2011 Chevrolet Avalanche

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2011 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

Versatile pickup has lost fashion points

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is a midgate-based crew-cab pickup truck ideal for carrying a combination of passengers and cargo. Propelled by a 5.3-liter V-8 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Chevy Avalanche has unsurpassed flexibility. The truck has outstanding cargo room with backseats that fold-down, along with an extendable bed with an eight-foot limit.

The Avalanche can be expanded further to make more room in the rear seat area. The bed has locking storage compartments and drains for keeping beverages on ice. Offered in rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive, the Chevrolet Avalanche rides and handles like a typical truck. While the Avalanche has subpar fuel economy in the range of 15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway, its safety equipment is top notch.

New for 2011

For 2011, the Avalanche carries over relatively unchanged. The LTZ 4WD received a two-speed transfer case, while body color mirrors became standard on the LS. All trim levels are now offered with optional 20-inch chrome wheels.

Essentials

Engine: 5.3L V-8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Body style: Truck
Trims: LS, Crew Cab Pickup, LT Crew Cab Pickup, LTZ Crew Cab Pickup

On the Outside

The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche combines pickup truck attributes with sport/utility vehicle capabilities. While considered fashionable in its earlier days, the truck is starting to look dated.

From the Inside

Standard features on the Chevy Avalanche are climate control and audio center stack. Remote start, driver information center, tri-zone automatic HVAC, arearview camera, touch-screen navigation, and a rear-seat DVD with an eight-inch screen that plays iPod-stored videos are all optional.

Driving Performance

Chevy offers the Avalanche with two Vortec 5.3-liter small block V-8 engines: the iron-block LMG and the all-aluminum LC9. Both have cylinder deactivation. The engines are rated 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet, or 326 horsepower and 348 pound-feet. Engine power is adequate for a truck this big, but handling is rather clumsy, although 4WD versions are good off road.

Safety Equipment

Standard safety equipment on the Chevy Avalanche are head curtain side airbags for rollover protection, front-seat belt pre-tensioners that deploy in rear-end crashes, roof-mounted head curtain bags, stability control, and tire-pressure monitoring. Options include park assist and a backup camera.

Gas Mileage

RWD: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway
4WD: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway

Plusses

  • Flexibility
  • Smooth ride and comfort
  • Overall passenger and cargo carrying capacity
  • Built-in ice chests

Minuses

  • Lack of interior cargo space
  • Poor fuel mileage
  • Aging design

Rating

Versatile pickup has lost fashion points

People Who Like the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche Also Like

  • Ford Explorer SportTrac
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Chevrolet Suburban

See the New 2013 Avalanche.

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