Large families have long turned to the Chevrolet Suburban. It’s a full-size SUV with powerful engine options, a comfortable cabin, smooth handling, ever-evolving driver-assist features, and impressive infotainment. Anyone with a literal truckload of kids to transport around town knows that the Suburban will handle all their needs and address a lot of their problems (like teenagers arguing about legroom or who gets the USB port next). However, if you are considering a used Suburban for sale, you might be wondering what other vehicles are in the same class as the Suburban.
When you need a full-size SUV, nothing else will do. However, dealerships might dangle midsize and three-row SUVs in front of you. When you’re doing your research, it is helpful to be well-versed in what vehicles occupy the same segment. If you are looking for tons of seating, a quiet and comfortable interior, and engines ready to move all the weight of a full-size SUV, there are only a handful of vehicles other than the Suburban that will deliver.
A Quick Review of the Suburban
Let’s quickly review what the Chevy Suburban has to offer. It’s a full-size SUV with seating for up to nine passengers. However, depending on the configuration, it more commonly offers seating for seven or eight passengers. There actually aren’t many full-size SUVs with seating for nine on the market, so if that front bench seat is a priority for you, the Suburban should be at the top of your list.
There are a handful of engine options when it comes to used Suburbans, all of which are powerful. Since 2015, Chevy has offered this SUV with the choice between a 5.3L V8 and a 6.2L V8. However, in 2021, the Suburban also gained the option for a 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine. The Duramax allows for plenty of power with enhanced fuel economy, which is a nice addition to the world of gas-guzzling full-size SUVs.
The Suburban also enjoys a diverse selection of trims, including Chevrolet’s luxurious High Country trim, which is also available in some of the manufacturer’s other vehicles. More recent model years have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as large touchscreens, Bluetooth capabilities, an available Wi-Fi hotspot, and advanced driver-assist features. If you find a recent pre-owned model, you can expect to pay an affordable price while still getting the most modern features. Now that we have a grasp on the Chevy Suburban, we know what to look for in other vehicles.
GMC Yukon XL
The GMC Yukon seems, at first glance, to be in the same class as the Suburban. However, the standard Yukon is the same size as the Chevy Tahoe. GMC’s Suburban competitor is the Yukon XL, which has an extended wheelbase so that second and third-row passengers all enjoy plenty of legroom. Beneath the hood, the engine options are identical to those found in the Suburban. You’ll get the same 5.3L and 6.2L V8 options and the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel in more recent years.
Like the Suburban, the GMC Yukon XL also offers a reputable luxury trim in the Denali. In fact, the Yukon XL is quite similar to the Suburban because its luxury trim, like Chevy’s High Country, is available in several GMC vehicles. Since the Chevy and GMC share the same underpinnings, the Yukon XL is the most comparable vehicle to the Chevrolet Suburban in terms of size, comfort, and power. However, the Yukon XL tends to be a bit more expensive and offers a slightly more upscale feel.
Ford Expedition MAX
As we said, it’s hard to find a vehicle quite like the Chevy Suburban. We want to offer options, so we’re adding the Ford Expedition MAX to the list. However, it only has seating for eight. The Expedition used to offer a nine-seater option with front bench seating, but Ford discontinued that model in 2008. Still, the Expedition does count as a full-size SUV, and the Ford Expedition MAX has a long wheelbase that’s comparable to that of the Suburban.
The engine options also aren’t quite up there with the Yukon or the Suburban. Up until 2014, the Expedition was only available with a 5.4L V8 that produced just 310 hp. In 2015, Ford switched to the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, which has remained the only engine option ever since. It’s still got all the power you need to haul kids around town, but it lacks the simplicity of a V8 or the efficiency of a diesel.
Like the previous models on this list, the Expedition MAX has its high-end luxury trim. That’s going to be the Platinum, with its premium materials and rear-seat entertainment system. There is also the option of the King Ranch, which is slightly less luxurious but has a unique Western-themed interior inspired by the largest ranch in the United States.
Finally, we get to the Wagoneer L. Those looking for a full-size SUV with slightly more rugged looks and handling might like this vehicle. The Wagoneer brand draws heavy inspiration from Jeep, and like Jeep, it is owned by Stellantis, but the Wagoneer does not wear the Jeep badge.
The original Wagoneer debuted in 1962 and was discontinued in 1991. However, Stellantis brought back the brand for the 2022 model year. You won’t find many used Wagoneers right now. But if you do find a used example, make sure it’s the Wagoneer L, which will be 12 inches longer than the standard model. You’ll get a powerful V8 engine, some incredible infotainment technology, and modern driver-assist features.
It is surprising that Stellantis didn’t give the Wagoneer a diesel engine option, seeing as this new revival came out at a time when full-size SUVs were getting such engines. The 2023 model does have a new Hurricane I-6 gasoline engine, which is reportedly more efficient than larger engines, but for now, a used Wagoneer will come with the V8.
The Suburban Still Stands Out
Which models are a good alternative to the Suburban? Not many. The Yukon XL is up there, as it also offers seating for nine, two V8 options, and a diesel engine. However, the other full-size SUVs that occupy the same segment fall a little short. For instance, there are no other full-size SUVs from top brands that offer seating for nine. There aren’t even any others that offer a diesel engine option, which would be nice to see in more full-size SUVs today.
The Ford Expedition MAX is very comparable in comfort and price, but again, it only has seating for eight. Its luxury trim has also received plenty of criticism for underdelivering on, well, luxury––a complaint Chevrolet’s High Country rarely gets. The Wagoneer L, like the Expedition MAX, does not meet that nine-passenger capability. It does have a nice high-end feel, though, and while it doesn’t have a diesel engine, Stellantis promises that its newest Hurricane I-6 is more fuel-efficient than a V8.
At the end of the day, there just isn’t a vehicle quite comparable to the Chevrolet Suburban. It offers more than all of the other SUVs on this list––seating for nine, an excellent high-end trim, powerful and fuel-efficient engine options, and great driver-assist features––all for a reasonable starting price, especially when you buy used. Its interior is quiet and built to isolate you from the road, making it ideal for car naps for little ones. Full-size SUVs are ideal for large families with lots of stuff to transport. However, few manufacturers have created something as spacious, powerful, and comfortable as the Suburban, although many have tried.