was placed on interior styling, fabric choices and noise suppression.
A new instrument panel, more comfortable seats that don’t have integrated
seat belts, increased shoulder room and additional storage options are
noticeable improvements. Not as obvious is the complete acoustic package
that includes spray-on damping and sound mats in strategic locations.
Midgate/folding rear seat system returns. The seat back folds to make
a flat load floor. Then the Midgate and rear window can be removed together
or separately. With the Midgate out, the 5.3-foot cargo bed in effect
extends into the passenger compartment for a total length of 8.3 feet.
Some fans of the Avalanche have asked for a power Midgate, but such a
move would negate the option of removing the Midgate and leaving the rear
window in place for a quieter ride.
storage bins return as does the optional tonneau. 3-piece rigid cargo
cover. New for ’07 is a central-locking tailgate that is spring
loaded to reduce the effort needed to open or close it. The traditional
keyed lock is removed. Now locking and unlocking is handled with interior
switches or with the keyfob. Chevy has also implemented a more secure
method of storing the cargo cover when not in use.
cab is a new fully boxed frame that officials say offers 49 percent increased
torsional stiffness compared to the previous generation and has additional
crush space. The frame also supports wider front and rear tracks for improved
stability. The front suspension has been changed to a coil-over-shock
design. Previous 4x4 models were torsion bar. Rack-and-pinion steering
is standard. In the rear, the 5-link/coil spring arrangement returns.
The Avalanche gets larger 4-wheel disc brakes with dual-piston calipers
and new ABS controls from Bosch. Standard on the LTZ trim is the Autoride
suspension, a bi-state, real-time damping system that uses wheel motion
sensors to responds to changes in road conditions.
were important to the entire GMT900 platform, so the Avalanche now offers
StabiliTrak as standard equipment. This electronic stability control system
includes rollover mitigation technology. Other safety improvements include
side curtain air bags and safety belt pretensioners with rear impact deployment
capability. An ultrasonic rear parking assist and/or rearview camera system
are available so the driver can be aware of objects or persons behind
the truck. And there’s also the next generation OnStar that makes
crash data available to emergency services to help facilitate the proper
fans, Avalanche will over a new Z71 package later in the year. Officials
promise more than just a wheel/tire/shock/decal package. Some features
that have been announced include larger tow hooks, more prominent fog
lamps and a new grille texture. Avalanche will be offered in nine exterior
introduced in 2001 as a 2002 model, it was a maverick in the truck
community. It had breakout styling with the military-chic cladding, batwing
headlights and sails flying off the C-pillars. Eventually, other Chevy
vehicles picked up on the Avalanche’s front-end styling cues and
all the trucks started to look the same. Even though the Avalanche shared
85 percent of its parts with the Suburban, it was distinctive and rebellious
in the beginning.
now say the Avalanche shares upwards of 90 percent of the Suburban parts
lists, including the front-end sheetmetal. There is much less distinction
and hardly any rebellion.
sales were down 22 percent in 2005 from the previous year. The truck had
its best sales year in 2003 with more than 93,000 units. Last year it
was about 63,000 units. Chevy officials blame the gas prices and industry
shift away from fullsize SUVs last year. They also say GM gave more marketing
support to the Silverado and Sierra than the Avalanche, so pickup shoppers
gravitated toward those models.
that the new Avalanche has been well received by the dealers and anticipate
that the market will react “equally favorably.”