By on April 13, 2012

Chevrolet announced that production of the Avalanche pickup will come to an end in 2013 – and there’s no replacement in sight. Ironically, the Avalanche was a victim of its own success.

GM’s Tom Wilkinson told Automotive News that

“As the crew cab pickup became an increasing part of the light duty market, Avalanche sales have really been tapering off…”We have a very passionate following but unfortunately it’s not large enough to make a strong enough business case to do a next generation Avalanche as part of the next generation full-size truck program.”

Crew cabs apparently make up 65 percent of the truck market, and it’s difficult to justify buying an Avalanche when a full-size crew cab is available. Nevertheless, I personally have a soft spot for these cars – a friend has a 2008 in midnight blue with the 6.0L V8 and all the bells and whistles. It’s a lovely truck, though I can’t recall him ever using the Midgate. Chevrolet will release a special edition, dubbed the Black Diamond, to commemorate the Avalanche’s departure from the lineup, in the 2013 model year.

No word on the fate of the Cadillac Escalade EXT. One can only assume that it would disappear along with its platform-mate.

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89 Comments on “Farewell, Chevrolet Avalanche...”


  • avatar
    Sundowner

    crew cabs, eh? Crew Cab trucks have really become the redneck sedan of our generation.

    • 0 avatar
      dpeppers

      Aren’t you cool.

      • 0 avatar
        Sundowner

        I’m sorry, did I insult your crewcabduramaxdieselalisontransmission grocery getter?

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I agree with Sundowner if only because buying a huge truck to drive yourself, a woman in her mid 40′s, and a small dog to the grocery store is the stupidest idea in the world. A small CUV would accomplish the same goal, probably offer more versatility (with a larger covered cargo area), get better gas mileage, be cheaper, up until recently offer a nicer interior, etc.

        We looked at a 2012 Ford Escape for the missus (who will be purchasing a small CUV in a year or two’s time) and given a 2 year old, 33k mile Escape XLT can be found locally for $16,000, my guess is a 2012 will be able to be found in ’13 or ’14 for around the same price. Super cheap vehicle, decently (mid 20′s average) gas mileage, really versatile, not much bigger in overall dimensions than my 2012 Focus, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Judging over teh internets doesn’t insult anyone but your own intelligence. Get over yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhender

      Why cant people just drive what they want? I run a business,I drive a crew cab truck, an Audi A8L, A Lexus And a 650 Hp Camaro race cars and a bunch of motorcycles and atvs which cost more than most people cars . If i can afford them why in the world would you even care. You can drive your junk and i will drive Mine.

      • 0 avatar
        Roberto Esponja

        Amen!

      • 0 avatar
        VanillaDude

        If you don’t need a vehicle like this, then don’t buy one. If you don’t think other people need a vehicle like this, then try living their life for a while before you criticize it.

        If you live large, you need a six seater pick up. If you don’t, you won’t understand. Boys don’t get it because they aren’t men.

        These vehicles are work tools. Insulting these vehicles simply displays ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        People CAN drive whatever can afford.

        What we’re debating here is whether or not they look like an idiot when they drive ostentatious vehicles that are poorly suited to their needs.

        I confess to some schadenfreude every time I see someone try to parallel park a nearly empty Hummer or an Avalanche in a tight city spot… :-)

        If you want to use the wrong tool for the job AND be respected for it, that’s just crazy.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Because if people “drove what they wanted” we would literally be in a world of less than 1 MPG tanks that trundled along at 80 MPH. The world is designed on compromise and since capitalism was entrenched around the time the automobile showed up in both of their modern forms we’ve got people who insist on buying a vehicle that gets less gas mileage than a military vehicle that can seat 8 comfortably and haul over 5 tons and yet still seat never more than 2 and haul nothing but groceries and the occasional lawn ornament.

        It isn’t about wealth (though arguably as a wealthy person I guess you want to make it so) it’s about conspicuous consumption. Largely that’s what the argument in these situations is always about. Much like how the argument about capitalism is rarely wealth itself, instead it is the distribution of such. I could personally care less about your fleet of vehicles and your seemingly obnoxious desire to flaunt them but people feel your conspicuous consumption is a direct attack on their personal esteem.

