2010 Chevrolet Avalanche Review
Stuck somewhere between an SUV and a truck, the Avalanche is a good choice for people who do moderate hauling or towing, but still want a comfortable interior with plenty of seating.
The Chevy Avalanche is a four-door, five-seat Sport Utility Truck. That means its interior is similar to an SUV's, but instead of an enclosed cargo area, the Avalanche has a small pickup bed. While pickup purists may not think the Avalanche's bed is big enough, the Avalanche has a trick up its sleeve: a folding midgate and removable back glass lets you to trade the second row for more room in the bed. Cars.com explains: "The Avalanche features a midgate that expands the cargo area into the passenger cab. By removing the midgate and folding down the second-row seat, the cargo floor extends from 5 feet, 3 inches to more than 8 feet. The cargo bed also features lockable, side-mounted storage. A locking tailgate and cargo cover increase the secured-storage options even more."
Because the Avalanche is so multi-functional, most reviewers like it. When you add in excellent safety scores and features and a comfortable SUV-like cabin, the Avalanche may be the perfect compromise between a pickup and an SUV. However, though the Avalanche is strong and capable, its price is higher than other SUTs, and even higher than some full size pickups. The Avalanche is a strong choice among SUTs, but some buyers may do better with a less-expensive SUT or full size pickup.
Other SUTs to Consider
Compared to the Avalanche, some reviewers prefer the Honda Ridgeline, which they say drives more like a car. While the Ridgeline isn't quite as rugged as the Avalanche, some buyers who are trading up to a truck for the first time might appreciate its more car-like interior and performance. However, the Ridgeline's maximum tow rating is about 3,000 pounds less than the Avalanche's and the Ridgeline doesn't have the foldable midgate, so you're stuck with a smaller bed. On the other hand, the Ridgeline is about $7,000 cheaper than the Avalanche.
If you need more capability, check out a full-size truck like the Chevrolet Silverado or Ford F-150. Both can be had with full back seats and comfortable interiors that give the Avalanche's a run for its money. Depending on how they're equipped, both can tow more than the Avalanche as well. Both get slightly worse gas mileage, though.
Details: Chevrolet Avalanche
The Avalanche was introduced in 2001 and redesigned in 2007. For 2010, the Avalanche gets a few new features. A USB port is now standard so you can play and control music from an MP3 player with the Avalanche's stereo. A single speed transfer case is now standard on four-wheel drive Avalanches, and the 1LT package now adds dual zone climate control, remote start, adjustable pedals and a heavy-duty locking rear differential. A six-speed automatic transmission is now standard.
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- "A blend of full-size pickup and SUV, the Avalanche delivers exceptional versatility. Unique to GM, the innovative Midgate feature provides a pass-through between the rear cabin and the short cargo box, increasing capacity. It's a civilized ride that's not afraid of hard work." -- Car and Driver
- "The truck has the right combination of attributes -- power, space, towing capacity, and off-road ability -- for people who sometimes want room for six people, but also have towing and cargo-carrying needs." -- Truck Trend
- "Shopping for a pickup truck primarily for passenger use? Check out the Avalanche. It offers a special blend of useful passenger accommodations, expandable cargo room, big-truck muscle, and friendly road manners." -- Consumer Guide