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Chevrolet Avalanche



  • lspanglerlspangler Posts: 102
    All the Aves I've seen have had M plateson them. They usually give them to managers etc. and ask for feedback. I saw 3 or 4 more this weekend. The dark blue actually looked pretty good. The white looks bad with the cladding. I parked next to a red one on friday when we went out to eat. The one I parked next to had the bed covers off but I couldn't see how much of the seals they had changed. I am assuming they got it worked out.
  • I don't really see that the Avalance isn't a Silverado with a tweaked body and a "midgate" as they call it. That's a lot of money to pay for something that's mostly plastic. It looks okay, but I think it looks a little extreme just for the sake of extreme!! And plastic is the material of the future , provided it's good quality. for $33,000 , you could buy a Silverado with every conceivable option. Yes, it's conservative but tough. I've never really cared for Chevrolets , but they are good, durable vehicles, and most are a decent value.
    At least the thing's got real four wheel drive instead of that queer-bait Verastrak type system on the Aztec. And it's got real truck underpinnings!! From what I've read, I can't find a whole lot to dislike, honestly. Based on only this limited knowledge, I give it a B, so far.
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    I worked with the controller at a client dealership this AM. As I was leaving, I saw the sales manager who is to call when they receive an Av in two weeks. He ordered one in red and a guy bought it, then rethought his decision and took the next allocation in black. If anyone is looking for a 4WD with leather in red/graphite, it is available, but only after my test drive!
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Talked to my salesman last night

    Their AV got pushed back another month. its already sold guy traded in his silverado 6 months ago and ordered it
  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    He looked up the order status as I was standing there. I would not have had the opportunity to drive this unit if the guy had not changed his mind. I've already seen the truck, the drive is what's important now.
  • fpmikefpmike Posts: 21
    Just got a call from one of the dealerships I have been hounding for 6 weeks. They have an Indigo Avalanche on the lot, I'm going to look at/test drive it tonight after work. I have had auto-by-tel, and CarsDirect all allegedly keeping an eye out but my local dealer has done the best for me. After I check it out I'll post something on Monday. This is a Northern California location.
  • markiiimarkiii Posts: 21
    A different dealer in my area just got back to me..I wanted to check up on my guy. The dealer has two units that SHIPPED on 5/14, due on the lot 6/4. One Red withthe works, one Blue with a little less. Both have been tagged with first looks, I can't find out about mine until Monday. I'll let you know when I actually have something solid.
  • mount1mount1 Posts: 22
    Hello All,

    From the previous messages you've heard the As have started to arrive in California. The wife got the call from the dealer on Friday. The local dealer has two in stock: A Black 2WD and a Silver prey 4WD.

    I took a chance and drove out to the CM Truck Show at El Too MAS today (My appointment to test drive is for tomorrow.) To my surprise, the only reason they made appointments is to keep everyone from showing up at once, so I was able to get in. Too bad I got there late in the day - the test drive lines were long - so I'm forced to wait until tomorrow as originally planned. But I was able to check out the Av first hand. So here is today's report.

    The first Av I checked out was a 2WD (all truck show Av's were 2WD) Silver Grey. It was not top of the line (leather, etc.) but was very roomy and comfortable - both front and back seat. The Vortec engine purrrrs something awsome. Head room and leg room were more than I needed (I'm 6'5" 275lbs). Console looks very good - access to components is good.

    The first thing I checked was the plastic composite molding attached around the body. To my surprise, it looks as though it was added towards the end of the manufacturing process. It looks like the Av has complete body metal - completly finished - underneath - with the composite material attached just like plastic wheel well fenders. So for all of those that liked the picture of the Av without the plastic molding (see prior post) you may be able to order it without or remove it - I'll find out for sure when I speak with the GM people tomorrow.

    I will mention the Av was generating a great deal of interest from people attending the show. Many were unaware of the model and those that were aware, liked the pricing that started at $30,000+ and maxing out at about $40,000 fully loaded.

    Ok people - The Midgate.

    I have to say it was very solid. I put the gate in every configuration I could time and again for about 10 minutes. The weight of the gate can be found in the top gate head (holds up glass) and the glass itself. The mid section of the gate is much lighter.

    From top down....

    At the top of the gate is the glass. The glass comes with defogger/defroster lines imbedded. These lines end at two points on the top of the glass window. It is at these two points that the glass fits into two locks at the top of the Av roof.

    There are two handles in the roof of the Av - about the size and shape of two shoe-horns put together side by side. These handles move up/down and move a 1" by 1.5" U shaped gizmo up/down in-sync. These two gizmos (sorry) connect to the glass at the point of the defogger lines performing two tasks - 1) completing the defogger circuit to wiring inside and 2) holding the window in place at the top and pushing it tight against the top rubber seal. There is also one other piece that pertrudes from the roof - positioned about center in line with the window. This piece is positioned about 0.5" in front of the window's final resting position. It acts as a door stop when putting the glass in place. It will allow the glass to move past it (it recedes into the roof then retracts) but does not allow the glass to fall out forward. The glass fits into the midgate seal at the bottom of the glass. This seems pretty tight, but the seals are rubber as the top seals are, so longevity may be a problem.