        Also as gasoline is a finite resource continuing the perpetuation of poor gas mileage vehicles hurts all of us as society. Which while it may not be a personal thing as much as a cultural thing each person counts and each time something of such poor gas mileage is purchased we as a society perpetuate the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhender

      Also if it is a heavy Duty truck these trucks usally have to work to justify the cost. They are way too expensive to run as a personal vehicle. I rarly use mine for personal stuff it is there to make money it is a tool to me

  • avatar
    Toad

    Hasn’t the Avalanche been Consumer Reports top rated full size pickup for years? The Avalanche is good looking and the single piece body is a good idea but it is hard to justify $50k+ for a half ton w/o diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      Rental Man

      +1 Toad about CR. I never understood how this could be their best full size truck, unless, like Derek you call it a car.

      • 0 avatar
        wagonsonly

        Yes. The same magazine that ranked the Subaru Baja the best compact pickup truck from 2003 to 2006. Best-in-breed – if you want a sedan with a pickup truck bed. (Full disclosure: My wife drives, and loves, an ’03 Baja – and for our needs it was a great replacement for her T100, but it sure doesn’t match the capability.)

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      An Avalance is just a Silverado pick-up with fancy-schmancy trim, how can it be “more reliable”?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    CAFE, I’m sure, might have something to do with it, too.

    Personally, I have no use for such a vehicle, but GM sure did a good job on this. I hope the next-gen pickups are better – efficiency-wise.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    For those of you who aren’t truck guys, here’s a video explaining what the “mid-gate” is all about. Pretty slick.

    edit: Sorry, forgot links are verboten. Just search Chevy Avalanche on Youtube.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      When these first came out, I was working at a dealership as a wash boy. It effectively gave you a 8′ bed. The early buyers of this truck would have lumber stowed through that mid gate and I would have to hand wash them rather than running them through the car wash. It’s sad to see this truck go. It was a great buy back when gas was cheap and the economy was booming. To me it represents worry free times in my life. Reality is a PITA.

  • avatar
    Dan

    It’s not the crew cab pickup that makes the Avalanche hard to justify. It’s the $5-7,000 premium over the crew cab pickup.

    If I were going to spend $40,000 on a crew cab truck I wouldn’t look at the oldest one on the market. And I certainly wouldn’t look at the oldest one on the market with the weakest motor.

  • avatar
    loj

    “…it’s difficult to justify buying an Avalanche when a full-size crew cab is available”

    Three reasons come to mind:
    1) Size. The Avalanche is around 8 inches shorter than a half ton crew cab truck, so it’s more likely to fit in the garage.
    2) Ride. The Avalanche’s control arm rear suspension is far superior to the pickup’s Conestoga, err, Hotchkiss drive leaf spring setup.
    3) Styling. This one’s subjective, but the Avalanche has suffered less from the creeping machismo that has infected trucks the last few years.

    The Avalanche is a nice truck, but I suspect there’s a good deal more profit margin in the half ton crew cabs.

  • avatar
    Suter

    Ehh, that’s a bummer. I was planning to get one in few years.

    I think this kind of “truck” (same as Honda’s Ridgeline) are way better option for homeowners than a full or midsize trucks. They are perfect for HomeDepot trips and more “car like” than actual trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      slowcanuck

      When I moved last winter I borrowed my brother-in-laws’ Avalanche for a couple of weeks.

      It was a great tool. I was able to carry long scrap pieces of wood in the back with the mid-gate down. Once everything was unloaded, I flipped up the leather seats and the kids rode to school in comfort – the truck even had dvd players in it for longer road trips.

      I agree that if you “need” to buy a truck because you haul stuff once in a while, this is as good as any to go with.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry for praising anything GM, but IMHO Avalanche was not just the same, but a better option than the Ridgeline, because Ridge’s bed was far too short to be useful. It’s the cost and price that are killing it.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @suter: “I think this kind of “truck” (same as Honda’s Ridgeline) are way better option for homeowners than a full or midsize trucks. They are perfect for HomeDepot trips and more “car like” than actual trucks.”

      This is way better for a homeowner, especially in terms of performance per dollar, is your existing vehicle and this:
      http://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lb-capacity-48-inch-x-96-inch-heavy-duty-foldable-utility-trailer-with-12-inch-wheels-90154.html

      The whole system is likely to cost around $900:
      Trailer kit: $300ish
      Sheet of OSB: $9ish
      Trailer hitch for your car: $250ish
      Transmission cooler for your car: $250 (incl. installation)
      Wiring kit, ball, etc: $75
      Total: $884ish

      This is way cheaper than any pickup truck, especially $40k+ luxury trucks. It’s also much more efficient for commuting. The true 4′x8′ bed isn’t available in all trucks, especially the Avalanche or the Ridgeline.

