Chevy Avalanche Road Trip: Five States

Packed Avalache II
Part of the reason for selecting the Chevy Avalanche for this cross-country run had to do with the truck's ability to carry gear in a truck bed while keeping it all locked and protected underneath a sturdy bed top.

We assumed this would be important, since it might not be the best idea to leave plastic bags of clothing, stuffed luggage, a refrigerator and what seemed like an endless number of toiletry bags exposed to the elements. Plus, we'd be stopping at a hotel each night, and we didn't want to unload or repack the entire vehicle each time.

Regardless, the Avalanche was a good choice, but packing a year's worth of "girl stuff" into an abbreviated bed (with two small side bins) required all of our condensing skills. In the end, with only our luggage and bedding (and computers and backpacks) in the backseat of the Chevy, we managed to squeeze an entire college student's life into one Avalanche bed — no small feat because the bed area is just 4 feet long, a little over 4 feet wide and 22 inches tall. But then again, with a $55,000 sticker price, this thing should be making us coffee each morning as well.

Our trip started by getting out of Washington, D.C., early in the morning. And if you've ever been to there, you know that getting in or out of that town is not easy. Thankfully, in less than an hour we were out of Maryland and on our way into the Allegheny Mountains, headed toward the famous Allegheny tunnel. This was my first time through these mountains, and it was impressive, with gorgeous rolling hills and all the trees getting deep into their spring leaves. I need to get back there to spend more time, or even stop and take a picture. But our first day's end zone was a possible dinner stop in downtown Chicago, so we needed to make good time.

The Avalanche is quite comfortable, and the constantly adjusting Autoride suspension knocks off any sharp edges from rough roads or expansion joints. The six-speed automatic transmission is a good pairing with the aluminum-block 5.3-liter V-8, but waiting for the transmission to kick down when getting into the throttle is beginning to bug me. Our test vehicle had over 4,000 miles on the odometer, and if it's been spending time on the East Coast, I'd assume it's done quite a bit of city duty, so the fact that the software seems slow to downshift is a bit puzzling. We did find that driving around empty in Tow/Haul mode helped a little.

During highway cruising, with total payload (cargo and passengers) weighing less than 1,000 pounds, it was easy to drive between 65 and 70 mph with the engine loafing along under 1,500 rpm. The trip computer told us we were getting about 18 mpg, but we really like that all Avalanches come with a 31.5-gallon fuel tank, and the computer told us we had almost 600 miles to go before needing to fill up. However, as is often the case, we found the computer's numbers to be fairly optimistic about calculations of mileage and fuel economy.

Chevy Cruze II
Our first fill-up was in Ohio, at one of the wonderful Travel Stations along Interstate 80. With the fuel gauge on empty and the dashboard warning light on for almost 20 miles, we put in a touch under 28 gallons of fuel into the tank. It's nice that this fuel tank still gives us a good reserve even after the range calculator says you have zero miles left.

Our computer told us we had used 27.5 gallons of fuel, and we averaged 18.2 mpg. The pump told us we had pumped 27.9 gallons of gas, and if you divide the number of miles driven by the gallons actually pumped, we averaged 17.9 mpg. We should note that about 30 of those initial miles were city driving in Washington.

We made good time getting to Chicago after the fill-up, gaining an extra hour of driving time moving from Ohio to Indiana and then Illinois. After a quick tour of downtown Chicago for the young one who had never been there, we headed to an inexpensive hotel outside the city.

With the first day complete, we made it through five states and two big cities. But there wasn't much to look at from the road. We did drive past the Chevy Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and made our way through the RV Industries production headquarters in Elkhart, Ind., and we even got to see Tirerack.com's world famous wheel and tire warehouse facility.

And after 12 hours of driving, my butt and back were sore, even with the liberal use of the seat heater. Day 2 means a lot of Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska.

Packing AU load II

Comments

Any feedback from the college critter? Or did the old man hog the wheel all the way? If nothing else, that would yield a review from the passenger perspective - one way or another.

