2012 Chevy Suburban Review

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by ChevyFan, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I just got my hands on the new 2012 Suburban and my first thought is, "wow! am I really getting 22 MPG on the freeway in this thing?" Yes, I was. Keep reading to learn more.


    2012 Chevy Suburban Review

    Everyone knows the Suburban, right?

    wpid-2012-Chevrolet-Suburban-0.jpg If you're like me the "Chevy Suburban" brings to mind an image of the old-school Suburban, a massive beast of a box on four-wheels with an unrefined ride-and-drive, cheap interior fit-and-finish and terrible fuel economy to boot.

    "Sure," you think to yourself as you ponder getting a minivan, "the Suburban will give me a huge amount of cargo room and I can carry my entire family (including grandma and the dog) and still have room for groceries, a cargo carrier on the roof while I tow a boat to the lake. But how will I be able to afford the fuel costs???"

    If you resemble that remark, then perhaps you should take a minute to get introduced to the newest generation of this iconic full-size SUV, and take note of the huge increases in fuel economy and ride-and-drive comfort, as it may surprise you.

    Overview Of The 2012 Suburban

    2012_chevrolet_suburban-pic-6984313319133059159.jpeg The 2012 Suburban is Chevrolet's full-sized four-door SUV with room to seat up to nine passengers. Largely a carry-over from the 2011 model, it does offer some significant improvements in fuel efficiency, especially when compared to any of the previous generations of Suburban. (More about that later ...)

    The Suburban can be decked out in any of 10 trim levels available which range from the base-model LS 1500 2WD all the way up to the fully-equipped LTZ 1500 4WD with multiple variations of color, trim, and options packages.

    The standard powerplant is a sturdy 5.3-liter V8 generating 320-horsepower attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission. With the advancements in computer-driven engine and transmission combinations, the Suburban delivers a very impressive EPA rated 15/21 mpg for city/highway driving.

    What's It Like to Drive?

    2012-Chevrolet-Suburban-LS-1500-2WD-Instrument-Panel-Image.jpg There's no denying it. This is a big vehicle. You sit up high, but this lets you see the road very well - it also may make you feel like you the captain of a tug boat. However, it's a comfortable feeling and it's plain to see that many improvements have been made to increase driver comfort and control for typical city driving.

    Don't make the mistake of comparing the Suburban to a large sports sedan, mid-size SUV or a light-body offroad pickup truck. The Suburban is engineered differently, so you will feel the moderate body-roll and understeer of this 5,800 lb (curb weight) beast when making a tight corner. Even once you begin to get adjusted to the way it handles, you still might forget about about it's length or girth (that's a good way to explain the Suburban ... It's "girthy") when backing up or pulling into a parking garage. you know you're in a vehicle with a 5800 lb curb weight.

    That being said, it's also a very comfortable ride and drive. It's whisper quiet, even with the powerful engine and significantly meaty rubbers rolling down the pavement. Plus, the adjustable power seats and pedals on our review vehicle allow for just about anyone to be in control behind the wheel, certainly drivers from 5'4" to 6'8" with normal proportions should expect to feel accommodated.

    What type of Fuel Economy

    2012-Chevrolet-Suburban-LS-1500-2WD-Engine-Compartment-Image.jpg So my last Suburban, you know the one with the 1970's box design and the big 4-bbl carbed 454 (7.4 L) engine ... yeah, that didn't do very well with fuel economy. City driving was in the low teens, highway was perhaps 16 and let's not even talk about towing (maybe 8 or 9 at best).

    So, let's enter the second decade of the 21st century with some improvements, shall we? Perhaps the most shocking revelation of the new Suburban is the massive improvements in fuel economy that can be seen. Our test vehicle easily equaled the EPA 15 mpg city, but we were almost always able to beat the 21 mpg highway.

    In fact, for long and straight stretches of highway we were easily able to reach into the mid-20's over a stretch of over 10 miles. And all that while sitting in a very quiet and extremely comfortable full-sized SUV.

    Overall Conclusion

    The Suburban is not for everyone. Maybe you've got a small garage, maybe you only have a couple of kids or you're empty-nesters. There are plenty of reasons why you might not be a good candidate for the Suburban.

    However, if you've got a young family at home, need to be able to haul a bunch of people and/or a bunch of cargo, or just want to be able to tow your trailer or boat in style. Then perhaps you should consider looking into the Suburban again.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    We're almost at 70,000 views of this review and it was locked down! Comments?
  3. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Looks good to me.. i cant believe they are pulling that milage though! wow.
  4. cedicol

    cedicol Member

    I'm glad this beast is still a beast.
  5. runamuck7

    runamuck7 New Member

    Greetings everyone

    I bought a 2012 2500 4 X 4 a few weeks ago and have logged several thousand miles since. Gas milage has been about 18 MGP, overall very comfortable long haul cruiser. There are a couple of challenges with it though. During refueling, the gas nozzle does not click off soon enough causing fuel to spray all over the side of the truck. This has occured at pumps in several different states, all with the same results. The dealer said because of the dual fuel tank set up on this truck, it is a condition that is going to have to be lived with. Any thoughts on this? The drive by wire throttle response is best described as slow....kinda like sending smoke signals. Other than these two items, it is a great vehicle and meets my needs. The back up camera that also see's the hitch is a great feature.
  6. oldmanstruck

    oldmanstruck Rockstar 100 Posts

    I thought only my OLD 1988 does that (gas nozzle) problem. Can't believe a 2012 has the same problem. Whenever I go fill up the tank, I put paper towel under the nozzle to limit the spill
  7. typh00n13

    typh00n13 New Member

    I have been really considering trading in my 2001 Suburban in on something newer. I really like the new body style and your review is certainly helping push me in that direction. I almost traded for a 2013 Tahoe, but I really need/want that extra room, so if you were getting 22 mpg on the freeway, then that is the same as what Chevrolet claims the Tahoe gets! Suburban it is!
  8. GuyGene

    GuyGene Member

    Ever since my '53 Chevy station wagon when I was a teenager in the '60s, I've know an SUV was for me. My base for comfort and mpg is my '02 F150 SuperCrew, which gets 18-20 mpg highway, so this Surburban will work. Shopping begins...
  9. C2C3C4

    C2C3C4 New Member

    52K on our 2012 Suburban LTZ. Last trip 21.9 mpg! Our Suburban has the second row bench seat. Plenty of room for the whole family. We can seat 8 people and their luggage very comfortably and still tow our boat on vacations. Very pleased with this, our 3rd Suburban.
  10. nvestysly

    nvestysly Rockstar 100 Posts

    I'm considering adding another Suburban to our stable of vehicles. We currently have a 1995 C2500, 7.4L and a 2005 K2500, 8.1L. We tow a travel trailer that's over 8500 lbs. loaded.

    A friend has a 2010 C2500, 6.0L for sale. How similar is 2010 to the 2012 models described on this thread? Same 6.0L engine I think. Same 6-speed transmission I think. Still has removable 3rd row seat rather than the newer fold-away 3rd row seat I think.

    How are the 2012's holding up?

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