For buyers who have looked at crossovers and SUVs and just haven't found enough of what they need, the 2019 Chevy Suburban may be the answer. This full-sized SUV has not let the focus remain on brute force towing and people carrying. It offers a luxurious interior and an RST appearance package to ensure that it's not mistaken for a truck -- even though it's mechanically based on one. Car-based crossovers just can't keep up. Towing a boat, carrying a large family and doing the whole thing cross-country is what the Suburban was made for.
How comfortably does it seat up to nine people? Is anyone in a jumpseat?
A nine-person configuration involves comfortable bench seats, with everyone ready for a long trip without complaints. Second and third-row seating folds for up to 121.7 cu ft of cargo space when needed. For buyers who don't expect to carry nine people, second-row captain's chairs are available in higher level trim packages, and the driver and passenger can opt to enjoy either a three-position bench seat on the LS trim or heated and cooled leather seating on LT and above.
What are the powertrain offerings? How much can the Suburban tow?
The Suburban is a truck-based SUV weighing nearly 6,000 pounds to start, and it's available with a 5.3-liter V-8 with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque to rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, selectable from the 6-speed automatic's steering column controls. There is also a 6.2-liter V-8 offered on Suburban through the RST Performance package and the Premier Plus Special Edition Package in 2019. This engine offers 420 hp, 460 lb-ft, and is joined by a 10-speed automatic. The Suburban is rated to pull over 8,000 pounds with the optional trailering package, 6,300 in standard configuration.
How are the infotainment system, the navigation system and the high-end audio option?
The Suburban has a fairly quiet, car-like interior and an infotainment system to match. It starts with an 8.0-inch touchscreen console with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Upgrading to LT brings a Bose audio system which is further improved in the Premier trim. 4G LTE Wi-Fi is available along with up to 14 charge points, Driver Information Center, Head-Up Display and Navigation System. Rear-seat entertainment offers video displays in the second and third rows, HDMI input for custom programming and wireless digital headphones.
What's the cargo space, max and with seating fully occupied?
With second and third-row seating folded down, the 2019 Chevy Suburban's cargo space maxes out at 121.7 cu ft. Even with all the seats populated there's 39.3 cu ft available behind the third row, plenty for the passengers to stow their gear. The rear two rows fold three ways each, providing incremental storage space options as needed.
What is the RST package?
The basic RST package, available for LT and Premier trims, is a basic "black bowtie" urban styling for the Suburban, from black badges and roof rails to 22-inch gloss-black aluminum wheels. Paralleling the more compact 2019 Tahoe RST, Chevy is also bringing out an RST Performance Package for the Premier level with a 420-hp Suburban with a 6.2-liter engine, 10-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission and magnetic ride control with performance tuning. Brembo performance front brakes and performance exhaust by Borla are also available.
How does the 2019 Chevy Suburban ride and handle?
With a very long wheelbase and plenty of weight to maneuver, the Suburban may not keep up with crossover-style SUVs. It does, however, hold its own with comfortable handling more like a large, soft old-school luxury car suspension than the truck which underlies the Suburban's design. Add the RST Performance Package's magnetic ride suspension with sport/performance calibration, and the Suburban starts to provide more responsive control as well as acceleration and braking.
What does it have for driver assistance and active safety technologies?
The 2019 Chevy Suburban offers an Enhanced Driver Alert package which includes low-speed automatic emergency braking and active lane control along with automatic high-beam headlights and can be added to the LS trim level. It's standard on the LT and Premier levels. Premier also adds blind-spot monitors, a big help on such a long vehicle.