Ace of Base: Chevrolet Suburban LS
Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.
A couple of weeks ago, Tim spelled it out for us: Americans finally bought more SUVs than cars.
Now, a good many of these weren’t real SUVs: Rouges, RAVs, and RDXs are pathetic shadows of the segment’s forebears. The Suburban, however, has been unabashedly truck based since 1935. The current model is powered by a 355-horsepower V8 engine fuelled by ground up Priuses and oiled with the tears of David Attenborough. Cargo space is measured in acres instead of square feet.
The LS trim, with durable cloth seats and an available front bench seat like Alfred Sloan intended, won’t make drivers feel bad if they gouge the rear door with the hitch from a boat trailer or knock a mirror off at a McDonald’s drive-thru en route to an early morning trip to the lake. It’s not like this ‘Burban is a leather-lined LTZ or (god forbid!) a Yukon SLT Premium.
Name another vehicle into which you can stuff nine people and a weekend’s luggage while hauling an 8000-pound trailer. I can think of several — two, right now, in my driveway — that can achieve these feats, but not at the same time. In the base model LS, tri-zone climate control assures comfort of your ankle-biters and built-in 4G LTE wi-fi allows them to play Pokémon Go on the go. It is only on the LS that GM allows one to choose that La-Z-Boy front bench — a cloth-covered, overstuffed, outstretched middle finger to the timid crossover — making this, the base model, the greatest of all Suburbans.
GM will actually give $250 to Suburban LS buyers who opt for a front bench seat, making this one of the few occasions when a manufacturer will pay buyers to make their vehicles more useful. This is the polar opposite of the Porsche approach.
Looking like a tank in its $0 Black finish, other drivers will think you’re with the Secret Service, scattering like rice at a wedding as you fill their rearview mirrors with nine yards of chrome grille. Painted red, the Suburban suggests one is with the fire department, but Siren Red Tintcoat is, sadly, a $495 option.
To top it off, the Suburban has a bladder busting thirty-one gallon capacity fuel tank and gets mid-20s on the highway, meaning you can drive out of the assembly plant in Arlington, TX and make it to the outskirts of Atlanta before you run out fuel. Good news: you and your eight friends will have plenty of room for snacks.
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim — apple pie and bald eagles not included. As always, your dealer may sell for less.
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- Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
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- Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.