2011 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE: CAPABILITY, CONVENIENCE AND EFFICIENCY
The Chevrolet Avalanche is one of the industry’s most flexible utility vehicles, combining the passenger-comfort attributes of a SUV with the cargo capability of a truck. It is based on GM’s full-size SUV platform, offering flex-fuel capability; a sharp, precise driving feel; interior refinement and notable quietness. And when it comes to pulling its weight on the job, it has a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds (3,674 kg).
Avalanche 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. The transmission helps deliver improved highway fuel mileage by incorporating two overdrive gears (fifth and sixth gears) that allow the engine to operate at a lower speed on the highway. Less fuel is used when the engine rpm is lowered, enhancing fuel economy. The lower engine speed also contributes to a quieter passenger environment.
The 2011 Avalanche is available in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD. The popular Z71 Off Road appearance package is available and includes high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch on/off road tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, color-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 also delivers useful technology and uncompromising safety features, including Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity with specific steering wheel controls, an available rear camera system, head curtain side-impact air bags and StabiliTrak electronic stability control system. Avalanche offers an integrated brake controller that works with the ABS system to provide immediate and measured brake force signaling to electric-controlled trailer brake systems; there is no requirement for external and/or aftermarket brake control systems.
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). The larger wheels fill Avalanche’s wheelhouses, giving the vehicle a confident stance.
Avalanche’s flexibility enables it to function as an SUV, truck or both, thanks to the exclusive Midgate. Pioneered on the first-generation Avalanche, the Midgate opens to extend the cargo-carrying capability from the cargo bed’s 5-foot-3-inch-long (1.6 m) length to 8 feet 2 inches (2.5 m). The rear seat must be folded to achieve maximum storage capability; with the rear seat up and the Midgate closed, Avalanche has room for up to six passengers.
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. A three-piece rigid cargo cover with interlocking panels also is available.
Avalanche’s flexible attributes also include a central-locking tailgate and cargo cover retaining straps. Also, the tailgate is spring-loaded to reduce the effort needed to open or close it.
A refined and flexible interior
Avalanche’s interior delivers a high level of refinement, comfort, quality and convenience. The front seats are comfortable and allow easy entry/egress. The rear seat is unique to the Avalanche and enables easy access to the Midgate system. The seat folds flat, allowing longer items to be carried between the cargo bed and into the rear passenger compartment.
Avalanche’s spacious interior creates an environment that exudes quality and precision. Flush-mounted accessories and controls, such as the climate control/radio center stack, create a seamless, “single unit” appearance. Also, 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. Comfort features include an efficient HVAC system, and generous storage capability – with the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous storage compartments. Avalanche also offers a host of available convenience features, including:
- Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist
- Remote vehicle starting
- Driver information center
- Tri-zone automatic HVAC
- Rearview camera system
- Touch-screen navigation system
- DVD rear-seat entertainment system with eight-inch screen that can play videos stored on iPods.
Avalanche also features an impressive audio/navigation lineup, which provides quality entertainment and information. GM’s family of CD/MP3-compatible radios leads the audio lineup, with an available DVD entertainment system that includes an eight-inch screen (with in-dash loading). A touch-screen navigation radio is available and incorporates the monitor for the rearview camera system.
The Avalanche is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, and a premium interior that bolster the vehicle’s comfort, quality and capability. Wide front and rear tracks enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel.
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. Even the tires on the large, 17-inch and 20-inch wheels were designed to reduce noise.
Noise-reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engines also feature a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that reduce engine noise heard inside the vehicle. The door seals help reduce seal “pull-away” at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise.
The Autoride suspension system, standard on LTZ, complements Avalanche’s quietness and smoothness. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely 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.
The Avalanche offers standard head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both rows and front-seat safety belt pretensioners that are linked to the vehicle's sensing system to provide segment-exclusive deployment in rear-end crashes. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment. These head curtain side air bags stay inflated longer than air bags developed only for side impacts, since rollover incidents can last longer. The deployment duration and other design features of the air bags combine to provide increased occupant protection and the ability to help keep occupants inside the vehicle.
Additional safety features include:
- Standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology
- Standard dual-stage driver front air bag
- Standard dual-stage outboard-front passenger air bag with passenger
- Standard tire pressure monitoring system
- Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound and display via three LEDs near the rear window
- Available rearview camera system designed to provide the driver with
a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle.
LS models come standard with OnStar and a six-month Directions and Connections plan, which includes Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Crisis Assist and Stolen Vehicle Assistance featuring Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. The Direction and Connections plan also includes Turn-By-Turn Navigation.