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A red 2020 Chevy Suburban is shown from the side parked in front of a house.

The Chevy Suburban: Cargo Space That Is as Flexible as You Are

Trucks are cool vehicles. They’re also handy, and that is, of course, the biggest draw to them. The biggest drawback, however, is that with all of that handiness and storage space comes less seating, which can be a dealbreaker for families who would otherwise invest in a pickup truck. In such situations, an SUV should be considered a serious option. A full-size SUV usually provides seven or eight seats, but when those seats are folded, you can sometimes end up with even more cargo capacity than a pickup truck. Full-size SUVs are expensive, of course, but then, so are the best pickups on the market.

Moreover, full-size SUVs are much more affordable if you purchase them pre-owned. Take a look at any used SUVs for sale at your local dealership; you might be excited by what you find. Things are not always as they seem, and you may find that an SUV actually satisfies your need for storage space better than some pickup trucks. One vehicle which exemplifies this is the Chevy Suburban, the brand’s premiere SUV. While Chevy is also known for its Silverado pickup truck, the Suburban may just be handier than the Silverado. Let’s take a deeper look at the Suburban and see why it may be just what you’re looking for in spacious cargo room.

Meet the Suburban

Even if you’re not well-informed about vehicles, chances are you’ve seen a Suburban at the head of a secret service procession, employed as a police/security vehicle, or available for hire by a limousine service. Why? Because the Suburban is strong, reliable, and has tons of usable cargo space. The Suburban is Chevy’s longest-lasting nameplate. It hit the market in 1934, meaning it has been around for almost a century. Cars don’t stay on the market for nearly 90 years straight without proving their excellence year after year. Many vehicles have come and gone within the course of just a few years, and even some tried and true vehicles have retired after several decades, but it’s a rare feat to stick around for nine.

The Suburban provides top-level capability, amazing interior space, a premium luxury design, and leading in-vehicle technology. These three components make up the whole of the driving experience. Recent Suburban model years will have you driving up to a massive 420 hp with 460 lb-ft of torque; that’s equal to the maximum horsepower and torque offered in the newest generation of the Silverado 1500.

A tan 2021 Chevy Suburban is shown from the rear driving on a dirt road.

Providing an Ample Amount of Cargo Configurations

As I said, the Suburban is acclaimed as a true luxury SUV, and the technology is among the best in its class, but we’re here to talk about interior space. When it comes to maximizing your interior space, you’ll want to look towards a model like the 2021 Suburban. It is with the 2021 model that Suburban kicked off a new generation, and one of the biggest changes it underwent was a chassis redesign. The chassis acts as the primary foundation of a vehicle’s architecture, and for the Suburban, the revamped chassis has created more interior space, one of its greatest selling points.

Thankfully, this new chassis brings with it increased interior space. Best-in-class interior space, to be precise. This new Suburban generation offers 19% more interior cargo capacity than the previous generation, for a total of 144.7 cu.ft.. Those are numbers you won’t find anywhere else in this vehicle segment. For those who think the Silverado would still offer more space, consider this: the Silverado only offers 89.1 cu.ft. of cargo space. If you crunch the numbers, you’ll find a considerable difference of 55.6 cu.ft.

Now, the important thing to remember is that you can’t have maximum seating and cargo capacity at the same time. For the Suburban, maximum cargo volume indicates the cargo space available behind first-row seating. So, to reach the full 144.7 cu.ft. available in the Suburban, you’ll be able to seat a driver and a passenger. The good news is that it’s not an all-or-nothing situation. If you fold only the third-row seats, you’ll still be able to seat four people and have a cargo capacity of 93.8 cu.ft., which is still more than the Silverado. If there are four of you on the job or trip, you’ll still have plenty of room for your load at almost 100 cu.ft.. Even if you leave all seats up, you’ll have the full seating capacity and a cargo capacity of 41.5 cu.ft. While this may not seem like much behind the third row, you have to remember we’re talking about a fully loaded cabin with seven to eight passengers. When you factor this in, it is actually quite impressive.

Whether It’s Room for People or Stuff, the Suburban Has You Covered

While numbers are helpful, numbers don’t speak like real, practical experiences. The truth of the matter is that this flexible seating can be a huge asset. Now, what you’ll be letting go of is the ever-present storage capacity offered in a pickup like the Silverado. In a truck, your storage capacity is, more or less, always the same, and you can’t sacrifice storage space for an extra passenger or two. That is possible in an SUV like the Suburban. The flip side of that is that you’ll have fantastic flexibility.

Chances are that not everything you do will require all 144.7 cu.ft. If it will, then just make sure that you never have more than one passenger. But, if your life is more dynamic than all-or-nothing, your vehicle will be highly-flexible and easily adjustable to accommodate your different needs. Sometimes you’ll need all the seats and no space; sometimes, you’ll need some space and some seats; sometimes, you’ll need all space and no seats. You can have all of it. Even if you need extra help loading and unloading if those helpers don’t need to ride with you, having more space than the Silverado is a huge asset. Your cargo will always have a roof, so no more hauling rain-soaked garbage bags and wet timber.

A popular used SUV for sale, a white 2020 Chevy Suburban is shown driving through a city at night.

Weighing the Difference

I’m not here to say don’t buy a truck. You’re free to choose for yourself. What I am encouraging you to do is research. We so often make decisions based on assumptions, but when we dig in and inspect further, we sometimes find that there is another vehicle that suits our needs better. With more cargo capacity than the Silverado, flexible seating and cargo space, and high-end luxury features, the Suburban is a pretty solid choice for those looking to accommodate family life and work projects. It will be a different experience, but probably a more versatile one. It is without question that pickup trucks are synonymous with hauling large amounts of cargo, however, those looking for more than a job site workhorse should strongly consider a full-size SUV like the Suburban. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can balance both work and family life, the Suburban may just be the perfect transporter to juggle both with ease. So, maybe try both out and see how you like them. However, flexibility and family life usually go well together. Just sayin’.