The Chevrolet Suburban takes pride in being recognized as the world’s longest, continuously used automobile nameplate that’s still in production at present. The manufacture of this large sport utility vehicle started in 1934 for the 1935 model year. Since its introduction, the Suburban has been among General Motor’s most profitable models.
1934 - 1946: The first three generations of Suburban
The very first generation of Suburban came as a station wagon that was built specifically for the National Guard as well as for Civilian Conservation Corps. The second generation was basically a carry-over of the first-gen units. The only difference is that the second-gen Suburbans came with all-metal wagon bodies while the first ones were said to be woodie wagons. Built in 1941, 1942, and 1946 model years, the third-generation was made during the war to serve as a military transport vehicle.
1947 - 1966: Fourth to sixth generations of Suburban
The fourth generation of Suburban was based on the Chevrolet Advance Design series of pickups. The 1954 models were the first ones to be outfitted with the Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission. This generation was the last to include the “Canopy Express” models.
In 1955, Chevrolet unveiled its fifth generation of trucks with updated engineering and styling. Two years after, the four-wheel drive models were introduced. The sixth-gen Suburbans were the first to include a factory-equipped 4WD “K” models. The series’ 2WD “C” models were the first to have a torsion bar-based independent front suspension as well as trailing arm and coil spring rear suspension.
1967 - 1999: Seventh to ninth generations of Suburban
What marked the seventh generation of Suburbans were the C/K models with a single driver’s-side door and two passenger-side doors. These were offered in 2WD and 4WD models. It was in the 1970s when the C/K Suburbans became 4-door vehicles. The Rounded-Line body styling wasn’t revised for 19 years, making the eighth generation the longest Suburban generation in production.
The ninth-generation Suburbans, which were based in GMT400, were unveiled in 1992. They were offered in 2WD, 4WD, 1500, and 2500 models. Six years later, right-hand-drive Suburbans were launched in Australia and New Zealand.
2000 – present: 10th to 12th generations of Suburban
The GMT800-based 10th generation Suburbans were launched for the 2000 model year and offered in 1500 and 2500 series as well as in base, LS, and LT trim levels. For this generation, the long-serving 5.7L and 7.4L V8 engines were replaced by 5.3L (1500 series) and 6.0L (2500 series).
The 11th-generation Suburban was unveiled along with the Yukon XL at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. These redesigned Suburbans came with advanced, less boxy, aerodynamic styling.
In February 2010, the 75th anniversary edition of the Chevrolet Suburban was introduced. This special Diamond Edition was an appearance package and was outfitted with numerous modern navigation and safety features. Production of Diamond Editions was limited to 2,570 units.
Chevrolet marked the Suburban’s 80th anniversary with all-new 12th generation models. They’ve got major restyling inside and out to live up to their promise of being the darling of trailer-towing families as well as federal agents across the nation.