Chevrolet's Avalanche is an interesting yet phenomenal approach of combining both sport utility and pick up truck versatility. Since it's release in 2002, the Avalanche has long been a great seller and a consumer's pick in satisfaction. Most dealers sell out of the current model year before the end of the year is up, which bodes well for future sales. For some of us that's unfamiliar with what the Chevrolet has to offer, I will take one out and do some constructive reviewing of what the 2008 Avalanche has to offer in the marketplace. That way, the buyers can decide if it's a suitable vehicle to add to the shopping list.

At the onset, there is no comparison to the Avalanche. Some buyer's would argue that there is no substitute to either a suv or a truck. This might be the case, but the Avalanche makes a strong counterpoint in all the amenities it has to offer. First of all, the truck can comfortably sit up to six people on cushiony seating surfaces that feel high end and therapeutic on the back and legs, even on the long trips. A fairly basic seating configuration for the family of five and would only not cater to those with more than that. On the other hand, when anyone needs the use of a pickup, the bed is more than adequate at just at 6' long, which is standard sizing for a fullsize truck. But fold down GM's exclusive midgate and the total bed length is right there at 8'8" long, astronomical in length as it does exceed even the HD long beds which are only 8'!! However, you would lose the rear seat in lieu of the extra bed length, a small price to pay if the husband and wife needs to make the trip to the lumber yard. Plywood, sheetrock, or lots of gardening stuff, the Avalanche will swallow them whole! Bed materials are high quality and easy to clean with integrated tie downs, drain holes, 3 piece covers, and storage cubbies on the side that can be used as makeshift coolers/tool boxes. Conclusively, it is easy to see the complete versatility of such a ride......

Riding in the 2008 Avalanche doesn't disappoint as well. Made better with a new design and better engineered parts, the newer Avalanche rides better and feels like better quality. To be completely honest, the interior design and fit and finish is among the best in the fullsize market, and it's nothing to be ignored! Driving the truck is gratifying, very smooth over bumps (revised coil over shocks) and the turning radius is super tight (uses a revised rack and pinion system). As in Honda Civic tight! Power is adequate coming from my LT1 5.3L with cylinder deactivation, but feels its weight when you start to go up hills. The 4-speed automatic is generic for this type of vehicle, but with other trucks offering five and six speeds, it would only be more beneficial if Chevrolet integrates that into future models. The Cadillac Escalade EXT already has this, and it makes a huge difference.

Problems were few and far between. Some would say that squeeks and leaks can be an issue, especially with the different construction of the body and cage construction. But the last couple years of Avalanches have been further improved to help along the long lasting durability of the truck. Prices are stout, my test mule was right at $35k for a 2WD LT1 trim. They can get very expensive right away depending on how fancy you get, and this is easy to do as there are a lot of hypnotic features buyer's would love to have. Additionally, there are plenty of one year old trade ins available, and at about half price compared to new, this would be an advantageous route to go if you're looking to save. Gas mileage in this heavy truck is terrible, if not unbearable. Even with the cylinder deactivation technology, I only managed 14 mpg with sensible driving. Not a truck's biggest achievement by no means.

As a result, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is the perfect compromise for the buyer looking for that specific reason. Still yet a popular and award winning truck/suv hybrid that will sell thousands more in many years. A great idea in a diverse market!

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Shaun Davidson-Automotive and Finance Consultant-2008

In-Depth Automotive Review - 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche - Test Drive & Pricing