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2015 Chevy Suburban LTZ

2015 Chevy Suburban LTZ

Objects in mirror are a lot smaller than you

I still remember my mother often saying “Go big or stay home.” We were usually playing cards at the time, but she probably would have said the same thing were she around to see this new Chevy Suburban. Vehicles in your rearview mirror will seem much smaller than you (well, they probably are) because the closest they’ll come to the driver’s seat will be about half-a-block behind your head. And they’ll still be right on your rear bumper.

How big is the Suburban? There are three very roomy rows of seats, and behind the third row is probably enough room for a fourth row.

And yet I say, “Driving the new Chevy Suburban is a piece of cake.” It’s almost—ALMOST—car-like once you wiggle it out of its parking space. After a while (if you don’t look in the mirror) you forget how big it is. My own drive began last Friday in the pouring rain at Ki-Po Chevrolet in Ransomville, where sales guy Greg Taylor took time out from a busy last-day-of-the-month morning to gas it up and tack-on a plate.

It probably goes without saying that I had plenty of head and leg room. In every row. The LTZ test truck came equipped with leather seats, whose front row was heated and cooled. They weren’t the kind of seat to hold you firm as you throw it around those back-road ess-curves (how many Suburban drivers do that?), but they weren’t dead-flat benches either. And everything you need is still within reach—at least for most drivers. There’s a back-up camera right there in the middle of the dash, which has a feature that vibrates the driver’s seat when you get too close to something (insert your own joke here). The steering wheel is heated, and there are six USB outlets and six power outlets (including one three-prong 110v outlet for plugging in your favorite household device—like maybe a Keurig?). The list of standard equipment in the LTZ would take up the rest of this page, but you can see it all on the website.

The new Suburban is powered by Chevy’s direct-injection 5.3L V-8, connected to a six-speed Hydra-Matic transmission which moves this almost three-ton behemoth along right smartly. It’s capable of pulling four tons of trailer behind it—which translates to roughly three-and-a-half Chevy Sparks. The four wheel-drive test truck is EPA-rated at 15/22 mpg city/highway, while the two wheel-driver checks in a smidge better at 16/23. That’s sounds not so great unless—UNLESS—you figure it in mpg per passenger. Say you’re driving a Chevy Spark (31/39 mpg), and carrying no passengers. You’re using up one gallon of gas for each 39 miles of highway driving. Now say you and your eight friends are going out in the country in your new Suburban. The truck is using one gallon of gas every 22 miles, but each passenger is using a little over one-tenth of a gallon every 22 miles, or almost two-tenths of a gallon each every 39 miles. See? Not so bad after all!

What do I see as the Suburban’s drawbacks? Well, the mpg isn’t that great, as you’re not always going to have nine passengers. And it’s pricey. The test truck—admittedly it had all the bells and whistles—had a bottom line of $70,975. You can do better though, and still have that same ton of room. Rear wheel-drive Suburban LS models start at $48,490. Add no options, tack on $995 for freight, and there’s your new $49,590 Suburban.

They look really sharp in Black with the cocoa/dune (brown & tan) cloth interior. LTs and LTZs come standard with leather, and the rear drive versions of each start at $53,695 and $62,695 respectively.

Hopefully you all have at least eight friends. Or maybe a spouse and seven kids. O.M.G.

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Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.

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