2020 Chevrolet Suburban vs. 2020 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Suburban are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Suburban and X7 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Suburban has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X7’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Suburban are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The X7 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Suburban has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The X7 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Suburban and the X7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Suburban 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Suburban’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Suburban has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The X7 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Suburban’s fuel efficiency. The X7 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Suburban uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 6.2 V8 engine for maximum performance). The X7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Suburban has 9.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the X7 (31 vs. 21.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Suburban EcoTec3 6.2 V8, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X7.

Tires and Wheels

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The Chevrolet Suburban’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X7 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Suburban has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Suburban has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the X7, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Suburban’s wheelbase is 7.8 inches longer than on the X7 (130 inches vs. 122.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Suburban is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the X7.

Passenger Space

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The Suburban offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the X7 can only carry 7.

The Suburban has .9 inches more front headroom, 5.5 inches more front legroom, 4.8 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom, 7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.5 inches more third row headroom, 1.2 inches more third row legroom and 14.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the X7.

Cargo Capacity

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The Suburban’s cargo area provides more volume than the X7.

Suburban

X7

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

48.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.1 cubic feet

90.4 cubic feet

The Suburban’s cargo area is larger than the X7’s in every dimension:

Suburban

X7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

31.6”/63.6”/100.3”

18.5”/45”/81.5”

Min Width

49.3”

43.5”

Height

34.9”

32”

The Suburban’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Payload and Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the BMW X7 is limited to 7500 pounds. The Suburban offers up to a 8300 lbs. towing capacity.

The Suburban has a much higher standard payload capacity than the X7 (1670 vs. 1202 lbs.).

The Suburban has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X7 (1690 vs. 1202 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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The Suburban’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X7 does not have a temperature gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Suburban has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Suburban has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Suburban is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Suburban owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Suburban will cost $6430 to $8375 less than the X7 over a five-year period.

The Suburban will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Suburban will retain 46.55% to 47.2% of its original price after five years, while the X7 only retains 37.87% to 40.24%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Suburban will be $31226 to $40211 less than for the BMW X7.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/05

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Chevrolet Suburban and the BMW X7, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chevrolet Suburban outsold the BMW X7 by over four to one during the 2019 model year.

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