2015 Chevrolet Silverado

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is fully redesigned. Highlights include a quieter, higher-quality interior, a fold-flat third-row seat and improved fuel economy.

In the age of crossovers with three rows of seating, you might think the end times are near for traditional full-size SUVs like the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban. But for car shoppers who need room for big families and the ability to tow big toys, the Suburban is still the premier alpha SUV. Thanks to a full redesign for 2015, Chevy's largest SUV is now better equipped to compete in the modern era, as it picks up a more fuel-efficient V8 engine, a fold-flat third-row seat and an array of new safety and technology features.

As a part of its redesign, the Suburban receives a new 5.3-liter V8 featuring direct injection and cylinder deactivation for better power and efficiency. The new V8 produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than enough for most hauling and towing tasks. Another upgrade is a fully modern interior that's comfortable, stocked with the latest technology and, at the higher trim levels, quite luxurious. Notable upgrades include a new touchscreen interface with added smartphone integration and the latest electronic safety features (which remain vigilant even if the driver is not). Among them are a lane departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring and a frontal collision warning and mitigation system.

The 2015 Suburban also has a redesigned third-row seat. Whereas the bulky and heavy third-row seats had to be physically removed from past Suburbans to achieve maximum cargo space, the new Suburban gets third-row seats that fold into the floor. This convenience comes at a cost -- the load height has risen and 16 cubic feet of cargo capacity have been lost -- but such added versatility is nevertheless a welcome improvement.

Exterior Highlights
Full-size SUV available in base LS, midlevel LT and luxury LTZ trim levels

The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is a full-size SUV that's offered in three trim levels; base LS, midlevel LT and luxury LTZ. Seating for eight is standard, but there are two optional seating arrangements. Second-row captain's chairs drop the count to seven, and an available 40/20/40 front bench seat (LS only) increases it to nine.

The LS comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, roof rails, remote ignition, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, heated power-adjustable manual-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, power front seats (eight-way driver with power lumbar, four-way passenger), a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, OnStar emergency communications, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, two USB ports and an SD card slot. The optional Driver Alert package includes power-adjustable pedals, forward collision alert, lane-departure warning and a vibrating safety alert seat.

The Suburban LT adds the content of the Driver Alert package as well as a power liftgate, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, an eight-way power passenger seat with power lumbar, heated front seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, additional interior power outlets and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with three additional USB ports and the 8-inch Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen interface (which includes voice control, smartphone app integration, text-to-voice capability for MAP-enabled smartphones and Siri Eyes Free capability for newer iPhones).

Second-row captain's chairs (power- or manual-release) are optional for the LT. The Luxury package gets you foglights, front parking sensors, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a power tilt-and-telescoping heated steering wheel, heated and power-folding second-row captain's chairs (which drop seating capacity to seven), power-folding third-row seats and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts.

The top-of-the-line LTZ gets the Luxury package equipment plus 20-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive magnetic suspension, xenon headlights, heated and ventilated front seats with additional lumbar adjustment, and a premium 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The Sun, Entertainment & Destinations package is available for the LT and the LTZ and adds a sunroof, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player. Also optional on the LT and LTZ is a Theft-Deterrent package that includes vehicle motion sensors, glass break sensors and a self-powered horn for the alarm.

All Suburbans are pre-wired for towing and feature a 2-inch receiver, but a Max Trailering package is available across all trim levels and includes specific gearing and a trailer-brake controller. On the LS and LT, the Max Trailering package adds air suspension with increased load capacity and leveling. Other notable options include 22-inch wheels, roof rack crossbars and power-extending running boards.

Intuitive central information display, high-quality materials, supportive and comfrotable seats, excellent second row space, rearview camera

The overall quality and design of the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban's interior is noticeably improved compared to the previous-generation SUV. Materials are of high quality, and the gauge cluster's crisp white-on-black graphics are a snap to read day or night. The central information display is intuitive to navigate and its graphics are simple and easily interpreted. Both the standard 4.2- and optional 8.0-inch central color infotainment displays feature sophisticated (and in some cases reconfigurable) graphics options.

Most shoppers will find the front seats comfortable and reasonably supportive. Second row space is excellent, while the third row offers a lot of legroom. Keep in mind, though, that if you're looking to the Suburban for its nine-passenger capacity, remember that it's only available on the base trim level.

Given the very cumbersome nature of the previous-generation Suburban's third-row seat removal procedure (not to mention their vulnerability to smash-and-grab thieves), we're happy to see Chevy has finally integrated the third row firmly into the truck's floor. The fact that both the rear rows are power operated is an added benefit.

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Chevy Suburban includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control (with trailer sway control), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. An airbag located between the front bucket seats (when so equipped) is standard and aids in side-impact crashes. Also standard are rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

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