2013 Chevy Avalanche: The End is Here

Avalanche front II

The final announcement has been given — this will be the last year of the Chevy Avalanche, according to a recent press release issued by General Motors. The 2013 model year will be the end of the line for one of the first comfort-prioritized pickup truck derivatives. 

When introduced for the 2002 model year, nothing looked or acted like the Avalanche with its unique styling and segment-first midgate that broke through what was traditionally a solid wall between the bed and cab. Perhaps more important, its overall design changed the way truck buyers understood what kind of tradeoffs they had to accept. No longer did they have to view their pickup as a ride and comfort compromise. 

This new concept of a well-equipped light-duty four-door pickup that could tow, haul and carry the family attracted enough interest to produce as many as 93,482 sales in 2003, its third full year of production. Recognizing the appeal, other truckmakers began developing light-duty crew cab pickups as well. Now, nearly 65 percent of all light-duty pickup sales are trucks with four full-size doors, and the unique look, clever bed storage and removable hardtop just added to its tremendous flexibility. 

Through it all, the Avalanche retained a core of passionate fans who still appreciate its style, comfort and versatility. Two big highlights for the Avalanche include being named the 2002 Motor Trend Truck of the Year when first introduced and also the 2007 Truck of the Year by the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (the same year it released the new second-generation Avalanche).

The vehicle was originally offered in both half-ton and 3/4-ton configurations, but when the second-generation model was designed, GM could no longer afford to allow the low-volume option. Today, it is available in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD, and has always used the Suburban platform as its underpinnings.

Storage compartments alongside the bed area provide a good amount of usable and lockable storage with drains that can weep moisture in case the box is filled with ice and used as a drink cooler.

Avalanche NF front II

As noted, the Avalanche is based on GM’s full-size Suburban/Yukon XL SUV platform, offering a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds (3,674 kg). It is powered by the Vortec 5.3L V-8 with cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management technology and a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic.

In honor of this bitter/sweet celebration, GM is offering the 2013 Black Diamond special edition. The package will offer body-colored bed surrounds, unique badging, extra features on LS and LT models, and a lower overall price across the lineup.

“More than 580,000 Avalanches have been sold since its introduction in late 2001, and Avalanche has won major awards and recognitions throughout its run,” said Mark Clawson, Avalanche marketing manager.  “So it is only fitting that Avalanche retires on a high note.”

For 2013, a backup camera, rear park assist, power-adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start will be added as standard equipment on LS models, while LT models have added a standard backup camera. Base prices are reduced $2,500 (after equipment adjustments) with the 2WD Avalanche LS, which now starts at $35,980 (excluding $995 for shipping).

“Although Avalanche sales have tapered off in recent years, as crew cabs have grown to dominate Silverado sales, we know there are many Avalanche enthusiasts among Chevy customers,” said Clawson “The Black Diamond Avalanche is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and making it just a little more attractive to own one more Avalanche.”

Of course, just like the Avalanche is supported by the Suburban, which is soon to be redesigned with the new Silverado platform, so too is the Cadillac EXT on its way out. Steadily declining sales has made the Cadillac pickup truck the obvious candidate for removal from the lineup. Don't expect to see the EXT last beyond the 2013 model year either. 

Will there be something, somewhere in the GM truck linuep to take its place? We think it's much more likely GM will invest in more car-based fence-sitting models with smaller, more fuel-efficient engines that will still be able to carry a heavy load. With Mark Reuss at the helm (remember, he understands the Australian market quite well), we're guessing Chevy may try out some creative solutions — like the Avalanche was a creative solution 10 years ago — in the next several years. 

Avalanche 2001 intro II

The Avalanche was introduced at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a concept and was described as a no-compromise Chevy truck with a unique combination of configurable passenger and cargo space. Does anyone recognize the gentleman standing behind the passenger door? The production Avalanche was positioned as an Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV) when it went on sale in 2001 as a 2002 models. 

Avalanche Torch Relay II
A special Avalanche was equipped to protect and transport the Olympic Flame during the Torch Relay prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City; the relay covered more than 13,500 miles and passed through 46 states on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 8, 2002.

