2011 Chevrolet Avalanche Crew Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Chevrolet Avalanche Crew Cab

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Avalanche Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.3 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 320 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche

  • Thanks to its practical midgate configuration, the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is an ideal crew-cab pickup for carrying a combination of passengers and cargo.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Versatile midgate-based body style; smooth ride; comfortable seating.

  • Cons

    Higher price than regular crew-cab pickups; large size and rear-quarter blind spots hinder maneuverability in tight spots.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Chevrolet Avalanche carries into 2011 essentially unchanged.

Full 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

What's New for 2011

The Chevrolet Avalanche carries into 2011 essentially unchanged.


Like peanut butter and chocolate, sometimes combining two seemingly unrelated things results in something that's a pleasant surprise. In the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche's case, it's the combination of both pickup and SUV attributes that proves to be so appealing. The Avalanche is based on GM's full-size truck architecture and comes in a four-door crew-cab body style. Unlike a truck, however, the Avalanche's cab and bed aren't separate; instead, the Avalanche features an SUV's one-piece body.

Separating these two sections is an innovative "midgate" that gives the Avalanche its unique flexibility. With it in place you have a quiet, comfortable SUV-like interior; fold it down and you get an extended cargo area that stretches all the way from the lockable tailgate to the back of the front seats. The three-piece hard tonneau cover over the bed can either be left in place to keep cargo secure or removed to carry taller items like dirt bikes or large home appliances. As with all big trucks, the Avalanche's main downside is its plus-sized dimensions, which can make it a handful in heavy traffic and tight spaces. The other notable downside is a price tag that's substantially higher than comparable crew cab pickups.

Truck shoppers who like the Avalanche's versatile design might also want to check out the 2011 Honda Ridgeline; though it lacks the Avalanche's cargo room and towing capacity, it offers an equally innovative SUV/pickup hybrid design in a more nimble, less expensive and more fuel-efficient package. And if luxury is your thing, you might also look at the Chevy's upscale cousin, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT. But overall we think the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is a solid pick for people needing the best of both the pickup and SUV worlds.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is a full-size crew-cab pickup with a removable rear window and exclusive midgate. There are three trim levels: base LS, midlevel LT and premium LTZ.

The LS features a composite cargo bed, a removable three-piece cargo cover, side assist steps, a roof rack and deep-tinted rear privacy glass. Inside you'll find full power accessories, dual-zone manual air-conditioning, front bucket seats with a power driver seat, Bluetooth, OnStar and a single-CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB port, satellite radio and rear-seat audio controls.

The LT adds rear parking assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, remote engine start, a premium Bose sound system and enhanced OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation. The top-drawer LTZ offers standard 20-inch polished alloy wheels, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, an adaptive suspension, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a Bose surround-sound audio system. Many of these upper-trim-level features are available as options on the lower trims.

Add the Z71 Off Road package and you get specialized springs and shock absorbers, upgraded 18-inch off-road tires, front recovery hooks, a skid plate and a high-capacity air cleaner. The Z71 looks different, too, thanks to beefy fender flares, an aggressive front fascia and tubular side assist steps.

Depending on the trim level, other stand-alone or packaged options include 20-inch chromed wheels, power running boards, an integrated trailer-brake controller, a sunroof, a front bench seat and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is available with either two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). LS and LT 4WD models get a single-speed transfer case, while a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing is standard on the LTZ and available as an option on lower trim levels.

All 2011 Avalanche models come equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 that generates 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. A properly equipped 2WD Avalanche can tow up to 8,100 pounds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined for both 2WD and 4WD models.


Standard safety features on the Chevrolet Avalanche include antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor, plus GM's OnStar emergency communications system.

The Avalanche has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. However, its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to the new methodology) were a top five-star rating in all front- and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Climb up into the Avalanche and you'll find a passenger cabin that can seat up to six passengers with the available 40/20/40-split front bench seat or five with the standard front buckets. The interior has a comfortable, quality feel to it with clearly laid out gauges and controls.

When it comes time to haul stuff instead of people, the Avalanche's 5-foot-3-inch cargo bed expands to just over 8 feet with the midgate folded down. The transformation process is relatively easy if you leave the rear window and hard tonneau cover in place, but you'll need to remove and stow the rear glass and bed cover to take full advantage of the Avalanche's full pickup-like capabilities.

Cargo bins along the side of the bed provide a home for small items and feature drain plugs so they can do double-duty as rolling ice chests. The rear tailgate and bed cover also lock to keep valuable cargo secure.

Driving Impressions

Without a full load, the 5.3-liter V8 under the hood of the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche gives the big truck better-than-average acceleration. Both handling and steering feel are respectable, but maneuverability is hampered by the Avalanche's substantial size and huge blind spots to the sides and rear of the vehicle. With the midgate buttoned up, the Avalanche is a bit smoother and quieter than a traditional pickup.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Rear panels leaking

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche

I bought my new 2010 avalanche after trading in my 2007 avalnache. The only problem i have with this truck is, it leaks water on ther rear while the panels are on. They have replaced them already and I'm waiting on them to replace them again. Is anyone else having this problem?

Great truck!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche

Replaced a Truck after it was in an accident. Wow, this a great truck. Very comfortable and roomy. Build quality is very very good and have no complaints. Compared initially with the Silverado but the ride in the A/V won as over. If you are looking for a truck but don't use it as a day to day truck, this is the one I would recommend. It can do everything a truck can do and more.

2010 av

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche

Just bought this av only had it a couple of weeks now so far so good. I will say I traded in a ford F-150 king ranch with a 5.4 the ford got better mileage and lots more power than my av and the nav system in the ford is far superior to Chevy system. But the reason I traded was because the Chevy has a wonderful ride and drive and the ford is very uncomfortable on long hauls and I do a lot of driving. All together I am satisfied with my purchase and really like the Chevy so far even though i only have 1800 miles on it.

Great truck

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche

I should start out by stating that this is my 2nd Av. My primary gripe about the 2003 Av was cosmetic. The interior didnít look much better than a mid- level work truck, and most models at that time had the side cladding on the lower door panels and fenders. Fast forward 7 years and you see huge improvements in such areas as engine refinement, standard features, and styling/appearance. I own the top LTZ model and couldnít be happier. Itís not cheap, but it really is packed with features. The interior is very well designed and looks sharp. The engine is very smooth and quiet, acceleration is strong. Seats 5 comfortably

Just bought and lovin' it

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche

I've had the Avalanche for about 2 weeks now and I am enjoying the truck thoroughly. Ride is quiet and refined, especially compared to the pick-up it replaced. Acceleration was a pleasant surprise. Despite it's size, I've had no problem maneuvering the vehicle in tight places so far. I do feel the back up camera is mandatory, as I find it essential when going in reverse. Fuel economy is what I expected, but still is actually slightly improved over my smaller former vehicle which I attribute to the 8/4 cyl highway cruise feature, and the ability to run in 2WD except when on-demand 4WD is needed. In short, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship! :-D

Talk About The 2011 Avalanche

2011 Chevrolet Avalanche Discussions See all Started By

Have 2011 Avalanche and 26 ft travel trailer. It simply will not tow the trailer....

I have a 2007 Z71. Today I was at a stop sign turning right. A soon as I turned the corner there was a load bang/clunk and truck felt like it was in neutral...drive and 3rd not working, 1st and 2nd ...

2011 Avalanche LT w/ offroad Z71 package...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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