2013 Chevy Suburban LTZ Hits The Road To See Shamu

Click to read more about Cathy.

Click to read more about Cathy.

By Cathy Droz –

We are so fortunate here in Arizona, that if we want to get out of the heat, we hop in our car and in five hours we’re in San Diego experiencing cool breezes, crashing waves, great seafood and seeing Shamu the whale for a spritz of sea water.  You can fly over in an hour, but when Chevy provides a Suburban for your trip, the 350 miles is one of pure luxury and comfort.chevy-suburban-ltz

The 2013 Chevy Suburban LTZ is a lot of vehicle for just the two of us, but when our middle child and her family wanted to go to San Diego with us, we knew we needed a larger people hauler than our Highlander.   Picture this: four  adults, one pregnant (not me of course), three children in safety car seats, double stroller, six suitcases, beach umbrella, cooler, three briefcases with laptops, camera equipment and random hats thrown all over the luggage.  You better have room, and we had plenty of that.

To say the Chevy Suburban LTZ is a large vehicle is an understatement, but it drives like you’re in a sedan, especially when it comes to maneuvering, parking and other amenities.   It fits nine comfortably (that’s no lie) and has a towing capacity of 9,600 pounds. (Shamu weighs 1,984 pounds).  This one- ton Chevy Suburban 1500 was equipped with a FlexFuel  5.3 liter V8 engine and produced 320 horsepower with 335 foot pounds of torque.  I wasn’t expecting great fuel economy based on the weight of the vehicle, the weight inside, not to mention the air conditioning blasting and numerous hilly roads, but we experienced 14 city and 20 highway miles to the gallon, which wasn’t too bad.

mm_gal_item_c2_11.img_resize.img_stage._3The interior of the Suburban LTZ had leather upholstered seats including front bucket seats which I loved and had a four way power lumbar support with two position memory (more than I have).  The steering wheel is heated (like we need that) and the pedals are power adjustable (need that at 5’2”). It also had your choice of three levels of heating or cooling.

There were five, 12-volt power outlets; two on the dash, one inside the center console next to the USB input jack, one at the back of the console and one in the cargo area.  There were A/V input jacks at the back of the center console along with two headphone jacks.  All of this was greatly needed as three of the adults were supposedly working on the way over (slipped over on a Friday), so the use of phones, e-mail, ipads, headsets and chargers made the Suburban at one point an office and school on wheels, rather than just the Swiss Family Robinsons on their way to see Shamu.mm_gal_item_c2_0.img_resize.img_stage._3

There is a Bose Counterpoint Surround Sound audio system, which includes navigation, iPod support and Sirus XM satellite radio.  It has hands-free Bluetooth, which is standard and needed for safety. We had the Sun and Entertainment option package, which included a rear seat entertainment system, two flip down LCD screens and a power sunroof.   The LTZ had the second row of bucket seats (again unnecessarily heated) and more leg and headroom than
my 5’4” daughter, 6’2” son-in-law and the munchkins needed.

Riding in comfort and staying entertained!

Riding in comfort and staying entertained!

The movie Flipper kept the children quiet for almost two hours. Of course Flipper is not Shamu but we wanted to give the little ones a smaller mammal so they would not be scared. The good part was the adults couldn’t hear the movie and could either talk, work, sleep or yell over each other.

I noticed that not once did someone say are we there yet?  I think the Suburban LTZ was so comfortable, complete with TV, ipads and car games, that they practically moved in. What I did hear from eight-year old Jayden was, “Can I sit up front at the Shamu show? “  The answer from her parents was always the same, “No dear, you’ll get soaked.”  The sigh of disappointment overshadowed the third verse of row, row your boat by Sofia and Gabby. However, on the day of our illustrious visit to SeaWorld to see Shamu, grandma and grandpa escorted her to the front row for the splash of a lifetime.   This Suburban loaded is over $60,000; family of seven to get splashed by Shamu, priceless.

Jayden - in the Soak Zone.

Jayden – in the Soak Zone.

Jayden - hit by the water.

Jayden – hit by the water.

For more reviews go to www.twofortheroadusa.com and www.smartfem.com.

Suburban photos courtesy of www.chevrolet.com.

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