The lazy drivetrain applies to the 6.0/6 spd in the 3/4 ton as well. You have to really get into it to make it downshift. I guess this is part of an effort to squeeze out more mileage. Annoying is an appropriate term for it.

I still say this truck should have been the Silverado! As a side note, many mentioned the Silverado having wavy sheetmetal over the rear wheelwells on the bed. I went to check this out on several models at the dealer. Sure enough, every brand new truck had it. Once you see it, you notice it on every truck. It looks absolutely horrible! Not so with the sheetmetal stampings on the Avalanche/Tahoe. Chevy made a colossal mistake... Not only with the horrible wavy sheetmetal but also on the entire design. The Avalanche looks a million times better. Especially if you imagine it without the extra crap on the back of the bed. Major mistake there Chevy!! This IMO without the plastic garbage on top of the bed looks far better than the F-150. The F-150 however looks a million times better than the Silverado. The Avalanche should have been the Silverado...

UncleBud,

Put a BlackBear tune on the 6.0 and you won't regret it. It will make the 6.0 what it should be from the factory.

Moving up from a 96 K1500 5-speed, I was shocked by how lazy my 2500 HD was. The tune really woke the truck up. It doesn't downshift nearly as much as with the stock tune because torque management is programmed out.

Even with the load, your gas mileage should have been better than that. I get an average of 22mpg on the freeway with an '08 Jeep Wrangler, for heaven's sake.

Pull down that speed to about 65mph and set the cruise; if that doesn't help, pull it down to 60. The point is that you're in a luxury vehicle and simply sucking down the gas. I managed 25 mpg 30 years ago in a Dodge 318 cid at 62 mph. Surely you can do at least that well today.

Interesting to hear other comments about the shift pattern on the Chevy trucks. My brother hates towing heavy with his company truck. A 3/4 ton with 6.0. It lugs down bad, looses speed on the hills,then shifts down, it then revs like crazy then upshifts and the whole pattern starts all over again. It drove him crazy in the mountains with a loaded 16 ft cargo trailer. It was a pig on fuel too.
I trust the fuel count down indicator on my truck. I ran it super low just to see how accurate it was. The count down meter said I had 3 miles(5 Km) to empty when I refulled. It took 134L to fill 135 litre tank (35 gallon US tank).
A friend of mine had an Avalanche and he really liked it. He admitted that he rarely used the midgate. That is why he ended up trading it off on a Tundra once it got long in the tooth.

I like the front of this truck as well as the tahoe.Silverado,not so much.

I still say this truck should have been the Silverado! As a side note, many mentioned the Silverado having wavy sheetmetal over the rear wheelwells on the bed. I went to check this out on several models at the dealer. Sure enough, every brand new truck had it. Once you see it, you notice it on every truck. It looks absolutely horrible! Not so with the sheetmetal stampings on the Avalanche/Tahoe. Chevy made a colossal mistake... Not only with the horrible wavy sheetmetal but also on the entire design. The Avalanche looks a million times better. Especially if you imagine it without the extra crap on the back of the bed. Major mistake there Chevy!! This IMO without the plastic garbage on top of the bed looks far better than the F-150. The F-150 however looks a million times better than the Silverado. The Avalanche should have been the Silverado...

-I agree. This Silverado was not one of Chevrolet's finer moments. I too preferred the Avalanche-Tahoe look. It was the looks primarily and then the interior packages (or lack of) that made me switch my truck and likewise car purchases from Chevrolet over to Ford this time. My Platinum F-150 and our new Fusion have been great thus far though. It's too bad they weren't Chevrolet's. There's part of me that does miss that Bowtie logo. I suppose it's bound to be that way after 30+ years. I won't switch back for an inferior product however. Ford has been far too kind to deal with.

-I agree. This Silverado was not one of Chevrolet's finer moments. I too preferred the Avalanche-Tahoe look

@Ron, THIS! What the hell was GM thinking??? This Silverado blows. I honestly can't think of 1 good thing to say about it when you compare it to the F-150 and Ram.

