2012 Chevrolet Avalanche Review
The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche is a good compromise between a comfortable SUV and capable pickup truck.
With a pickup bed grafted onto the body of an SUV, the Chevrolet Avalanche is one of few sport utility trucks left on the market. For a few years, these vehicles were relatively popular because they combined a smoother ride than most pickups and more utility than most SUVs. however, as automakers improved their pickups, shoppers began to migrate toward more rugged full-size trucks, and the SUT segment began to dwindle.
That doesn’t mean sport utility trucks aren’t useful. The Avalanche can tow more than some models of the full-size Nissan Titan, and gets good fuel economy for such a large vehicle. Plus, it can seat up to six adults in comfort, while retaining the option to transform the back seat into an 8-foot bed. That way, you can have a big bed when you need it, and seating for five people when you don’t. Finally, the Avalanche comes with more standard features than any other pickup’s base trim.
If you need full-out utility and don’t prioritize ride comfort or interior features, you’ll want to look at a traditional pickup truck. However, the Chevrolet Avalanche provides plenty of capability for most weekend warriors without a punishing ride during weekday commutes.
Other Trucks to Consider
For more utility than the Chevrolet Avalanche can offer, try the Ford F-150. You won’t be able to get the same number of standard features for the price, but a crew cab F-150 FX2 costs about the same as the Avalanche does. However, when properly equipped, this model of F-150 can tow about 1,500 pounds more than the Avalanche.
Though no other pickup truck can offer the combination of flexibility, utility and comfort that the Avalanche can, test drivers say the Ram 1500 has the smoothest ride of any full-size pickup truck. Though neither the Avalanche nor the Ram can be called nimble, the Ram can give the Chevy a run for its money in the handling department, and reviewers also note that its Laramie Longhorn trim is possibly the most luxurious of any pickup truck on the market, besides the upscale Cadillac Escalade EXT.
Details: Chevrolet Avalanche
The Chevrolet Avalanche comes in LS, LT and LTZ trims. This year’s model gains standard trailer sway control and hill start assist, while LT trims get standard heated seats and LTZ trims add a heated steering wheel.
The Chevrolet Avalanche will be discontinued after the 2013 model year, and next year, it will only be offered in one trim level. So, if you've got your eye on one of the lower trim levels of the Avalanche, 2012 is one of the last years it will be available.
See the full list of 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche specs.
- "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
- "Thanks to its practical midgate configuration, the 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche is an ideal crew-cab pickup for carrying a combination of passengers and cargo.” -- Edmunds
- "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 drives like a Suburban, and its not afraid of hard work.” -- Car and Driver