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.
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.