Standard in both SUVs is a 5.3L EcoTec V8 engine producing 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a responsive 6-speed transmission and a best in class V8 highway fuel economy of 22 mpg. For those looking for more horsepower, an available 6.2L EcoTec V8 is available, producing 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The larger engine is paired with a 10-speed transmission to help send the increased power to the wheels. All trim levels are available in either 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, providing impressive handling both on and off road. When properly equipped, the Suburban can tow up to 8,300 pounds; the Tahoe 8,600 pounds--made easier to manage thanks to the transmission's TapShift controls, dedicated Tow/Haul mode and Auto Grade Braking.
Inside, the Suburban and Tahoe continue to excel in ride quality, as the previous-generation models had, but their interiors have been upgraded and their instrument panels get a sharper, more modern and detailed look. Most versions get an 8-inch touch-screen audio system that also conceals a hidden dash compartment. Chevy claims the center console compartment is large enough for a laptop or iPad.
The base LS trim models include tri-zone automatic climate control, power windows, locks and mirrors, a rear-vision camera system, Rear Park Assist sensors, GM's OnStar concierge and convenience system (including six months of the Directions & Connections plan), 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and an audio system that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio and SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility.
Moving up to the LT trim adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power liftgate, a heavy-duty locking rear differential, the enhanced MyLink touch-screen connectivity, 9-speaker Bose sound system and the Enhanced Driver Alert Package. This package includes forward collision alert, lane keep assist, low speed forward automatic braking, IntelliBeam headlamps and safety alert seat. Additionally, the LT adds the potential to option up to items such as keyless entry with push-button start, full Front and Rear Park Assist, a sunroof, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens and Blu-Ray compatibility.
At the top of the lineup, the Premier includes most of those aforementioned items as standard except for the rear-seat entertainment and power sunroof, which are also optional. The Premier gets loads of meaningful upgrades, including 20-inch wheels, keyless entry, heated side mirrors, upgraded trims, fog lamps, the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, heated and cooled front seats, power-folding second-row and third-row seats and Bose Centerpoint surround audio.
The roomier Suburban is the way to go for three rows of seating. The second row can be specified with either a 60/40-split bench seat or with dual bucket seats. A power-folding arrangement is available. The Suburban provides considerably easier entry to the third row, thanks to wider door openings.
All Tahoe and Suburban models continue with sturdy body-on-frame construction, although the frame has been strengthened; there's a wider track that aids stability; and additional noise-and-vibration damping measures have been added to make the cabin especially quiet. At the top Premier trim level, it comes with magnetic ride control, which can 'read' the road and constantly adjusting the way that the suspension responds, softening it for bumpy, pitchy surfaces or firming it up for quick emergency maneuvers. All of these models now include precise, variable-assist electric power steering, as well as 4-wheel disc brakes with Duralife brake rotors which GM claims, last twice as long as ordinary ones.