Going, Going, Gone: Six Trucks Soon to Disappear

Gone Colorado II
 By Aaron Bragman

It's the last hurrah for a number of trucks in the U.S. this year, as automakers update their lineups and leave some previously popular models behind. Some of these trucks ended production last year as 2012 models, while others are chugging along for a few more weeks as 2013s. This made us wonder how many were left for consumers, if your preference in new trucks is more focused on the deals than on the metal itself. Here's a look at trucks that are quickly (and not-so-quickly, in some cases) disappearing from dealer lots.

 

Chevrolet Avalanche

Gone Avalanche II

Appearing for the 2002 model year in late 2001, the Avalanche has been through two iterations but the formula has remained the same: Take one big Chevrolet Silverado crew cab pickup and add the novel "midgate" system, which turns the cab's rear wall into a folding door. At its most popular, Chevy sold more than 93,000 Avalanches in 2003, but these numbers have since fallen to just more than 20,000 in 2012. With sales dwindling, GM decided not to create a new Avalanche out of the upcoming redesigned 2014 Silverado. The company announced that Avalanche production would end after the 2013 model year, and has offered a special Black Diamond Last Edition, the only way the 2013 model is offered. If you're interested in a new Avalanche, you may want to find your Chevy dealer soon; there are fewer than 7,500 of them in inventory around the country, and production is set to end before May. Click here to find an Avalanche near you.

 

Cadillac Escalade EXT

Gone Excalade EXT IIThe Cadillac Escalade SUV was often held up as the poster child for truck-based excess in the U.S. (until the Hummer H2 came along, anyway), and the Avalanche-based Escalade EXT was only more ostentatious. Basically an Avalanche with the Cadillac Escalade styling, interior, powertrain and bling thrown in, the Escalade EXT remains perhaps the most outrageous luxury truck ever made. Like the Avalanche, however, 2013 is its final model year, so get them while they last. Unlike the Avalanche, the Escalade EXT is fairly rare — fewer than 1,200 are currently on dealer lots. Click here to see Escalade EXT inventory nationwide.

 

Suzuki Equator

Gone Equator IISuzuki has sadly departed these shores after a long and drawn-out battle with dwindling sales and a lack of new product. The Equator compact pickup in some ways exemplifies what went wrong at the brand in the U.S. Despite being a relatively popular global manufacturer of small cars and motorcycles, Suzuki tried to make a go of it here with stopgap content like the Equator — essentially a rebadged, mildly restyled Nissan Frontier. Suzuki's gone out of business here, but there is a handful of dealers still selling the brand's remaining inventory, and at fire sale prices, too. There are fewer than 50 Equators left in the country, but if you can find one, you'll get a well-optioned, reliable truck that shares the vast majority of its parts with the popular Frontier. Click here to see where you might be able to find one of the last remaining Equators.

 

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

Gone Canyon II
The brand-new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups are still at least a year away, and there were no 2013 models produced — but there are still 2012 models sitting on dealer lots around the country. To be specific, there are fewer than 1,000 Colorados and fewer than 400 Canyons at dealers right now, all 2012s. The new ones are going to be bigger, more expensive and based on international models sold around the world; they may even feature a small diesel engine. Click here to see current Colorado inventory or here to see where the Canyons are.

 

Jeep Liberty

Gone Liberty II

It may not be a pickup, but it's still a fairly rugged go-anywhere, all-terrain hauler at least for a few more months. It will be replaced by the car-based Jeep Cherokee debuting at next week's New York International Auto Show. The 2012 Liberty ended production last year to allow the plant to prepare for the new product, so no 2013 models were made, but that doesn't mean there aren't some new 2012 models sitting on dealer lots. There are nearly 1,800 of them, in fact, waiting to hit the trails or at least trek to the local supermarket for milk. If you prefer your ride stiffer instead of something more sedan-like, find one of the last bastions of Liberty here.

 

Comments

The photo of the Avalanche shows a little four-wheeler stowed in the forward part of the bed. Versatility is a hallmark of the Avalanche/EXT model. It will be missed. I still want one.

I don't think I like to have that little four wheeler hopping into the front seat in a crash, however. At least with a traditional pickup, passengers are somewhat protected from payload shifting during hard braking or in a wreck. Not with the Avalanche. Not a good idea, IMHO.