    Finally for the window, there are two round dials on either side of the window. These flat dials - about 4-5 inches across. These dials have a straight side (think 3/4 moon w/ straight line cut into moon - not curve of earth's shadow) that when turned towards the window allows it to be removed. When turned the other way, the circular part of the dial overlaps the window about a half inch holding it in place and forcing it against the side seals.

    One person can remove and install the window easily. But two people - one at each back seat door - can lift and tuck it in much easier.

    Now, I do have to mention that the first Av I looked at - the top left window handle was supposedly broken. What I found looking at it was the metal connector that attached to the defogger lines had been pulled (bent) out of position - a little elbow grease put it back together and it worked fine. However, I could see how removal/install of the window over time could cause this.

    So to summarize the window removal, turn both dials to open window side area. Pull two handles on top of window to release top window area, lift stright up out of base seal, pull out. Reverse to put in. Overall opinion is it works fine. Caviats - rubber seals will eventually dry out and careless handling can cause window defogger connections to bend.

    I wanted to toss a few buckets of water at the window - nope. Although, tomorrow I plan to extract and re-install the window / midgate out of the Av I drive - just to make sure its a normally sealed window.

    On the middle of the midgate, just below the window is an 0.5" by 4" long handle use to open the midgate. If the window is in, it opens the midgate just below the midgate head which holds the window. In essance the center of the midgate to the bottom will fold forward leaving the midgate head and window in place. If the window is out, turning this handle will allow the entire midgate (head and body) to fold forward. Again, when the entire midgate moves forward - it is heavy and solid. Without the midgate head and window, the midgate body is much lighter to move.

    At the bottom, when the gate is folded down, there is a 4" strip of rubber that fits into grooves in the bed of the truck that acts as a seal link from the rubber bed liner mat and the midgate. If you lift the rubber bed liner mat out of the bed, this seal comes along with it and has to be put back in. By the way, if you choose not to have the Av bed covered with the three piece interlinking hard cover, it will save you $600.00 I was told. But then the rubber mat can be lifted out of the bed quite easily and carried off. Under the bed liner rubber mat is the truck bed - no other lining is provided.

    Overall first impressions:

    1) I like the truck alot!
    2) Rubber seals will eventually crack - it just a case of how many years and the abuse given. Thats all I can say for sure with the limited info I have now.

    Finally, I notice the Avs were being driven on the road course, but not the off-road course. I was told the Avs were supplied from GM on their way to dealers and will be shipped to the dealers after the show ends tomorrow. They had two 4WD Avs at the Phoenix show, but they were not brought to California. Ok, so I asked for honest opinions on the midgate handling off roading. The GM driver assistants said there were not any rattles and shakes during the Phoenix shows (Then why not bring them to California?) all was well. Another GM tech using the Av to jumpstart other trucks at the end of the show said he wondered about the same iss
  • mount1mount1 Posts: 22
    {Gee, I rambled on didn't I? - Maxed out Edmund's post limit - here is remainder of post}

    blah, blah, blah...............

    Overall first impressions:

    1) I like the truck alot!
    2) Rubber seals will eventually crack - it just a case of how many years and the abuse given. Thats all I can say for sure with the limited info I have now.

    Finally, I notice the Avs were being driven on the road course, but not the off-road course. I was told the Avs were supplied from GM on their way to dealers and will be shipped to the dealers after the show ends tomorrow. They had two 4WD Avs at the Phoenix show, but they were not brought to California. Ok, so I asked for honest opinions on the midgate handling off roading. The GM driver assistants said there were not any rattles and shakes during the Phoenix shows (Then why not bring them to California?) all was well. Another GM tech using the Av to jumpstart other trucks at the end of the show said he wondered about the same issue. His feeling was that if you're gonna be getting air in the Av - something may eventually come loose in the midgate area - this truck is not ment for the Baja 1000. But daily street driving and easy backwoods camping roads should not cause any problems. The midgate does seem at least that solid to me as well.

    Anyway - long day - long post. Hope it all made sense. If anyone reads this tonight or in the AM and you have more questions for me - please post them. I will check this thread in the morning - about 7:30am PST before heading to the test drive.


  • avalancheravalancher Posts: 1
    On 5/16/01 I had the pleasure of picking up my new 2002 Avalanche Z71. It is everything that they promised it would be. I'm in California and I love turning heads when I drive by those ugly four door fords!!! Although unfortunately I have to sell it as quickly as I bought it. But at least I had one. Anyone interested??
  • 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.