If you’re searching for a large SUV that registers on the cool scale, look no further than the one that started it all, the 2022 Chevy Suburban. Far from a retro choice, the Suburban has remained king of the large SUV segment for nearly 60 years because Chevy seems to instinctively know what every new generation land yacht buyer wants. There’s a reason respected automotive review sites like Car and Driver consistently rate the Suburban among the best large SUVs, with the current 2022 model earning a strong 8.5/10.
The Suburban entered its twelfth generation in 2021, so the newest 2022 model contains the latest safety and infotainment technology. Its six-trim lineup starts with the well-equipped LS and culminates with the luxurious High Country. Within each trim are a series of cool features and equipment options that might just sway on-the-fence buyers who are considering a competing nameplate. Here are our five favorites, including one trim that stands out for both its value and its long list of included goodies.
1. The 13 Available Camera Views
There’s no better display for the Suburban’s 13 available camera views than the included 10.2-inch touchscreen. Along with a standard rearview camera, the array of views includes a 360-degree bird’s eye view (thanks to the HD Surround Vision camera) and a handful of trailering views that make hooking up and hauling a lot less stressful.
Chevy’s innovative Rear Camera Mirror converts the traditional static rearview mirror into a live video feed of what’s happening behind you. Surprisingly, it’s not distracting to keep it live even while you’re driving; in fact, it’s nice to know what’s changing, especially in stop-and-go traffic. Add to that extra front and side views, and you’ll feel in control even behind the wheel of a massive Suburban.
2. The Luxurious High Country Trim
This trim deserves a spot on our top seven list because of its over-the-top array of standard features. How about a 10-speaker Bose audio system with CenterPoint Surround sound and a nifty power sliding front console? The latter works via an overhead switch, allowing for up to 10 inches of movement. Slide it all the way back, and you’ll find a hidden storage compartment. The High Country also features a head-up display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a set of second-row bucket seats, and a standard rear camera mirror.
Even third-row occupants will benefit from the standard tri-zone automatic climate control. It also doesn’t hurt that the Suburban High Country offers wireless smartphone connectivity, allowing rear-seat passengers to take control of the audio. Meanwhile, the driver and front passengers can sit back and enjoy the 10-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats.
3. The Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension
Here’s what you need to know about Chevy’s intuitive air suspension: it’s electronically controlled and designed to deliver a smooth ride in just about any driving conditions. In short, the system automatically adjusts ride stiffness for optimal comfort. The other key feature of the adaptive suspension is its collection of both manual and automatic ride height settings. Drivers can use these to increase ground clearance, support passenger loading/unloading, or improve aerodynamics (and fuel economy) on the low end. The system also provides automatic load-leveling.
4. A Giant Infotainment Touchscreen
All Suburban trims except for the base LS feature a standard 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen. The screen runs Chevy’s Infotainment 3 operating system, a responsive and crisp interface that makes toggling between apps and camera views so easy that even the tech-unsavvy can learn. It also pairs effortlessly with smartphones via Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The available dual 12.6-inch touchscreen rear-seat media system can entertain second-row passengers on long road trips. Meanwhile, an optional 15-inch head-up display benefits the driver most with its projection of key driving data, including turn-by-turn directions, current speed, and incoming calls. The customizable digital gauge cluster measures 12 inches and comes standard on every trim but the LS.
5. The Three Available Engines
Ask any truck or large SUV buyer, and they’ll likely list power and capability as priorities one and two on the list. Suburban buyers may lean more toward luxury features, but access to plenty of acceleration and throaty low-end torque is still a must. Chevy placates buyers with a trio of powertrain options, each of which delivers plenty of performance in just about every driving condition.
First, the base 5.3-liter V8 delivers 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission that distributes power efficiently across every gear. Next up, the powerful 6.2-liter V8, available on the RST, Premier, and High Country, increases output to 420 horsepower. Finally, an available Duramax 6-cylinder diesel engine differentiates the Suburban from its competitors and offers the best fuel economy of the three, at 21 MPG city and 27 MPG highway.
6. Magnetic Ride Control
Magnetic Ride Control isn’t just a marketing buzz phrase; it’s a technology that controls the Suburban’s shock absorbers, telling them in real time when and how to adjust to varying road conditions. The goal is to achieve the smoothest possible ride despite what’s happening on the road (or trail). GM describes the speed of the technology as “faster than the blink of an eye,” which means changes happen in milliseconds.
The system relies on magnets instead of small moving parts that can break. It also features a series of sensors and a central control unit that acts as the brain, or control center, to receive input and direct changes as required. The system is standard on Premier and High Country trims and available on the RST and Z71.
7. Teen Driver/Buckle to Drive
Chevy Suburbans are ideal for families, so it’s unsurprising that Chevy outfitted the SUV with Teen Driver technology. This technology incorporates a series of checks and balances for parents to monitor the household’s newest drivers. Parents can set boundaries and speed limits and receive notifications when either or both are crossed. Key vehicle data is also stored and can be retrieved for parental review.
In addition to real time monitoring, the system tracks how many times collision alert is activated, which is great feedback to correct a tailgating habit. Buckle to drive delays the driver’s ability to put the car in drive until the seatbelt is fastened and also disables the audio system. Speaking of audio, Teen Driver even lets parents set max audio output to help keep inexperienced drivers focused.
Is the Suburban an Ideal Family SUV?
The 2022 Chevy Suburban might possibly be the most well-rounded large SUV on the market. Starting with a cavernous cabin, Chevy outfits the Suburban with a medley of standard and available equipment targeted specifically at busy families. With 8,300 pounds of towing capability, it can easily haul a boat or RV, making it ideal for weekend road trips.
Parents will love its nimble handling and sophisticated in-vehicle tech, but the driver and front passenger aren’t the only beneficiaries of the Suburban’s robust infotainment system. Rear seat passengers can enjoy a separate dual-screen entertainment hub to stave off boredom. USB ports are sprinkled throughout the cabin for easy device charging, and the Wi-Fi hotspot will keep everyone connected.
Peace-of-mind comes from Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of six standard driver-assist systems. From automatic emergency braking to lane keep assist, these technologies will help protect you on the road. Depending on the trim level, buyers can add even more semi-autonomous driving technology, including expanded trailer views and front and rear park assist, which is extra helpful when piloting a land yacht.
If you’re sifting through your large SUV options, our recommendation is to set the Suburban as your benchmark. Of all the vehicles competing in the category, only the 2022 Chevy Suburban offers multiple engine options and a diverse enough trim range to mollify a spectrum of buyers, from suburban soccer parents to weekend off-roaders.