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2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ 4WD Bookmark

The Good J Versatile SUV and Pickup.  Luxurious Interior.  Comfortable Seats all-around.  Good Fuel Economy with 4/8 Cylinder Engine Management.

The Bad L All the luxury comes at a high price.  Needs to be a hybrid for great fuel economy. 

Engine                         V8, 5.3 Liters
Output                          320 hp / 335 lb-ft
Weight                         7200 lbs
Price As Tested           $47,755

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            For 2007 a new Avalanche is available from Chevrolet offering a more refined and quieter interior and a redesigned exterior with a new bold face and more aerodynamic styling.  In addition, various improvements in the chassis enable a smoother ride and new V8 engines are less polluting and can run on E85. 

            The Avalanche is based on GM's new full size SUV platform.  The new clean design is bold and aggressive.  A steeply raked windshield and smoother roofline makes for a modern and clean look.  A large twin port grille with the Chevy gold logo is fitted onto the large hood up front.  Headlamps are clear with fog lamps built into the lower bumper for better nighttime road visibility.  We wished that a Bi-Xenon system was available which would have provided even more light at night.  The design of the front is very attractive and makes the vehicle look like it sits lower to the ground.  There is minimum wheel gaps unlike the old Chevy trucks which had huge gaps between the wheels and fenders.  Our LTZ featured the 20-inch x 8.5-inch polished aluminum wheels wrapped in P275/55R all season tires. 

            The Avalanche is a large truck with an overall length of 221 inches and a width of 79 inches.  There is 10.5 inches of ground clearance which is good enough to take it off pavement and into construction sites.  Our 4x4 model has a gross weight of 7200 lbs and a payload capacity of 1487 lbs.  The Avalanche with the standard 5.3L V8 can tow 7000 lbs and with the optional 6.0L V8, it can pull up to 7800 lbs.

            The interior of the 2007 Avalanche LT offers new levels of refinement and comfort.  The feeling of luxury is evident and most of the interior is similar to that of other GM vehicles like the Yukon Denali.  What is new in this year's model is that seats have been redesigned for more comfort.  We found the front seats to be quite comfortable and large, more like a Lay-z Boy recliner.  Power adjustment makes it easy to get into the position you desire.  The interior is wrapped in burlwood and aluminum accents. It is quite beautiful and you would never think you are driving a pickup truck. It's quite amazing how the Avalanche seamlessly morphs from a luxurious SUV to a pickup truck. 

            There are a host of luxury features such as a dual automatic climate control system and a navigation system with rear view camera.  There is also an ultrasonic rear parking sensor system that lets you know when you are getting close to an object.  A rear seat DVD system offers an 8-inch screen and enhanced features so your family can enjoy movies during long trips. 

            The most unique thing about the Avalanche is the midgate behind the second row of seats.  The midgate opens to extend cargo carrying capability from the 5.3 foot long bed to 8.2 feet in length.  With the trunk bed covered, and the mid-gate open, you can hold 4 x 8 sheets of plywood in an enclosed environment.  There are also storage compartments alongside the cargo box that are lockable.  These compartments have drains so you can use them as an icebox for example.  The tailgate is centrally locking and cargo retaining straps are available.  We would like to see a soft opening tail gate so you do not need to hold the heavy door as it opens.  This is offered in the Honda Ridgeline. 

            The Avalanche features a Vortec 5.3 Liter V8 engine that generates 310 horsepower and 335 lb.-ft. of torque.  The aluminum block found on the four- wheel-drive model is also compatible with E85.  This new engine from GM offers active fuel management which seamlessly switches from eight to four cylinder operation to save fuel.  The driver can't feel when this happens and the only notification you get is in the fuel-economy mode readout in the center instrument cluster.  We found that that whenever we released the gas pedal it would switch to 4-cylinder mode, while accelerating the ending would change over.  The engine can also run on E85 which may or may not be great for our environment, depending on how you look at it.  The cost of making E85 may just cause more environmental damage when you count everything it takes to make it.  We averaged 15 miles per gallon even on mostly highway driving therefore we would like all cars to get much better fuel economy.

            Driving feel is quite good with a more precise feel at the steering wheel.  The new power rack and pinion system offers much improvement over the previous generation Avalanche.  The Avalanche is very easy to drive with a nice comfortable suspension setup and smooth steering response.  It doesn't drive like a pickup at all; in fact, it is more comparable to a Yukon Denali we just tested.  Acceleration is smooth and we never felt underpowered.  However, there does seem to be some resistance at the upper end of the speed range, especially above 85 mph.  It felt more like some electronic limiter that GM programmed into the vehicle rather than any lack of engine power.  Overall, the Avalanche was very comfortable and a joy to drive.  We really couldn't come up with any complaints on this one.

            The large Avalanche is safe just by its sheer size and the nature of physics.  However our test car offered front and side head curtain airbags.  More important is stability control, called StabiliTrak, and this is a real life saver in all tricky weather conditions.  StabiliTrack is standard on all Avalanche models and it compares your steering input with the vehicle's actual response and then makes small brake adjustments to help control and keep the vehicle on the intended track.  For example, if you had to make a quick emergency lane change the vehicle would figure out what you are doing and help keep you going where you want instead of sliding out of control.  The Avalanche also features antilock brakes and the OnStar system, which allows for vehicle diagnostics and remote unlock in case you get locked out.

