There are not too many options left in today’s market for the person that wants a true body-on-frame full-size SUV, something that offers the traditional truck-like experience. Although the selection is limited, Chevrolet has updated the Suburban to keep it feeling fresh. I’d argue that you don’t simply buy a Suburban to get a large SUV; there’s a purpose behind the purchase. It’s capable of hauling up to 8,300 pounds, able to fit 9 passengers, and has 120 cubic feet of cargo space. The Suburban was developed with utility in mind. Which brings us to the 2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST.
The Suburban of late has a squarer and more chiseled front end in comparison to its GMC cousin. But the exterior of our tester is especially menacing due too the RST Edition package. It’s only available on the LT and Premier trim levels. This package upgrades the Suburban to 22″ gloss black wheels, black bowtie badges, black badges, black sport grille, black side mirrors, black roof rails, body-colored door handles, and headlight accents. Beyond the aesthetics, it also includes Magnetic Ride Control. Dealers can install Brembo brakes and Borla exhaust as special accessories. With a black Suburban, this package brings the intimidation factor to a 10 out of 10. I’m sure I was mistaken for law enforcement more than once while coming up behind drivers in traffic.
The Suburban may known for its utility but the Premier comes with all the creature comforts we have come to love. You’ll be greeted by 12-way power adjustable, ventilated, and heated front seats along with heated seats for the second row passengers. The third row are on their own with climate control only. The infotainment system includes navigation and is connected to a 10-speaker Bose audio system. Keyless start and a wireless charging pad round out the interior technology features. You may not see it, but you will surely notice the Magnetic Ride Control. You may be in a truck technically, but the ride quality is very good – almost airy at times.
Beyond its looks, my favorite part is the engine. The $2,820 RST 6.2L Performance Edition fits the growling 6.2L V8 with a ten-speed automatic transmission in place of the standard 5.3L V8 with a six-speed transmission. This upgrade offers 420 hp with 460 lb-ft of torque compared to the 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque found with the 5.3L engine. I daily drive a Silverado with the 5.3L engine, and we recently tested the Tahoe Midnight Edition, so I have the proper frame of reference when I say that the 6.2L has a throatier sound with significant more pull. Thanks to the ten speed transmission, the shifts are super smooth too. While our tester didn’t have the optional dealer-installed exhaust, we did have the upgraded front brake package. The bright red calipers looked the part behind the beefy wheels, but it was the strong pedal feel and superb response that won us over. A large SUV is not known for the best fuel economy, but during my time with it I averaged about 17 mpg.
Over the years, the typical utilitarian large SUVs have come a long way. They are now large vehicles you can feel comfortable taking anywhere. It’s a suitable marriage between utility and comfort. Just remember, in a full parking lot the Suburban can be like a bull in a china shop. But with the RST Edition, everyone else will be sure to get out of your way.
|2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST
|Sun, Entertainment, Destination Package||$3,035|
|RST 6.2L Performance Edition||$2,820|
|Front Brake Kit – Performance||$2,795|
|8″ Driver Cluster with HUD||$850|
|All-Weather Floor Liners||$250|
|As Tested MSRP||$82,270|