      Towing a trailer does have some annoyances, but for the kind of occasional use that most homeowners do, but that’s a minor penalty for saving a ton of money on both the vehicle and on commuting-gas. If you do “truck stuff” a couple of times a week, though, then a truck makes more sense than this setup.

  • avatar
    86er

    The Avalanche was based on the Suburban, so I hope this doesn’t mean the impending demise of the Suburban as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I remember hearing many moons ago that the Traverse and its siblings were intended to replace the Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon. Obviously that didn’t happen… although now gas prices are rising…

      • 0 avatar
        johnhender

        i know so many people with the Suburban/tahoe they would be really dumb to leave that part of the market. They are great for towing. If you take care of them they will last forever a guy i know still runs one from 1982 with no issues

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    Next up on the chopping block…….the Honda Half-alanche.

  • avatar
    redliner

    I have to say, while I was never really impressed with the Avalanche, I understand why it was a great choice for some people. A friend of mine had a Cadillac EXT version of this, and it was a thoroughly comfortable, somewhat stylish, thirsty, road trip/home depot machine. I can’t really explain why, but I will miss it when it’s gone.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The reality is thy just don’t offer the versatility of a crew cab pick-up. No doubt they ride nicer and I think they look better. My buddy has an ’07, it’s nice and the GMT-900 chassis is awesome for towing. But you can’t get a snowmobile in the back so it was my crew cab PU that we took on our trip out west this year. It meant we were able to take 1 instead of 2 vehicles. I also wouldn’t drop a 3500 lb pallet of pavers in the back of one and then hook a trailer up to it like I’ve done with my PU.

  • avatar
    roger628

    Boo Hoo!
    What are successful Alberta oil patch meth dealers going to drive now?

  • avatar

    He’s right about the passionate following. Many of the people who do own these love them, and don’t know what they’ll get when it’s gone. I foresee very high resale values, especially for the 2013s.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Michael you are so right. A lot of posters certainly do not understand the 1/2 million owners of Avalanches in North America and the incredibly loyal following of their owners.

      During the opening years of Operation Desert Storm the 3/4 ton versions were huge favorites of private security firms due to their reliability, ability for the stock suspension to take the up armor needed for convoy private security, the bed for being able to mount a .50 caliber machine gun and chair, and the features of the GM drive train. The 5.3 and 8.1 can lose all its coolant and still run wide open for 50 miles. Even if the engine or tranny over heats the system protects itself and allows continued mobility. That is absolutely critical in a combat situation to get out of the kill zone.

      We were very proud of the Avalanches serving in Iraq and the pictures we would get (completely with CAFCNA stickers on the back glass). I know of one 3/4 ton that was blown up by an IED. The crew received only minor injuries, the Avalanche was repaired and put back into convoy service. We did lose two members – they were captures and beheaded.

  • avatar
    replica

    I got hit by a drunk driver in an Avalanche.

    It felt like an Avalanche.

  • avatar
    agroal

    Typical of the old GM: Name a vehicle after a natural disaster. When the 1st. gen. of this truck appeared I was turned off by it’s ungainly looks, cheap plastic interior, and gutless,(for it’s size and weight)fuel sucking V8. I also wondered what those acres of cheap, black colored plastic cladding on the bed, fenders, and sides would look like after just a few years. Just as I had suspected: Acres of cheap, sun-faded, light charcoal colored plastic cladding. In my thoroughly unscientific research I have never seen one of these things with anything visible in the bed. I don’t tow a boat or motor home so my daily driver is my 2nd. utterly reliable Toyota Tacoma. A 2011 Access Cab 4 cyl.5sp.manual 4X4.($27K) It’s used as a truck. I prefer a scalpel over a machete’ approach. The Toyota’s body panel gaps, build quality, refinement, and interior fit & finish are closer to Lexus than GM’s $60K+ trucks. That’s my opinion. I could be wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Unless you drive like 150k miles per year, to say your 2011 anything is “utterly reliable” is silly. Good for you that you don’t tow. Some people do. Didn’t the plastic cladding go away after the first year? I actually own a Toyota and truth be told, an Avalanche would probably be more practical than my thirsty truck.

