What We're Driving: 2012 Chevy Avalanche

Avalanche 5 II
With Chevy's recent announcement that the Avalanche is going away for 2013, we thought it would be nice to get behind the wheel of one to remind ourselves what this truck is all about. We can't believe it was just 10 short years ago when the full-size four-door transformer took the North American International Auto Show by storm, giving GM a firm foothold in the growing half-ton four-door marketplace.

But we won't be driving the Avalanche like a normal road test, tooling around the same state on familiar roads. In fact, we won't be staying in the same state very long because we'll be loading up our East Coast college student — and her laundry, luggage and refrigerator, I'm sure — and driving cross-country back to California.

No doubt, along the way we may pull into at a few truck stops and see a few sites. Or, if we're not getting along too well, we may try to blast across in record time. However, no matter what, we'll be collecting some good data and photos of the Avalanche along the way and letting you know about it. And feel free to offer any suggestions to us along the way--Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, Calif. 

For more about the exact options on the vehicle we have, you can download the Chevy Avalanche Monroney here. Our test unit has all the options and tops out at $55,000.

Comments

Way to write off a mandatory cross country road trip!!! Where there's a will there's a way. Obama will be proud.

Sure like that Expedition parked next to you there. I wonder when Ford plans to put the new F-150 motors in?

Look at how awesome that Avalanche looks! Take away the plastic crap out back and you'd have the Perfect Silverado. This is what the Silverado Should have looked like! Ford would not have the best selling 1500 IMO if the Silverado looked like this and had the LTZ interior as Standard. I might have skipped out on my F-150 Platinum and stayed with Chevy trucks instead if this was the Chevy Silverado. What a colossal screw up.. Oh well.

Look at how awesome that Avalanche looks! Take away the plastic crap out back and you'd have the Perfect Silverado. This is what the Silverado Should have looked like! Ford would not have the best selling 1500 IMO if the Silverado looked like this and had the LTZ interior as Standard. I might have skipped out on my F-150 Platinum and stayed with Chevy trucks instead if this was the Chevy Silverado. What a colossal screw up.. Oh well.

@RonAndersen, Yep. This is way better looking than what Chevy guys ended up with. This and the Tahoe are two of the best looking Chevrolet's since the 72 and 98 ended. The Silverado looks rather pathetic parked next to this. It's like Chevy was trying to force Silverado buyers into the Avalanche instead. Sound familiar?? Too bad it doesn't work that way. If it said Silverado on the side it would have been impossible to keep in stock for Chevy dealers. It has the perfect front end, clean lines, perfect formed fenders (no bulges) etc.. What a Huge mistake.

Although even without the back plastic it still wouldnt pass as a conventional 1500 The front clip off a avalanch would give GM a top looking truck again and take the wheel weels from it too.

I have to agree. This design should of been the GMT 900 Silverado.

@RonAndersen

Chevy did sold more 1500s then fords f150 with this body style truck till last year, and yeah thats with out gmc sales added to chevy sales. You can still say gm had more half ton trucks on the road last year though if you add the gmc sales to it.

sell* not sold haha damn typo's


from urbandictionary.com

Avalanching

The act of cruising around in a Chevy Avalanche with the mid gate down, the sun roof open, all the windows down, and the music blasting. A fun activity.

Guy 1: Where's that music comming from?

Guy 2: Oh that's just Bob Avalanching.

Guy 1: Aww, I wish I had his life!

@Bob's personal assistant
Having "your mid gate down" seems to apply in both examples of cruising.

Hate the bulbous front end treatment. Like GM used up their angle budget on the Cadillacs and weren't allowed to put one straight line on these things.

The GMT800 Avalanche looked great. This looks like a CUV that ate too much.

Hi Mark,

Good luck on the road trip! Pictures would be nice.

Thanks!

I have to agree. This design should of been the GMT 900 Silverado.

@Lou, agreed! Way better looking than the Silverado. This should have just Been the Silverado. They could have had some optional Avalanche package for it instead. GM is really dumb somtimes. I skipped on the Chevrolet this time and bought an F-150 with the Platinum package. I'm in the same boat as Ron, I probably would have bought this instead if it was the Silvy.

The GMT800 Avalanche looked great.

@Dan, I have to completely disagree. I thought the first Avalanche looked like some road warrior nightmare with all of that plastic cladding. I didn't like the front end on it at all either. It was just like those bad looking Silverado's of that time. Some have said the Pontiac Aztec was GM's worst design but in my opinion the first Avalanche was the worst ever.

They waited till it was discontinued to use the painted roll bar covers that EXT has alwas had. I guess they had to keep the distinction between the two. Great look without the gaudy high mount stop lamp the EXT has. I like the front end on this model but it won't fly with me for the 1500. I need a real bumper on a pickup thank you.

I agree with those saying the front clip on these is much more appealing than that of a Chevy truck...

@Mark Williams
What route are you planning to take?

Oops. It does have the same HMSL as the EXT. That means it looks just like a Caddy from the back except for the badging.

If Obama had a truck, it would look like the Chevy Avalanche.

Drop it 2" in the front and 3" in the back, in order to eliminate those ugly wheel well gaps, and you have close to perfection.

Pull the 5.3 and load in a 427, pair away 1,000 lbs, and you've got the get up and go to run down down the road in proper fashion.

55$K.... should be able to get an EXT for that.

Ditch the plastic stuff on the bed and the roof rack and you'd have one of the most gorgeous Silverado's that Chevrolet never built. Morons. And they wonder why Ford is killing them.

Regarding the original Avalanche - search for a concept vehicle pic, or one with larger tires with more offset - that truck looks really tough with all the plastic cladding, sort of like the Raptor of the day. When the production truck came out with the "inward" offset and smaller rims/tires, the truck looked really ungainly with plastic cladding, especially the 3/4 ton. If the truck came out with properly proportioned wheels/tires, sales would have been off the charts. I have a new Avalanche, and the only turn-off I have now is that it looks too much like the Suburbans that yuppy soccer moms are driving - I would have preferred the "truck look" over the SUV look.

The Chevrolet Avalanche is a four-door, five or six passenger sport utility truck sharing GM's long-wheelbase chassis used on the Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade EXT.

No 2 ways about it, I think it's the best GM truck to date, I'm on my second Avy now. First was a non cladded 2005, now I'm in a 2008 Ltz.
Looking back, I wish I would have waited to find an Ltz with the 6.0 engine though.
As far as the plastic goes, thats what makes the Avalanche what it is. The front clip should of carried over to the Silverado though as discussed, would have made for a sharp pick up.

I still can't get over the looks of the truck, Black & all washed & waxed up, I sometimes just stand and stare at it, it's just to good looking!

Sorry to see that it has come to an end, I will definately be picking up the Black Diamond Edition in a couple of years & making it last.



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