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Chevrolet Avalanche



  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    ??? what ???

    so you bought one and less than a wk later your selling it?
  • fpmikefpmike Posts: 21
    Well I took the Indigo 4WD with sun roof for a drive, and inspection. Foremost, I like the truck, a lot. I highway drove it only in the mid gate-closed, pick-up configuration.

    The cladding, which was emphasized in the promotional info, was a less dominant styling feature in person than I expected; it is reasonably balanced but still less than a clean design. The cladding on the doors is indeed added over finished sheet metal, however the cladding over the fender area is attached to sub-structure.

    The on-road ride was smooth and stable, just as a Suburban. Interior comfort with the cloth buckets was good, and I was glad to see that the white gauge package seen in promotional literature was gone in favor of more fitting black.

    The mid gate was solid, quiet and secure. The previous post pretty well describes its operation. I thought the seals were well protected as the lower ones are never exposed and the side ones are recessed. I'm not sure how water from stowed gear is managed in the cab portion of the "bed". The rigid tonneau panels are tough and light. My two kids and I got on them (300 lbs distributed) with out any sign of flexing. They are pretty easy to unlatch and are numbered underneath so you know which to put back in first. Four latches secure the front and two latches secure each of the others.

    I will now be picky about some things which seem to fall short of the rugged, truck aspect of its character.

    The "toothy" cladding at the bottom of the doors sticks below the sheet metal which does not seem very robust at a point where it could encounter brush or other off road obstacles.

    The mid gate glass appears to be secure once stowed, but misalignments when fitting it in looks like it could prove to cause wear or damage over time (see previous post).

    The tonneau panels can be latched without being in exact alignment which can leave them unlevel and skewed (leak?).

    My biggest surprise was the pickup bed. The most fragile part of the bed area is the longitudinal side seals for the rigid tonneau panels. They are exposed to any thing which may be placed against the sides of the bed. The latch plates are in harms way. The rubber mat which covers the steel floor is made of a softer rubber than is appropriate for hauling any heavy or rough material.You could not scoot boxes or twist a heavy machine or piece of furniture on it. The mat also is a hollow honeycomb underneath which seems to limit its life or durability.

    The bedside storage cavities have a loose exposed wire from the light which could be subject to damage or snagging.

    Overall I am favorably impressed with the rig. The styling is just a steroid dose or two up from the rest of the Chevy pick-up and SUV line. It does suffer a little in the rugged truck aspect, but it is not targeted at those who would haul gravel in it regularly.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    lake county indiana?
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    From my observation at the Chicago Auto Show: To take away the lower cladding would leave painted, but unfinished (not sculpted for appearance) metal underneath. What you would find could best be described as mounting pads for the cladding.

    Avalancher, I'm with Ryan - What? Sell as soon as you buy? Why don't you post some pictures in the meantime of your headturner. (If I knew I had to sell immediately, it wouldn't have been worth the $$$$ hit to be seen in a new vehicle.)
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    Per launch information, the first Avs are hitting the biggest truck markets first - CA, TX, FL.

    Did any of the test drives have a truck with the medium neutral interior? I'm interested in what this color really is and what carpet is matched to it.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    that medium neutral should be the same as whats in the silverado

  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    Interior colors offered on the 'rado are: Graphite, Medium Graphite, and Tan. The Graphite and Tan colors are available on the Suburban. No "Medium Neutral" - a color with such a nondescript name is hard to imagine.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    For 2001 they dumped the tan interior. Went with the neutral so 2001 rados/tahoes/ and burbs have this color. Only 2000 and 99 got the tan interior.

  • mordantkmordantk Posts: 7

    Would you mind mentioning the dealership from which you test drove? I am trying to find 'actual' pricing information for a dealer to help gauge approx. price here in the mid west. I realize that the avalanche will not be available out here until late summer, but that is when I need a new vehicle. Any help would be appreciated.

  • mount1mount1 Posts: 22
    Hello All,

    Well I went for a spin or two and I must confess the Chevy Avalanche is a great Truck to drive.

    First, I must say my hat is off to GM for putting on their Truck Show. This marketing effort is not cheap and the fact they pay for their competitor’s vehicles to be available to drive for comparison shopping gives them a plus in my book. So Kudos to GM for the Truck Show.

    Now, I’m not an expert, far from it – just a regular Joe who can change the oil, brakes, and alternators. So take my opinions or leave em for what they’re worth to you. What you are about to read is not science, but purely my opinion – as you’ll be able to tell.

