The newest model of Chevrolet Avalanche claims the title for "#1 Sports Utility Trucks" out of 12 competing models. This is a very bold statement and the Avalanche can definitely stand up to its name as the best in class. The history of building very rugged heavy duty trucks runs very deep with Chevy and they are still bringing a huge selection of durable utility vehicles to the public after all these years.
The Avalanche has been available for 5 years now and its unique design and high level of flexibility has made it a customer favorite when it comes to the full line of trucks from Chevrolet. One feature that makes this utility vehicle stand out from standard trucks is the mid-gate that allows its owner to fold down the wall between the passenger area and the bed of the truck. This instantly opens up a huge area to store extra long or large objects that would not otherwise fit. The bed of this pickup also offers some lockable storage compartments that are built in. This is another way that Chevrolet has built upon the concept of a standard truck.
Engine: 5.3L V-8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ
For the Avalanche LTZ 4WD, a two-speed transfer case replaces the previous model's single-speed case. Body color mirrors become standard on the '11 LS. All trim levels are offered with optional 20-inch chrome wheels. New exterior colors for the model year are Steel Green Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic and Inferno Orange Metallic, replacing Laser Blue Metallic and Black Granite Metallic.
The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche combines pickup truck cues with sport/utility vehicle cues. While the cladding of early models is gone, the truck is starting to look pretty dated. Optional chrome 20-inch wheels do not help.
The standard climate control and audio center stack are flush-mounted. Options include remote start, driver information center, tri-zone automatic HVAC, rearview camera, touch-screen navigation and rear-seat DVD with an eight-inch screen that plays iPod-stored videos.
Performance & Handling
Chevy offers the Avalanche with two Vortec 5.3-liter small block V-8s, the iron-block LMG and the all-aluminum LC9, both with cylinder deactivation. They're both rated 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet, or 326 horsepower and 348 pound-feet on E85. Power is adequate for a truck this big, and handling, as you'd expect, is rather clumsy, though 4WD versions are good off-road.
Head curtain side airbags for rollover protection, front-seat belt pretensioners that deploy in rear-end crashes, roof-mounted head curtain bags, stability control and tire-pressure monitoring all are standard. Park assist and a backup camera are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
RWD: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway
4WD: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway
- Carrying capacity
- Built-in ice chests
You Won't Like
- Big rig fuel mileage
- Limited interior luggage space
- Fuel mileage
- Quickly aging design
Fashion SUV out of fashion
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Explorer SportTrac
- Honda Ridgeline
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Chevrolet Suburban