General Motors introduced a novel concept for 2002 with the original Chevrolet Avalanche sport utility vehicle/pickup crossover. A trick midgate could fold into the four-door cab, extending the cargo bed to the back of the front seats. It gave owners the best of both worlds: seating for up to six occupants or a long cargo bed when one was required — a combination that would require ungainly exterior dimensions if it weren't for the conversion feature. For 2008, the formula and options remain relatively unchanged, with the exception of standard side curtain airbags and new exterior colors.
Available with rear- or four-wheel drive, the 2008 model is based on the company's full-size truck platform. The Avalanche competes with full-size crew cab pickup trucks.
The 2008 Avalanche closely resembles the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe up front, though with an overall length of 221 inches it's nearly as long as Chevrolet's full-size Suburban SUV. The Avalanche's bed measures 5.3 feet long and has 45.5 cubic feet of volume — roughly equal to a four-door Dodge Dakota Club Cab. Second-row seats fold inward with the midgate to extend the cargo bed 35 inches, which puts total length on par with a long-bed Ford F-150.
Three trim levels are available: base LS, LT and top-of-the-line LTZ. Two new colors are available for 2008: Blue Granite Metallic and Deep Ruby Metallic. The Avalanche LS gets standard 17-inch alloy wheels. The LTZ upgrades to 20-inch wheels and an electronic continuously damping suspension, both of which are available on the LT. A Z71 Off Road package includes 18-inch wheels and an updated front face.
Two rows provide seats for up to six occupants. Interior styling cues echo the Tahoe and Suburban, with a curvaceous dashboard. The rear seats can fold to extend the cargo bed, but once the midgate is down there is no partition separating the driver and front passenger from the elements.
Luxury features in higher trim levels include leather seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control and power front seats. A navigation system and rear-seat DVD entertainment system are optional.
Under the Hood
An iron-block 5.3-liter V-8 that makes 320 horsepower and 340 pounds-feet of torque is standard, and an all-aluminum version that generates 310 hp and 335 pounds-feet of torque is available. Both engines are compatible with regular gasoline or E85 ethanol. A 6.0-liter V-8 engine that generates 366 hp and 365 pounds-feet of torque is available.
For increased fuel economy, all three engines feature cylinder deactivation, which automatically shuts down four cylinders during low-load driving situations like highway cruising. When properly equipped, the 2007 Avalanche can tow up to 8,200 pounds.
Side curtain airbags are now standard. All-disc antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with rollover mitigation are also standard. The rollover mitigation feature senses impending rollovers and can apply individual brakes in an attempt to stop them.
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||September 28, 2007|
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||August 1, 2007|
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