No Joke: We Drove a $73,000 Chevrolet Suburban

2015ChevroletSuburban

What do you call a $73,000 Suburban? An Escalade.

That joke would've killed around here just a couple of weeks ago, before we got the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ into our test fleet here at Cars.com's Chicago home base and noticed the full-size SUV's extravagant sticker price: $72,835, including a $995 destination charge. The discovery was met with unanimous disbelief and a chorus of incredulous voices demanding to know, "Whaaaat?" Yes, it would seem that this non-luxury nameplate can now be purchased at a decidedly luxury price.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban: First Look

We'll get to how you can run up such a high bill in a minute. But first let's consider what else you could buy for roughly that price (without regard for specific body style, features or options) using the Cars.com search feature:

  • A 2014 Cadillac ELR or Escalade ESV
  • A 2014 BMW 550i xDrive, 640i Gran Coupe, X5 xDrive35d, X6 xDrive35i or 740i
  • A 2014 Maserati Ghibli
  • A 2014 Jaguar F-Type or XF
  • A 2014 Porsche Cayenne S, Cayman S or Boxster S
  • A 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, GL450 4Matic or E550
  • A 2014 Infiniti QX80
  • A 2014 Audi A7 3.0T Prestige Quattro
  • A 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE
  • A 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51
  • Two Ford Explorers, Toyota Highlanders, Chevrolet Traverses, Nissan Muranos, GMC Terrains, Hyundai Santa Fes, Kia Sorentos, Buick Enclaves, Jeep Cherokees or Dodge Durangos

Unimpressed by those alternatives for the 73 crisp Grover Clevelands burning a hole in your pocket? Well, we aim to please, so here's how the 2015 got so spendy. Using the Build & Price feature on the manufacturer's website, the highest price we were able to get on an optioned-up 2014 Suburban was $66,420 before cash-back offers or other discounts. That's about $7,000 less than our 2015 test vehicle, and roughly $10,000 less than the bill we were able to run up on the website.

First off, the base price of the extended LTZ model has increased for the new model year by $3,300, rising to $66,690 from $63,390 (prices include destination). The rest of the difference comprises options both newly available and newly more expensive. Adaptive cruise control ($1,695), for example, was previously unavailable. That's in addition to the retractable power running boards, which cost $1,745 compared with the $1,095 power-retractable assist steps available on the 2014 model. Options groups also increased in price: The Sun, Entertainment, Destination Package increased nearly $800 to $3,305, while the Max Trailering Package at $500 more than doubles 2014's Heavy-Duty Trailering Package. All told, the options on our test car came to $7,640.

So now we know how the price got so high, but the question remains: Who buys an SUV from a mainstream brand with a luxury window sticker? Hmm. Well, a certain media mogul recently told Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder in an interview that she likes big, boxy SUVs and knows how to operate a forklift. What do you say, Martha Stewart? Would you fork over $73,000 for a Suburban?

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

Comments 

Ben

That babysitter in the Tahoe advertisement was onto something, buyers of these really must be loaded.

wain

They price them so high to compete with the Germans but have you seen the discounts and incentives offered in these RV's.

J

The Toyota Land Cruiser starts at close to 80 grand...So what is so big deal about the Suburban now?

Ken L.

The Toyota Land Cruisers are legendary true off-roaders with a stout chassis and reliability. They're purpose-built. Please do not compare it with the a soccer moms' Suburban. Thank you.

Ken L.

$73,000 for a rolling hurst-like vehicle? No thanks! The shorter wheelbase Yukon Denali looks much better.

Audi

I personally work at a Chevy dealership and most people are opting for the LT rather then the range topping LTZ, but the new Suburbans and Tahoe's are selling like hotcakes, with our company getting a shipment of about 3 to 4 every week

North

Wain, what you smokin?

KeithO

I drove a 2015 Tahoe. While it is a very comfortable, refined truck, I can't wrap my head around the prices being charged for them (and the Suburban, and the Yukon). GM really needs to rethink its pricing on these things...

Ken L.

