One of the main selling points of the 2012 Suburban 1500 SUV is the smoothness of the engine. The 5.3-liter V8 flex-fuel engine pairs up with a flawless six-speed automatic transmission to deliver 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. These can safety tow up to 8,100 pounds, when the Suburban is properly equipped.
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Gas mileage is a little better than what you get in the 2,500, but still not anything to get excited about as the 1,500 returns 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Both two and four-wheel drive are available. As for acceleration, zero to 60 mph is achieved in about nine seconds, which is average for this class.
Handling is not a strong selling point, as it is far from nimble. That being said, the short and long arm front suspension paired up with the solid live axle rear suspension does manage to deliver a smooth ride.
The 2012 Suburban 1,500 fails miserably, when it comes to rollover crash tests, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did award it a “Good” rating for both side-impact and frontal-offset crash tests. Braking from 60 mph took 145 feet, which is quite long for an SUV. Safety features include:
Loyal Suburban drivers typically do not buy this vehicle because it has a chiseled body, contemporary headlamps or eye-catching wheels, because Suburban has none of these features. It appears to be a large rectangular box on rather small wheels. There are no elements of interest to really even create a focal point.
Seating for eight is standard with the 2012 Suburban, however a 40/20/40 bench seat can be added to the front, which allows for one extra passenger. Even tall adults can fit comfortably into the third row seat, but it does not offer any more room than the Ford Flex or Chevy Traverse; both of which are easier to get into.
The ride is surprisingly quiet and controls are thoughtfully placed, so you never really have to take your eyes off the road. Lush leather seating is standard on all three trims.
Here is where Suburban really hits a homerun. Not only does it offer 17 more cubic feet of space over Toyota Sequoia, it blows the Nissan Armada away with an extra 40 cubic feet. With all seats in place, you are granted 45.8 cubic feet, but remove the seats and 137 cubic feet is granted. Unfortunately, the seats are not as easy to get out as you might hope.