2007 Chevrolet Avalanche Review
The Avalanche offers excellent hauling and towing capabilities in a uniquely versatile, safe and smooth-riding package, but can't match the affordability and higher fuel economy of others in its class.
Launched in 2001, the Avalanche is Chevy's four-door, six-seat sport utility truck. Thanks to a full redesign for 2007, reviewers generally see the Avalanche as an exceptionally functional hauler/tower and a surprisingly smooth highway cruiser. Consumer Guide lists it as a "Recommended" buy and praises, "No other pickup offers Avalanche's blend of useful passenger accommodations, expandable cargo room, big-truck muscle, and friendly road manners." The Avalanche shares a platform with the Chevy Suburban and forms the basis of the Cadillac Escalade EXT.
The pickup's standout feature is a folding rear midgate (shared with the Escalade) and removable rear window, which extends the truck bed into the back seat area, making the Avalanche "the most versatile crew-cab pickup on the market when it comes to carrying a mix of passengers and cargo," according to Edmunds. In fact, the Avalanche is so multi-functional that the calls it "[e]ssentially a four-wheeled, 5,645-pound Swiss Army knife." The adds: "The Avalanche, while it is a truck underneath, is a vehicle that is elegant, comfortable and practical all in one package. It starts out as a sport-utility vehicle...and essentially is the same as the Suburban from the nose to the back of the middle seat, where it then becomes a pickup."
Highlights for the new model include a stiffer suspension, updated steering, a restyled exterior and a higher-quality interior. But despite the positive changes, reviewers still complain about the large pickup's maneuverability and low fuel economy. Forbes recommends the Avalanche, but only if "your budget can afford to operate one at today's gas prices." The reviewer recommends that thrifty buyers keep looking if "a smaller and more fuel-efficient truck fits your character, budget and lifestyle." Consequently, most reviewers find the Avalanche's pricing a bit high. MSN notes, "The multi-featured Avalanche isn't a bargain-priced pickup, even in its base form." In addition, the says, "It's easy to pile on options that increase the price."
Cars.com deems the top-of-the-line LTZ with options as priced "rather steep," but points out that Lincoln's Mark LT, "a comparable luxury pickup, can cost the same with fewer features." In a comparison to the similar Honda Ridgeline, notes the pricier Avalanche's sticker price "makes our long-term Ridgeline seem like a bargain, even with all the compromises." Value over time may help offset the hefty base cost. IntelliChoice gives the base model a "Better Than Average" value rating, based on total cost of ownership compared to others in its class.
The Avalanche is available in several trims -- LS, LT1, LT2, LT3 and LTZ -- and comes in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with a midgate that enables two different bed sizes and several cargo configurations.