Spy photos of the new 2020 Chevy Suburban are out via AutoBlog.com and while the popular full-size SUV will see numerous styling and engine upgrades, it could also feature a big change in the rear. It looks like Chevy will drop the solid rear axle and move to an independent rear suspension.
Losing the solid rear axle is a bit of a trend lately with Ford lately since their new Expedition has an IRS as well as the new Mustang. The move is a pro/con with improved ride quality and fuel economy through dropping heavy axle seen as the benefit while sacrificing towing prowess and simplistic design as the con.
The argument for IRS has grown in recent years with improvements in chassis design (more high-strength steel) and engine performance leading to the full-size Suburban being able to tow over 6k lbs nowadays, up from 5,000 lbs for the 2012 model.
Towing with the Suburban isn’t a critical buying factor as Chevy learned when they tried to offer a heavy duty 2500 version of the Suburban just a few years ago. Poor demand killed that model.
Another item to consider is the powertrain of the new 2020 Chevy Suburban. Currently, it uses the same 5.3L V8 engine and 6-speed automatic found in Silverado. With the next-generation Silverado coming out this Fall with six different powertrain choices, as well as a new turbocharged four-cylinder planned to hit the market, the Suburban could be offer a dramatically different engine lineup and much better than the 23 MPG highway of the current generation. (See our goose hunting review of the 2016 Chevy Suburban for more on the previous generation.)
This new powertrain, IRS and new styling should help the Suburban fight back against the new competition in the form of the Ford Expedition. The Expedition’s success seemingly took many people by surprise and Chevy is likely encouraged by new growth in the full-size SUV market. While small, electric cars have their place, family haulers are still a staple of the U.S. market and we can’t wait to experience a new Suburban.