Chevrolet has been one of the most prominent producers of cars since in its creation in the early 1900s. Many do not realize the storied history it has includes SUVs, in addition to all the other cars it produces. Many people think that SUVs are a modern invention but may be surprised to learn that SUVs have actually been around in one form or another for nearly a century. Chevrolet was crucial to bringing SUVs to prominence with its release of the first Suburban in the 1930’s. Since that time, Chevrolet has only continued to improve and refine their vehicles. To honor the great strides that Chevy has made in furthering the progress of SUVs, we have compiled a list of the 20 best SUVs that Chevy has ever released. Take a look and see if you recognize some of the classics on the list, you might be surprised by all the SUVs that Chevy has had its hand in creating.
2008 Chevrolet Equinox
With the creation of the Equinox, Chevy intended to make an SUV that had the best of both worlds. The 2008 Equinox was compact yet spacious, slick yet rugged. It was one of “Chevrolet’s initial attempts” at making a crossover vehicle that was somewhere between an SUV and a sedan. It had many of the advantages of a sedan as well. The gas mileage showed a marked improvement over larger Chevy SUV models, and the compact design was well received by consumers who wanted an SUV but did not want a massive vehicle. It was in 2008 that all these elements came together to form a classic SUV that has been admired for more than a decade.
1994 Chevrolet S10 Blazer
The first S10 Blazer in 1982 marked the introduction of the compact SUV into the Chevrolet family. This SUV was based off of the GMT330 platform and had both classic “looks and performance." The S10 was great for hauling boats or other large loads. It had a strong torque and was able to haul in a fashion that other models weren’t. The S10 was widely popular and sold well across the United States. There had been few compact SUV models released prior to the S10 Blazer. As a result, the vehicle had a devoted following of fans that appreciated both its look and performance. It would be the first in a long line of Chevy SUVs that would follow in its footsteps.
1999 Chevrolet Tracker
The continued trends towards smaller SUVs was apparent with the introduction of the Geo Tracker in 1989. The tracker was branded as a mini SUV and was even smaller than Chevrolet’s previous compact SUV models. While the SUV did gain a loyal following, Chevy decided for a “major rebrand” for the 1999 edition. The main reason for the rebrand was that the Geo Tracker had been associated with its Japanese origins, causing American consumer to be wary of buying overseas. It was the perfect time to make some changes. The Chevrolet Tracker was slightly bigger than its predecessors. In addition to the change in size, the contours of the vehicle also changed. While previously more box-like, the new Chevy Tracker came with a smoothly sculpted exterior.
2015 Chevy Captiva Sport
Keeping in line with the strong tradition of compact SUVs that Chevy has become known for, the introduction of the Captiva Sport in 2006 marked a new generation crossover vehicle. The Captiva Sport was deigned to function both as both a practical and family vehicle, with an everyday sleek driving experience. In addition to the common transportation functions of the vehicle, the Captiva Sport sought towing performance as well. It came with an ability to “tow over 1500 lbs," not bad for what many people consider to be a family SUV. The mix of performance and practicality was a major reason that this SUV is so loved by its owners.
2002 Chevy Suburban
Many will have fond memories of the Chevy Suburban, a behemoth vehicle capable of transporting an entire soccer team. This vehicle was a staple of families throughout the late 1990s and mid 2000s. It was both a status symbol and a practical way to move large groups of people. It is not hard to imagine why it gained such status, the “MSRP was nearly $40,000." Many will have great memories of the Chevy Suburban as the SUV of family road trips. Whether you were going to Disneyworld or just the local mall, almost everyone has a positive experience with the Chevy Suburban. It is truly an icon of the late 1990s and mid 2000s.
2013 Chevrolet Traverse
Adding to its portfolio of full-size SUVs, Chevrolet introduced the Traverse in 2010. The Traverse holds an interesting spot in Chevrolet’s SUV lineup. While Chevy has been more focused on crossovers in the recent years, the Traverse does not fit neatly into either category of crossover or full-size. It was released as a full size, but more recent iterations of the vehicle put it “slightly above the crossover slot." This seems to fit in line with the general trends towards larger vehicles from Chevy at this time, given that the Traverse has also increased in size over this time period. This vehicle has every feature imaginable for a great driving experience. The introduction of the 2010 model would only continue to improve with later models that improved MPG and seating space.
