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2025 Chevrolet Suburban High Country Duramax – HIGH AND MIGHTY

Car Reviews

2025 Chevrolet Suburban High Country Duramax – HIGH AND MIGHTY

2025 Chevrolet Suburban High Country Duramax

HIGH AND MIGHTY

SULPHUR RIVER BRIDGE—Suddenly, the ugly skies over Bowie and Cass Counties turned into a monsoon. Sheets of water washed over the windshield of Chevrolet’s Suburban, and traffic slowed to a crawl.

Yet, inside the lush cabin, all was serene. The six-cylinder Duramax confidently pushed the big SUV down the road. The handling was precise, and buffeting winds bounced off the truck like gentle winds caressing a mountainside.

I moved into the passing lane and picked up the pace, recalling a text Blonde Bride sent a few minutes earlier imploring my speedy return amidst a frightening storm. I am not often a huge fan of wastefully large SUVs; in this instance, I changed my tune.

Long live the king

The Chevrolet Suburban High Country Duramax is the undisputed king of full-size SUVs. It offers a compelling blend of capability, comfort, and undeniable Chevy swagger, but is it the right chariot for your royal family? Let’s delve in and see if this Suburban lives up to its legendary name.

Strengths:

  • Towing and hauling powerhouse: The Duramax turbo-diesel engine is a beast, churning out impressive torque for effortless towing and hauling. Whether you are hauling a hefty trailer or a carload of kids and sports equipment, the Suburban handles it with aplomb.
  • Spacious comfort: This behemoth offers unmatched passenger and cargo space. Even 3rd-row seating is surprisingly usable, making it a true family hauler.
  • Luxurious High-Country trim: The High-Country trim elevates the interior experience with premium materials, heated and ventilated seats, and a technological feast.
  • Magnetic ride for a smooth journey: The available Magnetic Ride suspension adapts to road conditions, providing a surprisingly comfortable and controlled ride for such a large vehicle.

Weaknesses:

  • Size matters (especially in parking lots): The Suburban’s sheer size can be intimidating, especially in tight spaces and urban environments, but the High-Country’s 3D, 360-degree camera system means even the kid can park it on the chauffer’s day off.
  • Not the most agile: Let us be honest, this Suburban is not built for carving corners. Handling is adequate, but physics still applies. The old-style body-on-frame construction means that, on back roads, it rides very much like a truck.

The Suburban’s main competitors are the Ford Expedition Max (starting at $78,495) and the recently redesigned Ram 1500 TRX Limited (starting at $88,350). The Expedition Max offers a more modern interior and slightly better fuel economy, while the TRX boasts even more towing muscle but has a less luxurious cabin. The choice depends on your priorities: luxury, capability, or both.

Ride like royalty (most of the time):

The Duramax engine provides effortless acceleration and impressive towing muscle. The standard 10-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and the available Magnetic Ride suspension flattens rough roads, making highway cruising a comfortable experience. However, do not expect sports car handling—this large SUV handles predictably.

Powertrain and efficiency

The Duramax 3.0L turbo-diesel engine is the only option in the High-Country trim, delivering 277 horsepower and a whopping 460 lb-ft of torque. The EPA estimates it will average around 22 mpg in combined driving, precisely what we averaged in our week with the truck. 

Top off the 28-gallon tank, and you will be good to go for 600 miles. Even factoring in higher diesel fuel costs plus an occasional gallon of exhaust fluid at $12 to $15 per quart, the Duramax costs about 60% less in annual fuel cost than GM’s 6.2-L gas V-8. 

The EPA estimates that the gas engine will consume about $4,200 a year in fuel, and the diesel will consume $2,550, which puts it in the same neighborhood as a mid-size Hyundai Palisade or Toyota Highlander. Spending half an afternoon skimming through General Motors’ trims and options lists, one discovers the diesel costs about $995 more than the General’s 5.3-L V-8 but $1,500 less than the 6.2-L V-8.

Considering that General Motors has tamed the clattering racket typical of diesel—the only outward sign that it is a diesel is the Duramax badge—the diesel seems an easy choice.

Palace on wheels

The High-Country trim boasts a luxurious cabin with premium leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and a massive panoramic sunroof. The infotainment system is user-friendly, with a large touchscreen display. 

Fully dressed out, like our $97,000 tester, the Suburban is a relative bargain compared to the similarly equipped GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. It was $10,000 less than the Yukon and more than $20,000 less than the Escalade. Yet, the Suburban had the essential goodies found in the other two, like GM’s self-driving Super Cruise system, which works nicely on rural highways.

Seating for the whole kingdom (and their stuff)

Passenger space is unmatched in the Suburban. The second and third-row seats offer ample legroom and headroom, even for adults. Cargo capacity behind the third row is a generous 41.5 cubic feet, expanding to a cavernous 93.8 cubic feet with the seats folded.

Safety first

The Suburban has standard driver-assistance features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring. Higher trims, like the High Country, offer additional features like adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera system.

Warranties

Chevrolet offers a competitive warranty package with three years/36,000 miles of basic coverage and five years/60,000 miles for the powertrain.

The verdict:

Chevrolet’s Suburban High Country Duramax is an excellent choice for those who need maximum capability and space without sacrificing comfort. This Suburban might be your perfect match if you crave a luxurious and comfortable way to conquer the road with your crew in tow.

However, if fuel efficiency or nimble handling are high priorities, you might want to explore rivals. Ultimately, take it for a test drive and see if this king-sized SUV fits your needs – and in your kingdom.

In four decades of journalism, Bill Owney has picked up awards for his coverage of everything from murders to the NFL to state and local government. He added the automotive world to his portfolio in the mid '90s.

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