I don't understand complaints about the fuel mileage. The Avalanche is built off the Suburban chassis so empty the truck weighs closer to 6000 lbs than it would to 5500 which is roughly what a crew cab Silverado weighs. Plus add in the extra cargo and what not and Mark Williams said they may made good time so 18 mpg doesn't sound bad.

As for the shifting comlplaints, especially while towing, I would just use the manual mode and go on. That is what it's there for.
(

The Chevy Avalanche is to pick-ups as Rascal Flatts is to country music.....
feminized!

I have had a 2005 Avalanche 4X4 LS, that was a nice and commfy truck,and was very handy too, we had to get some dry-wall and was able to get 21 sheets of 4X8 DW in it! and it didn't get wet when it rained out near the end of the trip. The truck was nice on the beach and on the road got 20mpg hyw and 15city, not to bad! but the truck was heavy, they weigh over 5,800lbs. MT! I traded it for a new Z-71 Silverado ext cab, and am very happy with it, the newer 5.3 gets better mileage, and has more power, and the 6sp is realy nice! plus the P/U is a lot lighter at 5,400# MT and it tows the trailer better, but does not ride a smooth as the Avalanche, the only reason I wouldn't get a new Avalanche is $$$ they are expensive! which is suprising being made in Mexico! I guess that is what is making GM kill it, I wonder if they are going to kill the Caddy version?

Get serious. Silverado needs better styling. BUT a Chevy Avalanche with even MORE feminine styling and a car fascia front end would be horrible and ridiculed on a Silverado. Just say no to Avalanche styling on a Silverado!!!!

Just curious as to why the Avalanche is getting a road test seeing as how it's being phased out.

Looks like a pain in the butt to load that thing.

The Avalanche is one of the most function vehicles around, unfortunately gas prices have put a big dent in sales.

@Lou the 3/4 ton Yukon averaged 12.4 over the 90k I owned it. I'd say I pulled a trailer (tractors, boats) roughly 5k of the 90k. That's terrible. I will say from 4000 rpms and up it was a beast. Power under 2000 rpms was pitiful. I replaced it with an Expedition EL. The 5.4 does EVERYTHING better. Got tired of waiting for the ecoboost, but I'm not disappointed at all with the 5.4.

Lou,

I wouldn't say my 6.0 shifted bad, just that it has alot more grunt than what the factory tune with torque management displayed.

I have taken my company 2009 F250 with 5.4 and my 2010 2500HD on the identical trip to Toledo to pickup a 16' trailer loaded (approx 5500 lbs). The F250 got 14 MPG on the way out (empty), the 2500HD got 16. On the way back the F250 got 10 MPG, the 2500HD got 13. Both are nice trucks but I can't say that the 2500HD is a "pig" on fuel in comparison.

It NEVER fails, anytime a GM product is brought up, the anti GM crowd comes out and they say negative things about the vehicle. To anyone who critisizes the Avalanche probably haven't driven one. The Avlanche is built on the Suburban Chassis and has the exact wheel base, 130 inches. The Avlanche is also the best riding truck on the road today because of the Coil over Shock suspension like the half ton Suburban and Tahoe have.

The Avalanche is only 221.3 inches in length and has a 5.3 inch bed with the midgate up and 98.2 inches with the midgate down. It is possible to put a 4' by 8' sheet of plywood in the Avalanche with the tailgate closed and protect your cargo from the elements.

The Avlanche is a versital vehicle and it can carry up to 6 passengers "bench seat" or carry up to 8' of cargo with the midgate down. This is a great vehicle and the only reason you don't see a ton of them on the road is the cost. Avlanche is priced starting at $38,000 for the LS two wheel drive up to $56,000 dollars for a 4wdr LTZ model.

The Avlanche is bar none the most comfortable truck to ride and drive today. This is a great truck! Great job GM!

