2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

Pros & Cons

  • Versatile midgate-based body style, smooth ride, comfortable seating, capable engines.
  • Large size and rear-quarter blind spots hinder maneuverability in tight spots.
List Price Range
$13,700 - $13,981

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Thanks to its practical convertible midgate configuration, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche remains one of the most desirable crew-cab pickups for carrying a combination of passengers and cargo.

Vehicle overview

For full-size pickup buyers, the crew cab body style is very popular because it features a pickup's usual cargo bed, plus a rear seat that's as roomy as one found in a sport-utility. The only drawback is that the bed is typically short in length and doesn't offer the enclosed security of an SUV's cargo area. To address this concern, Chevrolet introduced the popular Avalanche six years ago.

Now in its second generation, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche functions primarily as a crew-cab pickup but also offers a uniquely flexible "midgate" design that considerably enhances its functionality. The midgate is a movable partition separating the cabin area from the bed. On the Avalanche, both the rear window and the wall can be opened up as desired to increase utility and improve cargo management. When combined with the three-panel lockable bed cover, the midgate allows for a variety of configurations.

The Avalanche is built on General Motors' latest full-size truck platform, and incorporates a fully boxed frame and a redesigned suspension with rack-and-pinion steering that delivers more refined ride and handling characteristics and better on-road feel than before. Compared with older Avalanche models, we also like its updated exterior styling and new interior design, featuring higher-quality materials and premium features.

The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is still one of the few full-size pickups to offer a convertible midgate design configuration. Others include its closest sibling, the Cadillac Escalade EXT, and the Hummer H2 SUT. The Avalanche is by far the cheapest of this trio, and it's easily the most practical as well. Like all full-size crew cabs, of course, the Avalanche feels big and bulky around town and can be a pain to park precisely. It's also more costly than traditional crew cab pickups. But for those who can take full advantage of its do-it-all design character, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is an impressive and unmatched choice.

2008 Chevrolet Avalanche models

The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is a full-size crew cab pickup with a removable rear window and exclusive "midgate" that can be lowered into the cabin to provide additional cargo-carrying capabilities. There are two main trim levels, LS and LT, plus a premium line-topping LTZ package. The basic LS features a composite cargo bed, a removable three-piece cargo cover, fully powered accessories, a front 40/20/40-split bench seat with center storage, cloth trim, a power driver seat with manual lumbar control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a single-CD player with auxiliary jack, satellite radio and basic OnStar capability. The LT is similar to the LS but has standard front bucket seats, rear audio controls and enhanced OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation.

The Avalanche LT is generally more desirable because it's upgradeable with additional extras for those who want more than an entry-level vehicle. Moving up to the LT2 package provides dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, a six-CD changer, rear park assist and remote vehicle starting. The even more upscale LT3 package provides these features, plus heated outside mirrors, upgraded power front seats, driver-seat memory and a Bose audio system with subwoofer. The top-drawer LTZ package supplies 20-inch wheels, chrome exterior accents, the Autoride adaptive suspension, heated windshield wiper fluid and rain-sensing wipers. Depending on the trim level, other stand-alone or packaged options include a navigation system, the Z71 off-road suspension group, power running boards, an integrated rearview camera, rear-seat DVD entertainment and a sunroof.

2008 Highlights

A few detail improvements mark the changes for the Avalanche in 2008. Most notably, side curtain airbags and satellite radio are now standard on all models, and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation is standard on LT models.

Performance & mpg

The 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is available with either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). All 2WD models come standard with a 5.3-liter V8 putting out 320 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque and driving through a four-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive Avalanches are E85-capable and rated slightly less at 310 horses and 335 lb-ft of torque; this version of the 5.3-liter is optional on 2WD models. A larger 6.0-liter V8 delivering 366 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque is optional on LT3 and LTZ models. A properly equipped 2WD Avalanche can tow up to 8,200 pounds. EPA-estimated fuel economy for 2008 is 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway on 2WD versions with the 5.3-liter engine. The 6.0-liter engine drops the estimates to 12/17.

Safety

Standard Avalanche safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, GM's OnStar emergency communications system and a full-length side-curtain airbag system with a rollover sensor. In government crash tests, the Avalanche earned a top five-star rating for protection of front occupants in head-on collisions.

