• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    June 14, 2013

    Monday: Chevrolet Malibu Turbo

    Wednesday: GMC Acadia Denali

    Friday: Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond

    How do you write a review on a vehicle that will be going away after this year?

    This thought had been rolling around in my mind since the 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond Edition arrived for a few days of evaluation. You can’t suggest any improvements since they will never be implemented, nor give a clear indication of whether you would recommend a vehicle or not. It seems like a futile exercise.

    gallery_10485_664_1253134.jpg

    But after giving it some serious thought, I felt the best way to do this review is to figure out what went wrong and determine the Avalanche’s legacy. Let’s dive in shall we?

    The current Avalanche, which was introduced back in 2006 as a 2007 model still looks as fresh as the day it was first shown. You have to give General Motors a round of applause for designing such a handsome group of machines that are a part of the GMT900 platform family. Draped in black paint, the Avalanche’s exterior shows that a simple design with minor touches such as a chrome grille, twenty-inch aluminum wheels, and chrome trim pieces works very well. The only real exterior design change to make note of is the Black Diamond emblem next to back doors, denoting that this is final year of the Avalanche.

    gallery_10485_664_1146318.jpg

    Stepping inside the Avalanche, the simple design theme continues. While other truck manufacturers are going with many shapes, buttons, and screens, the Avalanche’s dash is very clean and logically laid out. Gauges and controls are within easy reach and can be read at a quick glance.

    Passenger comfort in the Avalanche is excellent. Front passengers are treated to very supportive seats that are power adjustable and provide heat and cooling. Back seat passengers will find enormous amount of head and legroom.

    gallery_10485_664_1195810.jpg

    One downside the to the Avalanche’s cabin is the materials. I’ve complained about this before in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra Denali HD reviews, and will be doing it again with the Avalanche. For a vehicle with an as-tested pricetag of $51,295, using hard plastics and glossy, plastic wood is a massive no-no. Now, I have sat in the new GM trucks and it seems GM has learned its lesson. I just wished they learned it sooner.

    The big selling point on the Avalanche was its unique midgate. Basically, there is a tailgate that sits between the bed and cab. Flip the tailgate down and you expand the standard 5’3” bed to a whopping 8’2” bed. You can expand the space even more by removing the bed lid and rear window. The process of expanding the bed is very easy; just flip the seats down, turn a couple of knobs to unlock the midgate, and turn a latch. Well done, GM.

    gallery_10485_664_747022.jpg

    The Avalanche is powered by GM’s familiar 5.3L Vortec V8 engine, which produces 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. While on paper the engine sounds perfect for the vehicle, on the road it’s a bit of a different story. Step on the accelerator and the V8 makes a lovely noise that makes you think you’re really moving. It’s only when you look down at the speedometer that you realize you’re really not. This is thanks to the Avalanche’s 5,803 lb curb weight, which makes the 5.3L V8 somewhat overmatched. Thankfully, the six-speed automatic in the Avalanche is a high point. The transmission shifts very smoothly and is quick to go down a couple gears when passing power is needed.

    gallery_10485_664_634528.jpg

    Fuel economy on the Avalanche is rated at 15 City/21 Highway/17 Combined. During my six day evaluation of the Avalanche, I recorded an average around 15.2 MPG. On the highway, I saw my fuel economy rise to about 20 MPG.

    One place that the Avalanche really surprised me is with its ride. I was expecting the ride to be bouncy and too firm. But taking the Avalanche out for the first time, I was shocked on how smooth the ride was. The suspension seemed to smooth out the imperfections and potholes that dot the roads of the Metro Detroit area. Much of this can be traced to Avalanche having the same suspension tuning as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and not the Silverado.

    gallery_10485_664_1592381.jpg

    At the end of the six days that I had the Avalanche, I found it to be a very capable and impressive truck. The capability the midgate offers can’t be matched by any other truck, nor can any other truck match the comfort and space of the Avalanche. It seems to be a jack of all trades that works.

    If you’re interested in an Avalanche, you should head over to your Chevrolet dealer...Right now.

    Going back to beginning of the review, I left two questions unanswered. First, what went wrong with the Avalanche? Well, nothing went wrong with the Avalanche per se. Sales began to plummet at a steady rate after 2003, when the truck recorded its best sales of 93,482. Over time, truck manufacturers introduced four-door versions of their light-duty trucks that ultimately caused the downfall of the Avalanche.

