The Suburban is the biggest of the Chevy SUV stable and 2022 is the 12th generation of this iconic utility vehicle. (Jim Frenak-FPI Studios)
Whether it’s price, equipment or some other add-on, sometimes, the real payoffs come when you are willing to go just a little further. In the case of the 2022 Chevrolet Suburban, a willingness to go anywhere is easily accommodated in the lap of luxury.
Just like Andy’s letter to Red in Shawshank Redemption: “If you’ve come this far, then maybe you are willing to come a little further.” Of course, Red’s payoff for going a little further was true freedom – and the new Suburban (in any variant) can help you get far, far away in style.
Truthfully, the fact you might be looking at a Suburban means you have pretty much already gone “a little further” than most. The Suburban is the biggest of the Chevy SUV stable. I recently tested a 2022 Suburban Premier model with 4-wheel drive and enjoyed the 12th generation of its iconic utility vehicle.
On the outside, the new Suburban offers a bold treatment by emphasizing just a few design cues. It’s hard to add a lot of character to such a hefty vehicle, no matter what subtle touches you add, they always seem to get overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the entire package.
This Suburban benefits from a blacked-out grille and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels that helped contrast the Evergreen Gray hue of my tester. Chrome touches up top on the roof rails, the beltline accent, and running boards pop without being too distracting.
In the back, you get a feel for just how big this vehicle is. Big proportions require equally big operational elements like the stout vertical tail lamps, huge rear glass, and “SUBURBAN” stretched across the back.
Inside the massive cabin are big, comfy chairs in the front and second rows. The interior design offers an attractive feel featuring black leather throughout and a tablet-style infotainment screen as the centerpiece. The 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster is easy to read and standard on all but the base Suburban.
The Suburban is the last nine-passenger seating configuration available, though it is only optional on the Base model. My Premier model featured seating for eight and the row-two captain’s chairs ($370) add a more luxurious feel and are well worth the extra money.
My Premier model featured the Luxury ($4,485) and Rear Seat Media System ($1,995) packages. This turned a true people mover into a true people entertainer, perfect for the kids and long road trips. Rear seat passengers can stream shows on a pair of 12.6-inch LCD displays. While there is no DVD player, you can easily connect to a streaming device using USB and HDMI inputs. The new Google Built-In feature brings all of the conveniences of your Google account into the vehicle, including Google Maps.
Third rows are known for tight spaces and horrible access, not the case with the Suburban. A power release feature on the second-row captain’s chairs makes it easy to access the third row. With all the seats in place, Suburban offers 41.5 cubic feet of storage. Fold-down both rear rows and the Suburban has a stunning 144.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Suburban has a four-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including a 5-star side-impact rating. All new Suburbans have Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Warning, while the Suburban RST comes standard with Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Automatic High Beams, and a following distance indicator.
The Luxury Package on my Premier model adds Rear Pedestrian Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert. This is a very safe family hauler.
A previous 5.3-liter V8 or 3.0-liter Duramax diesel inline-six choice is now expanded to include the impressive 6.2-liter V8 ($2,495). This 6.2-L engine increases output to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque with a less-than-impressive EPA-rated fuel economy of 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Yep, plan on spending some time at the gas pump filling up the massive 28-gallon tank.
Until you are sitting in the driver’s seat and surveying the Earth’s curvature in front of you, you don’t ever really know just how big the Suburban is. The huge side mirrors and the rear camera instantly become your best friends.
Whether you are shooting around town or on the highway, expect a smooth, quiet ride. Despite being one of the largest vehicles out there, I found the Suburban to be surprisingly maneuverable in tight spaces. Towing capacity can go as high as 8,300 pounds.
Just like Red taking the leap to go a little further and leave memories of Shawshank Prison in the past, this new Suburban easily is the best full-size version Chevrolet has to offer. With a base of $68,800, my Premier model added amazing options that pushed the final price to $79,370. If you are willing to go a little further for a full-size SUV, the Suburban beckons like the beaches of Zihuatanejo.
• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years’ experience driving, testing, and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations, and vehicles.
Copyright © 2022 Shaw Local News Network
Copyright © 2022 Shaw Local News Network