The reason for the outrages prices are simple -GM pretty much owns the market when it comes to full-size, body-on-frame SUVs. Therefore, they can charge a much higher starting price and know that the following will still buy it:

1) Governments
2) Rappers and other celebrities
3) The livery business
4) People that actually need a Full-Sized SUV to tow a boat or camper
5) *List what I missed here

GM also needs to make money to help pay for all these recalls they're experiencing...

J

Ken

The point is that the Land Cruiser starts at less than 5k within the Lexus LX. Just like the Suburban and Escalade.
Your comment regarding the comparison of off road capability did not even come into play.

Carol

Ken L.: #5: people who need to be able to carry 9 people and their stuff. Almost all other SUVs and vans hold 7 or max 8 people with tiny cargo space.

jsibs

Put those fancy 'f' stamps on there and it is an instant hearse. If done it would properly justify the stupid high prices of a funeral home.

ann gibert

4 Altimas. Crikey! I'm still getting over buying a Jetta in 1982 and the shock of discovering I'd paid the same amount for the car that my parents had for the house I grew up in.

Emmett H

What mad person spends $1,700 for retractable running boards in a vehicle only a foot off the ground?

Joe

I've driven one of the new Suburbans and I happy to say I'm keeping my '04 Suburban.Way better ride and mpg.

Toni Rogers

I looked at the Suburban but bought the Sequoia. The Sequoia has really held its value and is still a joy to drive four years and 70K miles later.

We have no problem spending 75K on a car as that is what our new Corvette but if I was going to spend big money on an SUV, I would go for the Sequoia Platinum

b

73k? you didn't try very hard, did you. I just made one that's 77k.

Zzoott Zzootticus

Our 1996 Suburban was, IMHO, part of the last great series of large GM SUV's that still had the real Suburban DNA present. Serious 350 V-8 grunt for real 4WD power, decent ergonomics that still said it was a truck underneath, massive framerails that held it rigid through the worst of stuff, and a huge cargo hold behind the last of the three rows of real-people-sized seats. We let it go to a new home at just under 310,000 miles still sporting the original driveline and an interior that still looked great. While the NE Ohio rust gremlins finally got to the body - and salt brine spray will do that to a car here - that rock-solid frame just kept on rocking it along.

Murphy "Derp" H.

My mother-in-law has a 2011 LTZ. The front "self-leveling suspension" [read: airbags with s#itty potentiometer sensors] failed last fall. Dealer quote to repair ~$2500. External door handles on all doors break with normal use. You have to be retarded to pay that much for a GM product.

Funny, even after all this time, Chevy still can make a big ugly box and charge extra to stick some wood trim inside. If someone thinks they need a REALLY large car, so be it, but this is Retro in the worst way. They have to let go of the 80's.

chrod

don't see any hookers...

Karen

I'm about to replace my latest Suburban. It is my second. I did my homework with care because I haul a camper, was a car pool mom, and am a busy community service volunteer. My Suburban (9 seat model) often has all the seats used or is filled to capacity because I've been to Lowe's or Home Depot. It has hauled my camper to many memorable destinations. I bought my last one intending to keep it for 15 years. Guess what? It will be 15 years old in September, it has served me well and I will take my time to thoughtfully replace it. The price on the one you showcased is indeed more than necessary. I can build one that will more than adequately meet my needs at a much lower price. Example: The 9 seat model is cheaper because all seats are bench style. I can do without factory installed running boards. The ones installed by aftermarket business are sturdy and affordable. It's a vehicle that is hard to beat for overall versatility!

R. Wayland

It may be expensive but at least it gets great milage, right?

Wow.

Murphy "Derp" H.
May 27, 2014 3:17:02 PM

"You have to be retarded to pay that much for a GM product."

That kind of language isn't necessary, Murphy. "Palin-American", please.

TCB

I have been having my 2015 Suburban LTZ for about 4 weeks and I have to say; it was worth every penny!!! Unlike the luxery vehicles, I wanted to put my money into more than the name. The ride is superb, safety features are phenomenal, and the look is classy. I wouldn't want anyone to put themselves in a financial bind, but if you're looking for a luxery vehicle, I would recommend you to not overlook the Suburban.

Eunice

It looks like a hearse.

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