    Second, what will be the Avalanche’s legacy? That’s a tougher question to answer right now. It could just fall to the wayside in automotive history or it could have a spot in it. It seems GM is hoping the latter happens since all of Avalanche models for 2013 are Black Diamond Edition to mark the end.

    gallery_10485_664_901024.jpg

    GM should be proud with what they accomplished with the Avalanche. It might not have been a success in the sales chart, but it was a true success as trying to be something different in the class.

    Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline.

    Year - 2013

    Make – Chevrolet

    Model – Avalanche

    Trim – Black Diamond LTZ

    Engine – Vortec 5.3L SFI V8

    Driveline – Four-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic

    Horsepower @ RPM – 320 @ 5,400 RPM

    Torque @ RPM – 335 @ 4,000 RPM

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/21/17

    Curb Weight – 5,803 lbs

    Location of Manufacture – Silao, GJ Mexico

    Base Price - $47,885.00

    As Tested Price - $51,745.00 (Includes $995.00 destination charge)

    Options:

    Sun & Entertainment Package - $2,435.00

    Heavy Duty Trailering Package - $230.00

    Trailer Brake Controller - $200.00

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    I agree with the interior note about hard plastics and shiny fake wood. Yet even with that, the interior is comfy and roomy for us big guys and it offers a full size bed utility for hauling sheetrock or plywood or just plenty of camping gear in a protection that no crewcab truck can do unless you buy the biggest beast with an 8' bed and a canopy.

    Avalanche you will be missed as you really were a great truck. Shame as it was an outstanding Cadillac model also. RIP Avalanche and EXT.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. 2005 EquinoxLS
      2005 EquinoxLS
      (41 years old)
    2. Shaula
      Shaula
      (36 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Ahead of its spring launch, Chevrolet has revealed the starting price for the 2018 Equinox. The base L front-wheel drive model will kick off at $24,475 (includes destination). This model will feature a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque.
      Those looking for more power or fuel economy will need to wait until the second quarter when the turbo 2.0L and turbodiesel 1.6L four-cylinders go on sale. Front-wheel and all-wheel will be on offer. As for trims, the Equinox will be offered in L, LS, LT, and Premier. 
      “In a word, crossover customers want one thing: everything. From comfort and connectivity to efficient performance and safety, the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox delivers on all counts,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing for Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers.
      We'll likely have more details on pricing and features as we get closer to the Equinox's launch.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2
      NEXT-GEN 2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX STARTS AT $24,475
      Crossover offers customers the perfect blend of design, technology and value DETROIT — Chevrolet announced today that pricing for the next-generation 2018 Equinox will start at $24,475 when it goes on sale this spring. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price includes the destination charge but excludes tax, title and additional dealer fees.

      Equinox offers a fresh, new design and technologies to help keep passengers comfortable and connected on the road.
      “In a word, crossover customers want one thing: everything. From comfort and connectivity to efficient performance and safety, the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox delivers on all counts,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers.
      The 2018 Equinox will offer three turbocharged engines — including the segment’s first turbo-diesel — providing customers more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability.
      The standard 1.5L engine will be available at launch, with the 2.0L Turbo and diesel options available in the second quarter of 2017. The 2.0L engine will be coupled to GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission, offering an exciting driving experience with more horsepower and torque.
      The 2018 Equinox will be available in L, LS, LT and Premier trim levels, in FWD or AWD combinations.
      Chevrolet’s connectivity technologies include a standard 7- and an available 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen with MyLink infotainment designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.*
      The new Equinox offers an expanded range of active safety features:
      New Safety Alert Seat New Surround Vision New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert   Rear Cross Traffic Alert Rear Seat Reminder and Teen Driver are also offered. Rear Seat Reminder can provide an alert when the rear doors are used during or just before a trip, prompting you to double-check for valuables left in the back seat when you exit the vehicle. Teen Driver allows parents to monitor driving habits and facilitates discussions to help encourage better driving habits, even when parents are not in the vehicle. 

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Ahead of its spring launch, Chevrolet has revealed the starting price for the 2018 Equinox. The base L front-wheel drive model will kick off at $24,475 (includes destination). This model will feature a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque.
      Those looking for more power or fuel economy will need to wait until the second quarter when the turbo 2.0L and turbodiesel 1.6L four-cylinders go on sale. Front-wheel and all-wheel will be on offer. As for trims, the Equinox will be offered in L, LS, LT, and Premier. 
      “In a word, crossover customers want one thing: everything. From comfort and connectivity to efficient performance and safety, the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox delivers on all counts,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing for Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers.
      We'll likely have more details on pricing and features as we get closer to the Equinox's launch.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2
      NEXT-GEN 2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX STARTS AT $24,475
      Crossover offers customers the perfect blend of design, technology and value DETROIT — Chevrolet announced today that pricing for the next-generation 2018 Equinox will start at $24,475 when it goes on sale this spring. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price includes the destination charge but excludes tax, title and additional dealer fees.

