Many automotive companies in the United States used the "Suburban" name to indicate a windowed, station wagon type body on a commercial frame including Dodge, Plymouth, Studebaker, Nash, Chevrolet, and GMC. With the end of production of the Dodge Town Wagon in 1966, only General Motors continued to manufacture a vehicle branded as a "Suburban", and they were awarded an exclusive trademark on the name in 1988. The Suburban is one of the largest SUVs on the market. It has outlasted many competitive vehicles such as the International Harvester Travelall, Jeep Wagoneer, and the Ford Excursion. The latest competitor is an extended Ford Expedition.
The Suburban of the 1990s and 2000s is a full-size SUV with three rows of seating, a full pickup truck frame, and V8 engine. The trucks are popular with large suburban families due to their "go anywhere, haul anything" nature, but have been criticized for their excessive bulk and poor fuel economy. The Suburban is one of the few station wagons available with all bench rows. Unlike smaller 3-row full-sized SUV's such as the Tahoe, the extra length provides a full-sized cargo area behind the up to 9 passengers to carry their luggage for an extended trip, and tow a sizeable trailer. This class of truck remains much more popular than full-sized vans which can carry even more passengers and tow trailers.
Chevrolet began production of its all steel "carryall-suburban" in 1935. GMC brought out its version in 1937. These vehicles were also known as the "Suburban Carryall" until rebranded simply as the "Suburban" in the 1980s with the arrival of the SUV craze.
General Motors has produced these large SUVs for both its GMC and Chevrolet marques. In 2000 the GMC version was renamed the Yukon XL; Chevrolet models retain the Suburban name. In 2003 Cadillac introduced its version of the Suburban, calling it the Escalade ESV. Seating varies from 7 to 9 depending on the version and options selected. Shorter versions of these vehicles are sold as the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade. Versions with a pickup bed in place of the rear cargo box are sold as the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT.