Car Review: The Chevrolet Suburban offers little change in 2013

It’s a monster to drive, but the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban still purrs like a kitten. Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, July 16, 2013 — Driving the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban not only means you think you own the road, but in truth you really do. This vehicle is large and while indeed, it is all brawn, the female driver will still find the Suburban a good fit too.

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As a full-size SUV there is a  lot of room for you and your besties - to the tune of about eight or nine of them - and of course, the Suburban also gets high marks when it comes to cargo space and towing ability.

Even as you drive this beast, it still rides comfortably and the standard options are quite impressive too.

While the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban is pretty much unchanged from years past there was still a transmission feature added in 2013 offering a new braking mode that works in conjunction with less wear and tear on steep downhill situations.

Competition on this one is the Ford Expedition and the Toyota Sequoia, these two do offer a folding third seat, which the Suburban does not, but little other differences.

For towing the likes of boats and campers, there is little else to choose from here as the Suburban offers lots of muscle for the hardy adventurer who wants it all.

The 2013 Chevrolet Suburban comes in two models the 1500 and the heavier duty 2500 model. Within the models there are also three trim levels; LS and the LT on the 1500 and the 2500 models, but if you opt for a LTZ trim that can only be had in the 1500 only. You can also opt for 40/20/40 front bench seat bumps that takes the passenger count up from eight to nine.

On the LS you get 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, roof rails, cruise control, six-way power front bucket seats, leather-wrapped tilt-steering wheel and all the accessories with power. There is also OnStar and audio goodies like Bluetooth phone connectivity and an iPod/USB interface as well as rear headphone jacks and rear controls.

On the mid-level LT you can add standard fog lights, roof rack crossbars, locking rear differential, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, heated front seats, leather upholstery and power-adjustable pedals.

The top-of-the-line LTZ has 20-inch alloy wheels, rear air suspension with automatic load leveling, automatic wipers, power liftgate, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors, rearview camera, blind-spot warning system, heated and ventilated front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and driver memory functions, a heated steering wheel, heated and power-folding second-row captain’s chairs, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system and even voice controls.

Take note too that many of the standard features on the mid and high end trim can also be had on the LS or LT if you opt for extras. Options that can be had on all the trims are 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, power-extending running boards and a towing package that is also equipped with an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway control and hill start assist.

Under the hood, the 2013 Chevy Suburban has a 5.3-liter V8 engine on the 1500 model with  320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. There is also an optional 6.0-liter V8 engine with 352 horsepower and 382 pound feet of torque that is the standard on the 2500. With both you get a  six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive is standard. There are also two different four-wheel-drive systems; one offers a traditional two-range transfer case and the other a single-speed unit without low-speed gearing except on the LTZ trim.

Customers will like the list of safety features on the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban including four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags. There is also the GM OnStar emergency communications system and that includes automatic crash notification, emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance. As options you can opt for a blind-spot warning system and rearview camera as well.

Inside, the Suburban feels fine and the knobs and controls are easy to use and navigate.  While you won’t be wowed with the technology, it is appreciated that what you need is what you get in this vehicle and it’s not hard to figure it all out.

Take note if you do need more space for cargo you have to completely remove the third-row seat and that can be a bit of a chore, however, once removed you get a larger-than-life 137 cubic feet for hauling.

Driving the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban is not intimidating at all, even for a woman who might on other days enjoy the feel of little sports car or a sedan. Inside, the ride is clean and the engine has no trouble taking control when the gas is engaged. One thing that might take a bit of getting used to is the longer than usual braking distance, but it is easy to do after a few hits of the brakes to judge the time needed.

Should You Need to Know: This is impressive since when it is properly equipped the Suburban 2500 has the ability to tow up to 9,600 pounds.

Miles Per Gallon: On the 2013 Suburban 2WD LTZ I drove it came in with 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost:   The fancy LTZ 2WD price tag was $60,195.

Rita Cook  is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association and can be followed on Twitter at @ritacook13. She is also a 15-year veteran journalist and author, her latest book from History  is about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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