2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

Pros & Cons

  • Versatile and innovative cab configuration, strong V8 engines, substantial towing ability.
  • Some cheap interior pieces, lifeless steering, limited drivetrain choices.
List Price Estimate
$2,277 - $4,547

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

2003 Highlights

The Avalanche gets numerous interior upgrades for '03 in addition to the midyear introduction of a "decladded" version that does without the oft-derided extensive lower body trim. Dual-zone climate control is now standard equipment on all models along with multistage airbags and a passenger airbag sensor. A redesigned instrument panel houses a more comprehensive driver information display; and an optional multifunction steering wheel puts climate, radio and trip computer controls right in the palm of your hands. New entertainment options include a Bose stereo system, XM Satellite Radio and a rear passenger DVD video system. Other new options include the StabiliTrak stability control system on 2WD half-ton models, adjustable pedals, and a fully automatic multizone climate control system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I LOVE this truck
Johnny Bradabadowski,03/15/2016
1500 4dr Crew Cab Rwd (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
A couple of years ago I went shopping for a used truck. I wasn't really in the market for an Avalanche. While I was at a Chevrolet dealer in the Atlanta, GA area test driving a Silverado, the salesperson suggested that I test drive a one owner Avalanche Z66 without the cladding. Out of curiosity I took her for a spin and OMG!!, am I ever glad I did. When I got back to the dealer I bought it immediately. I never really thought I would like an Avalanche until I owned one. I love everything about this truck and the previous owner took excellent care of it. It still looks new. Almost everywhere I go I get compliments on it. Just last night when I arrived at a restaurant someone in the parking lot approached me to try to buy it. This truck has the best ride, drives better, and is more comfortable than anything I've ever owned, including my wife's 2008 Tahoe. In my opinion the interior is MUCH nicer in the 2006 and down Chevy trucks. I hate the interior in the 2007 and up trucks. I will never step up to a newer model truck until they change that UGLY cheap looking hard plastic interior and low grade leather in the newer models no matter how good the exterior is. Anyway, I love the way the Avalanche drives, the power of the 5.3, the ride, convenience, comfort, roomy, locking side tool boxes that double as a cooler, locking tailgate and I mean you name it and I like it. Too bad they stopped building them! If you can find a good used 2006 and down, I would highly recommended it. Well, here it is March 21, 2019 and I still have the Avalanche and my opinion in the original review hasn't changed. I still love the truck and I get compliments on it almost everywhere I go. It's a keeper.
Love the Avalanche but last 10,000 miles has been difficult!
It is the best of both worlds. An SUV with the ability to haul stuff that you would not want in the back of your SUV. I 've hauled trees, plants, bags of fertilizer, and rocks.I own a 2003 Z66 with the cladding on the sides. At about the 100,000 mile mark the wheels just fell off. Not literally of course but it seemed that little stuff was going wrong all the time. My water pump went out, then my CD player, then my dash board lights, then the ever popular popping noise in the front end when you turn at slow speeds. Now I have a noise by my glovebox that sounds like someone dropping BB's on a tile floor over an over again. Still waiting on a fix for the popping noise. I still like it.
Exalant Ride
I love my truck. Ive had all three American made trucks and have never had a truck like this. Its well balanced and gets around better in ice, snow, and mud like no other half ton 4x4 Ive ever been in. The highway ride is unmatched. None of the other trucks seats feel like these. It hasnt given me any troubles. Its got 114 k miles on it and I get 18 mpg on the highway. Show me another 4x4 that does that! All three of my kids fit comfortably and they are all teens. My oldest is almost 5'6" tall.
1500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
Very reliable! Never had issues with this truck, its a blessing. Of course like any vehicle with 160, 000 u have minor issues that need tweaking but take care of your truck an she'll take care of you. I also purchased a tent that fits in the truck bed! Just take out the back window and drop the "middle" gate an have access to interior of the truck from the tent, so perfect for cold nights when u need to pump some heat to the tent. This truck isn't just our way to get around its part of the family

Features & Specs

12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
285 hp @ 5200 rpm
12 city / 17 hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
285 hp @ 5200 rpm
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
340 hp @ 4200 rpm
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
340 hp @ 4200 rpm
See all Used 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche features & specs


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 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche

Used 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Overview

The Used 2003 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 Rwd (5.3L 8cyl 4A), 2500 4dr Crew Cab 4WD (8.1L 8cyl 4A), and 2500 4dr Crew Cab Rwd (8.1L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche?

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Which used 2003 Chevrolet Avalanches are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 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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Check out Chevrolet Avalanche lease specials