2010 Chevrolet Avalanche Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
The Avalanche's performance is good for a truck, but car-buyers trading up for the first time might be disappointed. A stiffer frame and new suspension and steering systems, acquired during a 2007 redesign, help somewhat but reviewers still complain about an anemic engine and lackluster handling. Towing and hauling capabilities are high points, however.
- "On good roads the suspension absorbs most imperfections, delivering an almost cushiony ride but not at the expense of control or security, and the Avalanche takes curves with a high level of stability." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Aside from its power and competency as a truck, the Avalanche offers poor handling, a ponderous ride, and a genuine thirst for fuel." -- Autobytel
Acceleration and Power
The Avalanche comes with one engine, a 5.3-liter V8. Most reviewers say the engine is fine for in-town driving, but its performance on the highway leaves feels slow. The Avalanche's engine features cylinder deactivation technology for increased fuel economy. It automatically shuts down four cylinders when they are not needed, like when the vehicle is cruising at speed or coasting. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, that reviewers generally like.
- "[The 5.3-liter engine is] good around town, [but] has only adequate highway passing power." -- Consumer Guide
- "Thrust and fuel economy dip noticeably when the truck is being used to carry a load of passengers or cargo." -- Edmunds
- "The sprint to 60 mph still required a merely adequate 8.3 seconds." -- Car and Driver
- "[The transmission is] among the best in the business -- it offers buttery-smooth shifts that are often imperceptible." -- Cars.com
- "[The transmission] shifts in an easy and positive manner, with a brief delay for acceleration to pass or merge." -- Kelley Blue Book
Handling and Braking
The Avalanche's steering, ride and handling get mixed reviews with some complaining about a lack of road feel and floaty handling. However, the brakes are well-liked. The Avalanche comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive with low-range gearing is available.
- "Handling characteristics exceed expectations, and after climbing up into, and behind the wheel, one soon forgets the Avalanche's overall mass. The driving experience is really quite pleasant." -- PickupTruck.com
- "[The steering] still lacks much in the way of feedback." -- Cars.com
- "[The steering] lacks road feel, and the floaty ride becomes even more pronounced as the body rolls in even slow-speed corners." -- Autobytel
- "[The brakes are] responsive, with short, firm pedal stroke." -- Consumer Guide
Hauling and Towing
Reviewers love the Avalanche's hauling capabilities. While it's not the best choice if you own a construction company, the Avalanche can handle most of the loads weekend warriors throw at it, thanks to its innovative midgate design. With the midgate in place, the Avalanche features a short cargo box measuring 5.3 feet. With the midgate folded down or removed and the rear seat folded, the cargo box expands to about 8 feet. Reviewers love its versatility.
When properly equipped, the 2WD Avalanche's 5.3-liter engine can tow up to 7,200 pounds, or 7,000 pounds with the 4WD. Reviewers are suitably impressed with the Avalanche's towing numbers.
- "A workhorse for routine hauling." -- Auto Mall USA.
- "[The midgate gives the Avalanche] a degree of versatility that's absent from traditional pickups." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "We haven't towed anything with the Avalanche yet but it feels extremely stable and we're confident it'll make an excellent tow vehicle." -- Auto Mall USA