Heritage

Change.org petition gathering support to name Chevrolet Suburban 'National Vehicle of Texas'

Chevrolet has started a campaign urging people to sign a Change.org petition showing support for the Suburban to be named "National Vehicle of Texas."

Image courtesy of Chevrolet

In 1986, Texas Monthly declared the Chevrolet Suburban the "National Car of Texas," saying that it was, "the most Texas vehicle there is… It's big, it's strong, it's fun, it doesn't put on airs, but it doesn't keep you from putting on a few." In the time since, the Suburban has undergone many iterations, but still maintains its original focus as being a capable people-hauler.

A new Change.org petition started by Chevrolet seeks to bring attention to the Suburban and gain support to name the vehicle the "National Vehicle of Texas." Why not the State Vehicle of Texas? That designation was given to the chuckwagon in 2005.

"Honestly, the petition is not intended to result in any official proclamations," Monte Doran, Manager, Chevrolet Truck Communications said. "Instead, the petition is a way to celebrate the long-lasting connection between Texans and the Suburban." This year, the Suburban nameplate turns 85 years old.

According to Chevrolet, more Suburbans are sold in Texas than in the lower 25 states combined. Five of the top 10 Suburban dealerships in the country are in Texas.

"Suburbans are a familiar sight in the parking lot of the Argyle Club in San Antonio, which is not surprising since it's hard to drive a block in surrounding Alamo Heights without seeing one," said Doran. "At the end of a school day in North Dallas, Suburbans are lined up outside Hockaday and St. Mark's. On weekday mornings Memorial Drive in Houston is a processional of Suburbans hauling children to private schools."

They're not just for families. "Around the Capitol in Austin, Suburbans are so popular with the influence-peddling crowd that they are known as lobby wagons. A single lobbyist can take as many as eight legislators to lunch, while tinted windows all around … ensure the anonymity of his passengers."

Suburbans translate into life beyond the city and suburbs in Texas. You can find them on boat ramps, on rugged ranch roads, hunting and fishing locations, and camping areas. "Last year when the hunting season opened at the venerable St. Charles Bay hunting club in Rockport, there were 12 vehicles in the parking lot and every one of them was a Suburban," Doran (rightly) bragged.

Every Suburban sold in the world is built in Arlington at Arlington Assembly Plant.

The next-generation of the Suburban will be revealed on December 10 along side the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe. Both SUVs will be 2021 models.

Chevrolet Suburban Hollywood Walk of Fame Hollywood & Highland

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

The Hollywood Walk of Fame features over 2,600 stars and for the first time, one of those stars includes the name of a vehicle, the Chevrolet Suburban. The SUV was awarded an Award of Excellence star near those of Sylvester Stallone, Liberace, Charlie Chaplin, Janis Joplin, Julie Andrews, and auto enthusiasts Jay Leno and Tim Allen.

This year, the Chevrolet Suburban is celebrating its 85th birthday and its 67-year Hollywood career.

Scicario Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans are often used in films like "Scicario" to transport government agents. The same is true in real life.Courtesy of Lions Gate Films Inc.

"For six decades the Chevrolet Suburban has been Hollywood's longest-working actor," said Rana Ghadban, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "Appearing in classic feature films and on must-see television shows, the Suburban is a well-established industry mainstay. With the Chevrolet Tahoe also making an impact in movies and on television, it's impressive to have both vehicles now join an illustrious group of actors and characters that are forever known as Hollywood legends."

The Suburban has played a roll in over 1,750 films beginning in 1952 (at least one per year since 1960). It has also been featured in at least one TV show per year since 1956. More than 30 award-nominated films have featured a Suburban.

John Wick The Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe are often seen playing the roll of transporter for the good or bad team - and sometimes both in the same film. Here, the Tahoe is involved in a confrontation with Keanu Reeves' character in "John Wick".Courtesy of Lions Gate Films Inc.

Since the Chevrolet Tahoe was introduced in 1995, it has played a roll as well. Together, the Tahoe and Suburban have appeared in more than 2,500 films and television shows. Since 1995, the Tahoe has appeared in at least one film and television show every year.

According to Tim Kozub, design manager for Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, their on-screen persona also influenced the all-new Suburban and Tahoe, which will be unveiled later this month: "This is a great example of how life and art influence each other. The popularity of Suburban and Tahoe in film was first inspired by the real-life roles they played in the military, in law enforcement and family trips around the world. Today, their role in Hollywood inspired the design of the all-new models, as we integrated the sense of capability, action, and importance associated with Suburban and Tahoe on screen."

The Chevrolet Suburban's star is located at Hollywood & Highland.

The 2020 Nissan Armada is already passed its prime.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2020 Nissan Armada has a reputation for being a strong and capable vehicle but in an increasingly competitive field, it's not the stunner it could be. As 2019 comes to a close and 2020 begins, the three-row full-size SUV will be competing against completely redesigned Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Yukon models for buyer dollars.

Both the Armada and the 2020 Infiniti QX80 offer a similar driving and handling experience. They're powered by the same 5.6-liter V8 engine that is paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission. The engine is thirsty and competent but both SUVs suffer from lane wandering habits that make a driver's arms tired and patience wear out in a jiffy.

2020 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve rearview camera mirror The SUV does have a nifty rearview camera mirror. It's distracting in the daytime but helps mitigate headlight blindness at night.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Both can tow up to 8,500 pounds and have enough off-road prowess to more than satisfy the average owner.

Seating is especially comfortable in both of the vehicles' front rows. Second row seating is decently comfy with enough leg- and headroom for adults to be comfortable. The third row is best only for short trips as adults feel easily squished.

Nissan introduced the Platinum Reserve trim level for its Armada for the 2018 model year. Designed to be the top-tier offering, the Armada Platinum Reserve features all the bells and whistles including Dark Chrome exterior trim, Dark Grey skid plate and tow hatch cover, two-tone leather-appointed seats, interior trim with unique stitching, and 22-inch wheels and tires. It also gets a standard rearview camera mirror.

interior Nissan Armada 2020 screen shifter The center stack immediately dates the Armada.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

But, and this is a big but, it still includes Nissan's outdated infotainment system and driver information screen. There are large buttons galore on the center stack in a time where most SUVs at the Armada Platinum Reserve's price point have gone to either one large infotainment screen and a minimalist button setup or a dual-screen setup with buttons only where absolutely necessary.

The driver information screen is a relic of another generation of vehicles. Despite technically only being in the second year of its second generation, the screen looks much older.

Nissan Armada instrument cluster driver information screen The driver information screen in the Armada looks a decade old.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

With a $68,030 starting price for the 2020 Armada Platinum Reserve 4x4, it's easy to see potential buyers looking elsewhere for more updated equipment.

If you're set on getting a Nissan but want a more modern SUV, take a stroll over to the other side of the lot to the Infiniti dealership where a fresher 2020 Infiniti QX80 sits.