One more for you. Enjoy. :)

I have a 2006 SV6 VE.
Last week the engine warning light came on. Today my brother in law brought around his Garmin GPS that has a ECORoute HD Diagnostics.
I have discovered that it has 2 error codes P0008 & P0017. My Car has 112000km on it and is out of Warranty, so looks like
I will be forking out $3000 for this repair. Will be talking to Holden Dealer first thing Monday.
Hopefully they can fix it before Christmas. Great Christmas present

Sorry wrong thread.

Actually the Avalanch/EXT is based off a Suburban and is one with the rear roof cut off and a midgate added, more so then a Silverado but they all share they same roots.

I won't miss any of them and wouldn't want to own any, save for the Equator. But that is easily remedied at the Nissan dealer.

Regarding the fourwheeler in the Avalanche, I would guess driving with the midgate down would have a similar effect that SUVs do when the rear window is open--it sucks in dirt while going down an unpaved road. There are many reasons why a cab is separate from the bed.

The Avalanche is based on the Suburban, not the Silverado. It is built alongside the Sburban and Yukon at the Silao Assembly plant in Mexico... that is why everything from the Front end, interior and tailights are Suburban sourced...Mark Williams, as an editor for Pickup Trucks, you should know this! I expect better knowledge and reporting, from a website that's only focus is trucks.

I won't miss any of the listed above,but I am anxious to see the new colorado/canyon and read the p
specs.I'm hoping for a 2.8L diesel as an option right from the get go...

This article basically breaks down into four vehicles as the Avalanche/Escalade EXT are essentially the same vehicle in the same way that the Canyon/Colorado are the same vehicle.

Of these four, they each have their reasons for existing and quite honestly I'm disappointed with losing the Avalanche and the Liberty--I nearly purchased one of either of these back in '02 but decided at the time that a Saturn Vue met my needs better for economy and reliability. That Vue is still on the road today with over 130,000 miles on it and driven by my father-in-law who is flat amazed at its economy compared to the Explorers/Suburbans he drove before. The 100 cu. ft. cargo capacity with flat floors when rear and passenger seat are folded has served him in good stead, too.

That said, @Papa Jim, if I remember correctly, the Avalanche has a barrier designed to prevent most cargo from sliding forward into the driver--I believe it's a steel plate (admittedly somewhat thin) that flips up when the back seats are folded down. My guess is that it's actually mounted on the bottom of those back seats. Since I didn't buy one, I don't remember the exact details. Honestly, the design is almost perfect for those who don't need a full-time pickup truck, which is why I'm amazed that full-on 4-door crew cab pickups have taken off as they have. I can only guess it's because the pickup carried a cheaper price tag and was perhaps a little more noise- and water tight even though you're left with a too-short bed on occasion.

The Liberty on the other hand, is/was a remarkable vehicle; definitely an apt replacement for the older Cherokee. Where I'm really miffed at Jeep is that they brought in the Patriot and Compass, that only barely qualify for the Jeep brand and would be barely capable on anything worse than a logging trail and perhaps not even capable there. The Liberty can at least handle more difficult un-tracked wilderness more readily.
* Ok, anyone who watches Top Gear will know that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May just took some ordinary (well, not really) station wagons across Africa and did remarkably well--as long as you also realize that the Subaru Impreza driven by Hammond pulled the other two out of mud more often than not.* While the Liberty would have been a much better choice (or even a Cherokee) it didn't fit the entertainment factor of the program. The Compass and Patriot might also have made the entire trip, I honestly don't know if they would have done as well. The three wagons used are (or were) noted for their reliability when new.

What I'm saying is that I at least will be missing the first and last 'trucks' in this list. I hope someone realizes that and brings their concepts back in a new vehicle.

@ DWFields: My wife and I bought a brand new 2001 Cherokee,the last of the 'good' Cherokees.It had the 4.0L I6,the standard 4 spd auto and rock solid 4wd.They were animals in their own right.The SFA was a blessing and was bullet proof.With over 180k trouble free miles we passed it on to one of our boys,and I bought my wife a new 06 Liberty CRD 4x4.The diesel/trans combo was awesome,the rest of it wasn't worth $hit as a 4x4.Nothing like what it 'replaced'.Where we used to go panning at,we couldn't get there with the libby in stock form.It had lost it's ability to take you comfortably off road.And I'm not talking rock crawling,just old mining and logging trails....with some washouts.We were very disappointed and got rid of it.Too bad too,30+mpg hwy with that crd,but that was all it was good for....sigh.

