Chevrolet Suburban Overview
The Chevrolet Suburban has been around for nearly 80 years. While it has played the role of both a commercial and a military vehicle, it is now a consumer-focused 4-door SUV. It’s one of the largest SUVs available today. Let’s take a look at the evolution of the legendary Chevrolet Suburban through the years.
Chevrolet Suburban Through the Years
1st Generation (1936 – 1940)
- In 1936, Chevrolet combined a station wagon body with a truck base, and the Chevrolet Suburban was born.
- Chevy referred to the early Suburban as the “Caryall Suburban.”
- Early Suburbans had seating for up to 8, with a body that resembled “Woodie” wagons of the time.
2nd Generation (1941 – 1946)
- Between 1943 and 1945, no civilian Chevy Suburbans were created because of World War II.
- The 2nd generation Suburban was equipped with a 216 cu. in. straight 6-cylinder engine.
3rd Generation (1947 – 1955)
- This vehicle received an updated body style, featuring a broad stance, wider grille, and wider passenger compartment.
- In 1954, Chevy added the Hyrda-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission to the Suburban.
4th Generation (1955 – 1959)
- The 4th generation brought a flatter hood, trapezoidal grille, wrap-around windshield, and front fenders that were flush with the body.
- Both inline 6-cylinder and V8 engines were available.
- In 1957, Chevrolet offered 4WD.
5th Generation (1960 – 1966)
- In 1960, the Chevrolet Suburban has conservative hood styling, with oval ports over the grille.
- In 1962, Chevy cleaned up the frontal styling, replacing oval ports with dual headlights.
- This generation offered front independent suspension.
- Later in the 5th generation, Chevrolet offered air conditioning and larger V8 and inline 6 engines.
6th Generation (1967 – 1972)
- The Suburban now featured a sleek, updated design with 2 passenger-side doors, and 1 driver-side door.
- Buyers could choose between a tailgate or panel-style doors for rear cargo access.
- In 1970, Chevy offered an eight-track player and stereo radio.
7th Generation (1973 – 1991)
- Now with 4-doors, the 1973 Chevy Suburban came standard with a 305 cu. in. V8.
- The 7th generation featured comfort features like front & rear AC and a 3rd seat heater
- Mid-generation, GM switched from carburetors to electronic fuel injection, using a system called throttle body injection.
- A 400 cu. in. V8 and 454 cu. in. V8 were available, and a 6.2L diesel V8 was available starting in 1982.
- In 1981, The Suburban lost around 300 lbs. and featured a restyled grille with square headlights.
8th Generation (1992 – 1999)
- The 1992 Chevrolet Suburban featured a modern look with rounded, soft styling cues.
- The base engine across the lineup was a 5.7L V8
- Manual transmissions were no longer available.
- In 1996, GM introduced Vortec engines, all producing more power than before.
9th Generation (2000 – 2006)
- In 2000, the Chevy gave the Suburban more rounded sculpting.
- An 8.1L V8 engine was added to the lineup in 2001.
- In 2003, the Chevrolet Suburban received comfort features such as tri-zone climate control, available second-row captain’s chairs, DVD entertainment system, and XM radio.
- 2004 prioritized safety, with a passenger “buckle up” warning and Hydroboost brakes in half ton models.
- Touchscreen navigation was optional in 2005.
- Rear barn doors were discontinued late in the 9th
10th Generation (2007 – 2014)
- The 10th generation Suburban features a more aerodynamic design.
- Features like blind spot warnings, heated steering wheel, Bluetooth phone connectivity, heated and cooled seats, rear-view camera, and rear parking assist became available throughout the 10th
11th Generation (2015 – )
- 2015 presented an updated, chrome-heavy grille, along with more boxy, sharp styling.
- The 11th gen Suburban only offers a 5.3L V8 engine that produces 355 hp and 383 lb. ft. of torque.
- This Suburban can tow up to 8,300 lbs.
- Current tech features include Blu-ray and DVD players, power tailgate, Chevy MyLink connectivity, 8 inch touchscreen, keyless entry, 6 USB powers and power outlets, wireless phone charging, Wi-Fi, and much more.
Chevrolet Suburban Fast Facts
- Rob Dyrdek, Kevin Hart, and Carrie Underwood have all owned Chevy Suburbans.
- The Suburban was also offered with a GMC badge until the year 2000.
- The modern Chevrolet HHR was designed after the 3rd generation Suburban.
- The Chevy Suburban is the longest-running auto nameplate of all time.