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2018 Chevrolet Suburban
The 2018 Chevrolet Suburban is an excellent choice for large families. It has a spacious cabin with three-row seating for up to nine passengers, enough cargo room to carry their luggage, and a bundle of technology and features. The vehicle is available in LS, LT, and Premier variants.
The V8 engine on the Suburban is a powerful machine, and in no way does it ever feel underpowered even with a full load of passengers and their luggage or when towing a heavy trailer. It features a 130-inch wheelbase, while the vehicle is over 220 inches long.
One might expect a vehicle the size of the Suburban to look bulky and out of shape. But the 2018 Suburban rocks its size with grace. The large grille is the first feature you notice when looking at the vehicle upfront. As if the sheer size of the vehicle was not enough, the wide split-grille adds to the aggressive looks of the vehicle.
The stylishly contoured, double-stacked headlights blend well with the grille and fenders towards the other end. The front fenders, door panels, and rear fenders are as large as you would expect them to be and are hugely responsible for the commanding and respect-demanding stance of the Suburban.
The long tail bends into the equally muscular yet boxy rear end. The taillights are well sized and positioned towards the outer edges to make room for the large tailgate. The vertical glass can be opened separately, as with the complete tailgate.
Step inside, and you find the dashboard far from rugged and muscular. It is as big as you would expect it to be. But it is soothing and soft-toned with rounded edges and a luxuriant feel. Inside the cabin, the materials used are high quality, making the interior look premium with advanced shapes.
Nearly all controls, including audio and climate control, are located in the center stack, right below an eight-inch touchscreen. The switches are well-laid out and can be easily accessed while keeping eyes on the road.
The front bench seat is available on the base, LS trim. We notice the dash ending too abruptly at the center to make legroom for the middle passenger. However, the dash comes down smoothly for the other variants and matches well with the center console.
There is only one powertrain available as standard across all variants of the 2018 Suburban. Whether LS, LTZ, Premier, rear-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive, they are all powered by the same 5.3-liter V8. This engine can produce 355 hp and 383 lb-ft torque. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission to deliver power to the wheels.
The powertrain seems well-suited for the rather large SUV. We say this because the Suburban's acceleration is nothing short of remarkable. The 2018 Suburban can go 0-60 in less than seven seconds and hit quarter-mile in just over 15 seconds. That is quite impressive for a vehicle over 220 inches in length and weighing nearly 6,000 pounds.
The Suburban delivers quick starts and very smooth shifting throughout the drive. Passing on the highway or taking on hilly terrain is no problem for the vehicle. It maintains acceleration at all speeds. The rear-wheel-drive variants have a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds, while the 4WDs can tow 8,200 pounds easily.
A rather convenient technology on the engine is its ability to shut off certain cylinders when running on low loads. This feature allows to conserve fuel and optimize performance. The 5.3-liter V8 can become a 2.7-liter V4 when running with low loads and slower speeds. Step down on the throttle, and all eight cylinders become active. Inside the cabin, you will never know if the vehicle is running as a four-cylinder or an eight-cylinder or when it is switching up or down. However, there is an indicator in the cluster for those who want to know.
The steering is very responsive and filters out most of the road's unevenness. It ensures comfortable and smooth handling and remains stable even at highway speeds with strong crosswinds. However, you cannot expect the Suburban to handle like smaller crossovers due to its size and mass, and the vehicle can have difficulty maintaining speeds on twisty roads.
The 2018 Suburban stays loyal to the solid beam rear suspension with coil springs instead of the modern-day independent suspension found on many crossovers. However, the suspension is excellent at keeping the ride smooth, comfortable, and controlled. There is very little body roll, and the suspension can eat up a lot of unevenness when running through rough areas.
The four-wheel-drive variant is quite a rare find. So if you are looking to buy a four-wheel-drive variant, you might need to make some extra effort, especially if you live outside Texas.
Comfort and Space Features
Yes, a variant of the Suburban seats nine passengers, but most variants come with captain chairs in the front with a console box in the center. The power-adjustable front seats are comfortable and pose no fatigue even when running on day-long trips.
The second row comes standard with a triple-split bench, but you can find a few models with optional captain's chairs in the second row. There is ample legroom and headroom in the second row.
One of the common issues with three-row seating is the difficulty of entering or exiting the third row, but the 2018 Suburban addresses the issue with large doors and power-folding second-row seats. When you reach the third row, you find that it has ample space to seat adults for your around-town trips.
