Behind the Wheel: 2019 Chevrolet Suburban LT
If you want to take up to 8 of your friends (and their luggage) with you on road trips, your SUV options are rather limited.
November 23, 2018
Behind the Wheel: 2019 Chevrolet Suburban LT
Credit: Freddy Sherman
The 2019 Chevrolet Suburban LT offers some serious passenger and cargo capacity, along with a lot of luxurious amenities. The Suburban LT is the mid-range trim level, better than the LS but not as nice as the Premier. The main things it gains over the base model are leather seats (well leather appointed seating surfaces) and a power rear liftgate.
To test out the 2019 Chevy Suburban LT, we packed six friends and two dogs into it and headed down to Pacific Beach in San Diego. It’s a favorite getaway spot and we always stay at the same beachfront hotel, the Surfer Beach. It’s right on the Pacific Beach boardwalk and allows you to fall asleep to the sound of the waves, a key element in my weekend getaways.
On the drives there and back the Suburban really was buttery smooth. We took mainly mountain roads to get there from Palm Springs and although you can’t throw it around the canyons like a sports car, it handles nicely. On the freeway, it’s very smooth and very, very quiet. I went from the Suburban into a 2019 Lexus RX and the Suburban is much quieter with less wind noise on the freeway.
The Suburban really shines here with an advanced GM EcoTec3 5.3L V8 engine. It pumps out 355 hp yet can offer up to 22 mg on the highway due to advanced features like cylinder deactivation. This means it turns off four cylinders and runs as a four-cylinder when the extra power isn’t needed. We saw excellent mileage on our 500 mile road trip, surpassing 20 mpg in spirited driving. The power is transferred to the road via a ten-speed automatic transmission that shifted smoothly and was very responsive to my driving. We drove a 2WD model, they also offer a 4WD Suburban.
There are three basic trim levels for the 2019 Suburban, a base LS, the LT I drove and a Premier model. The LT adds leather seating surfaces, a power tailgate, a Bose infotainment system and Lane Keep Assist technology to what comes on the LS. With those leather seats (well, leather appointed seating surfaces), some nice wood trim and overall some very nice build quality, it’s a luxurious-feeling interior and experience, for both driver and passengers. The Suburban LT I drove starts at $56,895 and I think it ‘s better than full-size SUVs I’ve driven from Lexus and INFINITI which cost $20-$25K more.
When reviewing a sport utility vehicle, I always feel the need to talk about utility. This is a massive SUV which can be configured to seat 9 people and their luggage. Now that’s utility. Towing capacity is 8,300 pounds and the LT came with a towing hitch. All that size and capacity is very usable and anyone can just get in and drive. You also get that great gas mileage. The SUV comes with multiple charging outlets for all passengers and video entertainment systems and a Wi-Fi hotspot are both available options.
If it’s size you need, the Chevy Suburban delivers. These full-size GM SUVs (Escalade, Suburban and GMC Yukon) are the only vehicles that when equipped with second-row captain’s chairs, allow easy access to the third row of seats with the second row passengers having to exit or even move. The extended SUVs like the Suburban, Escalade EXT and Yukon XL are also the only three-row SUVs with a huge cargo space. If you try to pick up 8 people and their luggage in a Lexus LX 570, you’ll have to choose between people and luggage. The Suburban can easily haul 9 people and their luggage.
With the base model priced at just over $50K ($50,600) it’s a relative bargain. The LT, with its leather seating surfaces, power lift gate and other upgrades is “only” $56,895. That gets you a lot of SUV with a nice array of luxury appointments. The LT I drove came close in interior quality and feel, quietness and luxury to a Cadillac Escalade EXT I recently had. The Cadillac is the same size (and built on the same platform) but costs twice as much. $50K is a lot to pay for that Cadillac badge and some cool head and taillights.
Exterior photos by Freddy Sherman
Interior photo courtesy of Cadillac
By Freddy Sherman
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