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2009 Chevrolet Avalanche

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2009 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

Versatile truck for work and play.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche mixes a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and a pickup truck. Attempting to get the best of both worlds, the Avalanche enjoys great success. It has a four-door cab-like a pickup truck, but uses a one-piece body typically seen in SUVs instead of the separate cab and bed found in pickup trucks.

With a removable mid-gate, the Avalanche proves highly flexible with regard to passenger and cargo configurations. The three-panel, lockable bed cover combined with the removable mid-gate makes the vehicle highly functional for many uses.

GM remains the only manufacturer to make the removable mid-gate configuration. Of the other vehicles in its lineup that have this feature, the Chevrolet Avalanche remains the most practical and the lowest in cost. The Avalanche can feel bulky when driven and has less than perfect fuel economy, but it provides a good choice for someone who intends on fully taking advantage of its flexibility.

The Range

Body Styles: Full-size pickup
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Avalanche LS, Avalanche LT1, Avalanche LT2, Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ

What's New

For the most part, the 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche remains unchanged from previous years. It has a new rear back-up camera that does not require a navigation system, and Bluetooth technology has also been added. The fuel economy improves from the new six-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet also offers the option of 20-inch chrome wheels, and the LTZ model now comes standard with a Bose surround sound system and heated and cooled leather seats.


The 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche’s exterior tells of the vehicle’s function and style. It utilizes a four-door crew cab configuration with both a tailgate and a mid-gate, which allows for flexible configurations. It can be utilized with a fully enclosed cargo area or a fully open pickup bed.

The LTZ model features 20-inch wheels, chrome accents, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.


Standard features on the LS include a front 40/20/40-split bench, cloth trim, center storage, and a power driver’s seat. It also has an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a stereo with a single CD player, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and OnStar capability. The LT1 model has OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation, rear audio controls, and bucket front seats.

When you move to the LT2 package the vehicle gets many upgrades to the standard features. Standard additions on the 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche LT2 include rear parking assist, a remote vehicle starter, a six-CD changer, dual climate control, and power-adjustable pedals.

The LTZ model offers drivers even more with a Bose surround sound system and heated and cooled leather seats.

The 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche seats five passengers when it has the bucket seat configuration and six passengers with the split-bench front seat. Lowering the mid-gate and rear seats allows for a portion of the passenger cab to be used for cargo. The back window can also be removed either for a more open-air feel or to accommodate more cargo.

Performance & Handling

The 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche moves quickly, thanks to its 5.3-liter, V-8 engine. The Avalanche comes in either the two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive model. The two-wheel drive models come with the 5.3-liter V-8 that provides 335 lb-ft of torque and 310 horsepower. An optional six-liter V-8 provides 376 lb-ft of torque and 366 horsepower. The two-wheel drive version tows up to 8100 pounds when properly equipped.

Fuel economy and acceleration take a hit when the vehicle is loaded with cargo or passengers. The Avalanche handles corners well considering its size and weight. The vehicle’s body seems like an SUV and provides a smoother ride than a traditional pickup truck.


Safety features on the 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche include full-length side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, and an OnStar emergency communications system. You can now get the rear-view camera as a standalone feature without adding a navigation system. This results from the display’s location on the rear-view mirror instead of on the navigation display screen. The Chevrolet Avalanche earns the government’s five-star crash test rating for all tested front and side impacts.

EPA Fuel Economy

Avalanche: 14/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Capable engine
  • Comfortable seating
  • Versatile body style
  • Smooth ride

You Won't Like

  • Blind spots
  • Difficult to maneuver in small spaces

Sum Up

Versatile truck for work and play.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Ridgeline

See the New 2013 Avalanche.

Front & Driver Side View