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2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche was new.

The highly-regarded Avalanche offers excellent hauling and towing capabilities in a uniquely versatile, safe and smooth-riding package, but can't match the affordability and higher fuel economy of others in its class.

8.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.2
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Folding rear midgate allows many cargo and passenger configurations
  • New suspension makes for a more refined ride than the previous generation
  • Redesigned exterior pleases all
  • Excellent crash test scores and safety equipment
  • Poor fuel economy, even with fuel-saving engine technology
  • Expensive sticker price relative to competition
  • Some find steering lacks road feel

2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Overview

Launched in 2001, the Avalanche is Chevy's four-door, six-seat sport utility truck. Thanks to a full redesign in 2007, the 2008 Avalanche as an exceptionally functional hauler/tower and a surprisingly smooth highway cruiser. These features make the Avalanche one of the top-ranked sport utility trucks. The Avalanche has a folding rear midgate and removable rear window, which extends the truck bed into the back seat area. Because the Avalanche is so multi-functional, most reviewers are positive on the SUT. Highlights for the new model include a stiffer suspension, updated steering, a restyled exterior and a higher-quality interior. But despite the positive changes, the Avalanche has limited maneuverability and low fuel economy (even for a large SUT), as well as a high price tag.

If you need more luxury, the Cadillac Escalade EXT has the same capabilities as the Avalanche, but is more upscale.  Keep in mind that its price is more upscale too.

  • "The truck has the right combination of attributes -- power, space, towing capacity, and off-road ability -- for people who sometimes want room for six people, but also have towing and cargo-carrying needs." -- Truck Trend
  • "A four-wheeled, 5,645-pound Swiss Army knife." -- The Orlando Sentinel
  • "The Avalanche, while it is a truck underneath, is a vehicle that is elegant, comfortable and practical all in one package. It starts out as a sport-utility vehicle ... and essentially is the same as the Suburban from the nose to the back of the middle seat, where it then becomes a pickup." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • The Avalanche's sticker price "makes our long-term Ridgeline seem like a bargain, even with all the compromises." -- AutoWeek
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