      And 27k for a 4cyl. 5 speed?! I could get a couple Rangers for that and put one away for when the first wore out.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        You do pay more for a Toyota. Up front. These aren’t urban myths about the overall durability and reliability of Toyota trucks. I bought my first one on other’s recommendations. I bought my new one because of my own experience. I didn’t have any problem paying perhaps $1500-2000 or so more for a Toyota. They’re just better made, better thought out trucks. Is your point that I could have bought a GM reg. cab 2wd with a V8 & power nothing for $27K? No thanks. Over 40% of the mid-size truck market buys the Tacoma. There is a reason that the Ranger, Dakota, Suzuki Equator (all six of them),and very soon the Canyon, and Colorado are history. You’re correct. I could have bought “a couple” of Rangers. If I wanted a couple of trucks still sold as brand new that can’t compete, with outdated engines, 1990 style interiors that first went on sale during the Carter administration(almost!)My point about towing is that most people in Avalanches don’t tow nor do they use the bed as a truck either.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        I have two words for you: Toyota Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        You could have gotten a Chevy or GMC Worktruck for far less than 27K, just as you described.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        I say suggesting that someone needs to drive 150k mile a year on their car to prove it’s reliability is silly. My definition of utterly reliable is based solely on my experience with my 2000 Tacoma. 198,000 miles when I sold it. Normal maintenance and a new oil pan. That’s it. And it’s still being used as a daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      You are wrong. The panel gaps on the latest generation of GM truck are first rate. I would put them on par with a Lexus. Previous versions looked like the body panels were thrown on by a drunk from 3 feet away. Perceptions about GM products die hard.

      The Avalanche will be missed.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        jjster6- With your praise, you damn them. Any company that previously screwed their customers by slapping on body panels like a drunk from 3 feet away will never call me a customer again. My last two GM’s were from way back. An ’83 Camaro and an ’88 Trans-Am. They were slow, unreliable shit boxes right from the factory. Perceptions do die hard. Especially after import manufacturers go all out by making a better product. GM’s current lineup is very competitive and nicely styled. But after taking customers for granted for so long why should I give them another look?

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Typical of the old GM: Name a vehicle after a natural disaster.”

      I suppose that’s because they bowled over the competition?

      Sorry, that’s the best line I’ve got, but, hey, it’s Friday! ;}

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Tacoma is and was, the best mid-size truck in America, but the Big 3 really let their smaller trucks die because the sooner they went away, the better. They were a low profit liability in their day, and also cannibalized their extremely profitable full-size truck lines. You’ll notice Toyota doesn’t have that quandary. Letting a line of cars languish, except for minor updates (once they decide to killing it) is pure profit (comparatively) even if it cannibalizes.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Well if we are going to base it on personal experience, Id have to disagree. My old 1988 Ford BroncoII (Ranger underneath) with 325k is still on the road. My 93 Landcruiser is still on the road too, but its 250k original motor is on its way to the chinese smelter after a catastrophic failure.

      I like the Tacoma, but I don’t feel it is significantly any better than the competition. Its not really in the Rangers class anyway though…A new Tacoma is significantly larger. I think that folks who buy Tacomas because they are so much more reliable than the competition are buying based on the reputation of the old Hi-Lux trucks. The Tundra has been far from trouble free.

      And I don’t see how a 1 year old anything should be anything but reliable. 1 year old Yugos were probably somewhat reliable.

      I like the concept of the Avalanche though. Lets me have a truck when I need it and 4 doors when I need them. I wish the concept would live on in some sort of work truck type trim rather than the felly loaded versions that seem to abound.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        mkirk: All due respect but your feelings about the Ranger are just that: your feelings. By any objective measuring stick Toyotas are way ahead as far as durability and reliability.I loved my 2000 previous gen mini truck. Same size as the Ranger. But the market moved on and up and for me to buy a new Tacoma meant now its midsize.The 2011 is improved in every way. As far as the Tacoma’s competition sit inside each of them. The difference is clear.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    These aren’t bad rigs really, but you will need your own bailout from the Government if you need any kind of replacement body panels for these things, especially the plastic bed panels.

    Low volume production runs for plastic pieces are just as expensive as they are for steel body panels, and by expensive, I mean REALLY expensive.

  • avatar
    naterator

    I guess the d-bags in my area that set these on chrome 22s and wear their hats sideways will now have to get with the trend and buy an Audi.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    People love unique, specialty cars, but once their newness wears off and you’ve seen a 1/4 million of them (probably the same one’s over and over), you start to question their practicality. El Camino? That one went on a generation too long, but collectable though.

  • avatar
    probert

    Seems odd they couldn’t come up with a modern successor with all the intervening years since its introduction. Run it till it dies and then let it go – not much of a business model.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Smell ya later Avalanche.

    Does that mean there will be no chrome edition….errr….Cadillac Truck? I cannot say I would be the slightest bit sorry to see either go. I have always seen the Cadillac truck (I cannot even remember what it is called …XLT?) as holding Cadillac back from being a serious luxury contender.

