There have been complaints about the 5.3L engine since 2007, yet GM has done nothing about it. With only 62000 miles, I had to have $1100 worth of repairs to the engine, due to poor design. The engine had developed a solid engine 'miss', only 20,000 miles after purchasing the truck used. The independent mechanic shop had to look up the cause/effect/recommended repair on their independent web reference. The result: due to a design fault in the valve cover(s) , a replacement had been designed by GM that - supposedly - fixed the problem; oh, that and a premature tune-up, because the spark plugs had been completely gunked up with oil from the poor design. Now, only 20,000 miles later, the same problem has popped up again. A different repair shop described the same remedy as before! This shop owner said he LOVED this engine, as it earned him a lot of money! Personally, he owns a similar truck, but with the 6.0 L engine.
Bought the car new and has been unbelievably cheap to maintain. At almost 25k my Chevy pride was tested as I suffered the semi common active lifter issue and had the camshaft and lifters replaced under warranty. This has been the one and only time my check engine light has come on in just over 90k. I do all of my own work on all my vehicles. Other than tires (just installed the 3rd set)& oil changes( full synthetic only, changed when oil life gets to 30%) I replaced the air filter at 50k exchanged the trans fluid at around 60k for maintenance, replaced the 4 tire sensors when the first 1 died around 70k, first rear brake job and replaced the front sway bar links at 90k. Everything else (including all the exterior bulbs) is factory original. This truck has been incredibly reliable and has been used daily, long trips and for towing. Highly recommended truck very comfortable to drive, gets between 500-600 miles of range on long highway trips. I've towed multiple times including enclosed trailers full of stuff and project cars and the car handles it like nothing has changed.
If you're looking for versatility and luxury look no further than the Avalanche LTZ. I couldn't decide between a large SUV or a pickup truck for my farm needs and driving my kid to school. I always liked the look of the newer escalades and the avalanche, and having owned a deville DTS, it's easy to get spoiled by interior comforts, like heated and cooled leather seats. The ride is very smooth for a truck, the auto ride suspension takes control of bumps and hills. The Bose stereo sounds great and can be upgraded fairly easily, along with the read flip down DVD. Having a removable cover on the truck bed is key, fitting 6 bales of hay without even taking it off. That plus the midgate option makes this the most versatile truck on the market in my opinion. Why they stopped making them in 2013 is beyond me. If you are lucky enough to find one for a good deal, hold onto it.