@ Bob Johnson

They have to bash it, cause their scared no one else can have trucks this old and sell as well as they do, its just jealousy. I just read and laugh as they make some funny silly untrue comments.

@Anon - I was just quoting my brother with the "pig on gas" comment. He wasn't too impressed with the loaded mpg of the Chevy 6.0 or how it shifted. He was comparing it to the last few Dodges he had. He hasn't driven any Fords for a while. His favorite company truck was the Ram 2500 with the 5.7. Most of his driving is off highway. He liked the ride better than the Chev, and loved the ground clearance.
Was your MPG with the 6.0 post tuner kit or pre tuner kit?

@UncleBud - I am surprised that Ford didn't put any of its new engines into the Expedition. The 3.5 EB would be ideal for that application. I like my 2010 with 5.4. I haven't towed anything yet. We are saving up for a camper trailer. I did go on a school field trip with it (240 miles round trip) and it was loaded with kids camping gear and I got 20.4 mpg (US) which surprised me. I was traveling 45 - 60 mph so it wasn't Interstate speeds by any stretch of the imagination.

@johnny doe - no one else would want to try to sell trucks that are that old - well, maybe Toyota and Nissan but that is besides the point.
"Scared"???????
"its just jealousy" ????????
Oxi - did you trade your Tacoma for a Chevy?

"I just read and laugh" - sums up all of your posts rather nicely.

Lou go sit on the loo and think of something smart and worth a say. Well just go sit in there and don't come out for bout a month, that would be great.

I don't have any gripes about this truck except the painted plastic bumpers that are designed to take a 2.5 mph impact. The front end and the sides would look great on the Silverado minus the plastic front bumper. That is my main gripe about all of the cars today is the plastic bumpers. They look nice but if someone runs into them then it costs a lot more to fix them. I see these bumpers eventually ending up on most of the trucks because they are lighter and thus will save fuel. Not a good trend. That is my gripe for today.

I have friends with the 5.4 in a number of Ford trucks and have to admit they have good torque at lower rpm's than Chevy's 5.3, but not than the 6.0 and expecialy the 6.2! and as far as mpg? there is no contest, ever the 6.0 does better and the one problem no one says anything about is the plugs! or how hard they are to replace when you have left them in for too long, you actually need to take them out and at least put ant-seaze on them for ease of removal in the future, and one friend ahd to go the hole route and remove the engine from the truck to get the broken plugs out! and every 5.4 has had there trottle body replaced around here. The 4.8 5.3, 6.0 and 6.2 GM SB has been bullet proof around here, and every one I know thet has one that has put a tuner to it has has great results, meaning better mpg, power, either for towing or just to have it at the top end, depending on the tuner of course! The 3 dodge trucks I have owned have also been trouble free and run for a long time, but I do take realy great care of my things, and have been using nothing but synthetic oils since Mobil 1 came out yrs ago, now I use Casrtol Syntec in the cars and trucks, and in the Harleys I use Harley Davidson Syn 3 oils, that is very important in an air cooled engine. I will miss the Avalanche, I wonder what would be happening if GM couold sell it with roll-up windows and vinyl floors, you know in a stripped mode? say for just under 30K 4X2? and 32k 4X4? I bet they would sell a lot more of them, I know I would have one right now.....

@sandman4x4-You have a good point about roll-up windows and vinyl floors but unfortunately all you see in most trucks are the loaded down versions. My carpenter/handyman has the same complaint. He has a 2004 F-250 crewcab with a manual transmission and a powerstroke diesel with lots of miles but he does not want to spend the money for a loaded down version of what he has just for a work truck. He had to drive hundreds of miles to buy the truck he currently has which he bought new. He has decided for now to just put the money into his old truck and squeeze several more years out of it. You are smart to take care of what you have because your truck will last longer and whatever you replace your truck with will be a lot more expensive and not as good regardless of brand. Eventually when you buy something to replace your truck you just have to pick what best meets your needs at that time. As they say when it comes to maintenance "You can pay me now or you can pay me latter."

