2020 marks the 85th production year of the original, sport utility vehicle
DETROIT — Back in 1935, the world was a vastly changing place still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression. Amidst all this, Americans still found a way to reach new heights of innovation and achievement. Movies debuted in color for the first time, baseball home run records were shattered, and the last concrete was poured at the Hoover Dam, the world’s largest at the time. That same year, Chevrolet introduced the Suburban in the United States.
Still in production eight and a half decades since its debut, the Suburban has earned the title of the industry’s longest-running nameplate. In fact, Suburban is the first vehicle to reach 85 years of continuous production.
“While the world has changed significantly, the Suburban is just as relevant today as it was in 1935. Suburban created the sport utility vehicle – offering unprecedented combination of passenger comfort and cargo capacity,” said Paul Edwards, Chevrolet marketing vice president. “That has earned Suburban the trust of a wide range of people – from families to law enforcement, and even a starring-role in pop culture.”
“The name Suburban is so widely recognized that at various times over history it was used by a few vehicle manufacturers,” said Leslie Kendall, curator at the Petersen Automotive Museum. “But the Chevrolet Suburban – the forerunner of the modern SUV – has stood the test of time. From family road-trips to dignitary protection, to TV and film and everywhere in-between, over the last 85 years the Suburban has become a fixture of Americana.”
Over the years, the Suburban has cemented its place in the hearts of many. As a beloved part of the family, trusted bodyguard and member of the armed forces, first responder and even a movie star, the original SUV has built an impressive and unrivaled legacy worthy of a celebration.
The original 1935 Suburban could seat eight, while removable seats provided a large 115.1 cubic foot (3,259 L) cargo area when the second-row seats were folded and third-row seats removed. It was powered by an inline-six-cylinder engine that produced 60 horsepower.
The 2020 Suburban seats up to nine and offers up to 121.7 cubic feet (3,446 L) of maximum cargo space when second and third-row seats are folded down. The available 6.2L V-8 produces 420 horsepower – seven times the power of the 1935 model – with an EPA-estimated 23 mpg highway.