2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country: Too Big and Just Right

Grace Houghton

As the longest-running automotive nameplate in America, the Suburban is a familiar face. The most recent generation is especially well represented: For 2021, the first year it was on the market, Chevrolet sold a healthy 85,000 copies. On the eve of the arrival of the facelifted version, we decided to re-familiarize ourselves with the 12th generation. We found that 2024 model year may be a sweet spot—not just among modern Suburbans, but among full-sized SUVs that don’t wear the label of a dedicated luxury brand.

As vehicle platforms go, the one underneath the 2021–present Suburban is relatively new, as GM introduced its latest body-on-frame architecture on the 2019 Chevy Silverado. It now underpins the Chevrolet pickup’s sibling, the GMC Sierra, and all GM SUVs derived from the platform—the shorter-wheelbase Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade; and the longer Suburban, Yukon XL, and the Escalade ESV. Engine choices across that versatile platform include V-8s, V-6s, and even an inline four-cylinder. On the current Suburban, you can choose between two gas V-8s and the 3.0-liter Duramax inline-6.

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country sill plate
Grace Houghton

The primary virtue of the twelfth-generation Suburban is the design of its rear suspension: Rather than a solid rear axle, as all Silverados and all previous Suburbans used, it has an independent multilink design. (The Suburban’s main competitor, the Ford Expedition Max, has had IRS for … 21 years now.) Each year has sweetened the Suburban: 2022 added Google Built-In, plus an electronic limited-slip diff for the Z71 model, and made the 6.2-liter V-8 and the digital instrument cluster available on cheaper trims. In 2023, Super Cruise became available on the top two trims. Given the absence of any press materials for the 2024 model year, and its presence on the configurator, it appears that 2024 is essentially a carry-over model.

The 2025 model arrives with extensive but mostly superficial changes: New sheetmetal that closely resembles that of the newest Silverado; the large, two-panel digital display that is permeating Chevy’s lineup, and revisions to the diesel powerplant. Those changes will likely mean an uptick in price, so if the new look doesn’t speak to you, maybe your best bet is a 2023 or 2024 model, which have all the nice things Chevy added since 2021.

We tested the most powerful, most luxurious Suburban offered for 2024—a High Country 4WD with the optional 6.2-liter V-8, a two-speed transfer case, air suspension, and every electronic gadget and interior nicety available. If your goal is maximum luxury, we recommend the Advanced Technology package, which includes the hardware for Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free highway driving system, and a three-year subscription to the software; power retractable running boards ($1745), the panoramic sunroof ($1500), and air suspension ($1000). Don’t waste $2K on the rear entertainment package—a last-generation iPad would put the two second-row screens to shame, and the headphones are uncomfortable and fragile. 

Specs: 2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country

  • Price (base/as tested): $84,895/ $94,795
  • Powertrain: 6.2-liter V-8, ten-speed automatic transmission
  • Horsepower: 420 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft of torque @ 4100 rpm
  • Layout: Three-row, seven-passenger, full-size, all-wheel-drive SUV
  • Weight: 6016 pounds
  • EPA-rated fuel economy: 14 city / 18 highway / 16 combined
  • Competition: Ford Expedition Max, Jeep Grand Wagoneer L

The Suburban welcomes you into a living room worthy of some cozy cabin in Montana or Wyoming. The digital dash and center screen treat you to animations of autumn foliage, a snow-capped mountain, and a lake. Leather is everywhere, on the doors and on the binnacle and even below the touchscreen and above the A/C vents. It’s the color of Werther’s candy. The fabric trim on the edges of the seats is an odd black-and-white-sorta-zebra affair, which looks like it belongs on the strap of a Kayu shoulder bag. There are a few wood inlays and brushed metal accents, the latter used with admirable restraint. Almost all the controls are black plastic, from the four buttons that serve as the gear selector on the dash, to the window controls, to the climate controls.

Chevy hasn’t chased intricate details like Jeep has with the Wagoneer (see its knurled metal gear selector), but the Suburban’s interior still communicates luxury through light—the giant glass sunroof lets in a lot of light and comfort. The seats are curl-up-with-a-book comfortable. 

A disclaimer, before we discuss the driving experience: I did not grow up in the back seat of a Suburban. (We were a minivan family—Honda, then Toyota, because of the Odyssey’s pesky transmission failures.) Today, I daily drive a small, feisty hatchback, and I frequent old (read: small) downtown areas that have few parking lots and no parking decks. The Suburban is by far the largest vehicle I have ever piloted. Tip to tail, it measures nearly 19 feet.

I loved it.

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country steering wheel super cruise
Grace Houghton

When you slide behind the wheel and thunk the door shut, your first experience is one of regal isolation. Not only is your perch lofty and supremely comfortable, but the cabin is very quiet, thanks to windows made of acoustically-treated glass. Whether at idle or highway speed, the only noise from the V-8 is a subdued, reassuring burble. Under acceleration, the roar of the engine is as powerful and calming as a distant waterfall. 

For all its size and weight, the Suburban is a remarkably docile vehicle. Visibility is excellent thanks to upright B- and C-pillars and giant sideview mirrors. (Though it takes a little getting used to, the camera rearview mirror helps a lot in this regard. It’s standard on the High Country.) The 6.2 and the ten-speed are a delightful combination: Whisper-quiet at highway speeds but, at the prod of the accelerator pedal, ready to hurl you down an on-ramp or execute a purposeful merge.

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country
Grace Houghton

The body-on-frame construction is evident in the gentle shudder you feel over bumps, but thanks to the independent rear suspension, the rear end never gets twitchy over imperfections in the road surface, as a solid-axle vehicle often does. The air suspension and the 22-inch wheels, the largest diameter offered, pair up nicely. Only the most severe bumps make it through to your bum: Most pass with only a gentle thunk sound, if we can use that word twice in one story.