Avalanche 07 II
In 2006, Chevrolet introduced an all-new Avalanche with a fully boxed frame and redesigned suspension to deliver more refined ride and handling; a new Z71 off-road package was introduced and front featured special off-road tires, unique grille and fascia, an integrated front bumper winch and oversize tow hooks.

Avalanche Tibet II
Chevrolet teamed with outdoor outfitter North Face and offered a special edition Avalanche in 2002 that was used to transport a team of kayakers through the rugged terrain of the Himalayas to the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, where they successfully accomplished first descent of the most-feared whitewater on the planet.


Not everyones cup of tea. Although I dont see why this truck gathered so much hate. real transfer case option v8 decent towing sounds like a truck to me just more geared to hauling people and towing then using the bed. This would be the perfect everymans truck if gas where cheap. Since it aint people either opt for a non truck with good mpgs or go all the way and get a more traditional truck no space left for this RIP would never drive a GM but gotta respect what this truck was

@ moparman
the problem is that this aint a truck...its more like a suburban with the body cut in half.....reminds me of the k5 blazer or bronco 2

i think chevrolet needs to use the avalanche and redesing it as a baja pre runner like a Raptor Fighter or a Ram Runner...all i am saying this thing would look sweet with 35 inch tires and all the goodies.

it would put it in the same category as the raptor and ram runner but at the same time it would give it its own little spot light....

i do see a problem with it being a unibody but i bet it would work.....

Why is it suddenly not a truck because it's a Suburban with the back cut off? The Suburban is based on the Silverado in the first place. All three are fundamentally the same vehicle underneath. You get the GMC Truck Platform, in cargo, passenger or half-and-half.

And, second, why make it a pre-runner? It is literally the last vehicle that has any reason to be a pre-runner, because it was built to be literally the polar opposite of a pre-runner. I'd be better to build a pre-runner on the Honda Ridgeline name, because it's sold so poorly that they wouldn't need to worry about tossing away branding equity.

Third, why is everybody so hard-up to see Chevrolet build a pre-runner? The gimmick is up. There's nothing new they can bring to the table here. The Raptor has already made its money and splash in the marketplace. The Ram Runner is an enthusiast-only modification package-and offering the Ram Runner as a factory option would be worth the time.

The Avalanche, when it came out, was a great truck. It still is, it's just that all the benefits it brought-comfortable back seats, clever storage compartments, comfortable rides, useful gadgets and such-all filtered into the general marketplace. A 4-door Silverado does 90% of what an Avalanche does, a lot it doesn't and doesn't require the hundreds of millions of additional engineering investment. She's run her course, appreciate what the truck did for the market and let it go in peace.

It liked the styling but that's about it.
I think high gas prices killed this vehicle. The yuppies and
soccer mommies this was made for are buying more
economical vehicles.
Am easy fix would be to stick a diesel in it. There's a huge
market of guys who think they need 800 lb/ft of torque
to give their butt a ride to the golf course and who also
cannot do math.

My dad bought one new in 2002. He put a 6" lift and 35's under it and it was an awesome truck. I was 15 at the time when he had the lift on it and picked me up at school, the truck looked bad ass. He still has it 95,000 miles later and the engine and tranny are running great but it squeaks and rattles like crazy.

I never understood or liked that thing. Next, it's way overdue for GM to combine Chevy and GMC pickup lines. It's hard to understand the lunacy and cost of redesigning the next gen pickup for near identical pickup lines.

Glad to see the end of the poser. It is ugly and it is not a pickup/truck either.


I do believe we are 7 comments deep in article about a low selling truck coming to the end of it's line and not one shot at the Tundra. heh heh alright

The Gas price killed this truck, but it was a great run and i have to admit it was having great looks for a pick-up truck

It is a truck, just not a pickup truck.

I know some people treated the Avalanche as the red-headed step child, but this last generation looked great.
I looked at used ones but they're just priced way to high for my budget....

