Tested: 2021 Chevrolet Suburban Diesel Should Be the Default Choice


Tested: 2021 Chevrolet Suburban Diesel Should Be the Default Choice

We like to think of ourselves as agents of our own destinies, but behavioral science says that we simple humans can be steered toward certain decisions simply by disguising the idea that there’s a decision to be made at all. To arrive at a preferable outcome, sometimes all you need is a gentle prod in the right direction, an unnoticed prompt that often manifests in the form of a default choice. It’s called nudge theory, and auto enrollment in retirement plans is a classic example. People tend to save more money when they have to opt out of a plan rather than opt in. Now, would you like to stick with the 3.0-liter diesel in this 2021 Chevrolet Suburban or do something else? Right. Keep the diesel. Good choice.

Ah, if only General Motors auto-enrolled Suburban buyers with the diesel. Were the Duramax inline-six the default option across the line, most Suburbans would likely be diesel-powered. And that would be right and proper, because the 3.0-liter six is perfectly adapted to Suburban duty. Its 460 pound-feet of torque arrive at only 1500 rpm, imbuing the 6272-pound behemoth with an air of nonchalant muscularity in real-world driving. Even in the rare foot-to-the-floor sprint, the diesel Suburban doesn’t feel slow, recording an 8.4-second run to 60 mph. The Duramax’s relative paucity of horsepower—277 horsepower at 3750 rpm—shows up in the tepid quarter-mile stats, with our High Country model crossing the line in 16.5 seconds at 85 mph. But that kind of performance is more than fine for a Suburban, where the horses you’re towing are more important than the ones under the hood. Maybe you want a baritone V-8 and scorching acceleration in a Tahoe RST or a GMC Yukon Denali or a Cadillac Escalade, but the Suburban is inclined toward milder pursuits. The High Country with a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, but we bet few ever will. A Suburban has too many beverages in too many cupholders for those kinds of shenanigans. For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.

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