception as an oversized station wagon. Look for seating for up to 9 passengers when the available front bench seat is selected, as well as a pair of V8 engines, each with a slick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission and, of course, the option of 4-wheel drive (4WD) in case the standard rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration doesn’t meet the needs of winter weather. Cargo area should again encompass a class-leading 137.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, though even with the rear seats up, this brute can pack in almost 46 cubic feet of stuff.
Expected to pretty much stand pat from 2012, Chevy’s big ute should again boast a half-ton 1500 trim level and a three-quarter-ton 2500 level. Look for the base LS trim and the midlevel LT trim to be available in either the 1500 or 2500 level, with the top-shelf LTZ offered only in 1500 garb. With its stronger engine and heftier frame, the Suburban 2500 lineup tows and hauls some heavier loads, but sacrifices a bit of fuel economy and ride comfort to do so.
Of the big three automakers, only Ford’s Expedition can compete with the burly Suburban, with GM’s own Cadillac Escalade ESV and Yukon XL providing a bit of sibling rivalry. But, the fact remains that only so many folks need a titan that hauls like Chevy’s iconic sport ute.
In any case, expect last year's variable-valve-timed (VVT), ethanol-friendly (FFV) 5.3-liter V8 powerplant to again give the 2013 Suburban 1500 lineup its go. Mated with the traditional 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this potent V8 can produce 320 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque, good enough to tow up to 8,100 pounds with the proper equipment. Fuel economy should, of course, remain at 15 mpg city/21 highway in either RWD or 4WD configurations.
Suburban 2500 trims should once more carry a standard 6.0-liter FFV V8, again with VVT and the 6-speed shiftable automatic, this time with a standard rear locking differential. Look for 352 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque, up to 9,600 pounds of towing, and, alas, 10/16 and 10/15 in RWD and 4WD configurations, respectively, from this monster motor. Finally, in keeping with tradition, all 4WD trims boast an on-demand system featuring electronic hi-lo gear selection and auto-locking hubs.
Appearance- and cabin-wise, expect the 2013 Suburban LS 1500 and 2500 versions to again sport 17-inch alloy wheels, step running boards, trailer towing equipment and a roof rack, as well as premium cloth upholstery and power-adjustable front bucket seats. Further creature comforts include cruise control and tilt-wheel steering, as well as full power accessories, including heated outside mirrors, and dual-zone climate control. Leather and simulated alloy cabin accents, meanwhile, surround occupants as they enjoy tunes pumped from the MP3-capable single-CD player’s 6 speakers. All this ought, naturally, to be bolstered by satellite radio, a USB connection and Bluetooth-integrated OnStar Directions and Connections service.
The amped-up LT likely will again add on heated front seats, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, remote engine start, tri-zone climate control and 9 premium Bose speakers, with the quasi-luxury-oriented LTZ expected to toss in significant cabin trim upgrades, 20-inch alloy wheels and memory for driver's settings. This flagship trim should also retain a universal remote garage door opener, rear-view camera, heated steering wheel, hard-drive-based navigation and a power liftgate.
Options across the lineup once more will likely include an integrated trailer brake controller, front bench seats (for 9-passenger capacity) and various exterior and interior trim upgrades. The LT and LTZ trims can also be delivered with an available heavy-duty trailer towing package, the popular Z71 Off-Road Package, power-retractable assist steps and reclining second-row bucket seats. The higher trims, additionally, should once again offer an available power sunroof and/or rear-seat DVD entertainment.
The 2013 Suburban is a big vehicle, able to dominate the road. Nevertheless, things happen, and all trim levels of this behemoth should remain ready with 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and three-row head airbags. Further safety features across the lineup include daytime running lights, a post-collision safety system and OnStar emergency services and alerts. The LT and LTZ ought to again offer such additions as standard front fog/driving lights (optional on the LS) and, with the LTZ, standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors.
by Eric Tallberg
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Chevrolet Suburban Questions
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