Manufacturers have been catering more to the crossover and downsized SUVs, which has left a gap for folks who still want to tow larger travel trailers. Fortunately, the Chevrolet Suburban is still around for 2013. It’s not only one of the widest, longest SUVs available; it also still comes with powerful V-8 engines and three spacious rows of seating for large families. Many potential buyers will find the lighter-duty Suburban 1500 sufficient. With its 320 horsepower 5.3-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission it’s rated to tow up to 8,100 pounds. A cylinder deactivation system cuts out cylinders when they’re not needed, and variable valve timing further improves efficiency. EPA ratings are up to 15 city/21 highway mpg.
Heavier-duty Suburban 2500 models come with a 6.0-liter V-8 rated 352 horsepower and have a higher load capacity and tow rating of 9,600 pounds, although they do have a stiffer ride and somewhat lower fuel economy. Both 1500 and 2500 models are available with either rear- or four-wheel drive.
The Suburban’s 14-inch longer wheelbase compared to Tahoe or Yukon models provides third-row seating and cargo space. In fact the Suburban has 137.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first seats. First and second row seats are available as bucket or bench, while the third-row bench seat can be folded down when not needed. Properly specified, the Suburban can seat up to nine, although the third row is best for children.
Choose from LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels. Standard on all models are Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, three-zone air conditioning, and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port and satellite radio capability. Optional extras include a DVD navigation system with real-time traffic updates; rear-seat DVD entertainment system; Bose Centerpoint audio; leather upholstery; heated second-row seats; remote start; and Autoride suspension.