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2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LT - 2007 4x4 Of The Year

Posted in Project Vehicles on February 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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Contributors: Rick Péwé
Photographers: David KennedyDrew HardinFrank KaislerTrevor ReedThe 4-Wheel & Off-Road Staff

Back in 2002 Chevy introduced a Suburban with the roof cut off behind the second row of seats and christened it the Avalanche, and many people gave it a funny look. It was outfitted with a supple coil-link rear suspension, handy little storage cubbies, and a bed that changed from seating to hauling space for whatever supplies your home project may require. But for some reason it was also clad in acres of extraneous plastic panels. A year or so later General Motors brought in a new head of design and the plastic got canned and more and more people started considering the Avy for everything from daily driver to weekend tow rig. Some magazine guys even built one into a serious off-road machine. This year GM has totally redesigned the Avalanche starting with the new stouter truck frame that results in nary a bit of flex, save what the suspension offers. Our group of judges was not the least bit impressed with the bass-boat-flec-esque Bermuda Blue metallic paint job that changes from green to blue depending on angle, or the crop dusting front bumper that is standard issue on all of GM entries this year save the H3. But the ride quality was one of the highest ranking in the test both on the asphalt and in the high-speed desert runs. In fact even with the anemic 5.3L the Avalanche had certain judges daydreaming that they were leading the pack in Baja since it was soaking up ruts that had other contenders running 10 or 20 mph slower. Unfortunately the previous 8.1L 2500 option isn't returning though we wouldn't doubt the 6.0 would be a better choice if you're building a desert bomber (of course we don't know many folks turning a $47,000 new 4x4 into their play toy, but we're sure you're out there). The bed-to-back-seat folding midgate makes the Avalanche an awesome camping truck, where you can roll out a sleeping bag yet still be protected under the factory tonneau cover. In the end this truck was voted high for the truck you want to drive across country, but not so high for wheeling with when you get there.

Likes
* Excellent suspension
* Great cargo carrier
* No plastic cladding
Dislikes
* Front bumper too low
* Annoying bass-boat paint
* Needs an 8.1L

Verdict
Espensive comfortable prerunner

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General
Manufacturer {{{Chevrolet}}}
Model Avalanche LT 4WD
Base Price $35,295
Price as Tested $47,060
Options as Tested Bermuda Blue

Metallic Exterior premium paint, Avalanche LT3 equipment group (leather seats, power-heated front seats, power adjustable pedals, remote vehicle starter, AM/FM stereo with MP3, six-disc CD/DVD changer, Bose premium speakers, XM satellite radio, rear parking-assist camera, outside power folding mirrors with auto dimming and turn signals, universal home remote, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Ebony/Light Titanium interior color, rain-sensing wipers, electric sliding sunroof, rear-seat entertainment system, luggage rack and crossbars), Z71 Off-Road Package (high-capacity air cleaner, locking rear differential, tubular assist steps, recovery hooks)

Engine
Type Vortec Flex Fuel V-8
Displacement (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/211
Bore & Stroke (inches) 3.78x3.{{{62}}}
Compression Ratio 9.9:1
Induction Type Sequential, multiport fuel injection
Fuel Req. (octane)/Capacity (gal.) 87 or E85/31.5
SAE Peak Horsepower 310 @ 5,{{{200}}} rpm
SAE Peak Torque (lb-ft) 335 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission
Type Four-speed automatic
Model Hydramatic 4L60/{{{M30}}}
Ratios First: 3.06:1; Second: 1.63:1; Third: 1.00:1; Fourth: 0.70:1; Reverse: 2.29:1
Transfer Case
Type Two-speed, full-time
Model NP246
Low-range Ratio 2.72:1
Axles
Front Type Independent
Rear Type Solid
Hubs N/A
Ratio 3.73:1
Suspension
Front Independent, coilover shock; Autoride real-time damping
Rear Five-link with coil springs; Autoride real-time damping
Steering
Type Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns Lock-to-Lock/Ratio 3/17.75:1
Turning Radius (feet) 43
Wheels
Size (inches) 18x8.0
Material Cast-aluminum
Tires
Size P265/65R18
Brand Bridgstone Dueler AT
Brakes
Front 13.0-inch discs with ABS
Rear 13.5-inch discs with ABS
60-0 (feet) 143.83
Acceleration
Standing 1/4-mile (seconds @ mph) 18.76 @ 79.08
Weight (pounds)
Curb Weight 5,863
Advertised GVWR 7,200
Mileage
EPA Estimate (city/hwy. mpg) 15/21
As Tested (mpg) 12.32
Dimensions (inches)
Wheelbase 130.5
Overall Length 222.5
Overall Width 95.75
Overall Height 77.25
Front/Rear Track 68.5/67.25
Front/Rear Overhang 39.25/52
Min. Front Ground Clearance 9.125

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