@dav I think you may have missed my point.

I really like the Avalanche and want to get one, but my point about the midgate was about passenger safety. Dust on a dirt road is something I can deal with. Trying to stop hard and having a 1000 pound toy trying to get into my back pocket at 60 miles per hour is another matter.

@Toxic Sludge
I bought a brand new 95 4.0 litre Cherokee Sports and it was the biggest nightmare I had ever owned. In the 15 months I owned it it spent 6 months in the workshop having waranty work done. That's why I'm still a bit cautious of anything related to Chrysler.

Just after I bought the Cherokee here came out with a 2.5 litre VM diesel. I took one for a test drive, and the amount of turbo lag was incredible under 1 500rpm. But once up and running it was very good.

If it was reliable it would have been an awesome vehicle.

When it was going it did very well at off roading and it was for its time reasonable on fuel.

I replaced it in 97 with a D20 Nissan Navara dual cab (Frontier). It had a 3.2 litre diesel non turbo and it was not as good off road, but it never broke down.


I can see the Izuzu based pickups going and they will be replaced with the new Colorado pickup, which is great. Especially if it comes as a diesel.

It would be nice if Izuzu brings over the new Dmax we have. It has its own 3.0 litre Izuzu diesel and looks better than the Colorado.

The market for each of the above was so insignificant that dropping them was the best option for their manufacturers in North America.

GM is hit the hardest by losing both the Avalanche line and the Colorado line, but neither of them were cashcows for GM. If they had been they would not be discontinued.

I'm sure that there are some people who will mourn their passing, but there won't be many. Each truck held a niche market so small that the other divisions within its parent company had to support these niches trucklets.

The only downside I see is that without competition, Toyota is in no hurry to upgrade or freshen its Tacoma line. And Jeep is bringing out a much better Italian-based Cherokee which is exponentially better than the old Liberty ever was, appealing to buyers on both sides of the pond.

The Avalanche was always redundant IMO since it is a Suburban with the rear quarter trimmed off to make a semi-bed. It was an absurdity designed to compete with the smaller, lighter and better engineered Honda Ridgeline.

I believe that none of the six trucks slated to disappear will even have a noticeable impact on the market.

@ Big Al from OZ: I would say the Jeep brand has good ones and bad ones,and I have had both.My last 'nightmare' Jeep was a new JK I bought in 08.It had major electrical and brake problems before I made it the 35 miles home from the dealer after picking it up.

I am hoping that the new Colorado will have a diesel option right away.It is the perfect size for our needs,and with the diesel could pull a good amount of weight when needed.I'm hoping that all the specs/trim levels/options will be announced at the NY auto show,which I think is this week.

The Colorado/Canyon will be back with a new truck, so they are not completely gone, just for now. The Suzuki Equator is a good truck, prefer the Equator grill to the Frontier grill. I think GM needs to offer a diesel with the Colorado/Canyon.

@highdesertcat ...and we all know how well the Honda Ridgeline is selling these days. That model will be on the NEXT list of Dinosaurs.

@DWFields

Regarding TopGear. Yes a Liberty would be better in pure more serious off-road conditions, but a WRX is a million times better and more fun everywhere else.

I have a WRX for my daily driver (although I have been riding my Concours 14 a lot since I just bought it), and in a single day, I have driven my son (on snow tires) to a friends house though deep mud and snow--while a Honda Civic was stuck on the same road, and ran home to change tires and then go to a Porsche Club of America autox and whip ass on all but 2 or 3 cars there.

If I could only own one vehicle, it would be a tough call between a 1/2-ton crew cab and a turbo Subaru.

@Papa Jim--The Ridgeline probably will be next, but it has grown on me and I like it. I do agree with you it sells in low numbers and will go the way of the Element.

@Jeff S -- I've heard rumors that Honda is planning a redesign of the Ridgeline for late 2014 or early 2015. I'm not a Ridgeline owner, but I think it's perfect for suburban homeowners who need a comfortable daily driver with a small bed. Most of the people I've talked to really like the idea of the Ridgeline and would be willing to buy one if the styling wasn't so odd and if it got better mileage. I hope the redesign, if it happens, addresses these common complaints.

