TO THE POINTWhat’s New? Completely redesigned, the Avalanche gets a stiffer frame, upgraded steering and suspension, an improved interior, and restyled sheetmetal Selling Points: Interior materials; seat comfort; improved ride and handling; new design Deal Breakers: Observed fuel economy is below 14 mpg; blind spots; side-curtain airbags optional on lower trims Our Advice: This vastly improved truck is the one for you if you desire flexibility and don’t care about fuel efficiency
DesignA refined exterior design, along with significant interior improvements, add a new level of sophistication to the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche.
This is how you get people back: Build them something that they want. Make ‘em want to sit inside, want to be seen in it, want the behind-the-wheel experience. It’s something that GM has traditionally failed to deliver until recently, and the result has been dramatic: lost market share, unsold vehicles, trouble in the newspapers.
Things are – slowly – getting better, and the Avalanche is an example, along with the other new GM trucks. With a carefully styled exterior design featuring slab sides and a more contemporary, upscale feel, they are SUVs that look aggressive in a mature way, with strong shoulders and finely tuned details. The changes seem modest at first, but when you take a second look, you see that the sum total of the subtle modifications represents a significant improvement. And that’s just the sheetmetal. Open the door and prepare for an interior that wraps you in quality materials and improved fit-and-finish. For example, most controls and vents fit flush, and the finish is improved. Gauges are easy to see and understand, and displays are well-lit. It’s big inside, and comfortable, able to seat six in the Avalanche LS. Other changes to the interior include firm, well-bolstered seats, ample cargo room, and an upgraded climate control system. Also new and standard on the higher priced trims is a full-length side curtain airbag system.
As for the showpiece of the Avalanche – the removable midgate that transforms the truck from passenger hauler to cargo mauler – GM designers pretty much left it alone, as it takes only minutes to fold the rear seats flat and remove the back window to expand the cargo bed. Once converted, the Avalanche goes from an SUV with a 5-foot 3-inch truck bed to a pickup with a bed that’s almost eight feet in length. Waterproof storage compartments in the sides of the bed stay the same, though the 2007 model does feature a lockable rear tailgate. The Avalanche also features removable and partitioned hard plastic tonneau covers that can be individually locked into place.