When the ride is this relaxing, it’s easy to cultivate the patience needed for driving a Suburban in traffic. You don’t perform any maneuvers impulsively in a vehicle this large, whether it’s snatching a parking space or squeezing into a queue ahead of a split in the freeway. Parking is probably the most frustrating activity in a Suburban: I had to spot spaces much further ahead than I expected, and I often entered at too shallow of an angle—even aborting the mission required a three-point-turn, during which I blocked the entire aisle. However, with more time, any semi-competent driver should adapt to the process. Thankfully, since so many Americans drive pickups, most parking spots are appropriately sized—I parked on a downtown street in Farmington, Michigan, and the Suburban fit between the little white corners neatly. 

It’s easy to forgive the Suburban its parking-lot clumsiness when you see the space inside. By ditching the solid rear axle, the designers could drop the floor of the SUV. The main beneficiaries are the third-row passengers: As a 5’6” person, I had plenty of headroom in the third row. I might not want to spend six hours back there, but the space was definitely tolerable, and it didn’t feel like punishment, like the third row of a Traverse.

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country third row
Grace Houghton

Capacity isn’t the only virtue of the interior, as its configurability is good, too.  (Pictured is the Goodwill run that your author made: The amount looked huge sitting in my hallway, but once I got it in the Suburban, it looked downright puny.) The second-row captain’s chairs are easy to stow out of the way, whether to ease access to the third row or, with that rearmost seat folded, increase stuff-hauling space. Yank the plastic lever on the lower side of the seat once, and it folds on itself; twice and the folded chair unlatches from the floor and rotates toward the front of the vehicle. You can fold (and raise!) the second and third rows from the rear thanks to a set of plastic rocker switches and an array of electric motors. The only additional control I wished for was a button to close the tailgate from the driver’s seat, but that may be frowned upon from a safety perspective.

If you think the best infotainment screen is the newest one, the 12.3-inch unit in this Suburban will disappoint you. The resolution is adequate but far from liquid, and it frequently lagged when switching menus, prompting a yellow progress bar. However, after several recent experiences with the larger unit that is coming to the Suburban for 2025 (it’s currently in the Silverado and Equinox EV models), I’d like to make a counterargument: Simplicity is also a virtue. I have yet to spend a week with that larger panel, and when I do so, I’ll be asking whether it actually works better than the one currently in the Suburban.

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country dash
Grace Houghton

I could easily reach the far corners of the center screen from the driver’s seat without stretching. The smaller size of the screen made it easy to ignore: The message was “I’m here if you need me,” not “I moonlight as a flatscreen TV.” The digital instrument display never washed out in sunlight, thanks to its recessed position under a leather-upholstered binnacle. It’s a relief to a new driver to find an infotainment system that doesn’t require de-coding: Just plug in CarPlay and go. (You even get your choice of USB-A and USB-C!) For those who love the Suburban for its modern execution of an old-school mission, this two-screen setup is just right.

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country google maps
The one tech feature I missed from other 2024 Chevys: Google Maps doesn’t have access to the digital instrument cluster, so you can’t use it for navigation—which totally unchains you from glancing over at the central display.Grace Houghton
2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country interior
2024: When all truly were welcome.Grace Houghton

If you prioritize V-8 luxury but worry about seeming gauche, an optioned-out Suburban like this one is may be the answer. (The Expedition Max only offers a V-6.) The near-$95,000 price of our tester puts it firmly in the territory of ritzier American three-rows like the Cadillac Escalade and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and the interior of either would likely embarrass this Suburban. Perhaps the presence of this absurdly expensive Suburban variant suggests that buyers are willing to pay up to avoid standing out. Yes, you could drive an Escalade or a Grand Wagoneer for this money, but then you become a person who drives a Cadillac, or One of Those Fancy Jeeps. An everyman Suburban LS, in contrast, can be had for around $62,000. When you drive a High Country, you are simply one of the hundreds of thousands of respectable people who drive Suburbans. Nobody needs to know how much you paid. 

The Chevrolet Suburban isn’t just an old nameplate that GM enjoys recycling: It is a remarkably consistent recipe that GM has been refining for decades. As of 2024, the General has that recipe down to a science. If you are shopping for a full-size SUV, and you treasure old-school comfort in an understated package, this is your vehicle. It’s packed with the latest driver-assist features and capable of integration with your Google-centric lifestyle, but lacks the big-infotainment-screen pizzazz of the upcoming facelift—or its Ford rival, the Expedition Max. Sometimes, big enough is best. 

2024 Chevrolet Suburban High Country

Highs: Serenely comfortable ride, engine is remarkably punchy and quiet. 

Lows: Rear-seat infotainment system is a waste of $2K. Motifs of High Country are a little kitschy. Small parking lots are a no-go. 

Summary: The Suburban is for those who like their luxury SUV large, independently suspended, and understated, with old-school simplicity. 


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    These are the best on the market but they are not for everyone. They fill a need for many that need a vehicle like this but they make other size SUVs till fill the needs of others. Choose wisely.

    This vehicle is the example of the large SUV segment. It started it and it has defined it.

    The Suburban is the unthinkable vehicle that can do everything, for anyone. You can own it just to have it, because its size and capability are too attractive to go without. You can own it because you need it. It belongs everywhere you take it, regardless of social status, because it looks as good in a country club parking lot full of Cadillacs as it does a seedy motel parking lot full of old beaters muling drugs around. It can be used in any environment to great effect. It is an absolutely amazing piece of engineering that’ll probably continue to exist until the end of time. I love mine. I won’t ever be driving anything else.

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