2013 Chevrolet Suburban Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 27, 2013
  • Last model year for Suburban before new platform is introduced
  • Three new colors: Champagne Silver, Concord, and Blue Ray
  • Powertrain grade braking is now included in normal driving mode
  • All-terrain tires are available with Off-Road Package option


The Chevrolet Suburban is one of the oldest surviving badges in the automotive industry. It is a full-size SUV, a little larger than the Chevrolet Tahoe, built for rugged use and for towing heavy loads. Similar vehicles within General Motors are the GMC Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade ESV. The Suburban is often used in commercial fleets and sometimes by law enforcement. The Suburban was introduced 11 years ago, with a new platform scheduled to be introduced for the 2014 model year. The Suburban is a half-ton model; a Suburban Three Quarter Ton is also available, known respectively as 1500 and 2500. Seating configurations of from six to nine seats are available. The standard Suburban is available in three trim levels: LS, LT, and LTZ. The Suburban Three Quarter Ton comes in LS or LT trim. The 2500's towing capacity is 9,600 lbs. and it has a gross vehicle weight of eight tons. The Suburban is available with 2-wheel- or 4-wheel-drive.

Exterior Features

Colors include white, black, Silver Ice, Champagne Silver, Mocha Steel and (at a premium charge) Black Granite, Crystal Red, and White Diamond. Wheels are available in various designs, ranging in size from 17 to 22 inches. Standard features include side and center luggage rack rails, assist steps, liftgate, and daytime running lights. Exterior upgrades on the upper trim levels include power liftgate, chrome door handles, heated power mirrors, chrome front grille, upgraded wheels, and upgraded tires.  

Interior Features

The LS trim comes with power front bucket seats, power accessories, second-row 60/40 split-folding bench seat, third-row 50/50 split-bench removable seat, floor console, Bluetooth capability, 8-speaker sound system, and 3-zone climate control. The LT trim includes leather upholstery, fog lights, locking rear differential, automatic 3-zone climate control, remote ignition, and Bose sound system. The LTZ trim adds heated and cooled driver and front passenger seats and second-row seats, rear air suspension, premium leather upholstery, premium sound system, premium interior lighting, hard-drive-based navigation system, and enhanced safety features. To create maximum cargo space, the third-row seats must be removed, but yields a total of 137 cu. ft. of space.

Optional Features

Stand-alone options include 22-inch wheels, heavy-duty towing package, power-retractable running boards, off-road package, sunroof, and rear-seat entertainment system. Many of the enhancements featured on the upper trim levels are optional on lower trim levels. The Sun, Entertainment, and Destinations Package includes a full year of SiriusXM radio and NavTraffic service, audio system with navigation, rear seat DVD entertainment system, and third-row DVD screen. Additional amenities include a rearview camera and power sunroof. Many other options are available. Off-Road Suspension Package include 18-inch aluminum wheels with on/off-road tires, Skid Plate Package, recovery hooks, unique front fascia, monotube shocks and wheel flares, and chrome grille inserts.

Under the Hood

The Suburban 1500's standard engine is a 5.3-liter V-8 delivering 320 horsepower. The Three Quarter Ton model has a 6.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 352 horsepower. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard. With the LS or LT trim, the four-wheel drivetrain employs either a single-speed or two-speed transfer case.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy figures for the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban are:
  • 1500 with 2- or 4-wheel drive: 15/21/17 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • 2500 with 2-wheel drive: 10/16/12 mpg
  • 2500 with 4-wheel drive: 10/15/12 mpg


Safety features include 4-wheel antilock brakes, front, rear, and third-row air bags, dual front side-mounted air bags, remote anti-theft alarm system, rear door child safety locks, dusk-sensing headlights, delayed headlight turnoff, stability control, traction control, and tire pressure monitor. Many other safety features are available. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Chevrolet Suburban received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5 stars), 5 stars for frontal and side collision, and 3 stars for rollover crash protection.


The Suburban's Active Fuel Management technology delivers maximum power when needed and conserves fuel when less power is required. On level roads, the system automatically deactivates four of the eight cylinders, and reactivates all cylinders on an incline or when the driver accelerates. The manufacturer also addresses sustainability issues; after the vehicle's useful life, 85 percent of it is recyclable.

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