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2012 Chevrolet Avalanche

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2012 Chevrolet Avalanche Review


Reviewed by Automotive on

Debuting in 2001 as a 2002 model, the Chevrolet Avalanche is a full-size pickup truck whose "midgate" system offers many features usually found in SUV. Found between the Avalanche's cab and truck bed, the midgate adds nearly three additional feet to the bed's five-foot length, allowing it haul long items such as plywood, spools, piping, etc., easily. When closed and the rear seats are down, the Avalanche can accommodate up to six people with an SUVs ride and quiet.

General Motors launched the current (second) generation Chevrolet Avalanche in 2006 as a 2007 model. Owing more to the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban SUVs than to the Silverado pickup truck, the Avalanche boasts a few changes for the 2012 model year, but otherwise remains largely the same as last year's model.

The Range

Body style: Truck
Engine: 5.3-liter V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ

What's New

The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche gets few changes which include available seven-inch touch screen and built-in 80Gb hard drive, standard electronic trailer sway control, and hill-start assist system. Otherwise, the 2012 Chevy Avalanche carries over unchanged from the 2011 model, when it was refreshed with new exterior color choices (Steel Green Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic and Inferno Orange Metallic replace Laser Blue Metallic and Black Granite Metallic) and available 20-inch wheels. The Chevy Avalanche LS trim gets standard body colored rearview mirrors while the Avalanche LTZ with four-wheel drive gets standard two-speed transfer case to replace the earlier one-speed version.


The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche carries over from the previous model year essential unchanged. It's a full-sized pickup truck whose most notable feature is that the cab (where the driver and passengers dwell) and truck bed aren't separate like most trucks. In essence, the Avalanche is more like a Chevy Suburban with a truck bed than a traditional pickup truck. Instead, the Avalanche uses a midgate feature between the cab and bed that, when open, expands the bed length by including the cab's interior for cargo space. When the midgate is closed, the Avalanche cab becomes a quiet, SUV-like interior.


General Motors updated the Chevrolet Avalanche's infotainment system for 2012. Otherwise, the Avalanche's large cab continues to be capable of holding up to five people. Clever features such as the flush-mounted infotainment and climate control systems create a "single unit" appearance while the humongous center console storage bin, large glove box, and miscellaneous storage compartments offer plenty of space for knickknacks.

Performance & Handling

The lone 5.3-liter V-8 is just adequate powering the 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche. The midgate substantially alters the driving character of the pickup though: when up, the pickup truck handles like a large SUV with almost car-like smoothness and quiet. When down, the Chevy feels like a traditional truck. The Avalanche's huge size and blindspots make it difficult to maneuver in parking lots.

The 2012 Chevy Avalanche can tow up to 8100 pounds when properly equipped. Avalanche models with four-wheel drive are quite capable off-road vehicles despite their considerable size.


The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanched is equipped with standard driver front air bag for driver and front passenger while, electronically, comes equipped with stability control system and tire pressure monitoring. Optional features include an ultrasonic rear parking assist system to detect obstacles behind the vehicle; available rearview camera system for similar functions and, for certain models, GM's proprietary OnStar monitoring and communication GPS system.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Avalanche with rear-wheel drive: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway
Chevrolet Avalanche with four-wheel drive: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Midgate system
  • Carrying capacity
  • Built-in ice chests

You Won't Like

  • Pricing
  • Low fuel economy
  • Limited interior space

Sum Up


If You Like This Vehicle

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See the New 2013 Avalanche.

Front & Driver Side View