Car News:  Oversteer

The Chevy Suburban Is the Ford Crown Victoria of SUVs

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $82,700
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $78,340
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD LT
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $70,815
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $73,180
RELATED READING
See all Chevrolet Suburban articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2019

Here's something I recently realized: the Chevrolet Suburban is the Ford Crown Victoria of SUVs. What I mean by this is that the Suburban is the very last remnant of the old school, the last vehicle hanging on to an aging design philosophy as its rivals move on -- and the last vehicle with a die-hard following who hopes it never changes.

Hear me out. The Ford Crown Victoria, as you may know, was built on Ford's old-school Panther platform, using body-on-frame construction that simply isn't done anymore in sedans. The Crown Victoria, and its related versions -- the Mercury Grand Marquis and the Lincoln Town Car -- eventually left the market in the early 2010s, when Ford simply couldn't stretch on this platform any longer. As a result, the "traditional" old-school, rear-wheel drive, V8-powered body-on-frame full-size sedan -- which used to be so common in the American auto industry -- finally died off.

Now the Chevy Suburban is in a similar spot. It, too, is body-on-frame -- and while that's not so unusual in the world of big SUVs, it's becoming less common, just as it did for cars. I suspect there's a day in the future when body-on-frame is reserved solely for pickup trucks. Even less common is the powertrain and drivetrain setup: the Suburban uses a V8, while many rivals are ditching big 8-cylinder engines to save fuel. Its closest rival, the Ford Expedition, went V6-only at its last redesign. The Suburban is also RWD (or 4-wheel drive, of course), which isn't going away just yet -- but, again, it's trending towards that direction.

There's also the target market. The Suburban is aimed at livery companies and shoppers who have a big family and also want to tow or haul -- small segments that many automakers seem to be leaving behind. It's the same with the Crown Victoria, which was mainly aimed at taxi companies and full-size sedan traditionalists at the very end, despite once being a huge market segment.

Indeed, even Chevrolet has started debuting alternatives, as the smaller Traverse crossover also has 3-row seating -- like the Suburban and the similarly-aging Chevrolet Tahoe -- and is designed to appeal more to the suburb-dwelling family who probably would've bought a Suburban years ago. These days, families like this want something more maneuverable with better gas mileage, and the Suburban isn't that vehicle -- so it's relegated to the aforementioned haulers and livery companies as it ages.

Of course, those two groups also make the Suburban similar to the Crown Victoria in another key way: they hope it never goes away, because there's no suitable replacement. Unfortunately for them, the Crown Vic did eventually depart -- but in the climate of rampant SUV sales, I suspect it'll be a very long time before the Suburban departs, even though it seems like the dinosaur of the segment.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here's Why the Koenigsegg Agera RS Is Worth $10 Million
I Bought the Most Unreliable BMW Ever Made
Autotrader Find: 1990 Subaru Legacy With a Landau Roof

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $82,700
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $78,340
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD LT
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $70,815
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD Premier
New 2019 Chevrolet Suburban
MSRP $73,180
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Chevy Suburban Is the Ford Crown Victoria of SUVs - Autotrader