Here we were again in a wild snowstorm. But it didn’t matter to my Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ, which easily shook off the pelting snow and howling winds.
With the Avalanche’s sophisticated AWD system we sliced through the deep snow like a hot knife through butter. The truck’s high stance also offered us a commanding view of the road and the hazards ahead. The cabin was warm, comfortable, and very luxurious. Also, its comfortable leather seating, Bose sound system, GPS navigation, and a superb climate control lessened the stress of driving through the storm.
This was not a surprise. Although the Avalanche is called a crew cab pickup, it is actually based on the legendary Chevrolet Suburban SUV. The Suburban, by the way, was just judged the best in class by the U.S. News and World Report. Also, the Avalanche has been a top checkrated pick from Consumers Reports for many years.
What makes the Avalanche different is that the area behind the second-row seats is replaced with an integral cargo bed. Too, there is a removable bulkhead between the truck’s interior and the cargo bed. This allows you to fold down the rear seats and to slide longer items into the bed area.
The cargo box also has three removable plastic bed covers, which keep the cargo area dry and secure yet allow for the transport of tall items. Another plus is you can haul smelly garbage and cans of fuel without stinking up the truck’s interior. Also convenient, you can just hose out the bed when you are done.
With the Avalanche you get the great ride, looks, features, and towing power of the Chevrolet Suburban and the versatility of a pickup truck. However, there wasatouch of bitter sweetness to our stormy adventure. It has been announced that 2013 is the end-of-theroad for the Avalanche and its Cadillac EXT sibling.
Why? There is no clear reason given. Some say slipping sales.Then there is the redesign of the 2014 Chevrolet pickup line. Too, the crew cab version of the Silverado is selling very well. Some corporate bean counter may consider the Avalanche redundant, but I disagree. It is special. The “Avy’’ has a loyal following and has had a good 12-year run. There are several online forums dedicated to the Avalanche.
Overseas, General Motors has shown a smaller Avalanche-looking concept vehicle. Chevrolet’s small truck line is also due for a do-over.Some artist renderings have popped up on the internet and show the smaller Colorado Chevrolet crew cab tricked-up to look like the Avalanche. Only time will tell the actual outcome.
Nevertheless, there is a silver lining to all this. New Avalanches can still be found at your local Chevrolet Dealer, and if you’re quick, it might even be possible to order one exactly the way you want it. A check of local dealer inventories showedagood inventory supply.
The 2013 model is called the Black Diamond Edition and offers some standard features that were extra cost options in past years. The Avy is available as a 2WD or AWD version and comes in three trim levels. Moreover, at this time you can get up to a $2,000 factory discount on the 2013 model. Industry analysts predict that the future value of the Avalanche should remain steady because of its status as a nitch vehicle without any other real competition.
Another plus for someone wishing to own an Avalanche is that dealers are getting in a lot of clean Avalanche trade-ins. Because the Avalanche has been in production for 12 years, you should be able to ﬁnd one that ﬁts your budget and needs.
Although, I have driven the 2013 Avalanche, the one I was slogging through the snowstorm in was my own pre-owned 2011 Avalanche. Having admired the truck for many years and drawn in by the announcement of the discontinuance of the Avy, I bought it from a local dealer in December. I have enjoyed every minute behind the wheel ever since.
If you too hanker for the versatile Avalanche, or the Cadillac EXT, this is the time to act. I expect it will be as much fun to drive this summer as it was during winter’s blizzard.