The world's first sport utility vehicle is back for another year. The 2012 iteration of the Chevrolet Suburban marks the 77th consecutive year that this nameplate has been in use, the longest for any automobile on the market. A lot has changed over the course of the past seven decades, but the versatility of the Suburban has remanined a constant during this time. We're talking about a burly, body-on-frame beast of a machine, and it's received a few updates for the 2012 model year.
Chevrolet has thrown in a few additions to the latest Suburban, and these range from pleasing to the ear, soft to the touch, and comforting to the mind. For the aurally appreciative, Chevy has a USB port and time-shift recording capability. If you're more tactilly inclined, you will appreciate the heated seats which come standard on LT models and the leather-wrapped heated steering wheel that's standard on the LTZ trim. All Suburban drivers, however, will enjoy the updated Stabilitrak stability control system that now comes standard with electronic trailer sway control and hill start assist.
The 2012 Suburban is much more than premium interior features and towing confidence though, and a major part of the appeal lies under the hood. This is a large vehicle and, as such, it needs a large powerplant to get it moving. You have two choices and they both employ the work of eight cylinders. The "smaller" engine is a 5.3-liter Vortec V8 engine that produces 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. If you want a bit more grunt, opt for the 6.0-liter Vortec V8 mill that's rated to pump out 352 horsepower and 382 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox, and can send power to either the rear wheels or all four, depending on which model you choose.