@ sandman4X4

Yeah I agree the 5.3 6.0 gm motors where and still are great, but are old. Its time for needed up to date motors though 1999-2013 is a pretty good run if you ask me. My cousin has a 2006 crew cab GMC 3/4 ton with the 6.0L with bout 130,000 miles. He likes it, and it does pretty good on fuel for how big of a truck it is. The 5.4 I had was a 2 valve and wouldn't get out of its own way, but I had a 4.6 3 valve and it seem like it would run circles around the 5.4L. Never had to change the plugs in it, but know of the plug spitting, breaking apart problems, and cracking manifolds.

I guess GM's thinking is kill off the Avalanche to help keep fullsize truck sales up. Then they won't lose as much ground by offering the new midsize trucks. Thats my thinking on it though.

Hi Lou,

The mileage was post-tune so I know it isn't an apples to apples comparison. My mileage went up 1/2 to 1 MPG after the tune so it isn't at big of a deal.

All our non-towing vehicles here are Fords and they have served us well. There are at least 35 F150 and F250s so we are aware of the issues. The running joke is we have "five years of trucks that can't keep spark plugs in and 5 years of trucks that you can't get them out":)

If our trucks are going to be used predominately to tow or have a utility box mounted, we go with 3500 HDs with the Duramax. The 6.0 diesel from Ford has put a bad taste in our mouth and we doesn't trust running Ford Diesels anymore. We had way to many problems with them. They range from EGR issues, blown heads, and even a couple of blown engines. Injectors on the early Duramaxes were an issue but after being replaced at around 120K miles, they are fine for the rest of their useful life and we usually run them to 250K miles.

They all see lots of off-road use on gas well sites and we have never had a front-end issue on either the Fords or GMs. I don't get the SFA argument. As for clearance, I just dropped $1800 for a cat. converter on an F250 after a guy decided to "straddle" a stump and crushed it. Doesn't matter how high the frame is tucked under the cab if you still drive like an ass.

Get serious. Silverado needs better styling. BUT a Chevy Avalanche with even MORE feminine styling and a car fascia front end would be horrible and ridiculed on a Silverado. Just say no to Avalanche styling on a Silverado!!!!

@bob. No freaking way. The Tahoe/Avy is like a modern GMT400. It's about the best looking Chevy truck ever made. There's nothing feminine about it. It looks even better than the F Series IMO and that thing sells to millions of guys. This Silverado style sucks. The front end and those fender bulges are just horrible.


I don't have any gripes about this truck except the painted plastic bumpers that are designed to take a 2.5 mph impact. The front end and the sides would look great on the Silverado minus the plastic front bumper.

@jeff. Ya, a chrome bumper option would have been ok if it were the Silvy. Something like the Sierra had. A normal looking bumper that is. A 2.5 mph impact is still better than what the chrome bumpers take. These new ones you can't run into with a bicycle without putting a dent in them. The bumper covers are tougher now. I do agree the sides and the rest would have looked great on the Silverado. So much cleaner looking and without all the tacky wheel gap.

I don't care if it is the best looking Chevy - it doesn't belong on a full-size half ton or HD Silverado. You don't put plastic car fascia front ends ang gay wings on full-size trucks. On SUT (Avie), SUV, and mid-size they are ok.

I agree with Bob. The people who want the Avalanche to be the Silverado are showing their true colors.

You don't put plastic car fascia front ends ang gay wings on full-size trucks.

@bob/chevy, put a chrome bumper on it. The front end still looks better. It's not as wide and bloated. The Silvy is almost cartoon looking. It's horrible. The Avy is of proper proportions. It would essentially be like the Sierra without the big round flares that truck has too albeit better looking. They went off their rocker on the design of this Silvy. It has nothing to do with being feminine. Chevy trucks never looked feminine all those decades prior and none of them had this monsterous wide front end with a 3 piece bumper and massive fender flares. It's tacky.