@ToxicSludge
In Australia our Colorado can tow 3 500kg or about 7 800lbs. I hope the suspension on the back of the US Colorado will allow for that kind of weight to be pulled along.

The 2.8 GM diesel here is about 350ftlb of torque at the moment and around 185hp. It should be enough to move a lot of weight.

If you get the Caddy inspired 2.8 diesel I would expect a significant gain in hp and torque.

We had a few XJs here with issues. But I've heard they have gotten better. I did consider the new Grand Cherokee with the VM diesel, but went the way of the Mazda pickup with the 3.2 Duratorque.

Papa Jim | Mar 24, 2013 6:39:33 PM, yeah, I'm not a fan of the Ridgeline and I wouldn't buy anything other than a full-size pickup truck, a half-ton or better, but I will say that the people who own the Ridgeline, love them.

In my area that's mostly the ladies and old men. I know several old men who traded their S-10 or Ranger for a Ridgeline because a light-duty compact four-door truck is really all they wanted or needed. The Avalanche was just too cumbersome for them.

Yet, I have seen ladies drive a Ridgeline with one-horse trailers behind them when they attend the barrel races at the County Fairgrounds. The Avalanche was just too unwieldy for them.

I'm sure there will be some tears shed when the Ridgeline is discontinued. And the Ridgeline's AWD is not nearly as clunky as the 4X4 system on the Avalanche.

To be sure, some fans will miss these six trucks that will be dropped, but its effect on total sales will be negligible.

@Dav
Here is an article on a Subaru Forester boxer turbo diesel we get. You might be interested in a read.

The journalist is obviously Subaru leaning.

I think they are returning about 40mpg average.

http://www.caradvice.com.au/69601/subaru-forester-2-0d-review-diesel/

I understand why some of these trucks are not going to be produced anymore. But i dont understand why the Cadillac Escalade EXT and the Jeep Liberty are going to be gone. I thought people liked those models.

I would have to agree with most of the comments mentioned about the Colorado in particular, GM dropped the ball on that truck years ago from it's initial introduction which did not allow it to stand up against the competition and the overall lack of refinement well after, the V8 that was later added as an option did not do it much good either, so with many years that have past by with the same old sheetmetal, it's about time that we will have something new to look foward to here pretty soon.Say By By to primitive........

As previously mentioned - the Avalanche is based on the Suburban.
@Papa Jim - the box and cab on a pickup isn't as strong as you think. I've seen unsecure snowmobiles have their ski's go through the cab in crashes, and a few times with guys full of wobbly pops being too aggressive when loading their sleds. Quads can leave some good dents into the cab if unsecured. I seen one pickup involved in a severe crash have a large fuel tank cave in a good 12 inches of cab on a regular cab pickup.
If you are hauling something in the box, whether it is an Avalanche or pickup, it should be anchored down.

The Avalanche was always redundant IMO since it is a Suburban with the rear quarter trimmed off to make a semi-bed.

- How is that any different from any other Chevy truck going back 100 years? The Suburban was always a truck with essentially a topper welded on and an extra seat. Their biggest mistake here was not keeping it that way. The current Avalanche was FAR better looking than the current Silverado. The problem was, it wasn't a Silverado. I personally feel this mistake was on par with yanking the SFA from their 2500 and up trucks. They screwed up big time. The Avalanche as a Silverado would have given the F-150 a run for it's money.

I, too, would love to see the Avalanche continued; though for me I'd prefer it to be about 1/3rd smaller in nearly every dimension. I would have purchased a Baja rather than my Wrangler in '07, but Subie had already dropped the model. Don't get the kind of economy I had with the Vue, but it can darn well go anywhere I want it to go.

As an owner of a used 2002 Avalanche z71, I can't be happier. This thing does it all. It hauls, tows, seats 5-6, 4x4, 8 foot bed WITH a secure cover. I know a couple of guys with the 2500 and they say that that will tear the house off the foundation if needed. To me, this defines SUV.

Other than the removable bulkhead, how is the Avalanche much different that most crew cab pickups with 5.5 boxes? It has a 63" floor before dropping the midgate. That would be a 5.25 ft box instead of 5.5 ft. When one looks at it that way, wouldn't one be better off with the Avalanche? It seems odd that the marketplace preferred it the other way around.