    P.S. Love the redneck sedan comment. Sad, but true.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    ” They’re just better made, better thought out trucks.”

    No there not. I owned a Toyota truck for 11 years. They have their own set if problems. Not that they aren’t a good truck but spare me the crap about how much better they are than the domestics. I buy my trucks to tow and of the 4 I’ve owned(2 Chevs and a GMC) the Toy was the most diappointing from that perspective. When it was time to step up to a full size truck to pull my new boat I test drove a Tundra. But in the end the Chevy was the better truck. I’ll never go back to Toyota when it comes to a tow vehicle. For my money, GM does it better.

    • 0 avatar
      agroal

      I’m not trying to sell you any crap at all. I did preface my remarks by saying that I have a Tacoma. A mid-size. My 1st Tacoma was a compact. I don’t need to tow a boat or trailer regularly. I think midsize trucks offer 90% of what full size pick up buyers will ever need. V8 engines are a luxury unless you must tow. I hope you aren’t comparing the last gen Tundra to GM’s current full size trucks. Apples and cumquat’s. Point being: how many clueless housewives drive these tanks as their family haulers when a sensibly sized (engined) vehicle would do? Consumer Reports (yeah I know they seem like a prickly school teacher) and every other reliability index says Toyota makes the most dependable, reliable trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The thing about V8s is the power is there when you need/want it without any kind of real penalty at the pump vs. a V6 pickup or CUV with 90% the capabilities of a full-size crew cab. You don’t save much at the point of purchase either, but if yours meets or exceedes your requirements then fine, I don’t judge.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    garbage truck for garbage people.

  • avatar
    segxr7

    Wow, I thought the Avalanche was discontinued like 4 years ago. They were everywhere back when people were refinancing their houses to buy SUVs and granite counters, but I *never* see them anymore.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Good riddance. Avalanche epitomized douchebagery in the early 2000′s.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    You guys are a weird bunch. It must be Friday 13th or something.

    I have a ’11 Avalanche. It’s a 2WD freeway queen with bench front seat. My other car is an older 3-series 2-door 5-speed. A 325. I bought the avalanche new here in Canada. employee pricing thingy. Very low 30′s. It’s not expensive for what it is. No one was able to convince me I needed a 4×4. Iron block it was then, iron block it is now: I grew up in Brazil and drove a 4×2 GM A-10 with a frigging stove-bolt six on ethanol turning a very open differential. From Rio to Mossoró and back three times with no airbags no On-Star no ABS and no AC. A tent a Yamaha 180 on the back and more sand dunes and dirt access roads to beaches than what one can find between CA and BC.

    What I like: Very. Quiet. Solid. V8. The 5.3 well, GM got it right. Drop the hammer and it goes. People do tend to move away from the left lane (RCMP drive Tahoe – it helps). 6 speed. 6 passenger. Largest ‘trunk’ in the market – bar none. No water, no dust in there. Panels, fit and finish: all good. Very good brakes. Zero problems. No recalls, no CEL, no nothing. Just 2 oil changes @ $65 ea. Yeay. Rear camera, USB, On-Star & Android, XM, Nav. Its all there and does not require a mouse, screen or menu. Miraculous turning radius (same as my e46).

    What I dislike:
    Lift gate does not have gas struts. It should.
    Tends to put everyone to sleep on road trips. Can get lonely.

    What its good for:
    - Five boys w/ snowboards & their stinky ‘stuff’ in the trunk? Check.
    -Take wife, her best friend, her daughter and my kid on a four-day trip with skis, skates, 2 horse saddles, woman’s luggage (!?), large r/c plane, Barbie Castle and food for 4 days all in the trunk to a farm 4 hours away with a muddy 1.5 mile long driveway? Check. Everyone happy? Check.
    -Don’t get raped by ‘technicians’ wearing white overalls at dealer? Check.
    - Carry a XR650 and a CR80? Check.
    - 4 boys, 4 mountain bikes and all their gear to Whistler? Check.
    - A-holes driving 2 door e46 think twice before getting too close? Check.

    Does it use a lot of gas? Let me put it this way: If I wanted to buy a used 4-cylinder Ford Escape with a trailer and a used Prius to do everything I do with the Avalanche I could. But I didn’t.

    Will I keep driving it once the kid no longer believes dad is the coolest guy on the planet, the horses are dead, I’m too stiff to pull my leg over a XR650 and plane modeling is no longer a father-son bonding agent? No. I won’t. I’ll probably drive a Mazda5 or CX5 or something on those lines.