It'd be nice to see a smaller version based off of the forth coming Colorado platform (think overseas trailblazer platform). With a smaller price tag, and an ability to handle a AVT in the bed or seating for some friends the rest of the time, it might sell.

It's got a bed in which you can PICK things UP, so I would say it is a pick-up truck.

Hey Mark, I do not think the Z-71 package in 2006 included a "integrated winch" you are confusing this with the Power Wagon.

@JK -- Absolutely right. Might have been my wishful thinking there.

They were but- ugly when they first came out, but didn't look too bad after the most recent redesign... Still, these thing things (and the Ridgeline) were the answer to a question the market never really asked.

The Avalanche did two things that were amazing and state of the art. It had storage compartments on the side of the bed, which Ram has copied as the Rambox and is one of the most fantastic features I have ever seen on a pickup.

The other major feature they introduced was the folding midgate, which allowed people to either have a full bed or a full cab when needed, but allowed an overall smaller vehicle all the time. I do not understand for the life of me why this has not been repeated. A folding midgate would be a HUGE deal in the smaller trucks like the frontier and taco.

Er...that's "butt" ugly.

Need coffee...

I think if they lower the cost to 20,000 some grand instead of 30,000, they still sell well they just cost to much now.

hate to see it go

Shame to see it go. The 3/4 ton version was great. It was the only 4-door 3/4 ton pickup on the market that would fit in my garage.

Now I'm left waiting for a diesel 3/4 ton Suburban.

I really liked the idea of cross-bred anything with a pickup bed. El Camino, Rampage, Avalanche, Baja, Ridgeline, Ford E-Series van thing of the 60s with the drop-side bed. Of course like everyone else I like the full-bred pickup. I even had a remote-control version of the Ava when I was young. It was a fun trend while it lasted.

@fear the voices
"It'd be nice to see a smaller version based off of the forth coming Colorado platform (think overseas trailblazer platform). With a smaller price tag, and an ability to handle a AVT in the bed or seating for some friends the rest of the time, it might sell."

My thoughts exactly! And maybe a Ford Ranger crew cab for the Sport Trac fans. Wishful thinking. RIP to the Ava.

I'm sad to see it go. Although as I'm sitting here thinking of which truck I'll be getting next, it never seems to show up and stay on my radar. I see other decently equipped trucks in the upper $30k range which show up as weekend specials for +/- $30k in the paper. I can't get over similarly equipped Avalanches for $40k+. Sad that GM has to price them high and without incentives to not cannibalize Silverado sales.

Not my cup of tea either but those who own them seem to really like them. I have to admit the 2nd generation had a better front end. If they could transplant this front to the redesigned Silverados and clean the sides up this would greatly improve Silverados looks. This product has probably run its life cycle. GM would be better served to improve their body hardware, upgrade the interiors and put soft touches on the doors, and come up with more efficient power trains. Hopefully that is what GM will do

I have wanted an Avalanche ever since I first saw the concept model. I still don't have one, but once my wife's car is paid off, I plan on picking up a used one. I disagree with GM killing these off. I think if they made them look more like the trucks than the Tahoe/Sub, and brought the price back to reality, they could still sell well. I love the idea of the midgate, and hope they carry that over to another model (maybe on Colorado platform?) and bring back the Avalanche some day. I know 3 people that have Avalanches, and they all love it. My friend's father is on his second one, and he used to be a Ford guy!
Instead of killing it off, they should've based it off the truck chassis, soften the suspension settings slightly, brought the price down for the Chevy, kept the Caddy, and build a GMC version at the current Avalanche's price point.
This, the Volt and the Camaro are the only GMs I'm even remotely interested in, and I've been die-hard GM all my life. They killed Pontiac (you bastards!), none of their sedans offer AWD, they have no serious off-road capable trucks or SUVs anymore (Hummer is gone, they don't make a ZR2 Colorado, and the Z-71 package is lacking), and now this? Seriously, GM is now second on my list of favorites. Chrysler is bumping up quality and mileage, so I'm bumping them up to the top of my wanted list.

