Chevrolet Suburban – Unfolding the 11 Generations of a well-performed SUV

  • Mar 30, 2016

MANILA: With Manila International Auto Show 2016 approaching in a couple of days, the automakers including Chevrolet are excited to flaunt the best they have in their fleet. Chevrolet Suburban 2016 is also in the itinerary of this American brand which would be staged probably during the inaugural day of the auto event. Chevrolet Suburban is not a new name in the auto world. This big bulky drive has a rich history of 8 decades under its label and shares the heritage of American automaker with pride. The full-size SUV was introduced in the year 1935 initially in the U.S. to accomplish with the needs of a big family vehicle and since then, the drive has expanded its territory to almost all the regions across the globe and has received the same appreciation for its features and utility. Over the decades, Chevy Suburban has gone through 11 generations with numerous modifications and advancements under its label to meet the needs of its customers.

Have a look at what this fun-to-drive 6/7 seater has gone through over the years to take this shape and aspects -

First Generation (1935 – 1940)

The 1st generation Chevy Suburban had a bulky structure and was designed especially for the Civilian Conservation Corps and National Guards units. It was then labelled as Carryall Suburban due to the fact that it could occupy 8 passengers. Majority of the body was constructed of wood to make space for people but then it lacked safety and comforting aspects.

Second Generation (1941-1946)

During this generation, Chevrolet Suburban was used mostly as military transport vehicle with the same seating capacity of 8 as its predecessor. In its 2nd generation, the Suburban had pronounced fenders large front grille and robust structure for an impressive stance on the road. Suburbans were then offered in 2 trims with rear panel doors names 3106 model and with tailgates labelled as 3116 Model. The drive shared its technical aspects with the renowned AK Series trucks comprising either a 3.5-litre or a 3.7-litre engine which were known for their efficiency and performance.

Third Generation (1947 – 1955)

the Chevy Suburban in this generation saw a massive change in styling. From a visible 'nose' to a flat bonnet and wide chrome plated front grille, the looks were revamped to impress. The 3rd generation model was inspired by the well-known pick-up series, Chevrolet Advance Design. The same 2 trims of 2nd generation were carried forward to this generation and were powered by a 3.5-litre 'Stovebolt' or a 3.9-litre 'Thriftmaster' engine mated with either a 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual or a 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic gearshift.

Fourth Generation (1955 – 1959)

During this generation, the Chevy Suburban again saw a revision in styling with a trapezoidal front grille, front fenders flush, flatter hood and V-shaped speedometer. This was the time when Chevy started giving the present shape to the Suburban with an elongated structure for comfort. The modifications were not limited to aesthetics and made their way to the power segment also. The 4th generation Chevrolet Suburban carried a choice of big powertrains worth 4.3-litre and 4.6-litre producing 145 hp and 155 hp respectively.

Fifth Generation (1960 – 1966)

The styling of the Suburban got a couple of tweaks here and there for a better appearance during this generation. During the early days in this generation, oval ports above the grille and wrap around the windshield were something new to see in the Chevy vehicles at that time. Later in the year 1962, the exterior again got revised and large ports were covered and the windshield was flattered. The 5th generation models – K trim with 4WD and C trim with 2WD brought a boom in the automobile market that time. This model was offered with an array of engines comprising 3.8-litre, 3.9-litre, 4.1-litre, 4.6-litre, 4.8-litre, 5.0-litre, 5.4-litre capacities mingled with 3-speed synchromesh manual and 4-speed synchromesh gearbox.

Sixth Generation (1967 – 1972)

The 6th generation arrived with major changes in the structural appearance. This model had single driver-side door while 2 doors art the passengers side. The revolutionary design instantly caught the attention of the customers and auto critics. Based on C/K series platform, this model was presented in engines sizing to 4.1-litre I6, 4.6-litre V8, 4.8-litre I6, 5.0-litre V8, 5.0-litre V6, 5.4-litre V8, 5.7-litre V8 and 6.5-litre V8 with a choice of 3-speed manual and 4-speed manual transmissions.

Seventh Generation (1973 – 1991)

The 7th generation of Chevrolet Suburban was an elongated boxy drive with 4-doors, unlike the previous generation. This SUV was offered in 2 trims then – C/R with 2WD and K/V with 4WD layout. This model was packed with various aspects like a luggage rack, a heater, step-plates, air conditioning facility at the front and rear both to add comfort and convenience for the occupants. Within this generation, Chevy modified this drive several times to make it a perfect family vehicle. This was the first time when the company introduced a set of diesel power-units – 4.0-litre, 5.7-litre and 6.2-litre along with gasoline engines worth – 4.1-litre, 5.7-litre, 6.6-litre and 7.4-litre.

Eighth Generation (1992 – 1999)

A noticeable change in the exterior styling was carried by the 8th generation Chevrolet Suburban which immediately caught the attention of the prospective customers. The American manufacturer added various features like center stop lamp, driver side airbag, daytime running lights, electronic 4WD shifting and illuminated entry to this SUV. To enhance the power segment, a turbo diesel engine worth 6.5-litre was added along with 5.7-litre and 7.4-litre naturally-aspirated engines.

Ninth Generation (2000 – 2006)

The 9th generation model was based on GMT800 platform and was offered in 3 trims – Base, LS and LT. Both of the 2WD and 4WD layouts were preserved across the trims and the engines were modified to 5.3-litre Vortec V8, 6.0-litre Vortec V8 and 8.1-litre Vortec V8 engines mated with 4-speed automatic transmission. Later in the year 2006, the company introduced an exclusive LTZ trim with various additional features which went high in demand at that time and boosted the overall sales of the company.

Tenth Generation (2007 – 2014)

Presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2006, the 10th generation Chevy suburban shared the stage with Chevrolet Yukon XL. This model again went through major cosmetic changes which led in modern styling which brought the lost charm of the drive back. The aerodynamic structure, steeply raked windshield and a new grille altogether were responsible for the attraction this model carried. The aesthetic enhancements were given to cabin also with 6/7/8 seating capacity and features like dual-tone interior trim, and advanced entertainment facility comprising Touchscreen, GPS navigation and DVD player. The 10th generation was powered by 5.3-litre, 6.0-litre and 6.2-litre engines mated with 4-speed automatic and 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Eleventh Generation (2015 – Till date)

The latest Chevrolet Suburban is based on GMT K2XXX platform and is styled by the renowned designer Chip Thole. The new Chevy drive was expanded from length for added wheelbase and comfort along with extensive enhancements in the appearance for improved aerodynamics. The weight of the drive was reduced by using aluminum which enhanced the efficiency and performance of the new Suburban. The latest 2016 Chevy Suburban is arriving with 4G LTE WiFi access system, text messaging alert and Siri Eyes Free aspects for safety and entertainment. The SUV houses a 5.3-litre V8 engine.

Our Word

Throughout its tenure, Chevrolet Suburban not only won the hearts of its customers by offering best of the comfort with added utility factors but also of auto critics and won several accolades under its label. Suburban had most of the awards for safety where it has received 5-star ratings by national Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2007 and 2014. With an arrival of 2016 Chevrolet Suburban at the MIAS 2016, it is yet to know if the charm is still intact or the glory is fading away.


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