    GM got it right with this one. The old Barbie-Castle plastic discolored plastic one? I don’t know. Probably not. But the Obama model one? Yes its a good vehicle.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Avalanche sales were way down, and I can see rationalizing the truck line up. The next generation Silverado is coming and why have all these models? Can offer a nice Silverado “AVL” trim for a crew cab.

    And with all the talk of bringing back full size RWD V8 sedans, they wouldn’t sell, since SUV’s and Crew cabs are the “Caprices” of today. Why do you think the B body was axed in favor of building more SUV’s in Arlington TX?

  • avatar
    Paddan

    I thought the GMC Envoy XUV, which was a redux of the Studebaker Wagonaire, was a better idea, but that was cancelled too.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    How exactly do increased sales of crewcab conventional pickups make the Avalance a “victim of its own success”? Sounds to me more like its a victim of its design compromises. It certainly wouldn’t fill two major functions of my own full-size (long bed ) crewcab F350: Hauling gravel and hauling a motorcycle with the tailgate shut.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Having sold Avalanches I must say it was a vehicle I never fully understood or could appreciate. The only redeeming point to me is in comparison to a 6′ bed crew cab the shorter Avalanche would be more likely to fit in most garages. The hassle of dropping the midgate to use the 8′ bed which was only good for loads with less height than the roofline didn’t make any sense to me. Not to mention an open cab back end when the midgate was down compared to a closed crew cab, a major difference in colder weather months in many parts of the country or for that matter in a rain storm. Of course, as stated by another poster I never saw someone actually hauling something in an Avalanche’s bed. To me the only value the Avalanche had was its tow capacity to someone that did not need a pickup’s bed. I also think a lot of Avalanche owners (those that did not use/need a pickup truck’s capabilities which IMO are the vast majority of current Avalanche owners) are looking for a lot better fuel economy than an Avalanche could offer in their next vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Shenningans.

      You never sold Avalanches as you don’t even know how the Midgate operates – or you never were taught right and shame on your dealer.

      You do not have an open cab with the Midgate open. That is an outright fabrication. The back window connects to a bar and can be removed OR left in place. The back window connects to a metal support, that if the window is removed, drops with the Midgate or stays in place if the window is left installed. The metal support is sealed by the hard cargo cover that connects to two other panels all the way to the tailgate. You now have almost ten feet of bed (not eight feet) from the back of the front seats to the tailgate closed, and the cabin is completely enclosed front to rear.

      Did this all the time. I could carry sheet rock in pouring rain with the Mona Lisa sitting on top and have it all arrive dry and safe, while I sit in heated comfort in a completely sealed cabin.

      • 0 avatar
        mtymsi

        I did in fact sell Avalanches for two Chevrolet dealers. What I’m referring to is when the midgate & the rear window are down. Exactly how do you have a sealed cabin under those circumstances? Answer, you don’t. I am speaking of Avalanches that did not have the hard cargo bed cover or had it removed as if you had the hard cover and didn’t remove it there would never be a reason to lower the rear window. If you had the hard cargo cover your entire load height would be limited to the hard cargo cover’s height. What you’re speaking of is an Avalanche with the hard cargo cover and the rear window left in place and the tailgate closed. That is the only circumstance that you would have a semi sealed cab and the reason I say semi sealed is because under those circumstances you still don’t have a completely sealed cab like a crew cab because the hard cover isn’t insulated like a crew cab’s interior.

        Where’s the fabrication in that?

        And by the way, I know exactly how the midgate/rear window work as I’ve demonstrated it to both owners and prospective customers. A lot of prospective customers switched to crew cabs when the discovered you could not seal the rear of an Avalanche cab with the midgate/rear window lowered.

