2002 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

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List Price Range:$9,000 - $10,995
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Chevrolet Avalanche model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Versatile and innovative cab configuration, strong V8 engine, high tow rating.
  • Funky styling, cheap interior pieces, limited drivetrain choices.

Combining the comforts of a Tahoe with the practicality of a Silverado, the Avalanche is a crossover vehicle that creatively provides the best of both worlds.

Vehicle overview

Dubbed the first "Ultimate Utility Truck," the Avalanche attempts to bridge the gap between the comfort of a full-size SUV and the utility of a pickup truck. To achieve this, the Avalanche utilizes a foldable midgate between the bed and the second row of seats. In its standard configuration, the Avalanche is a comfortable five- or six-passenger (depending on the front seat) sport-ute that also provides a short cargo bed. Should you need to haul the ubiquitous 4x8-foot sheet of plywood, just remove the rear window (a simple twist and pull operation), fold the rear seats and lower the midgate for an instant transformation into a full-fledged work truck, complete with an 8-foot 1-inch bed.

It sounds a little complex, but it can all be done without tools, and the truck has a handy storage compartment for the displaced window. The Avalanche also incorporates many other innovative features like lockable storage chests in each side of the bed, a rear bumper with integrated step-ups and built-in grab handles that also serve as cargo tie downs. The standard cargo cover can support 250 pounds on any one of its three removable panels, and the optional ribbed soft cover even comes with a handy storage bag that mounts to the side of the bed with beefy snaphooks and a rachet strap to keep it snug.

The abundance of gee-whiz gadgets almost makes you forget that this is a burly full-size truck with the same underpinnings as a half-ton Suburban. It packs the punch of GM's 5.3-liter Vortec V8 that cranks out 285 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque. A four-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and 4x4 models feature GM's Autotrac pushbutton four-wheel-drive system that can be set to engage the front wheels automatically when it senses a loss of traction. The maximum tow rating for two-wheel-drive models is 8,300 pounds, while four-wheel-drive models can handle 8,100 pounds.

For better or worse, the interior is pure Chevy truck. Interior material quality is unimpressive, but there are simple gauges, a logical control layout and plenty of handy storage compartments. Four different seat fabrics (cloth, sport cloth, sport leather, leather) can be specified to suit your intended uses, while other options include automatic climate control, GM's OnStar system and a power sunroof. A premium on-road package adds 17-inch wheels, load-leveling rear shocks and a locking rear differential. The Z71 off-road package also adds 17-inch wheels and a locking differential along with specially tuned springs and shocks, skid plates and a high-capacity air cleaner.

There's no doubt that the Avalanche provides terrific utility in an innovative and bold package. Sport-ute and truck buyers have long wrestled with the question of what they need more -- cargo-hauling capacity or people-hauling capacity. Crew cab pickups are one alternative, but their shortened beds compromise utility. With the Avalanche, you can have both in one simple package.

2002 Highlights

The 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche is the newest addition to the Chevy truck lineup. Incorporating a unique convertible cab system, the Avalanche can transform itself from a five-passenger sport-utility with a 5-foot-3-inch bed into a standard cab pickup with a full 8-foot-1-inch utility bed. A 5300 Vortec V8 is standard along with a heavy-duty towing package.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.75 out of 5 stars
1st vehicle it would hurt me to give up!
1500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
This is the first vehicle I have ever owned that it would truly hurt to give up. I bought it new 184000 miles ago and its been great, Outside of normal maintaince, I had the rear locking differential replaced at 140000 miles. The versatility of the midgate makes it so I can haul 4 x 8 drywall with 12' long 2 by 4's on top of them, sticking between the front seats, all out of the weather. Its great for hauling the grocerys, moving a kid to college or taking 5 full sized adults on a trip. Towing is ok, ride and comfort is better than any car or minivan that I ever owned.
4 out of 5 stars
Cargo Compartment Door Latch
Nwankama Nwankama,02/22/2002
1500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
I was an unlikely convert to Chevy. Having been a Toyota and Honda owner in the past, I have come to appreciate reliability. However, I test drove the Avalanche and fell in love with it, and bought one. But I have a concern: is it a faulty build or design? On two occassions while driving my Avi, the cargo bed door has open by itself. On one accasion, I actually had it locked with the key. Has any othe rperson experienced this, or is something wrong with Avalanche?
4.88 out of 5 stars
Its amazing!
1500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
Ive owned my avalanche for a couple of years now, i bought it in 2013 with 145xxx miles on it and i haven't had a single problem with it. its a blast to drive!
4.25 out of 5 stars
I love this truck
1500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
Bought my Avalanche with 12K miles in 2003, it now has 167K and going strong. Considering the miles, other than routine things like, brakes, shocks, oil and tires, this truck has broken down very little. I had some front end work done, pitman arm and ball joints at about 100k, and a knock sensor at 150K. I replace the water pump at 150K because the gasket was leaking and I had to remove it to do the gasket. The original brakes lasted 100k. Still on the original alternator, radiator, exhaust etc.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover2 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
More About This Model