2017 Chevrolet Trax
The Trax marked a strong departure from Chevy’s general trend of larger vehicles. Known as a subcompact crossover SUV, the Trax blurs the line that many draw between an SUV and a sedan. This outside the box thinking is what helps Chevy to stand out above the rest when it comes to new vehicles. The Trax is the perfect vehicle for the smaller family or the individual who just wants a little more room. The SUV only came to the North American market in 2015 due to its “popularity overseas." The price point of the Trax is lower than many of Chevy’s other offerings, making it appealing to those who want a more compact SUV on a budget.
2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer
The Chevrolet Trailblazer received a major facelift in 2002, when it debuted its new design. The vehicle was met with critical acclaim and soon was a favorite in American popular culture. Though it did have its problems. Chevy sought to improve its design and this resulted in several changes for the 2004 Chevy Trailblazer. The independent front suspension, along with the all-wheel-drive system were enough to bring a positive hype to the new vehicle. As a used car it still remains popular today, holding its value much more effectively than other comparable models.
2019 Chevrolet Blazer
Though it was popular throughout the mid 2000s, the Trailblazer lost its luster towards the end of the decade. Its discontinued production in 2009 and allowed other SUVs in the Chevy lineup to fill its role. This all changed the “re-introduction of the Blazer in 2019." The reintroduction marked a vital return to one of Chevrolet’s core namesake products. Fans of the vehicle were eager to get their hands on the new Blazer, with some sales even occurring in December 2018 of a soft launch. This is unusual buying activity that indicates that people were eager to get their hands on the vehicle. The standard model comes with a 2.5 L I4 engine and has done a great job of living up to the Blazer name.
2017 Chevrolet Equinox
The Equinox makes another appearance on this list of best SUVs with its 2017 iteration. This is for good reason. The Equinox had a series of major upgrades that made the vehicle more reliable. It is currently one of the most popular SUV crossovers and retains its value very well. In addition, there have been a number of upgrades to the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, resulting in it getting a combined 25 MPG. This is not bad considering that it boasts 5 seats for spacious riding. The Equinox is one of the many models that Chevrolet has experimented with as an electric car, though this iteration was at an extremely small scale. It just goes to show that Chevy is always ready to innovate if the opportunity arises.
1998 Chevrolet Tahoe
The Tahoe was initially a rebranding of the larger Blazer model. Chevrolet had been trying to compete in the arms race of the continually expanding SUV and saw that GMC’s introduction of the Yukon would complement the new vehicle. Chevrolet would go on to create even bigger SUVs to pair with the Tahoe known as the Suburban. While it does seem that Tahoe may have only been an attempt to match size with size, the vehicle is outstanding on its own merits. The introduction and expansion of the full-size SUV in Chevy’s lineup would soon become a staple leading to a major bump in sales for Chevy, as well as increased prestige.
2007 Chevrolet Tahoe
The 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe marked the first iteration of the third generation of Tahoe designs. The new design came with a sleeker look, in addition to more room in the back. The design was based on the GMT900 base and provided a more modern vehicle for consumers. It was at this point that Chevy was really able to “expand the options” that came with its different vehicles. This included an option of 8 different engine choices and both 4 and 6 speed transmissions. This model of SUV marked a stark contrast with previous models based on how much customization was available. It is a trend that would only grow in the coming years for Chevrolet.
2014 Chevrolet Suburban
The 10th generation of the Suburban was marked by a more aerodynamic design and rounded fixtures. The capacity of the Suburban line had only continued to grow, with this generation allowing seating for up to 9 people. The 2014 Suburban continued to add many of the modern features that are now “associated with a luxury vehicle." This included options for DVD, GPS, touch screen options, and many more. The 10th generation of Suburban continued to expand the luxury offerings of the line and helped Chevrolet to continue its dominance in the SUV market.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse
While the Trailblazer was discontinued in 2009, fans of the vehicle are still happy to see that it continues to live on in spirit with the release of the Traverse. The reason that the 2018 Traverse makes such an impression on this list is the amount of time and effort that was taken to make sure that the spirit of the “Trailblazer lived on." The new version of the Trailblazer saw continued technological advancements from Chevy. These features included 4G LTE connectivity and the ability to get a Wi-Fi hotspot. There are also additional features that are available for upgrade such as leather seating and 20 inch wheels. It is not surprising that the new Traverse is rapidly taking the place of status symbol from its predecessors.
