2011 Avalanche LT
The Avalanche is a great combination of SUV and truck. It's the perfect fit for those that need a truck part of the time and and SUV part of the time. The exterior is a nice cross between ruggedness and class. It's a very clean look and many people have told me how sharp the truck looks, especially with the 20" polished rims. The interior is much nicer than would normally be associated with a truck. The seats are comfortable and supportive, even on long trips. We took a 13 hour trip in our Avalanche and there were no aches that are usually associated with a long trip. The Avalanche can be optioned with most of the amenities in the Chevrolet parts bin. The Nav system is a wonderful addition along with the XM radio with traffic alerts. It displays traffic alerts on the Nav screen when it receives them so you can make changes accordingly. The Rear seat DVD player can keep the kiddies occupied but it does impair the view through the rear view mirror. The backup camera and rear sensing system are a must as rear vision throughout the vehicle is limited. The Avalanche handles much better that a vehicle of this size should. Even my wife, who is not a fan of large vehicles, likes to take the Avalanche when she goes shopping. Fuel mileage could be better but it is much better than you think. 21 MPG on a long trip isn't bad for a vehicle that weighs 5500 pounds. Is it expensive? Yes, about $3K more than a comparable Silverado but it's the cost of flexibility. How many Silverado's can carry 5 people or an 8x4 sheet of plywood? This is my second Avalanche and I have been happy with both. There are rumors that there will be no next generation Avalanche after the current model. I hope not, this truck fits my family perfectly.
2011 Avalanche LTZ
Purchased a new 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ 4 wheel drive in Taupe Gray. The Avalanche is the prefect blend of a truck and a SUV. Exterior - The LTZ adds just enough chrome to accent the muscular appearance of the vehicle without making it seem gaudy. The 20 inch rims are wrapped in massive 275/55/20 all season rubber. The paint samples in the brochure do not do this vehicle justice. Spend time driving to dealers and look at all the colors in person. The color we choose looks nothing in person like the little color swatch on the brochure. For example, the Taupe Gray is very deep with hints of light blue and red metallic flack, that pops out in direct sunlight and looks fantastic with the Avalanche appearing to change color depending on the lighting. Interior - The LTZ package gives you the impression you are in a luxury car. The heated and cooled seats are a wonderful touch. The interior is very spacious. The "fun and sun" package includes a sunroof and rear seat DVD player is worth every penny. The gauges are well thought out and the drivers information center displays a lot of useful data like trans temp (when towing), average fuel economy, instant fuel economy (v8 and v4 mode), trip, oil life and engine hours. From the drivers seat you have a commanding view of the road. It should be noted that rear visibility is lacking but is easily rectified with the back up camera and auto tilt side mirrors that angle down to show you the parking lines and curb when backing up. The back up camera is a must for a person not accustomed to driving such a large vehicle. The back seats fold down and the entire rear of the vehicle opens up to extend the rear bed into the interior compartment. Another nice feature is the rear window and be removed to allow for an almost convertible feel when all the windows and the sunroof is open. The drivetrain is similar to that found in the Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban. The 5.3L V8 provides enough thrust to adequately accelerate onto the freeway. The towing capacity, while less than the Silverado (9,600 vs. 8,100) is still more than adequate when equipped with the HD trailer package. The 6 speeds automatic is geared well to the intended application but the shifts are lazy at best. The "air ride" suspension that is standard on the LTZ soaks up the bumps and dips with ease and allows for load leveling when hauling a heavy load. The 4 wheel drive system gives you a 2 Hi, 4 Auto, 4Hi, & 4Lo options. All these systems work flawlessly when called upon. Gas mileage (15 City and 21 highway) is not bad as most people would think given all the utility this vehicle as to offer and the amount of weight this vehicle carries. The instant fuel economy gauge goes a long way in helping you adjust your driving style to achieve your best MPG. On an extended highway trip the 31 gallon fuel tanks makes it so you'll need to stop for a bathroom break before you need to fill up again. Price is a little on the high side but if you time your purchase right (like waiting for a "Truck Month" promotion) you can easily purchases these vehicles for thousands below MSRP. Bottom line: This is a vehicle your family will fall in love with.