It's refreshing to see a momentary pause in the Fiat truck articles so we can get back to blitching over how the avalance sucks or doesn't suck.


man I hate Tundras. sorry 5.3, late to the party. busy day.

For slightly more price, you can get a Suburban (3 row seating) which can do everything Avalance can, but not the vice versa.

Infact Tahoe which also provides 9 seater configuration and should be good amidst rising gas prices.

I thought 2012 was it for the Avy? Doesn't calling 2013 The End represent an extension of sorts? Must have missed a memo...

Quote"Why is it suddenly not a truck because it's a Suburban with the back cut off? The Suburban is based on the Silverado in the first place. All three are fundamentally the same vehicle underneath. You get the GMC Truck Platform, in cargo, passenger or half-and-half."
You answered your own question there - GMC truck platform.

It's confirmed that they will no longer build this.

The first Avalanche was the most Horrendous looking vehicle from GM since the Aztec.. What an Ugly Ugly vehicle. That's why I hated those 03-06 Silverado's. They looked just like it. RenCen was high on something the day they designed that mess. The new one looked good. Like the Tahoe in the front and I love the Tahoe! It still had that goofy Ridgeline look in the back though. I think the Silverado should have looked like the Tahoe (like they Always did before) and just made a better rear half for it. Either way, I'm glad the Avalanche is gone. It was a dumb idea from day one. Now if they'd just dump the Sierra and make one Chevy truck.

If they could transplant this front to the redesigned Silverados and clean the sides up this would greatly improve Silverados looks.

-Exactly! Like I said, this Should have been the Silverado. What a Huge mistake GM made. Complete morons..

I have a 2011 and had a 2009 love the whole thing wish it would stay, may have to trade for the black diamond edition. have to see what it will look like first hope something else comes out like it in a few years.

They should've pushed a camper-shell, carpet-kit, 3rd row seat option. Then you could have your truck and haul the entire family too. Just convert it back to a truck on Saturday to haul the dirt bikes to the track.

Ironic that it's the last year of the Ridgeline too.

The first vehicle of its kind. The only pickup consumer reports ever recognized. The most innovative vehicle in its class and GM is letting it go. It really boggles the mind. This is a absolute true winner and should be produced in the new chassis. I REALLY HOPE GM DOES NOT STOP PRODUCING THE AVALANCHE.

Only Pickups with long cargo bed and meant to carry heavy stuff need a Truck Chassis. A vehicle like Avalanche dont need truck chassis at all.

Of late, Vans like Nissan NV and Ford Transit are coming which has much higher volume and lot more functional. Better to buy those. Adios Avalanche.

@Dennis.... I'm with you. This thing should of followed the ugly Aztec to it's grave. Good riddance.

The Avalanche and its pricier Cadillac twin may become much sought-after relics after its demise. It has its fans and it filled a hole in the niche market. Bigger than the Ridgeline but not quite up to a 4-door Silverado, it may very well have been the 'truck' that Cadillac-luxury buyers were looking for. But very few people actually committed money to buy one of these. The end of an era as yet another model is phased out of GM's line-up.

@DennisScarborough-If GM reads these blogs there is still time to incorporate the front end and side treatment into the Silverado in their redesigns. Also add some soft touches to the doors and dash, improve the front end suspensions, and make more efficient drive trains. If they did all these things and add a premium trim package to Chevy to compete with Ford and RAM then they would be competitive regardless if they killed or did not kill GMC. It would not even cost them that much but it would keep them competitive. Come on GM make some changes soon before its too late. Let's see some competition.

I would not buy a pickup where the bed is integrated into the body, it's obviously not designed to carry the loads of a separate bed. The GMC Sierra All-Terrain can take its spot now.

@DinnisS & jackalope, ...As ugly as the Aztec? You must be thinking of the 2002 w/plastic body cladding all around and no resemblance to the Suburban/Tahoe.
As bad as it looked a decade ago, nothing is as ugly as the Aztec!
GMC had their version of this design concept. It had power sliding doors with integrated steps that folded up to become part of the door. (the cut-out impression on the '02 Ava's bodycladding was a nod to this step) The front doors moved forward and the rear ones slid back for complete access/egress. I thought it had potental but it must have had some flaws.
I think they have decided the B pillar is essential to the integrity of the cab. The spy shots of the new ext. cab Silverado looks like the suicide doors are history too.

