- Powertrain performance
- Easy-to-use controls
- Is the Midgate worth it?
- Four-speed automatic transmission
The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is the truck for those who can't decide whether they need a pickup or an SUV.
Hey, want to see a trick? If you think your friends will say yes, then you might want a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche. From its debut as a 2002 model, the Avalanche has been defined by its unique Midgate and the one trick it performs.
The folding Midgate forms the rear wall of the Avalanche's passenger compartment. With the Midgate closed and the rear seat up, the Chevy Avalanche has room for up to six passengers depending on whether you have bucket seats or a bench in front. When the Midgate is folded, voila, you lose room for passengers in the rear but the pickup bed grows in length from 5'3" to 8'2". Neat, eh?
The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is a bit of a one-trick pony, but tens of thousands of buyers like this versatility, so Chevy keeps on building the unique SUV/truck hybrid.
Looking at the current Chevrolet Avalanche, it's important to know that every light-duty pickup from General Motors was comprehensively retooled for the 2007 model year, including the Chevy Avalanche. In case you didn't know, the Avalanche is based on the Chevrolet Suburban chassis, sharing many common parts and even the dimensions of its wheelbase.
Because of all the work done for 2007, the changes made on the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche are relatively minor. The 2008 edition adds standard curtain airbags to all model lines. A split-bench seat can now be ordered on the LS edition; LTZ models get new wood-grain trim and brighter instrument pointers.
The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is available in LS, LT, and LTZ models and with either rear- or-four-wheel drive. The standard engine is a 320-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation. A 6.0-liter, 366-horsepower V-8 is available; it also shuts off cylinders under low engine loads to reduce fuel consumption. An E85 flex-fuel engine is offered.
Two- and four-wheel drive drivetrains are available. A heavy-duty Z71 Off-Road package is optional and features larger recovery hook openings; larger, more prominent fog lamps; and specific grille texture and platinum chrome grille trim. Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are also part of the package.
Major available technology features include rear park assist, a rearview camera system, DVD navigation, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an eight-inch screen.
So how does it all work? Very well. For the most part, dirty cargo can stay in the bed while passengers remain comfortable in the roomy interior. The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche shares its interior with the Chevy Silverado pickup and Tahoe SUV, and the experts at TheCarConnection.com like these trucks. Their comfort and controls are first rate and simple to use. If you haven't been in this newest generation of GM light-duty truck, you owe it a look. With the exception of a couple of cheap bits here and there, you'll find little to gripe about.
On the road, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche drives a lot like a Chevy Suburban. This is a good thing, as its ride is smooth and handling acceptable for a 5,400-pound vehicle.
For those familiar with the first-generation Avalanche (2002-2006), problems with the color fading from the high-impact body and bed cladding have been resolved--no more worries about fading with the new model.