2019 CHEVY SUB­UR­BAN How’s the ride?

Full-size SUV is among most af­ford­able op­tions for larger fam­i­lies

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - AUTOMOTIVE - Matt Myftiu Matt Myftiu can be reached via email at matt@ au­totechre­views.com. His past re­views can all be seen on­line at au­totechre­views.com.

The 2019 Chevy Sub­ur­ban isn’t just big. It’s not just very big.

It’s ab­so­lutely mas­sive. It’s too big for some peo­ple, prob­a­bly most peo­ple.

But the truck-based full-size SUV is great for large fam­i­lies (and sports teams) and can seat up to nine peo­ple com­fort­ably, a claim not many ve­hi­cles can make. It’s also very ad­justable, with the sec­ond and third rows fold­ing down for max­i­mum stor­age space. You can either pack in a bunch of peo­ple or a bunch of stuff, or some­times both. You’ll find 39.3 cu­bic feet of space be­hind the third row (which is ac­tu­ally com­fort­able for adults to sit in), and 121.7 cu­bic feet with the 2nd and 3rd rows folded down.

The down­side of this size is ma­neu­ver­abil­ity (or lack thereof) in tighter spa­ces, as well as the dif­fi­culty of find­ing a proper park­ing space at times. Once you’re parked though, you won’t have any trou­ble find­ing this big boy in the lot.

I of­ten just parked far­ther away, which is gen­er­ally a wise move any­way.

It terms of the in­te­rior, you’ll find in the Sub­ur­ban a well-ap­pointed de­sign that is sharp look­ing but just shy of lux­ury level ma­te­ri­als that you’ll find in its GM cousin Cadil­lac Es­calade model. All pas­sen­gers have plenty of leg and head room, seats are comfy, there’s lots of charg­ing lo­ca­tions for your de­vices, and tech setup/con­trols are in­tu­itive.

The Sub­ur­ban in­cludes either a 5.3-liter, V8 en­gine that of­fers 355 horse­power, or you can up­grade to a 6.2-liter V8 that pro­duces 420 horse­power. The base en­gine is paired with a 6-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, while the up­graded power plant gets a 10-speed auto. Rear-wheel drive is stan­dard, but you can up­grade to 4WD.

Even with a pow­er­ful en­gine, which is an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of both of­fer­ings, the Sub­ur­ban is def­i­nitely a lot of ve­hi­cle to move around, some­what lum­ber­ing at times when you first get mov­ing. But once you are mov­ing the power kicks in nicely and you can ma­neu­ver with­out much is­sue.

The ride is gen­er­ally quiet in­side, with lim­ited out­side noise in­trud­ing.

Tow­ing ca­pac­ity is also im­pres­sive at a max of 8,300 pounds.

Tech­nol­ogy, safety

Tech­nol­ogy is a key in a ve­hi­cle this large. You will likely be trans­port­ing lots of peo­ple, so op­tions like the rear en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem can help keep the peanut gallery — young or old — en­ter­tained with DVDs on long trips. An in-car wi-fi hotspot is also of­fered to keep you con­nected.

Gov­ern­ment safety rat­ings are gen­er­ally strong (4 out of 5 stars over­all), with rollover be­low the low­est rat­ing at 3 stars.

The Sub­ur­ban’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is among the most wellde­signed and easy to use in the in­dus­try, from mu­sic con­trols to nav­i­ga­tion and ev­ery­thing in be­tween, and voice com­mands work ex­cel­lently. OnS­tar is avail­able if you need a hand at any point too.

MPG

Among safety fea­tures either stan­dard or op­tional on the Sub­ur­ban are: For­ward Col­li­sion Alert, Lane Keep As­sist with Lane De­par­ture Warn­ing, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert, Low Speed For­ward Auto Brak­ing, Rear Vi­sion Cam­era and Tire Pres­sure Mon­i­tor.

Fuel mileage is never go­ing to be the strong point on these big palookas.

Of­fi­cial num­bers on the AWD 2019 Sub­ur­ban are 14 city/20 high­way/16 com­bined, and in my real-life test­ing I av­er­aged 16.

That’s about as good as you’re go­ing to get in a ve­hi­cle this big, with maybe a 1 or 2 mpg im­prove­ment on some com­peti­tors at best.

If you’re be­ing hon­est, you’ll go into buy­ing a full-size SUV know­ing that it won’t be easy on your pock­et­book at the pump, and if that’s a ma­jor con­cern you should step down to a crossover that’s less heavy and more fu­el­ef­fi­cient.

Price, bot­tom line

The Sub­ur­ban I tested, a 4WD ½ ton Premier model, was priced just un­der $82,000; and the base price for that trim level starts at $68K.

If you’re will­ing to shed most of the bells and whis­tles, the base Sub­ur­ban model starts just north of $50K. Those are not small num­bers, but when com­pared to the more lux­u­ri­ous models in the full-size SUV class, like the Es­calade, they can be a bar­gain by com­par­i­son.

If you’re in the mar­ket for one of these mas­sive land boats, and pre­fer to spend to­ward the mid­dle five fig­ures in­stead of nearly six fig­ures, the Sub­ur­ban is time-tested and up to the task of trans­port­ing even the big­gest fam­i­lies in com­fort while show­ing off some im­pres­sive tech­nol­ogy.

PHO­TOS BY MATT MYFTIU — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The 2019 Chevy Sub­ur­ban can seat up to nine peo­ple com­fort­ably.

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