2013 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE ROLLS INTO ITS FINAL YEAR WITH BLACK DIAMOND EDITION
Chevrolet Avalanche is one of the industry’s most flexible utility vehicles, combining the passenger comfort of a SUV with the cargo capability of a truck, thanks to the exclusive Midgate. It opens to extend the cargo-area from 5-feet-3-inches-long (1.6 m) long to 8 feet 2 inches (2.5 m). It is available in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD.
The Avalanche rolls into its final year of production in 2013 and is commemorated with the Black Diamond Avalanche. It features body-colour bed surrounds, a unique badge on the sail panel of every vehicle produced, additional features on LS and LT models
In 2013, a rear camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start are added as standard equipment on LS models, while LT models have added a standard rear camera.
Also new is powertrain grade braking in the normal transmission mode. It was previously incorporated only when the Tow/Haul mode was activated. It uses engine torque to help slow the vehicle on descents, which helps reduce brake wear.
The Avalanche is based on GM’s full-size SUV platform, offering a maximum towing capacity of 3,674 kilograms (8,100 lbs). It is powered by an efficient combination that includes the Vortec 5.3L V-8 with cylinder-deactivating Active Fuel Management technology and a fuel-saving Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic.
Along with cargo and towing capability, it offers useful technology and comprehensive safety features, including Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity with specific steering wheel controls, head curtain side-impact air bags and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. Avalanche also offers an integrated brake controller that works with the ABS system to provide immediate and measured brake force signalling to electric-controlled trailer brake systems; there is no requirement for external and/or aftermarket brake control systems.
Avalanche changed the market
After debuting to an enthusiastic reception as a concept at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Avalanche went into production in 2001 as a 2002 model. It offered unique styling and innovative features, including its signature Midgate, which extended the bed into the cab. It was a design that proved to be one of those rare ideas that change a segment – a light-duty pickup with accommodations for up to six people.
Motor Trend named it the 2002 Truck of the Year and customers quickly saw the advantage of a well-equipped light-duty pickup that could tow, haul and carry the family. Sales reached 93,482 sales in 2003, its third full year of production.
Recognizing the appeal of the Avalanche, Chevrolet and other truck makers began developing light-duty crew cab pickups. By 2011, crew cabs accounted for more than 65 percent of light-duty pickup sales, and helped transform the pickup from a workhorse into a true multipurpose family vehicle.
The proliferation of crew cab trucks and their increasing popularity – including Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab models – affected Avalanche sales in recent years. And while 2013 marks the final year for this innovative truck, it goes out on a high note, with sales expected to total more than 600,000 when production ends.
Avalanche design and exterior features
Avalanche’s unique and flexible design enables it to function as an SUV, truck or both. With the rear seat up and the Midgate closed, the Avalanche has room for up to six passengers. The rear seat must be folded to achieve maximum storage capability.
When the Midgate is open and the rear seat is folded flat, Avalanche can carry 4-foot by 8-foot (1.2 m by 2.4 m) sheets of plywood with the tailgate closed. Storage compartments alongside the cargo box provide ample and lockable storage. The storage compartments also have drains, so they can be filled with ice and used as coolers.
Additional design and exterior features include:
- Central-locking tailgate and cargo cover retaining straps
- The tailgate is spring-loaded to reduce the effort needed to open or close it
- Standard assist steps with power-retractable assist steps available on LTZ
- A range of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels is offered. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard, with 20-inch factory-installed wheels available (standard on LTZ; available on LT)
- Dealer-installed accessory wheels include 20- and 22-inch designs
- Exterior colour choices: Black, White Diamond Tricoat, Silver Ice Metallic, Blue Topaz Metallic.
The Z71 Off Road appearance package is available on LT models and includes high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch aluminum wheels and all-terrain tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, colour-keyed wheel flares, an aggressive front fascia and satin chrome tubular assist steps, and bright chrome front grille insert provide a one-of-a kind appearance.
Avalanche interior features
The rear seat is unique to the Avalanche and enables easy access to the Midgate system. It folds flat, allowing longer items to be carried between the cargo bed and into the rear passenger compartment. The interior also demonstrates the attention to detail built into all Chevrolet trucks and SUVs. There is almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. Avalanche also has the segment’s largest centre console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous storage compartments.
Additional interior features include:
- Perforated leather seating, with heated and cooled driver and front passenger seats, is standard on LTZ
- Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard on LTZ
- Rear-seat entertainment system is available on LT and LTZ, including DVD player with remote control, overhead display, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks, remote game plug-in and mute button in overhead console
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard on all models
- Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is standard on LTZ; Bose nine-speaker sound system is standard on LT and a six-speaker sound system is standard on LS
- Navigation radio with touch-screen operation is standard on LTZ and available on LT
- Power-adjustable pedals are standard on all models
- Remote vehicle starter is standard on all models.
Avalanche is powered by a 5.3L V-8 (aluminum engine block on 4WD models) that balances power and efficiency. Variable valve timing helps the 5.3L optimize performance, efficiency and emissions, while GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivating technology helps improve fuel economy in certain light-load driving conditions. It is also E85-capable.
The variable valve timing system allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per litre of displacement). It also helps reduce exhaust emissions. Because it manages valve overlap at optimum levels, it eliminates the need for an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
Active Fuel Management (AFM) technology improves fuel efficiency temporarily deactivating four of the engine’s cylinders under light load conditions and seamlessly reactivates them when full power is required. The transition takes less than 20 milliseconds and is virtually indiscernible
The 5.3L engine is backed by GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.
Avalanche chassis and suspension
Avalanche is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, leaf-spring rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. A stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components.
Additional features include:
- Wide front and rear tracks – 68.2 inches (1,732 mm) front/67 inches (1,702 mm) rear – enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel
- The Autoride suspension system is standard on LTZ and features a segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system that provides a refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors
- Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation
- A single-speed transfer case is standard on LS and LT 4WD models
- A two-speed transfer case is standard on LTZ 4WD and available on LS and LT 4WD models
- A trailering package with a 3.42 axle ratio, external transmission cooler and engine oil cooler is available on LS, LT and LTZ models; a two-speed transfer case is included with 4WD models
- The standard axle ratio on all models is 3.08
- A locking rear differential is standard on LT and LTZ models and available on LS.
Avalanche safety and crash-avoidance features
Chevrolet Avalanche has a strong body structure designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants. Head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both seating rows are standard, and seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment.
Additional safety features include:
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
- Standard Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound
- Standard rearview camera system is designed to provide the driver with
a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
- Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
- LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system is included in two of the second-row seating positions
- Tire pressure monitoring system is standard on all models
- Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Avalanche. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Avalanche also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.
More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.
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