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The Chevy Suburban With Quadrasteer Is an Automotive Unicorn

Back in the late 1990s, General Motors developed an interesting feature called "Quadrasteer." As the name implies, it was a four-wheel steering system and the primary benefit was an incredibly tight turning radius at low speeds. General Motors installed this feature primarily on pickups, namely the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado, and eventually canceled it due to its high costs to buy and to service.

We’ve covered Quadrasteer before, but it’s worth noting that the feature wasn’t only on trucks. Indeed, I was walking along here in San Diego the other day and I ran across the nicest Quadrasteer Chevrolet Suburban I’ve ever seen simply parked in front of a residential house. This vehicle may not seem like much, but to the owners, it’s surely irreplaceable.

The main reason it’s irreplaceable is that nothing else like it ever really existed. General Motors only built a few Quadrasteer Suburban models (under both Chevy and GMC brand names), largely because there is a small market for it. But the market exists, and there’s nothing else as good — it’s for the SUV shopper who wants a family hauler that can tow a boat and can maneuver into tight spaces, which makes it easier for dropping the boat in the water and generally steering around obstacles. Most boat owners tow with a pickup truck, which isn’t generally a family car. Most people who tow with an SUV have another smaller vehicle if they want something that can maneuver in tight spaces. The Quadrasteer Suburban did it all.

Of course, as mentioned, "people who want a family hauler that can tow and also maneuver in tight spaces" is a very, very small market segment, so the Quadrasteer Suburban went away. But it’s nice to see one every now and again — especially one that’s in such great shape.

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  1. Roof marker lights and lights in the rear wheel flares. All of the QuadraSteer Suburbans were 3/4 ton.  There is a badge – the ‘LS’ or ‘LT’ C-pillar badges have a quad steer subscript. I built these and still have a 2002 QuadraSteer Silverado. (A bigger unicorn – 2WD LT from just before the front end was revised to the same sheet metal as the Avalanche.) 

  2. Actually the quadrasteer has marker lights up top, special rear flares with marker lights and quadrasteer on the trim badge on the side near the rear driver door. At least the one in my driveway does.

    • He probably recognized it because of the rear fenders obviously they’re wider on the quadrasteer models there was never any badging

  3. How did you recognize that as a Quadrasteer model?  

    I remember, as a kid, seeing the Jackie Mason commercial for (I believe) a quadrasteer Honda.  I really believed that all cars would have that feature eventually.

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