When shopping for Chevy trucks for sale, you might come across some models wearing the Z71 label. Chevy makes some powerful trucks and SUVs and gives them a number of trims, packages, and options to choose from. This lets you customize your truck precisely the way you want it. After all, isn’t the point of buying a new vehicle about getting it exactly the way you need it to be?
The Z71 models cater to the off-roading crowd. They give drivers even more high-performance features suited to a weekend on the trails. This has long been an optional package on the Chevy Silverado and Chevy Colorado, but the Z71 is now making its way to some other models––including the full-size Chevy Suburban SUV. The question is, does the Suburban Z71 have what it takes to earn that name, or is this just another tough-looking soft-roader?
What Is the Suburban Z71?
The Z71 option is available on certain Chevy models to enhance their off-roading capabilities. Sure, Chevy SUVs and pickup trucks are already quite capable when it comes to some moderate off-roading. However, with the Z71 models, off-roading becomes even more exciting.
What comes with the Z71 package will vary a bit based on the model year of your vehicle and which model you are driving. Historically, the Z71 package was mainly a suspension upgrade, adding Rancho shocks and a bit of a suspension lift to an otherwise normal pickup. However, the Z71 trim for the 2023 Suburban goes a bit further.
The Suburban Z71 starts off strong with more rugged styling and blacked-out badging that instantly sets it apart from the rest of the lineup. It rides on all-terrain tires and includes black tubular assist steps to help you climb on board. Underneath this truck, you’ll find skid plates, tow hooks, and available four-corner air-ride suspension for even more ground clearance.
What Upgrades Are Available for the Suburban Z71?
A slew of off-road-oriented features are included as standard equipment in the 2023 Suburban Z71. However, you can take the truck a step further with a variety of available packages. On top of adding more off-road-ready features, you can also upgrade the comfort and convenience aspects of the vehicle. To get all the best upgrades, simply check the box for the Z71 Off-Road Package. This massive package includes all of the features from the Off-Road Capability Package, the Luxury Package, and the Advanced Trailering Package. However, you can also add those three packages individually if you prefer.
Off-Road Capability Package
The 2023 Suburban Z71 offers the Off-Road Capability package to further enhance its performance on the trail. This package includes adaptive air ride suspension with electronically-controlled air springs and magnetic ride control. These two features smooth out body motions, making the ride compliant and cozy whether you are going off-roading or cruising along the highway. A variety of sensors keep track of the current road conditions and adjust the air springs and dampers on the fly to optimize ride comfort and improve handling.
The air ride suspension also allows you to select from four different ride heights. While the standard suspension provides eight inches of ground clearance, the air ride suspension gives up to 10 inches of ground clearance in its highest setting and can drop to as little as six inches of ground clearance when you need to enter or exit the vehicle. In addition to the upgraded suspension, the Off-Road Capability Package comes with an electronic locking rear differential for enhanced traction. These are all details that really improve your vehicle’s off-roading capabilities.
If you want added comfort as well as performance, look for the Luxury Package. It includes driver memory settings for the driver’s seat, exterior rearview mirrors, and the power-adjustable steering wheel. You simply press either the Memory 1 or Memory 2 button to set and recall your preferences.
This package adds a power-operated 60/40 split-folding third-row bench seat that can be operated from either the cargo area or the overhead console. The second-row seats also have a power release, allowing you to quickly lower one or both of the seatbacks when you need to accommodate passengers or cargo. These two features make it easy to take advantage of the incredible 144.7 cu.ft. of cargo space in the Suburban.
Passenger comfort isn’t forgotten, and the second row has heated outboard seats, allowing passengers to control the temperatures from a center console panel. The steering wheel is also heated, a function controlled by the press of a button located on the steering wheel. Finally, the exterior mirrors are heated and power-folding, keeping them free of frost and protecting them from damage when parked.
The Luxury Package also gives Suburban Z71 a few extra advanced driver aids. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert warns you of traffic approaching from the right or left when you are in reverse. Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert is also provided. It can prevent lane change accidents by giving you visual and audible warnings when another vehicle is rapidly approaching your blind spot. Rear Pedestrian Alert detects pedestrians behind you when the Suburban is in reverse. Finally, HD Surround Vision gives you a view all around the vehicle that can help you avoid collisions with objects and assist you with parking.
Max Trailering Package
The third major package available for the 2023 Suburban Z71 is the Max Trailering Package. It makes the full-size SUV even more capable of towing trailers and unlocks its 8,300 lbs of towing capacity. The package starts with an integrated trailer brake controller that links the trailer’s brakes to the vehicle, allowing you to stop safely with a heavy load in tow.
Hitch Guidance with Hitch View utilizes the Rear Vision Camera to help you align a trailer with your vehicle. There is also a zoomed-in view for the camera and a camera view that lets you quickly check the trailer while driving. The Smart Trailer Integration Indicator controls and monitors a number of smart trailering features available for the vehicle. Rounding out the electronic aids, an enhanced cooling radiator helps prevent the Suburban from overheating.
Make Your Off-Road Experience More Enjoyable
The Z71 trim is able to take the already capable Chevy Suburban and turn it into a strong off-road vehicle. You get a lot of extra performance features for traveling off the beaten path, and the adaptive air ride suspension allows the vehicle’s ride height to be raised or lowered as needed to help you overcome an array of off-road obstacles. With everything from hill descent control to beefy all-terrain tires, you will be able to go anywhere. If you plan to do a lot of off-roading in your new Chevy truck, the Z71 is the way to go.
The Suburban Z71 is also all about making your off-roading experiences all the more enjoyable. You get a lot of features for the price, all of which elevate the sense of luxury and comfort you find inside the vehicle. Many advanced driver-aids come with the Z71, so you know you will be safe whether you are on a paved road or a muddy trail. Overall, there are a lot of benefits to buying a Chevy Suburban Z71. You can have fun taking this vehicle off the road and into adventures unknown.