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A black 2021 Chevy Suburban is driving past a hill and shrubs in a comparison of the 2021 Chevy Suburban vs 2020 Chevy Suburban.

Is the 2021 Chevy Suburban Worth It?

Buying a new vehicle can pose a tough decision. What model year should you get? The previous model year, which will often have a lower price? Or the new model year, which may have some upgraded features? In many cases, if the newer model has some new innovative features, it may very well be worth the money to get it. Not every model year comes with significant changes, but the newest Chevy Suburban model comes with many. So, which is better? The 2021 Chevy Suburban vs 2020 Chevy Suburban? Today, we are going to find out.

What is the Chevy Suburban?

The Suburban is the Chevy brand’s full-size SUV. This luxurious vehicle is massive, with room for up to nine people in three roomy rows of seats and mind-boggling amounts of cargo storage. And with all of the latest technology, this SUV is one of the most modern on the road. It also has a history of carrying some serious heat under the hood with big V8 engines that really put this vehicle on another level compared to passenger SUVs. There is no question that this vehicle is the right choice for many drivers, but again, which one should you buy? Let’s compare.


The Suburban released for 2020 did not see any major upgrades compared to its previous generation. It stayed tried and true to what it is best at: Having a ton of room and having a really big engine. The standard build comes with a 355 hp, 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine that operates with a six-speed automatic transmission. There is an optional 420 hp, 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine with a ten-speed automatic transmission as well if you plan on regularly carrying the kids and towing the camper to boot.

The 2021 Suburban comes with similar engine options with the standard 5.3L V8 engine and additional 6.2L V8 engine options performing with matching numbers. The big stand out change under the hood is the new diesel engine available in 2021. This 3.0L diesel engine can produce up to 227 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. And with all of these options, each powerful and useful in its own way, drivers can build the Suburban to fit their wants and needs.

Additionally, the various engine offerings for the 2021 Suburban are not just powerful; they provide a confident driving experience. Combined with the high driving position, you will feel in command of the road in your family’s new tank. As far as performance goes, this looks like it would be a tie if it weren’t for the new diesel engine option coming with the 2021 model, which puts it ahead of the 2020 Suburban. The advantageous power and towing capability of the Suburban tricked out with a rugged diesel engine will be hard to beat, even with a sturdy pickup.

A black 2020 Chevy Suburban is driving past hills at sunset.

Cargo Capacity

SUVs are always being pushed to the limit to get as much extra storage as possible out of them without overloading them. The 2020 Chevy Suburban has an impressive storage capacity. With second and third-row seats folded flat, you get a hefty 121.7 cu.ft. of cargo space. That is definitely enough room to pack the kids for band practice even if they are all playing large scale instruments like the tuba. And with an impressive towing capacity, you will be able to carry up to 8,300 lbs, so you can take a lot of extra cargo with the 2020 Suburban.

The 2021 Chevy Suburban does an impressive job of following the design from 2020. The engineers have rebuilt the rear suspension, added extra length in the wheelbase (4.1 inches), and increased the overall length. The new lower rear suspension has also allowed for a lower floor, which provides more legroom for the passenger rows. All in all, these designed changes mean a lot to the Suburban. The overall lengthening provides a total 144.7 cu.ft. of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat. That is 23 cu.ft. more than the 2020 model. So if you need something extra- spacious, the 2021 model is going to be the better choice.

Drive Quality

A blue 2021 Chevy Suburban is towing an Airstream past hills.

As mentioned earlier, the drive quality of these full-size SUVs can be notorious for feeling like you are driving a bus. The 2020 Suburban, though, handles about as well as one might expect from such a heavy-duty SUV carrying a V8 engine and three rows of seats. The drive is still a bit of a power trip thanks to the high driving position and heavy feel, which can be a fun experience when riding through town.

When it comes to drive quality in your wallet, the 2020 Suburban performs fairly well on city and highway fuel economy. With the 2WD and 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine, you will get about 14 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. And with the 4WD option, the 2020 Suburban gets 14 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway. Considering the size of the engine, these numbers are to be expected. The 2021 Suburban does not make any significant changes in fuel economy; however, we can expect some strong fuel economy out of the diesel engine option. The biggest improvement in the 2021 model is the quality of the drive itself.

An unexpected improvement to the new rear suspension is not just the added cargo length, but also in drive quality. Combined with the new optional air-spring suspension with adaptive dampers, the ride of the 2021 Chevy Suburban is exceptionally smooth. Not only that, but the handling has been improved with better responsiveness from the wheel as well as from the brake pads. These new features greatly increase the quality of the drive and make the experience not only a commanding one but also fun.

The Verdict

With all of the new features and improvements of the 2021 Suburban, we would expect there to be a dramatic price difference in the MSRP between the 2020 model and the upcoming release. In actuality, they are surprisingly close in cost. The starting MSRP of the 2020 Chevy Suburban is $51,700 and can go as high as $65,500. In comparison, the 2021 Chevy Suburban has an MSRP of $51,700, and available options take it north of $72,000.

While the higher-end options mean the high-level trims of the 2021 model will be more expensive than the equivalent trims on the 2020 option, you’d be hard-pressed to argue against the comparative value found in the new designs and features in the 2021 Chevy Suburban.

With everything we have considered, one thing is for sure: For your money, the 2021 Chevy Suburban is shaping up to be a worthy successor to this legacy of capability and comfort. In fact, it is so good it might as well replace the 2020 model entirely. So what is the official verdict? Here it is: With more space and more options, the 2021 Chevy Suburban is the better choice. So if you are in the market for a large SUV, look no further. The 2021 Chevy Suburban is likely the perfect match.