The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 is a powerhouse that is made to work, yet it still manages to cradle you in comfort. The 5.3-liter V8 delivers 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and is available as a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. It is no big surprise that this is one of the most popular sport utility vehicles for those needing to tow a load as the Suburban can effortlessly handle up to 8,100 pounds, when properly equipped. Despite its large size, it delivers a ride smoother than many sedans. Those planning on doing a lot of off-road traveling will want to add on the Z71 off-road package that gives you gas-charged monotube shocks, high-capacity air cleaner, automatic locking rear differential and 18-inch tires. As far as handling goes, there is no getting around the fact that the vehicle is big and heavy. Although the ride is smooth and quiet, steering is far from nimble.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - Keep rear seat passengers entertained with a DVD entertainment system that includes an overhead screen in rows, remote controls and four sets of headphones.
• Audio - A BOSE Centerpoint surround sound system with 10 speakers, subwoofer, CD player, MP3 playback capability and USB port should be adequate for your listening pleasure. Three months of SiriusXM satellite radio is also included.
• Bluetooth - This wireless technology lets you make, end and answer calls by tapping a button on the steering wheel.
• OnStar - Stolen vehicle tracking, turn-by-turn navigation, airbag deployment notification and emergency services are just a few things that OnStar handles for you.
Crash and braking tests have not yet been done on the 2013 Suburban 1500, but there is no reason why it won’t score the same as its predecessor. The 2012 model was rated “Good” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in front and side-impact, but scored “Marginal” in its rollover rating. Braking took 145.8 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is far from good. Safety features include:
• Four-wheel ABS
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Post-collision safety system
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Traction control
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Stability control
• Engine immobilizer
• Trailer sway control
• Child seat anchors
• Daytime running lamps
• Hill start assist
• Airbags in all three rows
• Rear door safety locks
One of the main reasons Suburban doesn’t appeal to a wider spectrum is due to its exterior styling. Chevrolet can change the lights and grille as much as they want, but the vehicle is still a rectangle on wheels that are far too small for its size.
The 2013 Suburban 1500 is certainly not as attractive in the inside as other SUVs by Chevrolet, but it does offer a timeless and classy feel. Gauges and controls are placed thoughtfully and easy to use, and the driver seat does offer a nice command of the road. One of the main reasons this vehicle holds onto its popularity is because it can accommodate up to nine passengers, if you opt for the 40/20/40 bench in the front. Otherwise, it drops to eight, and if you add the LTZ option, the number decreases to seven. Sadly, despite its size, the third row really does not provide passengers with much more room than the Traverse.
With 137.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seat, Suburban leads the class. Sadly, removing the seats to access this space is a huge hassle as seats are awkward and heavy. For everyday use, you get 45.8 behind the third seat, which is beyond impressive.