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The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban: The Only Full-Size SUV With a Duramax Diesel Engine With Benefits

Reviewing the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier package, I learned that no full-size SUV competitor offers a diesel engine. As Chevrolet puts it, the Duramax diesel engine "is expected to give the new SUVs some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the segment."


When I first sat to drive the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban (the 4WD Premier trim with Duramax diesel engine), I was surprised that one can drive this huge full-size SUV with a regular driver's license. It's because of its 8300 lb, its imposing size and its skills superior to those of the majority of vans and even some pickup trucks.

The Suburban is the largest SUV offered by Chevrolet, who is particularly competent in the matter with nearly 100 years of experience in the niche. Indeed, General Motors used the name Suburban for the first time in 1935. Needless to say that the model has changed a lot since then and that is precisely what I am going to talk to you about today since the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban boasts a complete overhaul in its 12th generation.

When it comes to this new generation at Chevrolet, we get a complete update.

The Chevrolet Suburban 2021 has a new silhouette, improved technologies and optimized mechanics. This full-size SUV even includes the addition of a new engine to the menu (the Duramax diesel engine) for 2021, which I will detail below. In short, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban offers a lot and pushes its already-established limits.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban vs Cadillac Escalade

One of the most interesting part of the Chevrolet Suburban's story is that the Suburban shares its platform with the Chevrolet Tahoe, the GMC Yukon as well as the Cadillac Escalade: all equally respectable full-size SUVs. In short, all this to say that General Motors is still the leader of large SUVs today.

Performances of the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban

As I wrote above there is a new addition under the hood of the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban. It's the optional 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine. Chevrolet says the optional Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel is available on all models except Z71 (off-road package). The company offers this option to those buyers for whom torque means a lot for confident, on-demand power and trailering capability. The Duramax diesel engine is rated at 277 horsepower (207 kW) and a strong 460 lb-ft (623 Nm) of torque. The carmaker says no full-size SUV competitor offers a diesel engine. It is expected to give the new SUVs some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the segment.

Yet, the first engine option in the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is the 5.3 liter V8 engine, a true classic at General Motors. This engine produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, rather modest figures for such a large SUV, but this mechanism has proven itself for several years in terms of durability and especially reliability.

The second option is a 6.2-liter V8 engine offered in the High Country trim, another engine widely used throughout the General Motors lineup. This engine offers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban Premier trim has a max towing capacity of 8200 lbs, which is only 100 less than the Tahoe. However, keep in mind that the Suburban is bigger and more spacious and in the end, we are only talking about a difference of 100 pounds.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban's Design

For the first time in many years, Chevrolet is finally putting aside the overly square design of the Suburban by adding shapes and even style, which suits it very well. The design of the American manufacturer's SUV takes up certain elements of the Silverado pickup truck. It's just like a mixture of Chevrolet Suburban and a Chevy Silverado. In particular, at the level of the wings which extend under the headlight. Thus, the Chevrolet Suburban is more elegant and modern than ever while maintaining its status as the most imposing SUV in the Chevrolet lineup.

If you look at the exterior styling everything looks new, the grille, the chrome trims in some versions. Look at those functional air inlets to allow air to go into the bumper and pass out around the front tires. It's really nice and unusual to see that on an SUV.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban rear view

The headlight design is another favorite feature. The whole front end of the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban looks like the new Silverado, which I think is really cool.

The whole side profile of the new Suburban is very proportional and ties together very nicely. Moving to the rear,look at the LED tail lights, which have a very sleek look. It even has a little engraved Chevy logo.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Trunk

Chevy Tahoe has a lot of space, but the Suburban has even more space. In the back there is hidden storage, which you can open up. Plus, the buttons on the back will actually automatically fold down the seats. So, if you hold down the buttons, look how quickly the seats fold down. You can even fold down the second-row seats, thus creating for yourself an "astronomical" amount of space.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban 2nd row

As for the interior of the Suburban 2021, we get a more stylish and opulent finish than ever. "We finally have the impression of getting behind the wheel of a modern vehicle and not just a large container with a steering wheel and 4 wheels as it used to be," notes Jean-Sébastien Poudrier in his review at Auto Aubaine. Finally, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban remains among the most spacious and comfortable SUVs in its category.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban 2nd and 3rd rows

In the 2021 Suburban we have a new key fob. Your buttons will open the rear glass and the power lift-gate and your remote start. Door panels have some nice stitches and perforated letters. The interior is premium looking. You have all your mirror and window controls as well as your memory seats on your door panels. The power-seats have all types of controls and the interior in general has a very nice combination of premium features.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Front Dash

The touchscreen display system is a very nice large screen with a lot of different settings. You can also control the rear climate as well, which is a really cool touch. At any point you can hit the Home button and go to home section of the touch screen, where you will see the list of apps including Android Auto and Apple Carplay.

Notice the new gear selector. It's on the left side of the touch screen. You simply pull back the buttons for Reverse, for drive, and then press a button for neutral. It's a very interesting new way and very easy to use overall.

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban Trim Levels, Prices and MPG

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban has six trim levels: LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier and High Country. As you might expect, the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban isn't right for all budgets, especially with a starting price of a $52,300. The LS starts from $52,300. LT starts from $57,000, The RST starts from $60,100. The Z71 starts at $62,200 The Premier trim starts at $5,500. And the high Country trim starts at $75,400. The average combined MPG is from 16 to 18 miles per gallon, depending on your chosen trim. The Premier 4WD, which Torque News is reviewing this week, actually has a 22 MPG combined and 20/26 city/highway thanks to its Duramax diesel engine.

The Driving Experience

The driving experience of the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is very smooth. You have a filling of driving a premium full-size SUV. Overall, the interior is very nicely laid out. You have a very stable feeling when driving this huge SUV. Notice how smooth everything drives, when you test drive it. This SUV also has an optional air ride suspension, which just gives it literally the perfect ride quality. You get a filling of your vehicle gliding over the bumps.

The Weak and Strong Points

You may have some challenges parking this SUV because of its big dimensions, but you will quickly get used to it and get a handle of how to park this SUV. The fuel economy is not comparable to the numbers you get in smaller vehicles. But keep in mind that this is a large SUV. I wish one day Chevrolet may introduce a hybrid Suburban. That would get this vehicle huge mileage boost. But I think we will sooner see an EV version rather than a hybrid version. This vehicle is not very affordable, but it's expected not to be from its big size. Yet, if you have a large family. This is a good and reliable vehicle.

The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is capable of replacing a pickup truck as well as a minivan. No wonder Chevrolet has mixed Silverado elements in the 2021 Suburban. It is a rugged, competent, comfortable vehicle packed with cutting edge technology.

Chevrolet has done a good job in maintaining and developing this SUV category and deserves appreciation. It is not surprising that with its impressive and modern features the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban dominates the full-size SUV segment with the Yukon and Tahoe.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.