    I broke down my road test into five categories important to me.
    1) Overall Comfort / Look and Feel
    2) Acceleration / Power
    3) Braking
    4) Handling / Cornering
    5) Interior Noise

    The trucks I drove were:
    1) Avalanche
    2) Escalade
    3) Ford 150 – SuperCrew
    4) GMC Sierra C3
    5) Envoy (Ok – the wife drove that one, but I thought I’d throw it in and say – too small, but not bad.)

    There were two road courses to choose from. Both laid out on the runways at the closed MCAS, El Toro in Southern California. I got there early and was rewarded with the ability to drive all the vehicles nearly one right after the other without too much waiting. I drove the Avalanche around each course first and decided the better course to use for my testing was the “outside” course as it offered some loose gravel and potholes on a sharp corner section of the course. It was the best attempt at off roading the Av I had. (GM did not offer an Av on the off road course and by the time we got to that course there were way too many people waiting in the lines – especially for the Hummers.)

    The order I drove was the Avalanche (twice), the Escalade (once), the C3 (Once), the Ford F150 (once), then finally, the Avalanche for a third and fourth time. At this point, the lines of people waiting to drive each vehicle were prohibitively long for more driving. Here is what I think.

    1) Overall Comfort order: Ford F-150, Avalanche, C3, Escalade
    (Getting in/out, leg room, head room, vision area – meaning can I see out the windshield w/o looking through the blue tint on top?, etc.) For a big guy like myself, the Ford F150 offered the most room in the cab – and you could really notice it – it’s the first time in quite a while I needed to move my seat forward for the best comfort (cloth buckets). The Avalanche came in close second -very roomy – great headroom (cloth bench). The Escalade would have been next, but it had a sunroof, which dropped right onto my head – the power seat was not working so I may have been able to drop down a little if it were. (Leather Buckets) So my next choice was the C3 (Leather Buckets), then the Escalade. Both GM and Ford have great look and feel dashes and amenities. All the vehicle instrumentation’s and controls were easy to read, access, use, etc.

    2) Acceleration order: C3, Avalanche, Escalade, F-150
    (0 to 50+ best I could do on the short straight away) Hands down – acceleration goes to the C3. Lighter than the others and with its engine – this thing is a bullet waiting to be fired. Next came the Avalanche – great response from the new engine and as I said, the new engine just purrs something awesome. Next up was the Escalade then the F-150. I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the 150 did not posses more punch – I hope GM didn’t have anything to do with it.

  • mount1mount1 Posts: 22
    3) Braking order: F-150, C3, Av, Escalade (Straight Away), Avalanche, F-150, C3, Escalade (Corners)
    Where the F-150 took its second honors for me was in braking. Even though it’s acceleration was bad, it’s brakes were the best responding (not necessarily the quickest). I like brakes that grab – the F-150’s do just that. All the GM vehicles stopped well in the straightaway, but left me thinking the brakes we a little bit loose. Seeing how I’ve been driving 13 year old braking technology recently – I may not be judging this with the best perspective. None of the brakes locked up – I did not push them to the floor, but I pushed them real good. In the corners, however, the Avalanche proved to be the better vehicle when it came to braking. No sliding was detected in the Av – where the F-150 wanted to follow momentum – along with the C3 – granted the weight distribution is a factor here in both the straight away and corners.

    4) Handling / Cornering order: C3, Avalanche, F-150, Escalade
    The C3, with its all wheel drive was absolutely great in the corners and left – right quick response moves. It just squeaks by the Av in my test. The Avalanche was a VERY close second. People this truck can maneuver well, turn well, and hug the road well. When you’re in the Av you feel you’re in a big truck – up high and very roomy. But when you drive it - look out – this thing handles great – not even the hint of rear end slide into or out of the turns. Next - the F-150, then the Escalade (I’d be too busy worrying about scratching the damn thing to have fun.).

    5) Interior Noise order: Avalanche/ Escalade, C3, F-150
    (All windows were up and radios were off during the drives.) Flash: The Av’s midgate did not make any noise that I could tell! One part of the course has six to eight pieces of 3-5 inch thick shipping lines to drive across at an angle – nothing. The Av performed just as well as the Escalade in this test. In the loose gravel corner, the Avalanche not only handled well, but also was nice and quiet in doing so. The “new” seals work very well at keeping the wind and noise out.