        Keep in mind that if there were a market for this vehicle going forward GM would not be ending production and also that GM themselves said the reason they were ending production is buyers were buying crew cabs instead of the Avalanche. Only reason I can think of for choosing the crew cab over the Avalanche is the completely sealed cab.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      I have a friend who had an ’02 Z71 for a number of years, he would frequently toss stuff into the bed. Never tonnes of dirt or construction equipment, but furniture, car parts for his older Z, items bought at local auctions, fireworks (the real kind), and just miscellaneous stuff a man needs to move around. I found it to be versatile truck, a slightly redone Tahoe with a bed, nothing serious like an F350.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    The bed length thing is such a bogus arguement. Between a canoe loader or a trailer my v-8 sport trac can haul/tow anything a 3/4 ton can. It fits easily into a garage, rides car like and hauls just about anything I need on a NORMAL basis. I’m not a jobber so why pack the extra bulk for the 1 in 100 times I might need it? Sure, as a former farmer I beat the crap out of several trucks. But the smartest fisherman/farmers/carpenters I know drove Rangers, S10s, Mazdas, Toyotas, etc. ’cause the bottom line was price, depreciation and op costs.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      The “use a trailer/rack/dangle stuff off the tailgate” thing is such a bogus argument. I don’t want to individually secure everything I throw in the bed, I can’t put a motorcycle on the roof, and I’m not interested in doing complex geometry in my head every time I need to back up, or park in outer butfukistan where I can take up two or three spaces without worrying about how I’m going to get out. The hassle of finding somewhere to keep a trailer for the 99%+ of the time I’m not using it is pointless. I just have a long-bed truck, and it serves all my needs without having to add special accessories. And the crew cab gives me lots of lockable storage for expensive tools.

      IOW, just because you and I have different priorities and needs, that does not make mine “bogus”.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    What I never quite grasped about the Avalanche’s most redeeming feature (the ‘mid-gate’), was why no one ever copied it, especially for a small pickup.

    If Toyota made a ‘real’ Avalanche clone off the Tacoma crew-cab (unlike the Ridgeline or Ford Sport-Trak), they might have had something.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      It was patented by GM – so to “copy” you’d have to pay $$$

    • 0 avatar
      agroal

      Toyota didn’t copy the mid gate idea because quite simply, they are Toyota. They don’t make very many dumb product decisions and the Avalanche, an answer to a question nobody asked, has ultimately proven a market failure. Toyota concentrates on producing vehicles people want and that they can make money off of.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        You would be naive to think GM hasn’t made a fortune on those $50,000 trucks just because the product’s time has come!

        This is an arena where Toyota has failed miserably, re-purposing the huge truck plant they planned.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Half-million sold, what a terrible failure.

        How many Ridgelines has Honda sold?

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        yes, and ridgeline doesn’t even match avalanche fuel economy numbers despite the the V6 and inferior capability.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Rated numbers don’t matter much. I had to go back to 2009 to find reported numbers for the Avalanche at EPA.gov, and it was apparently only the 2WD 6-speed 5.3 liter that sold in sufficient volume even then, but reported real world consumption for that vehicle was a believable 15.3 mpg compared to 18.7 mpg for the 2011 Ridgelines. I used to use three 5.3 liter Suburban company cars from the current generation, and 15.3 combined for casually driven vehicles sounds about right to me. Mind you I didn’t always achieve it, but I wasn’t paying for gas. A 2wd Avalanche uses 22% more gasoline than a 4wd Ridgeline. A 4wd Avalanche must use even more.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @CJ in SD- Almost any car can easily be found at http://www.fueleconomy.gov
        Volume is irrelevant.
        just select the drop down, “find a car” menu and hit “compare cars”
        You can compare up to 4 vehicles. I encourage you to check it out if you want real objective comparisons.

        Regardless of subjective opinion, cold hard data shows the 2012 5.3L V8 4WD Avalanche matches all three numbers for the 2012 V6 Ridgeline- 15 city, 21 hwy, 17 combined.

        Honda evidently worked hard to improve their hwy mpg 1 mpg from the 2011 model to match the incredibly more capable Avalanche, which carried over its rating from 2011.

        Just because you may enjoy using the torque and the power of the 5.3L V8, hurting fuel economy, doesn’t mean Avalanche can’t match the Honda if driven with an interest in fuel efficiency.

        Honda is no fuel economy leader as they struggle to keep up, classifying the Accord CrossTour as an SUV so that it would not hurt their Car CAFE. They would gladly take higher EPA numbers, if they knew how to get them.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I did use fueleconomy.gov’s comparison tool. There were no reported fuel consumptions for newer Avalanches than 2009.

        Honda could game the system just as anyone else does, by tuning cars for the EPA dyno instead of for real roads. Of course it actually hurts real world fuel economy by programming transmissions to select ratios that don’t take wind resistance or load into consideration, but it produces numbers that are so impressive on the EPA cycle that they have to be artificially lowered. Starting in 1984, highway numbers have been reduced by 22% from what it achieved on the arbitrary and flawed dyno cycle. Since 2008, the reduction factor has grown even more as a result of the irrelevance of the test. A car rated with 40 mpg hwy actually returns 56 mpg according to the test. Do you think the model is any good or has any real world applicability? Do physics no longer matter and performance really isn’t maximized by gearing a car so that shifts at power peak speed result in the next higher gear being engaged at torque peak? Why do MPG specials have 1st gears that seem way too tall and 2 or 3 gears that are only useful for coasting downhill? Because the EPA dyno calibration is flawed and the acceleration rates required are absurdly low. People think they need 8 gears in cars with no shortage of power and flat torque curves because they’ve been exposed to cars with the wrong ratios, not to cars with too few.