The company announced that Avalanche production would end after the 2013 model year, and has offered a special Black Diamond Last Edition, the only way the 2013 model is offered. If you're interested in a new Avalanche, you may want to find your Chevy dealer soon; there are fewer than 7,500 of them in inventory around the country, and production is set to end before May.

@Lou. are you really saying that you didn't get my point? I don't want that four wheeler trying to get in the front seat with me if I slam on the brakes. I have been driving trucks for almost fifty years and I realize that you can never be too safe when it comes to securing a load. I delivered a really big spool of wire rope to a ship once and that damn thing smashed the bulkhead when I hit the brakes. Walked away but it wasn't pretty no sir!

@Papa Jim - I'm just saying that a cab and a box between the driver and the load isn't much safer than what we see in an Avalanche with the bulkhead down if the load isn't secured.

There is a huge difference between a 800 lb quad and a spool of wire. I've seen many logging trucks with crushed cabs due to load shifts in a crash. Many guys would prefer to take their chances jumping out of the truck than going over the bank with a load of logs.

With that being said, I'd rather have a pickup cab and box between me and the load. I had a van for a few years and it sucked having the load right behind you. More so due to the inside of the vehicle smelling like your last load. That was okay if one was carrying lumber all the time but not so good with 2 big wet muddy dogs, or a load of soil, sand or garbage.

I love the styling of the liberty. I would have been interested in on if they had a bit more ground clearance, v8, lockers, conventional and a manual tranny. Tall order But it would be the best suv in my eyes.

We love our 05 CRD Liberty. Priced the new 4WD Grand Cherokee with a diesel engine, close to 50K.
I'll wait till the smaller pickup's come out next year with their diesel engines.

I suspect these new Colorado/Canyons will be watered down in the sense no V8 will be available like the current models. Of course, that hasn't made them outsell the Tacoma. I hope they at least put in a V6 with maybe the 300 hp in other GM V6s.

Adios Amigos..Wish these Particular Trucks & Suv's Never Came Out in the First Place, Good Luck for Next Time, Over & Out, Jim :(

Adios Amigos..Wish these Particular Trucks & Suv's Never Came Out in the First Place, Good Luck for Next Time, Over & Out, Jim :(

.............

I really like the Liberty.
I put my Daughter in one when she went to school.
It has been trouble free, solid & rattle free.
Going to miss the trucklike feel when the replacement comes.

Load going through the mid-gate...lol...you're legally required to sufficiently secure your load. Go spend $30 on a couple ratchet straps.

I used both a Silverado and Avalanche as work trucks, and the Avalanche was far more effective, no question. Could fit a 4x8 in it with the gate down, lockable tool boxes built into the side, bed panels to secure tools in the back, a better turning radius, and the much better ride was appreciated when the worksites were a long drive away. It also was nicer to tow with.

Main downside was lower pay load, but it often was trailering anyways, and the dump trucks were doing the heavy hauling. The ugly plastic sides probably saved thousands in paint work too, they took an absolute beating. Not a huge fan of the 5.3/4-speed, but it was definitely the "swiss army knife" of our fleet.

The Avalanche is definitely the swiss army knife of trucks. What a great idea. I am actually considering buying one while they are still available. To the gent that claimed it was an answer to the better designed Ridgeline. Sorry but it preceeded the Ridgeline by 4 years. I'm afraid you have the story backwards.

As an Avalanche owner, i can honestly say i will miss this truck line. Ive owned many open-bed trucks in my time but this one takes the cake for what i need it for. With a small family, this trucks perfect for us hauling our camping supplies, fishing equipment and the dog while my wife and kids and I fit with more than enough room inside the cab. I have also strapped our Honda 4trax quad in the back with the tailgate down, no problem. Granted, 3 extra inches at the gate would have been awesome, but still being able to fit what i need was perfect. And Yes there is a steel plate on the underside of the rear seats so if you DID have to drop the mid-gate, the front passengers would be well protected. As a truck, mines lifted 6" with 35 inch tires and has performed off-road with no issues. Ive towed a few cars on trailers with it, and have seen no problems. So i have to say that, as a, "all-in-one" type of truck (SUT, sorry) it has more than fit the bill, and I for one, will miss it.



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