            There is a 3-year/36,000 mile limited warranty which covers all parts.  Rust protection is for 6-years/100,000 miles and the powertrain is covered for 5-years/100,000 miles.  Roadside assistance is also offered during the 5 year warranty.

            The Avalanche starts out with a base price of $36,040.  Our upgraded LTZ model is an optional package that adds all the luxury and cost $6730.  This includes all the chrome, leather, power seats, remote starter, Bose stereo system, 20 inch wheels, rain sensing wipers, automatic air conditioning and rear parking sensors.  Other options included are the navigation system with radio, CD, DVD and mp3 capability for $2,250.  The rear seat entertainment system with screen and headphones adds $1,295.  An electric sliding sunroof costs $995.  A rear view camera system is only $250.  A 4.10 ration rear axle is $100.  The HD auxiliary transmission cooling system is $95.  Our total with the $900 destination charge was $47,755.  The final assembly point is Silago, Mexico with the engine and transmission being made in the US.  About 70% of the parts come from the US or Canada while Mexico accounts for 28%. 

            While the all-new 2007 Avalanche is quite an impressive SUV/Pickup, we wonder who will shell out almost 50 grand when so many Americans are financially strapped with high gas prices, rising food costs, and a host of other inflationary costs hitting them on a daily basis.  With the recent turmoil in the housing sector, even contactors , who are the main customers for this vehicle , don't have enough work to justify buying a new truck.  GM has done a wonderful job refining their large SUVs and Pickups to make them more luxurious and comfortable; however, we feel that they still need to do more by giving value to their customers while at the same time offering well controlled and luxurious vehicles.

 

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$33,091

$36,165

Destination

$625

$625

LTZ Equipment Group

$5,586

$6,730

LT3 Equipment Group

$2,864

$3,450

20" Polished Aluminum Wheels

$1,490

$1,795

Power Glass Sunroof

$826

$995

Bose Premium Speaker System

$411

$495

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche
LT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
2007 Dodge Ram Pickup 1500
Laramie 4dr Mega Cab 4WD SB (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
2007 Nissan Titan
LE FFV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (5.6L 8cyl 5A)
2007 Toyota Tundra
Limited 4dr CrewMax Cab 4WD SB (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
2007 Honda Ridgeline
RTL 4dr Crew Cab AWD SB w/Navi (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
MSRP $36,165 $40,965 $36,200 $40,590 $34,940
Invoice $33,091 $36,030 $32,772 $36,731 $31,633
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V6
Base Engine Displacement 5.3 liters 5.7 liters 5.6 liters 4.7 liters 3.5 liters
Horsepower 310 hp @ 5200 rpm 345 hp @ 5400 rpm 317 hp @ 5200 rpm 271 hp @ 5400 rpm 247 hp @ 5750 rpm
Torque 335 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 375 ft-lbs. @ 4200 rpm 385 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm 313 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm 245 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
Stabilizer Bars front and rear front front front front and rear
Self Leveling Suspension Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Front Air Conditioning Zones dual dual dual dual dual
SPECS
Handling Avalanche Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra Ridgeline
Turning Circle 43 ft. 49.7 ft. 45.3 ft. 44 ft. 42.6 ft.
Max. Payload Capacity 1337 lbs. 1970 lbs. 1198 lbs. 1445 lbs. 1554 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity 8000 lbs. 8300 lbs. 9200 lbs. 7700 lbs. 5000 lbs.
City 14 mpg. 14 mpg. 13 mpg. 15 mpg. 16 mpg.
Highway 16 mpg. 18 mpg. 18 mpg. 18 mpg. 21 mpg.
Exterior Avalanche Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra Ridgeline
Length 221.3 in. 247.9 in. 224.2 in. 228.7 in. 206.8 in.
Width 79.1 in. 80 in. 78.8 in. 79.9 in. 77.8 in.
Height 76.6 in. 79.1 in. 76.7 in. 76 in. 71.2 in.
Weight 5863 lbs. 6544 lbs. 5323 lbs. 5575 lbs. 4552 lbs.
Wheel Base 130 in. 160.3 in. 139.8 in. 145.7 in. 122 in.
Ground Clearance 9.1 in. 7.4 in. 10.3 in. 10.4 in. 8.2 in.
Interior Avalanche Ram Pickup 1500 Titan Tundra Ridgeline
Front Headroom 41.1 in. 40.8 in. 41 in. 40.2 in. 38.7 in.
Rear Headroom 40 in. 40.5 in. 40.4 in. 38.7 in. 39 in.
Front Shoulder Room 65.3 in. 67 in. 65.1 in. 66.6 in. 63.2 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 65.2 in. 66.5 in. 64.6 in. 65.4 in. 62.6 in.
Front Hip Room 64.4 in. 64.9 in. 61.3 in. 63 in. 57.6 in.
Rear Hip Room 62.3 in. 64.4 in. 60.5 in. 62.6 in. 57.2 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 41 in. 41.8 in. 42.5 in. 40.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 39.1 in. 44.2 in. 40.4 in. 44.5 in. 36.4 in.

 

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