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2012 Chevrolet Avalanche

Old 11-08-2011
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Default 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche

What's New for 2012

The Avalanche's standard stability-control system now includes trailer sway control and hill start assist for 2012. Heated seats are also now standard on the LT, while the LTZ gets a heated steering wheel.

The 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche is essentially a cross between two popular body styles: part four-door crew-cab pickup and part full-size SUV. To create it, Chevy designers and engineers grafted a 5-foot-3 pickup bed onto the underpinnings of the brand's venerable Suburban SUV, creating a unique truck that combines the best qualities of both.

The innovation that really makes these individual parts transcend their humble origins is the two-piece "midgate" behind the rear seats. Folding the rear seatbacks forward and opening the midgate transforms the Avalanche from a five-passenger SUV into a pickup with an 8-foot load floor that stretches from just behind the front seats back to the lockable tailgate. A three-piece hard tonneau cover turns the space into secure storage for low-profile items like surfboards and toolboxes, and can be removed to make room for large loads like dirt bikes or major appliances.

While these uncommon attributes make the Avalanche an intriguing alternative to old-school pickups and SUVs, this beast has its drawbacks. Topping the list are its plus-sized dimensions and limited visibility out the back. The fact that the Avalanche is more expensive, yet has a lower towing capacity than comparable crew-cab pickups is another issue buyers need to keep in mind.

The 2012 Avalanche certainly isn't for everybody. Crew-cab pickups from Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota all provide much of the passenger benefits of the Avalanche, but with a lower price and greater capability. Nonetheless, this SUV/pickup combination still offers a mix of attributes that certainly makes it appealing, especially for those who prioritize passenger comfort over utility.

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Old 11-08-2011
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Not bad, but not for me.
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