Chevrolet Suburban Heavier, More Expensive, Hauls Less

A new comparison from shows that the 2016 Chevy Suburban is nearly twice the price of the 1986 Chevy Suburban, even after adjusting for inflation. The 2016 Suburban is also 1,200lbs heavier, seats 1 fewer passenger, and has a lower payload rating than the 1986 model. However, the 2016 Suburban does outperform the 1986 model in terms of engine power and fuel economy.

“The new Suburban is one of my favorite Chevrolet vehicles, but I think it’s fair to say the Suburban’s asking price has exploded since 1986,” says Gib Goodrich, director of “Our comparison shows a 95% increase in MSRP, even after we adjust for inflation. While some of that price increase is explained by the 2016 model’s superior fuel economy, engine power, and safety ratings, it’s hard for me to understand the price almost doubling,” offers Goodrich.


The comparison of the 1986 and 2016 Chevy Suburban shows that the 2016 model has added some capabilities but also lost some:

  • The 1986 model could seat 9 passengers, while the 2016 model maxes out at 8
  • The 1986 model had a slightly higher payload rating (about 300lbs more capacity)
  • The engine displacement for the 2016 model is slightly smaller, but the power output is dramatically better – nearly 200 more horsepower and 100 more lb-ft of torque
  • Despite the 2016 Suburban’s vastly superior powertrain, the max tow rating hasn’t increased compared to 1986
  • The EPA fuel economy rating of the 2016 model is quite a bit better, improving roughly 40%
  • The curb weight of the 2016 model is higher by roughly 1200lbs

“The 2016 Suburban is an excellent vehicle, but at $52,000, it’s hard for a lot of families to afford. Maybe if Chevy offered a Suburban without heated side mirrors, built-in WiFi, and some of the other standard features, the price wouldn’t be so high compared to 30 years ago,” says Goodrich.

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