Let me preface by saying this. I love Top Gear UK. The show always puts me in a better mood the chemistry between the guys has been unmatched by any other TG around the world. I also know that the show is much more entertainment influenced than by journalism, so I’m not going to dispute a point that Hammond made recently when honoring the Land Rover Defender. Again, not to take anything from Hammond or the Defender both deserve credit and I give them exactly that. What I’m referring to is when they brought up the age of the Defender and how great that its been round for 67 years, that is truly an accomplishment, but it’s not as good as our truck of today. I’m talking Franklin D Roosevelt old, the great depression old, almost as old as dirt.
Eighty two years. That’s how long Chevy has been selling the suburban, eighty-two! That’s an amazing accomplishment, and no other single model has sold for a longer period of time, not the Corolla, not the Beetle, not the F-150, no one. Yet, somehow its been flying under the radar for its entire life span, there was no big party when it turned 80, no Top Gear dedicated to it, not even an anniversary model by Chevy, and that’s just not right, considering just how important this vehicle is to our everyday lives. This was the original SUV, all the crossovers, all the compact crossovers, even all the wagons have the Suburban to thank for their existence. Like the Defender the Chevy serves many purposes, Uber drivers use them as limos, police use them as K-9 trucks, railway systems use them as trains, secret service uses them as armored escort and transport vehicles, and Obama’s Cadillac limo is actually a Suburban underneath, I could go on and on, but the most important use of all is by the average consumer. Say, you have 4 kids, two dogs, and a boat, there is no other vehicle that can handle your daily duties better. Some will quickly point to Ford, and yes that maybe true with the latest long wheel base Expedition, but the once great Excursion is extinct along with the Dodge Suburban, International Harvester and Jeep Wagoneer. All who put up a great fight but eventually succumbed to the Suburban.
2015 Chevrolet Suburban
As you’d expect the 2015 model is the best rendition yet. It’s retained all of the charm that made this truck great and gained more intelligence. Basically Chevy sent the old fellow to college and then the gym, and the results are noticeable in both aspects. The doors on the new model tuck into the sills instead of over them to reduce cabin noise while improving aerodynamics. The hood, the liftgate and some panels are now aluminum to reduce weight and aid in fuel economy, and while were on the subject the new 5.3 V8 Ecotech with cylinder deactivation, mated to the first ever eight-speed automatic transmission will allow 25mpg on the highway, or 3 more than I get in my G37 sedan, for a truck this size that’s an accomplishment within itself. The new age trend continues inside the cabin as well, all but the very basic models now offer 4G LTE WiFi and Siri as standard equipment, as well as SIX USB ports and a traditional three prong power outlet, dual screen blue-ray player is an option but one that should be checked if you want to rear seat passengers to remain quiet during those long trips to grandmas house. This latest truck proves that some old dogs can in fact learn new tricks.
The Chevrolet Suburban is one of the greatest names in the automotive world. It’s unmatched accomplishments and ability to evolve with the times have allowed it to live long and prosper, and I for one am very pleased. However, it looks like I’m not the only one, sales for the new model have increased overall by 109% over the previous gen. Meaning that the longest selling model in the automotive history shows no signs of dwindling, and who knows maybe in another 18 years I’ll be wishing a happy 100th birthday. Fingers crossed!