Don't worry, Chevrolet hasn't stooped to sponsoring Austrian ski resort tragedies just yet. No, this Avalanche is merely the newest addition to its expansive full-size truck and SUV lineup. To be more precise, the Avalanche is Chevrolet's first attempt at a crossover truck, a vehicle designed to incorporate the best aspects of both sport-utilities and pickups into one all-inclusive package.

Based on the same chassis as the full-size Suburban, the Avalanche wears a new front fascia that integrates styled headlights and exaggerated wheel arches for a substantially more aggressive look than your average 'Burban or Tahoe. Full-length gray body cladding adds to the truck's rough-and-tumble style along with matching gray sail panels that give it a Baja racer look.

From the driver seat, you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the Avalanche and its Suburban/Tahoe brothers. The seats are big and comfortable with plenty of room for tall drivers, and there's a commanding view of the road. Look behind the front row, however, and the Avalanche quickly changes personality, boasting a whole slew of new gadgets guaranteed to attract plenty of attention from buyers looking for a little more than just your average family hauler.

At the heart of the Avalanche's unique design is the all-new Convert-A-Cab system. It features an innovative midgate between the passenger cab and the utility bed that can be folded away for unobstructed access. It functions in the same manner as a rear seat pass-through in a passenger sedan, but the Avalanche takes this idea one step further.

In its standard configuration, the Avalanche functions like a typical full-size sport-utility, with seating for up to six passengers in addition to the 5-foot 3-inch utility bed. Should you need some extra cargo capacity, however, the Avalanche can be instantly transformed into a full-size pickup. Just flip the second-row seats forward, remove the rear window (it pops right out and can be placed in a handy storage compartment on the midgate), fold down the midgate and presto! Your former carpool ride now sports an 8-foot 1-inch pickup bed, complete with a composite-lined surface that Chevrolet says is fully rust- and dent-proof. All this can be done by one person in a matter of minutes without tools, claims Chevrolet.

We put it to the test during a short introductory drive and found the Convert-A-Cab system to work as advertised, with simple operation of the midgate and easily foldable second-row seats. The removable window stowed tightly in the provided rack, dispelling our doubts that it might not travel well after removal. The composite coating on the back of the midgate makes for a durable and usable surface throughout the entire length of the bed.

The cargo bed itself contains numerous trick innovations that support the Avalanche's billing as the "Ultimate Utility Vehicle." It comes standard with a rigid cargo cover that can support 250 pounds on each of three individual panels. An optional soft cover is supported by spring-loaded ribs and can be rolled up and fastened with straps to the back of the midgate or stowed in a storage bag that mounts to the side of the bed via heavy-duty ratchet straps. Both covers are weather-resistant and both are designed to channel water into special drainage holes beneath the sail panels to avoid pooling.

