By on September 20, 2017

All Hail the Mighty Suburban

Full-size, body-on-frame, real SUVs are in some circles (not mine, thankfully) about as politically correct as a Monsanto home fracking kit. Thing is, though, if a person wants to transport nine people while towing an 8,000-pound trailer, there are few options other than the Suburban and its fraternal twin, the GMC Yukon XL.

The Suburban is a nameplate that’s been around since 1935, unabashedly truck based and powered by a 355-horsepower V8 engine which may or may not run on ground-up bicycles. Since the last time we looked at the Beast from Chevy, the bowtie brand has introduced a Tahoe Custom that was received warmly at TTAC HQ. Can the ‘burb retain its spot on the Ace of Base board? Let’s find out.

In the base model LS, which displays a price of $49,915 on its Monroney, tri-zone climate controls are standard, as are a host of gadgets like a backup camera and a quintet of USB ports. Auxiliary oil and transmission coolers help keep the drivetrain from bursting into flames while driving the Magruder Corridor, so named for Lloyd Magruder, whose 1863 pack train fell to mutiny when Magruder’s hired hands robbed and murdered him along the trail. The corridor sits near the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, from which we can assume that at least Frank returned. Anyway.

The LS has durable cloth seats and an available front bench seat, an option sorely lacking from far too many well-equipped trucks these days. GM will actually give buyers $250 if they opt for the front bench seat, making this one of the few occasions when a manufacturer will pay buyers to make their vehicles more useful. Cargo space in the Suburban is best measured in acres.

In its $0 Black finish, other drivers will think you’re with the Secret Service, scattering as you fill their rearview mirrors with 92 yards of chrome grille. A very nice Blue Velvet Metallic hue, shown above, is new for this model year and is also offered gratis.

To top it off, the Suburban has a 31-gallon fuel tank and gets mid-20s on the highway, meaning you can drive out of the assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, and make it to the outskirts of Atlanta before you run low on fuel.

It’s worth noting here that, for 2018, GM has decided to grant one of my three wishes and plug the fantastic 420 hp 6.2-liter V8 into the Tahoe/Suburban, creating the RST trim. I know, I know — it’s far from a base model. However, I’ll take any opportunity to mention that fantastic motor.

But back to base models. You see, the Blazer Tahoe Custom didn’t exist one year ago. It does now. The $6,200 price difference is just too much to ignore if one is searching for a base model body-on-frame SUV from The General. The Tahoe Custom replaces the Suburban LS on my Ace of Base list this time around.

Seriously, though… get the 6.2-liter.

[Image: General Motors]

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 selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.


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30 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2017 Chevrolet Suburban LS...”

  • avatar

    One of the few Detroit products I would purchase. Actually, I really like these, especially the lower trim lines, like the LS. I dislike blinged out higher trim levels. If it was just a little more reliable, I would write the check for a LS trim Tahoe or Suburban. I keep monitoring Consumer Reports to check the reliability. I am not asking for Toyota or Honda like reliability. I just need a substantial improvement. But, I really do like these. They are very popular in Newport Beach, CA.

    • 0 avatar

      I guess your mailman stole a couple of copies of CR as the Chevy Traverse is ranked #1 with the highway score.

    • 0 avatar

      Where I’m currently assigned, there are quite a few new gen Tahoes/Suburbans running around (I don’t rate anything that nice and drive an older Pajero). I have to say that the new GM offering is quite nice. The interior is a nice step up from the previous gen (of which I had much seat time in another engagement in the, um, region).

  • avatar

    I really have to wonder why GM continues to make these climate change creating vehicles. Obviously the production lines that make these wasteful vehicles would be better utilized by converting them into Volt or Bolt lines to meet the surging consumer demand for green vehicles. Hasn’t GM management gotten the word that the whole world is going electric? Doesn’t GM want to earn the same type of profits that Tesla is generating?

  • avatar

    A female driver with kids in a Suburban is the lowest auto insurance risk in the industry. IMHO the best reason to buy one.

  • avatar

    Ford version with flat-folding rear seat (than you, Indy Rear Sus) and EcoBoost V6 torque monster (sorry, anemic Chevy 5.3 V8) FTW!

    Too bad the new version is going to start at nearly one million dollars MSRP…..

  • avatar

    That blue velvet is nice…

    Does it come with a Bobby Vinton CD?

  • avatar

    Almost didn’t recognize this, it had so little bling on it, and those wheels…so small.

    I live in a well-to-do area where the wealthy and the upper-middle-class show off with pickups and suv’s, and exotic cars remain exotic…and rare. My local GMC dealer has probably 150 trucks and suv’s at any given time, about 75% of them in the Denali trim level. They’re a dime a dozen around here. Chevy High Country’s and Ford Platinums are also very common.

    • 0 avatar

      Those wheels are perfectly proportional, IMO.

      Its just that so many vehicles have stupidly big wheels that this looks weird by comparison.

      This rubber-to-rim ratio is what every mid and full size CUV/SUV should have (barring vehicles that actually go off road, of course.)

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t get me wrong. That ‘burban is just what I’d buy if I was ponying up my own cashy cash, but it’s not what people seem to want these days. Tall wagons with huge wheels is what the ladies of the upper middle class want and they are the trend setters.

      You don’t have to tell me about the benefits of tall rubber. I think back on the 10.5 years I spent in a Mercury Grand Marquis with 15’s and all the stuff I ran over without damaging a wheel or suffering a puncture.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I’d rather have an Ecoboost transit with a 7100 lb tow rating. If you really need 4×4, Quigly could help you out.

  • avatar

    I seriously looked at one of these but wound up getting an Odyssey. Not many people ever need to tow that much. I get that they’re big, and safe and everyone and their kid brother has one, but it’s like driving a tank.

    For the same amount of Cash you can get a much better equipped Odyssey. I’m not talking new cars. And the Odyssey is absolutely massive on the inside if you take out all the rear seats.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      I’d agree if your towing nothing heavier than a pop-up camper or a boat under 2000 lbs. a van makes more sense. But they aren’t exactly small & nimble to drive either an really shouldn’t be called minivans anymore.

  • avatar
    Alexander Chu

    Dear GM,

    Please make a Suburban with 2nd and 3rd row seats that can slide back and fourth. Seriously, why haven’t you guys built one with this yet?!

    I have the 2015 Suburban LT and I like it alot. Wish I had the front bench seat though.

  • avatar

    When the rare occasion arises that I need to move many passengers I just rent a suburban. It makes much more sense than driving one around empty most of the time. The last trip was to death valley with a total of seven. I hammered the Alamo Surburban relentlessly and it still got 20 mpg. Remarkable vehicle.

  • avatar

    ” Cargo space in the Suburban is best measured in acres”

    Well, sort of. The switch to power folding third row gobbled up a significant amount of cargo capacity. The older GMT800 and GMT900 are truly huge.

  • avatar

    You need to scale stuff back if you need this ugly ass, essentially a commercial behemoth of a truck for your daily chores. You should at least have a commercial drivers license to operate one.

  • avatar

    At 224 inches, Wikipedia says that it’s shorter than any of the full size vans and pick ups currently for sale. Its also shorter than the Rolls-Royce Phantom, although that’s a rare car to actually see.

    If none of those require a CDL, why would the Suburban?

  • avatar

    If I had to have just ONE vehicle, it would be a Suburban. They are so useful- for me more useful than a pickup. If I hadn’t gotten such a great deal on my F-150, I would have bought another Suburban. Next time, I will look at Suburbans first, and compare everything else to them. I will probably get another Suburban though.

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