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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Not yet rated
2011 Chevrolet Avalanche: "Good," front impacts; "acceptable," side impacts
Side curtain airbags are now standard
rear-quarter blind spots hinder maneuverability
Though safety ratings are in from just one of two major crash-test agencies, the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche can rely on lots of features and a strong history for its high safety score here.
Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have changed the way they score vehicles for crash safety this year. The IIHS has rated the Avalanche based on its new criteria, and it's given the truck fairly high marks: it earns a "good" rating for front-impact protection, with an "acceptable" score for side-impact protection.
However, the NHTSA hasn't yet given a number to the Avalanche. In the past it's earned mostly four and five stars, and it's closely related to the four-door Chevy Silverado pickup, which earns an overall rating of five stars for 2011.
Adding to the safety narrative is a long list of features, including front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; and stability and traction control. The Avalanche's stability control includes rollover mitigation, and the truck also comes with basic OnStar hardware that notifies 911 in case of an accident.
Safety options on the 2011 Avalanche include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors; a blind-spot warning system; and an integrated brake controller for towing systems. The camera and sensors are recommended, since the truck's high haunches can make rearward visibility a major issue in parking lots.
Visibility isn't the best, but the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche overcomes it with cameras and sensors; overall safety is highly rated.