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2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond & Toyota Highlander V6 4WD

William Maley

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So this week in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage, I have ended up with two vehicles.

The first is the 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond edition. Yes, the Avalanche is still in production till the end of 2013. To mark the end of an era, Chevrolet has introduced the Black Diamond edition to all Avalanches which adds a badge signifying the lifetime of the Avalanche, rear vision camera system, body-color exterior components, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, remote vehicle starter system, power-adjustable pedals and foglamps. Our Avalanche Black Diamond is the LTZ model and come with leather, navigation, a trailer package, heated and cooled seats, and much more. Power comes from a 5.3L V8 producing 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet that goes through a six-speed automatic.

Pricetag on this 2013 Avalanche is $51,295.

Next is the 2013 Toyota Highlander. This is the base model (somewhat of a rarity in the press fleet) and comes with seating for seven, a touchscreen radio, cloth seats, trip computer, and a few other bits. Power is a 3.5L V6 (270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet) that goes down to a five-speed automatic. I had the chance to drive the Highlander a bit more since it was dropped yesterday and finding it to be a very competent crossover. The V6 is quite punchy and the five-speed is smooth. I'm seeing fuel economy hovering around the 19 MPG mark which is the EPA rating for the city.

Pricetag on the 2013 Highlander is around $33,757.

I'll be talking more about these two vehicles over the next week. If you have any questions on either one, leave a comment. I'll do my best to answer them.

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The Avalanche will be missed. It's interesting to see how many 2013 Black Diamond Avalanche's are now being sold, especially to existing Avalanche customers who want to have the newest and greatest one before it ends.

Highlander. meh. Nice V6 but bleh looks, dynamics and overall persona, especially as a base. Still a quality car regardless.

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Avalanche is still a good looking vehicle. I wonder how many owners actually utilized the mid-gate feature to maximize cargo hauling?

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Avalanche is still a good looking vehicle. I wonder how many owners actually utilized the mid-gate feature to maximize cargo hauling?

Good question. We did a few times each in both our 2002 and my 2009, to haul things like long tables and lumber in weatherproof storage. More so, I enjoyed taking the back window out and driving with that open, as the aerodynamics were so well done it was a great vent.

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Avalanche is still a good looking vehicle. I wonder how many owners actually utilized the mid-gate feature to maximize cargo hauling?

I used mine all the time.

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