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2015 Chevy Suburban: The Reality of a Post-Sloan World

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On: Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 3:09PM | By: Chris Salamone

2015 Chevy Suburban: The Reality of a Post-Sloan World

On the heels of a gorgeous press release from GM, touting the 2015 Suburban’s road trip functionality, consumers will no doubt be reminded of the 1990s and early 2000s. During that particular GM epoch, the company acquired far too many brands and built a myriad of dubious vehicles. Nobody likes to remember the Pontiac Aztek, with the exception of maybe Walter White fans.

The problem was… GM insisted on building vehicles which didn’t suit the needs of the company’s clientele. It was almost as if GM hoped that gimmicky infomercial-type vehicles would be the next great automotive retail innovation. But, wait, there’s more! The brand new 2015 Chevy Suburban seems to be returning GM to their pre-Cruze days (when form and function were mutually exclusive).

Conversely, the Suburban does have some impressive statistics: a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds, gorgeous interior, comprehensive entertainment options, 12 power outlets, built-in WiFi hotspot ranging up to 30 feet, and ample cargo space. Heck, even the fuel economy could be worse. 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway are significantly better than a gargantuan SUV could’ve hoped for 15 years ago.

“The 2015 Suburban has every creature comfort the modern family needs for a long haul,” noted Sandor PIszar, director of Chevrolet Marketing.

The issue, however, is that a well-equipped mini-van with much better gas mileage could accomplish almost all of the functionality of the Suburban at half the cost. Sure, most minivans can tow a only mere 3,500-3,800 pounds. But how many Suburban buyers actually use their super fancy SUV to haul boats of that size? Second, the aesthetics of the Suburban have only gone downhill since the 1970s—and even that was a stretch. The 1950s Suburbans were downright gorgeous.

Perhaps the 2015 Suburban offers every comfort for road trips, but the vehicle also represents the problem with GM’s obsession with Alfred Sloanesque annual model marketing. Is this model advancing the Suburban line or just narrowly tailored to sell the same vehicle with a new issue date?

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