        The Ridgeline has a better power to weight ratio than the 5,960 lb Avalanche. Chances are they’re being driven the same as the people who are burning 22% more fuel in their 32% heavier Avalanches. Honda isn’t a leader in gaming the EPA. Good for Honda buyers. What would you rather have? An impressive EPA sticker, or an 18% lower fuel bill?

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Honda is certainly gaming the system as much as anyone else. The CrossTour is one documented example in the context of our EPA. Some years ago, they even gamed their own country’s safety testing by cheating with a double thickness floorpan special build to present for crash test. That is one time they got caught.The Japanese in general, are invariably optimistic on their power ratings while the Detroit 3 are about on the money.

        A lot of what you say is valid, particularly the gyrations EPA has gone through in effort to get estimates more in line with actual fuel economy. The EPA numbers remain the only objective comparison available between two vehicles.

        The notions about transmissions and ratios are a bit of a stretch. The chassis dyno does comprehend the actual road load necessary to maintain the speeds with aero effects, and the requirements were revised, requiring all test facilities to move to a standardized 4 ft diameter roller quite a few years ago.
        The numbers have to be tortured to come close to reality, but they still are the only objective way to compare one vehicle to another.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The EPA cycle is too badly modeled to be useful in comparing multiple vehicles. It doesn’t tell anyone which car will use less fuel than any other car. It was created to define emissions requirements, not measure fuel consumption. When I read a comparison test where cars were driven in a similar manner over the same route, I consider the results to be a fair indication of the relative efficiencies of the cars tested. Cars that are obviously optimized to advertise high fuel economy numbers are always further below their advertised numbers in the real world and often use more fuel than cars that have been unchanged since before the latest round of CAFE idiocy. Cars that aren’t set up specifically for the test also drive better and encourage more efficient driving styles as you don’t have to compensate for unwanted upshifts and poor gearing choices with a heavier throttle foot.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    What’s the point of toting 4X8′ sheets half way in the cab when even in a Sport-Trac’s 4.5′ bed, those 4X8s only extend a couple feet past a dropped tailgate? It was an idea that wasn’t copied because it sounded better than it actually was.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Owned an Avalanche from 2001 to 2005, Z-71 with every option. Founded the Chevy Avalanche Fan Club of North America, at one time the largest single model truck club in the United States.

    A tremendous vehicle. I bought it to support my business. Sold the business in 2004 and just could not justify commuting solo in 19 feet of Mexican metal getting 13 to 15 MPG.

    The Midgate is probably one of the most misunderstood features, along with the near VW Thing versatility of the Avalanche.

    On warm summer days I would take the tailgate off, take off the three cargo panels, and store them in the garage. I would take out the rear window and store in the folding Midgate, open up the sunroof, roll down all four windows and drive. You basically now had a fully open cab, with two front bucket seats, a monstrous sunroof open and the four windows down. What an amazing way to drive around. It was unstoppable off-roading and extremely capable out of the box. No, not Jeep Wrangler Rubicon capable or Toyota Tacoma TRD off-road capable, but 90% of the way there with one huge difference. You arrived at your off-road destination in a seat that felt like you were in the First Class section of a Virgin Atlantic flight to London.

    I don’t miss my Avalanche at the gas pump – and GM killing the Avalanche was very clearly written on the wall. But it was an excellent, competent, nice riding, flexible truck.

  • avatar
    cstoc

    I bought my 4×4 Avalanche new in 2003. It’s the most versatile and comfortable vehicle I’ve ever owned. I use the midgate pretty regularly for Home Depot or furniture runs, and the family takes long trips in it with lots of off-roading along the way. It fits in the garage, is more maneuverable and has a better suspension than a long-bed Silverado.

    It’s been very reliable and cheap to maintain, with tires being the main expense there. The only real operating expense is gas, but I’ve had a very short commute for the time I’ve owned it so it didn’t matter and besides, I can buy a lot of gas for the price of a new vehicle. I’ll be keeping it until I decide to get a different kind of vehicle.

    I understand why they’re discontinuing it, but I’ll still miss it.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    -10 points for misusing ironically.

    Outdated competitor in market has falling sales != ironic


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