Driving

Despite its considerable size and heft, the 2008 Chevy Avalanche is relatively quick, even when equipped with the standard 5.3-liter V8. However, its acceleration and fuel economy begin to suffer when the truck is loaded down with passengers or cargo. And though the Avalanche is certainly no sports car around corners, it deals with them in a competent, predictable manner while delivering a quiet and comfortably controlled ride on the highway.

Interior

Inside, the second-generation Chevrolet Avalanche is significantly improved over its predecessor. Constructed of high-quality materials, the cabin features straightforward ergonomics and top-notch fit and finish. The more common front bucket-seat arrangement seats five, but the Avalanche can accommodate up to six occupants when equipped with the split-bench front seat. To convert the Avalanche's 5-foot-3-inch cargo bed into a longer and more useful space measuring just over 8 feet, one simply lowers the midgate and rear seats. The rear window can also be removed if desired to maximize cargo room and provide the sensation of open-air driving. Removing the cargo covers and using the compartments on the outside of the cargo box offers additional storage opportunities.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2 years later & LTZ is still the best!
Michael,07/27/2010
I bought this big black beauty 25 months ago, and it is still the best vehicle I have ever had. The only issue was I needed to have the chrome handle replaced last month after it came loose. But other than that this truck is still as great as the day I bought it. It rides like a Cadillac, 90% of the time I can haul without removing the sails, the bed has ample room for transporting furniture without having to lower the back seats.
Avalanche LTZ
yakfloater,12/28/2011
Purchased this truck new in December of '08. Traded in my '04 Avalanche after putting on 130,000 miles. I am very pleased with the ride comfort and new styling, interior and exterior, compared to the '04. I have used this truck for freeway commuting for work and for towing a snowmobile trailer and camping trailer. The gas mileage in commute traffic on the freeway averages 16.5, towing the 5,000lb trailer = 9.5. Now at 54,000 miles the truck uses oil, 1qt per 1000miles and there are more rattles in the dash/interior than any vehicle I,ve ever owned. I,ve been back to the dealer 3 times to have the oil consumption issue resolved but GM doesn't have any fixes that seem to work.
very disappointed
michael r. lewis jr./ Nicole M. Lazaro,01/14/2016
LT 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
The truck at first glance and test drive is amazing from the drive to storage to comfortability i bought my 2008 avalanche 3 years ago and up til now i absolutely loved this truck. I have owned 5 chevy/GM vehicles throughout and adter this i will never own another one pending on how GM itself takes care of the issues at hand. Burns oil over consumption bad without telling costumers to be aware of. Now at 90,000 miles my truck is running and sounding like crap, lifter problems traction control stablitrack, engine misfires in cylindersand after i have extensively researched this is a common problem most of the morors were poorly made crappy parts in mexico, ultimately you need a new motor otherwise replacing lifters, pistons, cam shafts, rings, spark plugs, list goes on and on before you can fix the problem we as preferred costumers should not have too fork out thousands of dollars on engine problems on a $35,000 vehicle after only a year or two of owning it especially if like my self ur one who stays up on maintaince religiously i have replaced TPS, oil pressure sensor, new brakes and rotors, tune up new plugs and wires new throttle pedal position sensor all to try and fix this lifter noise and traction control and stabilitrack and engine lights, and noise and vehicle running and sounding like crap all to find out this is a common issue and fault on GM with this particular motor issues i think its time to switch to ford based on how GM addresses this issue with me especially since my truck is just out of warranty now go figure
Awesome Avalanche!
Western NJ Native,01/13/2009
Nothing beats this vehicle for flexibility, functionality, performance and comfort. An awesome combination for an active family of four. Averaging almost 19 overall with typical NJ suburban traffic. Overall extremely satisfied with the entire package, best truck I have ever owned. Thanks Chevy

Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
Gas
320 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 6
4-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
310 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Flex-fuel (ffv)
310 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
320 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche

Used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Overview

The Used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is offered in the following submodels: Avalanche Crew Cab. Available styles include LS 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), LS 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), LT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A), and LT 4dr Crew Cab SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche LT is priced between $13,700 and$13,981 with odometer readings between 93703 and114243 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 2008 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) 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2008 Avalanches listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,700 and mileage as low as 93703 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 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche.

Can't find a used 2008 Chevrolet Avalanches you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Avalanche for sale - 1 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $10,485.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,691.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Avalanche for sale - 8 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $23,458.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,655.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 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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