I wasn't a huge fan of the original Avalanche styling but the current model just looks plain and boring in comparison to the original. The original looks much tougher.

Hey Mark! Would that happen to be Mike Levene standing behind the passenger door????

@Brent -- Excellent eye. You are exactly correct. PickupTrucks.com's creator and relentless truck enthusiast Mike Levine was immediately on hand picking and poking through the details of the Avalanche when it was first introduced at NAIAS. That was also the same year we saw the GMC Terradyne, Chevy SSR, Dodge Maxxcab, and VW's very-Amarok-looking turbodiesel V-10 AAC concept. That was a good year for pickups.

I am on my 3rd Avalanche. Just bought a 2012 diamond white with color components. Absolutely love these trucks. I for one will miss them greatly. To the guys that know about the tow hooks, my 2003 had them.What am I missing? Anyhow, to those of you that have never driven one, don't say bad things about them. They are absolutely great.

I just purchased my 2nd Avy. The first was the 02' with the cladding. I had 175k with no problems. yeah if you want the plain jane pick up that everyone has, buy a pick up. Show me a 4 door truck that I can fit a 4x8 sheet of anything in and still close the tailgate on and have it covered? the truck was so ugly, Honda (of course) made a feeble attempt to copy it. So enjoy your boring pickups that ride rough with nothing in the box. YUCK!

For all you haters out there.... You don't know what you are talking about!

I know you have never owned or driven an Avalanche. If you did, you would have a different attitude.

I am a Contractor. I can keep my tools safe and secure while picking up supplies at the store. I can put 2x4's in my truck, with my tools, and not have anything sticking out of the bed if I need to go to another store.

I can load 4x8 plywood and drywall along with my tools, all safe and secure if I need to make other stops.

I have towed more tear down material to the dump than you can imagine. My Avalanche has been so dirty, I thought it would never come clean, but she always cleans-up like new and returns to being as classy as any luxury car out there!

I have owned two Avalanches since their introduction. The only reason I have owned two was because the first one was totaled in an accident. While I was waiting for the insurance claim to settle, I rented a Silverado. It was a nice truck, but it just didn't work for me.

Both Avalanches have gone over 120000 miles without a lick
of trouble!

I know of two people who have purchased an Avalanche after driving in mine. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who rides in my Avalanche comments on how nice a ride it has and how classy it looks.

I have truly enjoyed being the owner of two Avalanches, and appreciate how well they performed in my work life... And my personal life!

For this Contractor.... The Chevy Avalanche will be sorely missed!

I thought the Avy was butt ugly when it came out, but I also liked the commercials where they were having fun with it offroad, and it converted into a full length truck bed. Change for a dollar?

Then a few years ago I was driving an old Wrangler and got married, bought a house, got a dog... The Jeep was paid for so I kept it, but I needed something bigger.

I saw that the Avalanches were getting to be 8 or 9 years old and less than $15k used in the classifieds. I went and bought a 2002 after work the same day.

I sought out the Z71 on purpose in case I ended up taking it on mountain roads out west, I like to drive 4x4 trails. Since then I can't believe I ever lived without it. My wife is a little gal and she loves to drive the Big Red Truck. It is the cladded model. I think it looks tough and classy, the V8 is awesome, and I love the 4 speed auto. I hauled my V-twin cruiser in the back to OBX from Ohio and it drove like a dream. Drove the Avy on the Corolla beach road with the tires aired down and saw the wild horses. We have made so many other great memories driving this truck. We are going to keep it going for a long time. Who knows maybe eventually I'll try the newer model.

I wasn't a huge fan of the original Avalanche styling but the current model just looks plain and boring in comparison to the original. The original looks much tougher and good.

God Bless my 2011 White Diamond LTZ with Chrome Package!

Say it ain't so, Chevy.

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