- Commemorative edition marking final year of production: Black Diamond Avalanche badge featured on all models
- Exterior color: Fairway Metallic (late availability)
- Heated seats kit (dealer-installed)
- Powertain grade braking in normal transmission mode
Chevrolet Avalanche is one of the industry’s most flexible utility vehicles, combining the passenger comfort of a SUV with the cargo capability of a truck, thanks to the exclusive Midgate. It opens to extend the cargo-area from 5-feet-3-inches-long (1.6 m) long to 8 feet 2 inches (2.5 m). It is available in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD.
The Avalanche rolls into its final year of production in 2013 and is commemorated with the Black Diamond Avalanche. It features body-color bed surrounds, a unique badge on the sail panel of every vehicle produced, additional features on LS and LT models, and lower prices across the lineup.
In 2013, a rear camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start are added as standard equipment on LS models, while LT models have added a standard rear camera. Fairway Metallic is added to the exterior color palette, as well, and a dealer-installed seat heater kit is available.
Also new is powertrain grade braking in the normal transmission mode. It was previously incorporated only when the Tow/Haul mode was activated. It uses engine torque to help slow the vehicle on descents, which helps reduce brake wear.
The Avalanche is based on GM’s full-size SUV platform, offering a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds (3,674 kg). It is powered by an efficient combination that includes the Vortec 5.3L V-8 with cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management technology and a fuel-saving Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic.
Along with cargo and towing capability, it offers useful technology and comprehensive safety features, including Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity with specific steering wheel controls, head curtain side-impact air bags and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. Avalanche also offers an integrated brake controller that works with the ABS system to provide immediate and measured brake force signaling to electric-controlled trailer brake systems; there is no requirement for external and/or aftermarket brake control systems.
Avalanche changed the market
After debuting to an enthusiastic reception as a concept at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Avalanche went into production in 2001 as a 2002 model. It offered unique styling and innovative features, including its signature Midgate, which extended the bed into the cab. It was a design that proved to be one of those rare ideas that change a segment – a light-duty pickup with comfortable accommodations for five people.
Motor Trend named it the 2002 Truck of the Year and customers quickly saw the advantage of a well-equipped light-duty pickup that could tow, haul and carry the family. Sales reached 93,482 sales in 2003, its third full year of production.
Recognizing the appeal of the Avalanche, Chevrolet and other truck makers began developing light-duty crew cab pickups. By 2011, crew cabs accounted for more than 65 percent of light-duty pickup sales, and helped transform the pickup from a workhorse into a true multipurpose family vehicle.
The proliferation of crew cab trucks and their increasing popularity – including Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab models – affected Avalanche sales in recent years. And while 2013 marks the final year for this innovative truck, it goes out on a high note, with sales expected to total more than 600,000 when production ends.
Avalanche design and exterior features
Avalanche’s unique and flexible design enables it to function as an SUV, truck or both. With the rear seat up and the Midgate closed, the Avalanche has room for up to six passengers. The rear seat must be folded to achieve maximum storage capability.
When the Midgate is open and the rear seat is folded flat, Avalanche can carry 4-foot by 8-foot (1.2 m by 2.4 m) sheets of plywood with the tailgate closed. Storage compartments alongside the cargo box provide ample and lockable storage. The storage compartments also have drains, so they can be filled with ice and used as coolers.
Additional design and exterior features include:
The Z71 Off Road appearance package is available on LT models and includes high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, color-keyed wheel flares, an aggressive front fascia and satin chrome tubular assist steps, and bright chrome front grille insert provide a one-of-a kind appearance.
Avalanche interior features
The rear seat is unique to the Avalanche and enables easy access to the Midgate system. It folds flat, allowing longer items to be carried between the cargo bed and into the rear passenger compartment. The interior also demonstrates the attention to detail built into all Chevrolet trucks and SUVs. There is almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. Avalanche also has the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous storage compartments.
Additional interior features include:
Avalanche’s Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package is available on LT and LTZ and includes an additional nine months of SiriusXM radio and XM NavTraffic service, power sunroof, auto-dimming inside mirror, navigation radio and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Avalanche is powered by a 5.3L V-8 (aluminum engine block on 4WD models) that balances power and efficiency. Variable valve timing helps the 5.3L optimize performance, efficiency and emissions, while GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivating technology helps improve fuel economy in certain light-load driving conditions. It is also E85-capable.
The variable valve timing system allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement). It also helps reduce exhaust emissions. Because it manages valve overlap at optimum levels, it eliminates the need for an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology increases fuel economy approximately 6 percent under the federal government's required testing procedure and potentially more in certain real-world driving conditions. AFM temporarily deactivates four of the engine’s cylinders under light load conditions and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is required. The transition takes less than 20 milliseconds and is virtually indiscernible
The 5.3L engine is backed by GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.
Avalanche chassis and suspension
Avalanche is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, leaf-spring rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. A stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components.
Additional features include:
Avalanche safety and crash-avoidance features
Chevrolet Avalanche has a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. Head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows are standard, and seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment.
Additional safety features include:
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Avalanche. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Avalanche also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.