The tailgate is composed entirely of composite material that makes it lightweight and rust- and dent-resistant, in addition to being fully lockable to provide secure storage with the hard cargo cover in place. Steps integrated into each end of the rear bumper and grab handles at each corner (that also serve as tie downs) make climbing in and out easy. Lockable and lighted storage compartments are integrated into each side of the bed that provide 3.5 cubic feet of impact-resistant storage space, perfect for stashing tools or jumper cables.

The bed itself is 22.5 inches high on the inside, making it deeper than any other full-size truck. With the midgate folded down and the tailgate lowered, the Avalanche provides a nearly 10-foot-long loading area (a flip-out bed extender is optional). Molded pockets on each side allow you to form a second-tier shelf by simply inserting a few 2x4s and a sheet of plywood. With both the rear window and cargo cover in place and the midgate folded down, this homemade setup will allow you to haul two 11-inch-high stacks of 4x8 building material in a completely weatherproof and lockable storage compartment. Not bad for a truck that can also seat six (in its standard configuration) and still fits in the garage.

The Avalanche will be available as either a standard 1500 half-ton or heavier-duty 2500, in both two- and four-wheel drive. Half-ton models will feature the 5.3-liter Vortec V8 (285 horsepower, 325 foot-pounds of torque), the 4L60-E four-speed automatic, and an independent torsion bar suspension up front and a multilink coil-spring straight axle suspension in the rear. Three-quarter-ton versions get upgraded to the new 8.1-liter Vortec V8 (340 horsepower), the beefier 4L80-E four-speed automatic, and a rear suspension that utilizes leaf springs for increased towing capacity (up to 12,000 lbs. with optional equipment).

Our test drive involved the 1500 only, so it came as no surprise that we found the Avalanche's ride quality to be every bit as comfortable and isolating as a standard 1500 Suburban. Large breaks in the pavement translate into only minor disturbances within the cabin and interior noise levels were noticeably low. The 5.3-liter V8 moved the 5,678-pound (4WD) vehicle with ease, but gone is the neck-snapping acceleration that the same engine produces in the substantially lighter (4,720 lbs.) Silverado. Steering effort is low, making the large vehicle easy to maneuver, but it suffers from a large turning radius (43 ft.) despite the fact that its overall length is 6 inches shorter than an extended-cab Silverado (221 versus 227).

The interior is standard-issue Chevy truck: lots of plastic, plenty of storage space and straightforward controls. A bench seat is standard, with power adjustable bucket seats available as an option in cloth, leather or sport leather (a combination of the two). Electronic climate control is also available, as is the OnStar satellite communications system and a power sunroof. A special North Face edition Avalanche will be available later this year that features unique green and black trim on the seats and door panels, white face gauges and specially designed daypacks that mount on the backs of the front-row seats.

We'll admit that at first we were a bit skeptical of the usefulness of some of the Avalanche's features, but after our short introductory test drive, we quickly became fans of Chevy's bold new crossover. The convertible cab system is a snap to use and makes it a truly versatile vehicle, providing more than just a compromise between a truck and sport-ute. Combine that with a stout drivetrain, a comfortable and roomy interior, and bold styling, and the Avalanche makes quite a statement for a truck right off the showroom floor. We'll have to wait until we get our hands on one for a full road test to see if the Avalanche can maintain its initial appeal, but our first impressions indicate that it will be a real hit for Chevrolet.

Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche Overview

The Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche is offered in the following submodels: Avalanche Crew Cab. Available styles include 1500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), 1500 4dr Crew Cab 2WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), 2500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (8.1L 8cyl 4A), and 2500 4dr Crew Cab 2WD (8.1L 8cyl 4A). Pre-owned Chevrolet Avalanche models are available with a 5.3 L-liter gas engine or a 8.1 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 340 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche?

Price comparisons for Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche trim styles:

  • The Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 is priced between $9,000 and$10,995 with odometer readings between 95007 and187769 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanches are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2002 Avalanches listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,000 and mileage as low as 95007 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche.

Can't find a used 2002 Chevrolet Avalanches you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Avalanche for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,124.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $24,724.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Avalanche for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $18,258.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $12,093.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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