GM themselves said their trucks looked too feminine. Now you want to make it more. It doesn't have to be "chrome or Avie." It can be a chrome or pianted bumper. Look at the Fords on how to do it right.

GM themselves said their trucks looked too feminine. Now you want to make it more. It doesn't have to be "chrome or Avie." It can be a chrome or pianted bumper. Look at the Fords on how to do it right

@Bob, GM said the Upcoming trucks were looking too feminine. Not anything current or from the past. So they were working to change that before production began. I do agree they should look to Ford on how to do things right. That said, I agree with Trent. The Avalanche with a normal chrome bumper is exactly how Ford would have done it. IMO it would look very similar to the F-150 with it's clean lines and clean front end except it looks like classic Chevrolet.. The Avalanche front end looks tough as hell. The Silverado looks like it has a big ol smile on it's face. Not very tough at all. I too prefer the looks of the Avalanche and Tahoe. They should have kept the Tahoe/Silverado the same like they always used to be. That said, maybe they'll nail this next Silverado. I hope so for their sake.

"@Bob, GM said the Upcoming trucks were looking too feminine. Not anything current or from the past."

WRONG. GM said the CURRENT trucks were too feminine...

"On the design front, our sources tell us that GM planners have been a bit sensitive about the look [of] the current trucks — seeing them as a more feminine look compared to the Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram. We're told to expect a brawnier look, and more chrome — especially on the heavy-duty models.
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/11/first-spy-shots-of-next-gen-chevy-silverado-1.html

@johnny doe - Exactly. You see what I mean, the above is just another exaple of an ignorant person who knows nothing about GM making another stupid untrue statement about GM products.

Terrible article.
This article could have been done on any pickup truck with a tonneau cover on it and crew cab configuration.
What's so special about the avalanche? Oh yeah, it's production is ending.
Maybe you should do an article on the Ranger too.

@Anon - many guys are going away from any diesel truck. Fuel economy isn't as good as it used to be and diesel is usually more costly than gas. I don't see many Chevy work trucks unless they are fleets and none of the big fleets around here run diesels. All of the service trucks are either Ford or Dodge diesels though or light commercial trucks like freightliner or International. There are lots of TopKicks/Kodiaks around but I think that is because the local dealer had a massive inventory of them. It may just be preference but most of the guys I know who have work trucks drive Ford or Dodge. I know what you are saying about abuse. My brother was telling me that 3 new 1/2 tons got wrecked last summer, another 3 had blown transmissions. They can't do much about it because they are having a hard time finding skilled staff. Big companies cut back during the peak of the economic downturn and now are scrambling to catch up. Cats are expensive. THe local Dodge dealer had them stolen from a whole row of trucks. Ouch. That must of cut into the owner's Lamborgini payments;)

@Bob-JohnnyDoe-Bobby Johnson and all of your other personalities, I'm not ignorant of GM nor am I a GM hater. I want the best for Chevrolet in particular. I stand corrected on the statement. I disagree with it though. I don't see anything feminine about any of GM's trucks. I don't think they look as tough as the Ram or Super Duty but I surely wouldn't call them feminine. I don't think the F-150 looks any tougher than the Silverado or Avalanche. In fact I don't think the F-150 looks tough at all nor has it really ever. It just looks nice and clean. What I'd assume it the next Colorado will take that up. Then the Silverado will indeed look tougher which I applaud. It looks a little larger this time and beefier yet without the odd looking front end. This is from what I can tell anyway obviously through camo. Very few on here are as fair to and supporting of Chevrolet as I have been and that's a fact.

If you ask me, they're all ugly compared to what they were 20, 30, even 50 years ago. I don't remember the exact year, but when the "big three" chose to try and make their pickups look like "big rigs" is when they started making their trucks look ugly. Those massive noses have no positive effect on aerodynamics and simply mean you're pushing that much more of a brick wall through the wind.