    Finally, What to do next. Well, the Escalade is out – never really was in - too much moolah for what you get and the Escalade EXT (Av w/o molding) will start at $55,000.00. The C3 is out – top of the line Avalanche is the same price – but more features. Plus, I’d probably crash the damn thing racing the local high school kids. This leaves the Ford F-150 SuperCrew and the Avalanche. Ford had two first place finishes in my totally unscientific test drive, but it also had two last place finishes. The Avalanche had one first place and three-second place finishes. It actually was the most fun to drive, most original to look at, and the midgate held up very well. I think I will test drive the Super Crew again at a dealer or two before making my final decision. But I have to be honest and say I’m just about over the weird look of the Avalanche side molding after yesterday’s test.
  • mount1mount1 Posts: 22
    According to the GM people at the show, the Avalanche is not available w/o the molding. I also agree w/ prior post that under the fender molds the metal is either pulled back away from the door line or it is just some sub-structure under there.

    The colors at the show were blue, silver, green - all molding was grey - seems to fit the silver the best. Dealer has black - heading there tonight.

    GM Truck Show offered $1000 discount coupons for attending - fine print on back negates it's use on just about every 2002 model - including Avalanche. They said the dealer may take it anyway if asked - sure.

    Av comes with one year of basic 0n-Star. On-Star offers phone minutes you can purchase now. Expensive for small blocks of time (30 minutes @ $1.00 per minute) - cheaper on bigger blocks.

    Chevrolet 1500 Series Pricing 2WD 4WD

    Standard (High Content) $30,965 $33,965

    Standard + Convienc Pkg (ZM9) $31,618 $34,618

    Standard + Premium On Road
    + Premium Off Road (Z66/Z71) $31,800 $34,800

    Standard + ZM9 + Z66/Z71 $32,453 $35,453

    North Face Edition (1500 / 4WD only) $37,465


    Soft Cargo Cover $600 Credit

    Roof Rack $195

    Running Boards $395

    Power Bucket Sport Cloth $615

    Power Bucket Sport Leather $1115

    Full Feature Seat $1415

    Power Sunroof $1095

    Locking Differential $252

    4.10:1 Rear Axle Ratio $N/C

    Engine Block Heater $33
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    Were any of the Avs fitted with the BVE Assist Steps as an option? Are these running boards or tubular side steps?
  • mount1mount1 Posts: 22

    None of the Avs at the test drive had side steps on them. Marketing pictures show the running boards as the flat board type steps. I assume those are the steps with the BVE item code. I think a nice pair of tubes would look better myself as the Avalanche offers more of a "Muscle Shirt" personality than a "Suit" personality.

    Here are the options from the list given me at the show. This time I added the GM option code. An entry of (???) means no code was provided.


    Soft Cargo Cover (???) $600 Credit

    Roof Rack (V54) $195

    Running Boards (BVE) $395

    Power Bucket Sport Cloth (A95) $615

    Power Bucket Sport Leather(???) $1115

    Full Feature Seat (AH3) $1415

    Power Sunroof (CF5) $1095

    Locking Differential (G80) $252

    4.10:1 Rear Axle Ratio (GT5) $N/C

    Engine Block Heater (K55) $33
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    In the GM accessory catalog, they listed the tubes @ $705. They were chrome and didn't look good on the vehicle pictured. It appears as though the BVE option has to be the boards.
  • holt5holt5 Posts: 7
    Chevrolet has updated the official Avalanche site.

    Check it out:

  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    Must read material for the Avalanche - a full section on the updated website. Good scoop, Todd.
  • eric2001eric2001 Posts: 482
    Have a Truck show disount coupon they would like to donate to me? No truck show in NY, therefore I can't get one on my own.
  • dsw7311dsw7311 Posts: 15
    I take ( or supposed to) delivery of my 2002 Avalanche tomorrow (memorial day) I opted for the Z66 option in Lt Pewter with the graphite leather interior and sunroof. I have only been waiting for them since November. They are trickling in to dealers here in Dallas/Ft Worth area. So far only four dealers actually have them in stock, others are 10 or so days behind.

    I am giving up my loved 2000 Impala LS in trade ( I was pictured and quoted in the 2001 Impala brochure for my consumer comments and compliments)

    I will keep you posted in here of my Jeers and Cheers on my Avalanche
  • holt5holt5 Posts: 7
    There are three Avs on eBay. Two of them have pictures.
This discussion has been closed.