How Long Is A Chevrolet Suburban
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You might not realize it at the time, but whenever you buy a car, your mind performs a delicate balancing act. On one hand, it’s vital you pick a car that’s big enough for your lifestyle. At the same time, you have to think about the realities of where you live. If you live on a narrow urban road with scarcely any parking, your options will be narrower than those for someone living in the suburbs, with a large private driveway.
Things get even harder when you realize that car sizes change between generations. Take the venerable Chevy Suburban, for example. For almost a century, families have relied on this hardy auto for everything from commuting and soccer practice runs, to weekend vacations and work travel. Over time, its design has shifted and changed, with each generation subtly different from the one that came before it.
In practice, when you ask questions like “how long is a Chevy Suburban” or “how much does a Chevy Suburban weigh,” it helps to talk about the model year.
Understanding the Chevy Suburban
But before we get into the finer details, it’s worth discussing why we’re talking about the Chevy Suburban in particular. From the outside, the Suburban looks like an ordinary full-sized SUV. Practical, certainly, but unlikely to turn any heads. With over 760,000 sold in the last decade, they’re common enough.
And yet, it’s iconic. In late 2019, the Suburban became the first automobile to secure a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with the practical station wagon featuring prominently alongside the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Paul McCartney. Featuring in over 1,750 TV shows and movies, the Chevy Suburban is as American as you can get. The gasoline or diesel-burning equivalent of apple pie or baseball.
It's not just commuters and families that are fans, with some models adapted for military use from 2000, and seeing service with forces around the world. This is a car that’s just as capable on the battlefield as it is on the highway, illustrating its unparalleled versatility.
Chevrolet first introduced the Suburban in 1935, and although it’s since undergone twelve generational changes, its value proposition has remained steady. The first version aimed to be an all-rounder capable of carrying plenty of work equipment in the cargo hold, but without the cramped cabins found in pickup trucks of that vintage. Debuting with enough space to comfortably seat up to eight people, subsequent versions bumped that number up to nine.
In the years since, the Suburban has only grown in capability, packing more powerful engines, and with modern-conveniences that you’d expect from a luxury automobile. Optional trims on the 2021 model, for example, include a rear-seat entertainment system, a sliding center console, and integrated Amazon Alexa compatibility.
But those conveniences don’t count for much if you can’t park it on your street. For context, the twelfth generation 2021 Chevy Suburban is a veritable behemoth, measuring 18.8 ft (225.7-inches) from bumper-to-bumper. On the highway, it cuts a formidable figure, with a width of 6.7 ft (81.10 inches). In terms of weight, the Suburban tips the scales at 5,978lbs unloaded.
But how does that compare to older models, particularly for those looking to buy used? We’re going to look at the last three generations: the ninth, sold between 2000 and 2006; the tenth, sold between 2007 and 2014; and the eleventh, sold between 2015 and 2020. Although the Suburban saw modest refreshes in the intermediate years between new generations (particularly when it came to the onboard experience and the underlying engine), the core frame of the vehicle remained virtually unchanged.
Let’s start with the oldest of the three: the ninth generation Chevy Suburban. By contrast with its predecessor, this was a quantum leap. General Motors ditched the ageing 5.7L and 7.4L gasoline and 6.5L diesel engines, replacing them with vastly more fuel efficient options. It redesigned the interior and cabin space, adding modern new instruments and subtle optimisations that made the driving experience feel even more refined. For example, to free up more space in the cargo hold, GM moved the spare wheel to the undercarriage.
Despite packing a punch, this version was comparatively smaller than the latest crop of Suburbans. It measured 18.53 ft (219.3-inches) long, and 6.65 ft (79.8-inches) wide.
The next generation landed in 2007. For its tenth generation, General Motors focused on aesthetics. Whereas the Suburban previously suffered from a boxy exterior, with well-defined corners and distinct lines, this update brought a more refined, aerodynamic look.
Good design is timeless, and even today, the tenth generation Suburban looks decidedly modern. This likely allowed for its impressive seven-year production run, during which GM added modern conveniences like in-car navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and reverse parking. In terms of dimensions, it’s not too far removed from its predecessor, with a tip-to-tip length of 18.5 ft (222.4-inches) and a width of 6.59 ft (79.1-inches).
And then we get to the eleventh generation. Unlike the previous two, this represented more of an incremental improvement in terms of design and performance. Inlaid doors gave a sleeker appearance, while improving on fuel economy. A new powertrain improved mileage further. Changes to the front of the vehicle allowed for better distinction between the Suburban and its close relative, the GMC Yukon XL/Denali XL.
Behind the wheel, the eleventh generation felt much less incremental, with GM adding new safety and connectivity features. Parents welcomed the 360-degree radar crash detection, as well as the built-in 4G hotspot that kept kids entertained on long rides. In terms of size, this iteration was moderately larger than its immediate predecessors, measuring 18.7 ft (224.4-inches) long and 6.7 ft (80.5-inches) wide.
2015 Chevrolet Suburban LT (from $32,450)
Is it Worth Buying a Used Chevy Suburban?
The Chevrolet Suburban is a great vehicle for several reasons. It’s powerful. It’s versatile. With room for up to nine people in some models, this is an ideal family car. And yet, they’re also capable of towing heavy loads, like trailers and mobile homes. Perhaps most importantly, they’re dependable, seeing the highest per-year mileage of any US model according to a 2018 study from iSeeCars.
For extra peace of mind, consider buying your next used Chevy Suburban from Shift. With all vehicles coming a seven-day cooling-off period and a thorough 150-point inspection, as well as a free 30-day warranty on our certified cars, you can be assured that your next ride will meet all your expectations – and then some.
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April 15, 2022
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