It is luggage that enjoys space the most. Behind the third row, there are 40 cubic feet of space. Fold-down the third row, and the space nearly doubles to 77 cubic feet. If that is not enough room for your cargo, you can fold down the second row and get a flat floor with space the size of a Manhattan apartment – 122 cubic feet of space.
The Suburban is designed for large families and long trips, so it offers a lot of functionalities. The ride quality is smooth, quiet, and comfortable. There are also abundant small storage spaces located all around the cabin. These include the huge console box in the front, rather large and deep door pockets, and a bundle of cup holders for all three rows of seats.
The 2018 Chevy Suburban is equipped with a lot of safety equipment. These include a lot of passive and active safety features, of which the following are found standard across all variants:
- Frontal airbags protect the driver and the front passenger during a head-on impact. For most variants, there are two airbags for front passengers. However, for the one equipped with a front bench seat, there is a third airbag in the dashboard's center to protect the third passenger from severe head injuries during a crash.
- Side airbags for all three rows of passengers ensure occupants are safe if the vehicle is impacted from either side.
- Overhead airbags keep the occupants safe during a rollover or other severe impact.
- Antilock brakes sense the wheel speed, and in case of a hard brake, they will pulsate the braking pressure on the wheel to prevent it from locking up, resulting in a loss of traction.
- Traction control ensures that the vehicle maintains traction with the surface it is running on. If the system detects unnecessary wheel spin, it can correct the power to regain traction.
- Stability control ensures that the vehicle remains within the safety limits and under the driver's control.
- Rearview camera
The following features are found standard on LT and Premier trims and with the Enhanced Driver Package on the LS:
- Frontal collision alert with low-speed braking that detects obstacles in the way of the vehicle.
- Lane Keep Assist alerts the driver if the vehicle is departing its lane and can make small corrections to the steering to keep the vehicle in lane.
- A blind zone monitor with lane change alert keeps watch on any vehicles in the driver's blind spot and can alert the driver when attempting to change lanes.
- A feature that we find very convenient is the Safety Seat Alert. This advanced driver's seat pulsates when it detects any vehicle in the blind spot. It can send signals for both left and right.
- Adaptive Cruise Control is available only on the Premier trim.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2018 Suburban four stars for overall safety. The vehicle gets four-star ratings for front and side crashes and three stars for rollover.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does not test large vehicles, so it has not rated the 2018 Chevy Suburban.
The 2018 Chevrolet Suburban is available in three trims, LS, LT, and Premier. The LS is the only trim that comes with a front bench seat. The Suburban can also be found with eight seats, captain's chairs in the front, and bench seats in the second and third row. Another option is the seven-seater with captain's chairs in the second row and a bench for the third.
The base trim, LS, comes with the following features:
- Power-adjustable front seats
- Three-zone climate control
- Infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- 3 – 4 12 volt outlets
- 110 volt AC power outlet
- Multiple USB ports for all rows to allow all occupants to charge their devices
- Rear parking assist with rearview camera
- Remote Start activates the climate control, locks all doors, and turns on parking lights
Move up to the LT trim, and you have access to additional goodies:
- Memory programming for front seats
- Leather upholstery
- Heated front seats
- Bose audio system with nine speakers
The top trim, Premier, goes all-in with convenience and luxury features. This trim adds the following to whatever is offered on the LS and LT trims:
- Ventilated and heated front seats with 12-way power-adjustability
- Power tailgate that can be programmed to stop at a certain height. It also comes with hands-free activation.
- 20-inch alloy wheels
- Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which adds top-level comfort to your ride
Fuel Economy Features
A vehicle that weighs around 6000 pounds accelerates faster than many mid-sized sedans and wears a boxy look is expected to be a gas guzzler. However, the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban is more fuel-efficient than one expects it to be. It is thanks to the advanced engine with Cylinder Deactivation technology that the vehicle gets the following EPA ratings:
- The rear-wheel-drive variant gets 16 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined.
- The four-wheel-drive variant gets 15 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined.
Price Range of 2018 Chevrolet Suburban
The prices of the 2018 Suburban start at around $36,500 and go up to $58,000. The average price is around $47,000. The prices vary due to location, mileage, trim level, optional features installed, and vehicle condition.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding