2011 Chevrolet Avalanche

Sport utility trucks are a curious breed. They are almost a fusion of an SUV and a pickup truck. As a compromise between a truck and a SUV, it depends on the needs of the prospective owner if it is going to work. Chevrolet has an offering that perhaps people would take a look at: the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche.

Interior & Exterior

The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is more or less similar to the 2010 model. With the exception of some minor changes, it is still essentially the same. Its exterior is nice, successfully treading the line between SUV and pickup and somehow managing to win both fan bases. It has smooth lines and a distinctive front end that makes it stand out from its competition style wise. In addition, it has a lot of utilitarian features. It has a folding midgate that increases cargo space by about 3 feet, and cargo bins found at the bed that is useful for stashing small equipment such as tools. And with the optional tonneau cover, its versatility can only be increased.

On the interior, while it is not quite luxurious enough, is still good enough considering its price. It has base features that most of its competition doesn’t even have as options. Both the front and rear seats are benches, but the front seats can be transformed into bucket seats if requested. Because of this configuration, 6 people can sit in this car comfortably. It is spacious, but accessing the interior can be difficult for small people partly due to its high ride height.

It has an audio system that has AM/FM/CD/MP3 function with an auxiliary jack for other audio devices. It even has luxury functions such as rear seat audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and cruise control. Standard safety equipment includes traction control, anti lock brakes, and daytime running lamps. However, there are safety issues in this car as it was found that there is up to 22 percent chance that this car is going to be involved in a rollover when doing evasive moves.


There is only one engine and transmission option for the Chevrolet Avalanche. The 5.3 liter V8 engine that produces 320 horsepower and a six speed automatic gearbox is the combination of choice for this car. The engine is capable of fairly modest fuel economy stats, and it can even run on E85 fuel. This car can be either had in 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive with a new 2 speed transfer case.

People find that the power relay is smooth, and the force produced is adequate. In fact, it can tow up to 8100 pounds and haul up to 1600 pounds, probably not elite level stats, but is more than enough to beat most pickup trucks and satisfy demanding owners. As for the handling department, it is not exactly expected to steer well, but the ride quality is excellent, and can take the punishment from the road with confidence. The steering is done well enough that it can respond even in tight corners, and the brakes are responsive.

The Competition

There are two other sports utility truck that may be worth looking at and comparing the Avalanche to, the Ford F-150 Supercrew XLT (MSRP $32,260; 15 city / 21 hwy) and the Toyota Tundra (MSRP $25,795; 15 city / 19 hwy). As with the Avalanche, these other vehicles have V8 engines but have considerably less horsepower, at the same time cost less than the Chevrolet Avalanche. Depending on how you look at it, you can certainly make a case for any one of these excellent trucks.

Pros & Cons

People appreciate the fact that it is versatile, comfortable, utilitarian in approach, comes with a lot of much appreciated (and unexpected) features, and performs strongly. On the downside, some find it tough to maneuver and park due to its size and that its rearward visibility is horrible.

In conclusion, the Chevrolet Avalanche has managed to combine the strong points of both an SUV and a pickup, though it might be more like a pickup in manners and performance. It brings a lot of bang for the buck, and is surely going to be a good companion for the driver that likes utility.

Overall Rating
79 out of 100

What others say:

“The poster child for truck flexibility, the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche flip-flops from six-seater to full-size pickup at the tilt of its midgate.”Car Connection

“The steering has good feel, though effort is somewhat high during low-speed maneuvers. The brakes are responsive, with a short, firm pedal stroke. Avalanche, a long truck with a sizable turning radius, is a challenge to park in tight spaces.”Consumer Guide

“The ride is comfortable and quiet. The 5.3-liter V8 provides decent acceleration but is thirsty . There is a very large rear blind zone.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Higher price than regular crew-cab pickups; large size and rear-quarter blind spots hinder maneuverability in tight spots.”Edmunds

“With its versatile Midgate configuration, the 2011 Avalanche can be set up to carry long loads (including four-by-eight-foot plywood sheets) or, with rear seatbacks raised, to hold a full complement of passengers.”KBB


General Info
Vehicle Type: Fullsize Pick-Up Truck Base Price: $36,720.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 31 gallons (117 liters) MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Length: 221.3 in. (562 cm) Width: 79.1 in. (200 cm)
Height: 76.6 in. (194.5 cm) Wheel Base: 130 in. (330 cm)
Curb Weight: 5564 lbs (2523 kg) Ground Clearance: 9.1 in. (23 cm)
Cargo Capacity: 45.5 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 5.3L 16-valve OHV V8 Displacement: 325 cu in
Horsepower: 320 HP Max RPM: 5400 RPM
Torque: 335 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 8100 lbs (3674 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Avalanche LT MSRP: $39,405; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Avalance LTZ MSRP: $46,195; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Avalanche LT 4×4 MSRP: $42,455; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Avalance LTZ 4×4 MSRP: $49,500; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy