The Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 is a sports utility truck that combines the comfort of an SUV with the ruggedness and power of a pickup truck. The 1500 is the designation given to the half-ton variants of the Avalanche. It was once a top-selling vehicle whose selling point included the ability to turn into either a full-bed pickup or an SUV, whatever the situation needs it to be. Whether the driver wants to bring the whole family to the theme park on a weekend or haul out an entire camping gear on a hunting trip, the Avalanche will surely be able to handle any job it is given.
2001: First generation
The first Avalanche came with a 5.3 liter V8 and a four-speed automatic transmission. One of the most well known features of the Avalanche was the foldable midgate. This allowed the rear seats in the back to be lowered, providing additional space to the back and effectively lengthening the size of the bed. A light gray plastic cladding was added around the vehicle to give it a distinct appearance from the Chevy Suburban. This cladding soon proved to be unpopular, especially since it eventually faded and turned chalky, making it look older than it really was. Chevrolet quickly fixed the situation by first offering Amordillo and then Gatorback coatings to Avalanches still under warranty. The versatility of the Avalanche, made possible by the foldable midgate, turned it into a very popular vehicle.
2007: Current generation
The second Avalanche featured a significantly improved exterior that totally did away with the cladding. It was originally powered by a 5.3 liter V8 engine but an optional 6.0 liter V8 was included as well. In 2009, the four-speed automatic transmission was upgraded to a six-speed transmission. An off-road package called the Z71 was offered and included an improved suspension, an automatic locking rear differential, skid plates to protect the bottom from damage and upgraded tires and wheels.
The Avalanche is currently available in three different trims, the base trim, the LT and the luxurious LTZ. Handling was exceptional for its big size and its powerful engine made the job of hauling cargo a cinch.
2013: End of production
General Motors announced that it would cease the production of the Avalanche in 2013. One reason cited was the drop in sales, which numbered around 20,000 in 2011. This was a big drop from the 93,000 it sold in 2003.