Lower the nose. Lower the ground clearance if you're not a 4x4. Get these things back down to what they used to be, good, solid, steel trucks; not the plastic, aluminum, rust-prone pieces of tin they are today. Sure, these things can pull like a draft horse, but what happened to real usability?

Did you know that a 6.5' bed is now considered a long bed? What happened to 8' beds and why, oh why do any of these so-called trucks have beds less than 6' in length? I think even I could design something better than what's on the road now, but good luck getting any of the Big Three to acknowledge that.

@Vulpine: What Dodge 318 PICKUP got 25 and at what low speed? Maybe an Aspen with the 4 speed overdrive? Not pushing near as much air, and those might weigh 3400? Vs. 6000? I like my Dodges, but how about apples to apples? A Jeep Wrangler, with what a 4.0 engine and a 5 speed? weighs closer to the Volare, then this heavy truck!

@Anon: put a tune in that 6.0 and watch the dealer deny you powertrain work on warranty! Oh, wait, you take it out, when you are stranded on the side of the road waiting for the hook to get you! Wasn't it Johnny Doe always telling us how LONG IT TOOK FORDS to downshift, but the Chevy here barely does? We talking 3.08s??

@TRX My dealer actually does custom tuning so they know what the pitfalls are. I spoke with them before getting it done and they said they have never had an issue with getting work done with a custom tune. I could see if I blew the motor or something but most work would be covered according to them. I honestly wouldn't know, it has 30K on it and has never been in once.

I didn't say anything about the time it takes to downshift, it was actually the opposite. The truck wants to downshift too early. You can still be accelerating but the truck will kick down earlier than it has to. You are still being pulled back into your seat, I don't want to race the thing, just have a nice ride.

Gears are 373s. You must live where it is pretty flat because here in PA vehicles do downshift when you are going up a 2 mile long 5% grade. I don't care what the make or model is and neither does gravity.

@TrentKing-Boy that is terrible if the new chrome bumpers cannot take 2.5 mph. They must have really gotten bad since my 2008 Isuzu I-370, but then it has plastic strips on it as well. I ran into a post in a parking lot with it and I could not detect any damage. Whatever happened to the bumpers of the 70s with the shocks (those could take a lot more). I hate to see trucks get the same bumpers as the cars. A stray shopping cart can do a lot of damage. I just got through spending a bunch of money replacing my wife's Taurus' rear bumper, a hit and run in the parking lot. I think the Silverado should get the front and the sides of the Avalanch and maybe they could make the sheet metal a little thicker and put chrome bumpers with plastic strips on it. It wouldn't take too much and add softer touches on the doors and interior. Come on GM lets see some improvements. Get back into the game.

@FordTrucks1 i'm not bob or have anything to do with bob, other then i like chevy trucks like bob.

@TRX4 Tom My fords did take for every to down shift. They would lug down, if you read the story this truck was mostly use in the city. It was not on the highways , so the transmission computer isn't use to highway driveing

@Anon: Cool! That's good if they do, I ask mine before so I don't have issues, like say if I was overseas and my wife had to bring it in, don't want that issue. There is alot of power and mileage in them, held back by tuning. I know the Ram is slowed down alot by it, and the torque management making shifts smooth (and taking more time though)

The shifting comment was aimed at Johnny Doe. Sorry. He says the Fords take forever to downshift. I have no opinion on that cause the two Ecoboosts I drove were on flat ground and both places they told me EXACTLY where to drive. And before the Ecoboost I never drove a 5.4 cause nobody had a supercrew with a 6.5 bed in 4 dealerships, and between that and plus I wasn't gonna buy what I can't put in every gear, meaning pre 2011 Fords with selectshift.

But the writer here complains the 5.3 takes too long to shift. I certainly don't live anywhere flat. If you or anybody on this board has been to Branson Missouri, they would know there are fairly steep hills between Harrison Arkansas and Clinton Arkansas, and Branson to Springfield, Missouri. There is a couple hills my 2010 quad cab 4x4 Hemi 3.92 gear 32.4" tires may need to go to 1 to 1 3rd gear, and a few of them I just let up a tad and it upshifts into the .75 overdrive to get up them. South of Harrison Ark is a bunch of windy hills and trucks always getting laid over. But then again it's SUPPOSED to be 55 through there to Little Rock, right.