2019 Chevrolet Trax
The Trax is an SUV that has only continued to grow in its own skin since its first release in 2013. It is the perfect mix of luxury and “sporty driving." The Trax fills the niche of people who want an SUV, but don’t want a behemoth vehicle. The car has outstanding handling that makes it great for sporty driving, even in places that you might not typically take an SUV. It also has the ability to go off-roading and make tight turns that the larger offerings from Chevrolet do not have. This is an outstanding vehicle which will work on both the city streets and up in the mountains. Chevrolet has done an excellent job of cultivating its appeal to SUV lovers of all stripes.
2018 Chevy Tahoe
The 2018 Tahoe marked one of the most outstanding achievements of the 4th generation of Tahoe. It managed to create an engine that had both a 5.3 L V8 engine, with the incorporation of FlexFuel capabilities. Though this is not the first time that Chevrolet has tried to power its vehicles with unique power sources, it did mark the first time that a vehicle came equipped with both this performance and the ability to utilize a more eco-friendly fuel source. Built on the GMT K2XX platform, this SUV marked a departure from its processors. It had all the feelings of a luxury SUV, but it has been combined with all of the power of a 6-speed L80 transmission. This SUV shows a remarkable combination of both power and luxury. It is one of the many reasons that Chevrolet has continued to remain successful in recent years.
2019 Chevy Equinox
The third generation Equinox has continued to dominate the class of compact crossover SUV. It comes in both diesel and gas options. This SUV has a large variety of options including both a 6 and 9 speed automatic transmission. It is clear that this vehicle is “expanding the boundaries” of what it means to be a crossover SUV. This is not to mention the available power that includes anywhere from 203-260lb of torque, depending on the model. It is another example of the outstanding ingenuity by Chevrolet and their continued search for excellence. Chevrolet has created a version of the Equinox that is powered by fuel cell batteries as well as a natural gas version. It is impressive that Chevrolet has continued to keep the focus on alternative energies while making improvements to each iteration of its vehicles.
2018 Chevy Suburban
The Suburban has been a staple of solid branding since its first debut in the 1930s. It is no coincidence that Suburban has the longest running namesake of any SUV. There were several upgrades that Chevrolet did to this vehicle that warrants its high placement on this list. LED lights, which had been increasingly popular for Chevrolet vehicles, became a fixture on every model of the 2018 Suburban. This is not to mention the luxury upgrades such as HD radio, new trim, new rims, and additional packages for safety. The Suburban has continued to set the standard for what it means to be a luxury SUV, and it has only continued to improve as the years have gone on. It is exciting to see where Chevrolet will take these vehicles from here.
2019 Chevy Tahoe
The second best Chevrolet SUV on this list sets the bar in pretty much every category. It is no surprise that the most recent model packs the most features and devices. It’s easy to love the older models of Tahoe for both the nostalgia and their role in furthering the technology of the modern SUV, but this should not take away from the fact that the 2019 Tahoe. The newest version of the Tahoe features a chrome grille and painted wheels in addition to all of the technological improvements. The features are seemingly never-ending and include a 6.2L Vortec 6200 V8 engine, which is one of the most powerful engines to ever be put in an SUV. This SUV is nothing but pure class and power and an absolute cut above the rest. If you haven’t taken a look at it, it’s in your best interest to do that as soon as possible.
2019 Chevy Suburban
The final SUV on this list has been saved for a vehicle that is head and shoulders above every other SUV on the market. There is simply no comparison when it comes to the 2019 Suburban. It has every luxury feature that one could imagine on a vehicle. Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, GPS, touch screen navigation, upgraded trim, upgraded lights, upgraded rims. The longest running namesake of every car in production, the Suburban has continued to exude class and excellence. There is simply no SUV that compares to what the Suburban is offering. The Suburban has every feature that one could want in an SUV and has been a big hit on the market. It has received praise from Edmunds, US News & World Report, and the Car Connection, the three biggest names in car reviews. Critics and consumers agree, this is the best pound-for-pound SUV on the mark
Written by Garrett Parker
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