Farewell, Chevrolet Avalanche

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
farewell chevrolet avalanche

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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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Apr 13, 2012

    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.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Apr 14, 2012

    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.

  • Cstoc Cstoc on Apr 14, 2012

    I bought my 4x4 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.

  • Greg Locock Greg Locock on Apr 15, 2012

    -10 points for misusing ironically. Outdated competitor in market has falling sales != ironic

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