The 2006 Chevy 310 HP 4x4 ext cab 4 speed 3.42 gear truck sucked on these hills. It was also over 400 pounds lighter and turned a smaller 265/70 R17 39 pound street friendly 6 ply, vs. my LT275/70 R 17 47 pound 8 ply Good Year A/T s tires. The Chevy also would hunt gears at 45 mph on a road with barely any steep areas.

@TRX4 Tom - my 2010 doesn't hesitate to shift down. It will hold 6th at 45mph on gentle hills but anything fairly steep or on long hills it will drop a gear or 2 even semi-empty. On the highway at 60 mph (no freeways for at least 500 miles) it will hold 6th on gentle to moderate hills and will drop a cog on steeper stuff. It wil stay in 6th on steeper stuff if I'm in the 65 + mph range. That is with 3.55 gears and Wrangler SRA 275/65/18's. It does shift up super fast. I suspect it is for fuel economy. I have to watch myself because I end up speeding a lot in town as it will pop into 5th at 30 mph and next thing you know it is in 6th at 40 mph without any change in pressure on the gas pedal.
I'm not sure where Johnny Dose got the poor downshifting story from. I never heard of it before. I've driven lots of ford diesels with the old 4 speed and never had a problem. All of my previous trucks had manual trasmissions so any problems shifting would be my fault. LOL

@Lou: Yup, gotta consider that Johnny Doe talking! Like I say, I have no opinion on the Ford as far as that goes, cause I haven't drove it in the steep hills. But I did manage to test drive a Tundra about 60 miles one night, so I could get a good feel for it instead of the 15 minute less then 10 mile drive. Took it out to the hills, but then I noticed the back end seemed a bit too bouncy empty. I did put a few gallons though, considering it was more then any typical test drive.

Yeah, the autos nowadays really get up to high gear and fast, that's were alot of the mileage is. A manual driver would have to hit it perfect to better the mileage and be in higher gears even if rolling just 30 downhill. Pretty hard to beat the autos there. I think if all a person did was mostly HIGHWAY the manual would get the better mileage. Driving around in my 2900 pound 96 Camry Coupe 5 speed 2.2 vs. various bigger 4 cylinder automatics like Dodge 2.4 in cars maybe 200 pounds heavier and the autos are so quick to downshift. I did find the Camry would go clear down to 50 mph (about 2000 rpm) with plenty of pull up a steep hill. The autos with bigger engines still couldn't make hardly any hills without a shift, so there's where alot of gas mileage goes to. Just wish they would give people a choice of manual.

It's not just me talking. If you lived near me could ask the people that have rode with me in them trucks. They like damn is this pos gonna down shift I'm like no not till it hits about 40 mph their like holy sh%t. both 4 speed trans auto with 3.70s diff. I can get in my chevy 5.3 and the 09 4.8 with 3.73 diff gears, put it to the wood in would down shift right now and smoke the tires right off. If i did that in the fords it go blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh to 5 or 6 grand then clunk and jerk into a lower gear it was joke. I could see why tom's may have shift lot more pretty much highway gears in his truck.

Now hold on, 4.8s downhifting and tires smoking?! Let me put my boots on, it's getting deep in here! I have not the time in a 6 speed 5.3 or 5.4 Ford. But I know my 5.3 was always shifting, too much! The 4.8, what a joke, when I bought my 06 5.3, my brother in law bought a 4.8 single cab (less weight) he was disgusted after towing a SMALL trailer from Springfield Missouri to Rocky Mountain National Park just past Denver. I coulda saved him some trouble if he'd asked.

Johnny, I don't under stand your last line?

"I could see why tom's may have shift lot more pretty much highway gears in his truck."

???



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