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The GMC Suburban is celebrated for its massive size, enormous seating capacity, and unrivaled cargo area. It has replaced the minivan as the vehicle of choice for many soccer moms, and its off-road capabilities entice men as well. The 1990s and the 2000s have seen a massive shift in family style vehicle preferences, and the SUV is now positioned firmly at the top. Thanks to careful analysis and planning, the Suburban has transformed from a basic utility vehicle to a borderline luxury vehicle throughout its years in production, in order to meet the public's demands.
In a country where bigger is almost always considered better, vehicles are made to match this mentality. For example, in the U.S., where there are extensive open spaces to explore and unparalleled commercial and agricultural work to be done, big vehicles are necessary. From this need came the sport utility vehicle. Dating back in one form or another to the Second World War, SUVs have had a major impact on society. When it comes to producing high-quality SUVs, the GMC name is strongly connected with big, powerful machines.
It would be impossible to discuss SUVs without taking a good look at the GMC Suburban. Also sold under the Chevrolet name, this SUV is a full-sized mammoth with plenty of space and an enormous powertrain to match. First produced in the 1933 model year, the Suburban has enjoyed a long history that continues to the present day. Since the beginning, the GMC Suburban has undergone a long list of changes, and is currently in its 11th generation.
Under the Chevrolet name, the Suburban is released once again for the 2013 model year. Like its predecessors, this year's version is a powerhouse both inside and out. Inside the cabin, it is still equipped to seat nine passengers and hold a massive amount of cargo. Of course, the Suburban is also equipped with a long list of standard features. This model is offered in three trim levels and two body models, the base 1500 and the Super Duty 2500. For the family on the go, or even for commercial use, there are options for every budget and need.
Under the hood, it only makes sense for the Suburban to come with some serious power. The 2013 edition is equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 capable of 320 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain is attached to all of the 1500 models. For an upgrade, things get even more impressive with a 6.0-liter, V-8 engine paired with the same six-speed gearbox. This powertrain offers up 352 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque. Both available powertrains are more than sufficient to haul this beast around, and provide enough muscle for the Suburban's towing and hauling capabilities.
As noted, the GMC Suburban started out in the 1933 model year. For its debut, it was equipped with a half-ton truck undercarriage and chassis. It is interesting to note that this model was initially designed for the U.S. National Guard. The body was constructed primarily of wood, and the cabin was equipped for eight passengers.
The Suburban continued to be used as a military vehicle for several generations following its initial release, as it proved to be ideal for moving supplies and troops. Taken in combination with its impressive off-road capabilities, this vehicle was incredibly useful for military travel.
As the years continued, the GMC Suburban not only made a mark for itself as a military vehicle, but also as a recreational and family SUV. Its reputation for performance and power lends to its continual increase its popularity, and it has garnered an unprecedented fan and consumer base since its initial release.