The Smooth-Riding 2021 Chevy Suburban Diesel Impressed Popular Mechanics

Chevrolet makes many great SUVs, but the Suburban is one of its most popular. And thanks to its redesign, the 2021 Chevy Suburban is earning even more positive attention. The full-size SUV sees several welcome changes, including more cargo space, a new rear suspension, and more standard technology.

However, Popular Mechanics says the best addition is the new turbodiesel engine. Does it improve the 2021 Suburban‘s ride quality?

The 2021 Chevy Suburban’s impressive engine specs

The Suburban’s new turbodiesel engine generates 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. It’s also available on the base SUV for no extra charge. Four-wheel drive is optional on all trims for $3,000 extra. The Suburban’s base engine is actually a bit more powerful, harnessing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

Chevrolet reserves the most powerful motor for the Suburban High Country. This 6.2-liter V8 makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, but you can also switch it out for the turbodiesel. Despite having less power, Popular Mechanics seems to think that it’s worth the change.

Smooth cruising in the Chevy Suburban

Popular Mechanics found the Chevy Suburban surprisingly easy to control despite its length. Visibility is excellent, body roll is kept under control, and the steering wheel is easy to handle. It can be awkward to maneuver into tight parking spaces because of its wide turning radius, but rear parking sensors are standard.

The Chevy Suburban’s new suspension and longer wheelbase allow it to absorb bumps better than it could in previous generations. Popular Mechanics noted the turbodiesel is slightly louder than the other motors, but it didn’t disturb testers too much. The air suspension, available on higher trims, also adjusts itself depending on road conditions.

Another thing Popular Mechanics appreciated about the Suburban is all of its available power. On the V8 engine, rpm must reach 4,100 to make the most of the motor’s torque. The new turbodiesel only has to reach 1,500 rpm. This makes the Suburban quicker off the starting line and more fuel-efficient.

The 2021 Chevy Suburban also proves itself capable while climbing uphill. It can accelerate up steep highway roads at only 1,600 rpm, much lower than other vehicles Popular Mechanics had tested.

The Suburban’s awesome towing power

Faster torque delivery also makes the Chevy Suburban more capable in the towing department. With the Max Trailering Package, the diesel Suburban can lug 8,000 pounds, excellent by SUV standards. If it’s an AWD Suburban, it can tow up to 7,800 pounds. And models with the 6.2-liter V8 can tow 8,300 pounds.

The tow package also comes with a trailer-brake remote and a high-capacity fan for the engine. Plus, Hitch Guidance and Hitch View allow you to keep an eye on the trailer while you’re driving. Trailer blind-spot monitors are included on the Premier and High Country Trims.

Updated interior


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The 2021 Chevy Suburban’s extended wheelbase and new multi-link suspension provide not only a smooth ride but also a roomier interior. There’s now more stretch-out space, even in the typically cramped third row. Access to the last row is also easier thanks to the sliding second-row seats. The Suburban also boasts the largest cargo capacity in its class, almost 145 cubic feet.

Riders also enjoy a bevy of user-friendly technology. The touchscreen is larger this year, and automatic emergency braking comes as standard equipment. All things considered, the 2021 Chevy Suburban is a hit for 2021, especially with the diesel engine.