      Equinox offers a fresh, new design and technologies to help keep passengers comfortable and connected on the road.
      “In a word, crossover customers want one thing: everything. From comfort and connectivity to efficient performance and safety, the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox delivers on all counts,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers.
      The 2018 Equinox will offer three turbocharged engines — including the segment’s first turbo-diesel — providing customers more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability.
      The standard 1.5L engine will be available at launch, with the 2.0L Turbo and diesel options available in the second quarter of 2017. The 2.0L engine will be coupled to GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission, offering an exciting driving experience with more horsepower and torque.
      The 2018 Equinox will be available in L, LS, LT and Premier trim levels, in FWD or AWD combinations.
      Chevrolet’s connectivity technologies include a standard 7- and an available 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen with MyLink infotainment designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.*
      The new Equinox offers an expanded range of active safety features:
      New Safety Alert Seat New Surround Vision New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert   Rear Cross Traffic Alert Rear Seat Reminder and Teen Driver are also offered. Rear Seat Reminder can provide an alert when the rear doors are used during or just before a trip, prompting you to double-check for valuables left in the back seat when you exit the vehicle. Teen Driver allows parents to monitor driving habits and facilitates discussions to help encourage better driving habits, even when parents are not in the vehicle. 
    • By William Maley
      Whenever a new set of spy shots come out, the photographer tends to have an idea of the vehicle in question. But that isn't the case with this set of spy shots.
      The vehicle in question is a Chevrolet Crossover that was driving nearby General Motors' headquarters. But no one can seem to agree if this is the next-generation Traverse or the rumored crossover that would sit between the Equinox and Traverse. Motor1 believes it's latter since it is about the same size and shape as the downsized GMC Acadia. This new model could be wearing the Blazer nameplate.
      No matter which model this turns out to be, we can be sure the front end will feature a similar design to the Equinox - large split grille and angular headlights. The taillights are long and horizontal, again taking a cue from the Equinox.
      This new model will use the C1XX platform that currently underpins the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia. Power is expected to come from an updated 3.6L V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic.
      Source: Motor1

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Whenever a new set of spy shots come out, the photographer tends to have an idea of the vehicle in question. But that isn't the case with this set of spy shots.
      The vehicle in question is a Chevrolet Crossover that was driving nearby General Motors' headquarters. But no one can seem to agree if this is the next-generation Traverse or the rumored crossover that would sit between the Equinox and Traverse. Motor1 believes it's latter since it is about the same size and shape as the downsized GMC Acadia. This new model could be wearing the Blazer nameplate.
      No matter which model this turns out to be, we can be sure the front end will feature a similar design to the Equinox - large split grille and angular headlights. The taillights are long and horizontal, again taking a cue from the Equinox.
      This new model will use the C1XX platform that currently underpins the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia. Power is expected to come from an updated 3.6L V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic.
      Source: Motor1
    • By William Maley
      Every Chevrolet Bolt that will be rolling off the assembly line will lose General Motors close to $9,000 once they are sold. This seems like madness, but according to a report from Bloomberg, there is some method to it. 
      Thanks to new regulations done by California Air Resources Board, automakers have to sell a certain amount of zero-emission vehicles if they want to sell other vehicles - primarily crossovers, SUVs, and trucks - in the state. These new regulations say by 2025, zero-emission vehicles need to make up 15.4 percent of the market. Since then, nine other states including New York have adopted these regulations. All told, these ten states make up 30 percent of the total U.S. auto market.
      Take for example Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed a couple years back they take a hit of $14,000 on every Fiat 500e sold. But if they wanted to sell Ram pickups and Jeep SUVs in California, they need to take the hit.
      How does Bloomberg get the $9,000 figure? That's due to a source at General Motors who revealed the estimate is based on the Bolt's $37,500 base price. A GM spokesman declined to comment.
      If General Motors is able to sell enough Bolts, they'll be able to gather enough credits to not only sell other vehicles which will make up for the Bolt's loss, but also be able to sell extra credits to other automakers. Tesla has taken advantage of this to great effect. In the third quarter, Tesla made $139 million from selling credits.  
      Source: Bloomberg
       
       
       

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online