NEW FOR 2009:

– Six-speed automatic transmission standard on all models
– Fuel-saving 3.08 axle offered on 2WD models with 5.3-litre V8
– Navigation radios include OnStar 8.0 with Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, Turn by Turn Navigation and Destination Download; XM satellite radio includes new real time NavTraffic for navigation system
– New 20-inch chrome-clad wheels optional on LTZ
– New cloth seat fabrics on LS and LT models
– Available heavy-duty trailering package with 3.42 axle ratio; available integrated brake controller; available backup camera display inside rearview mirror
– Bluetooth connectivity with specific steering wheel controls
– LTZ comes with new trim enhancements
– Exterior colour: Inferno Orange added
– Interior colours: Titanium and Cashmere available on Z71 models

For 2009, the Chevrolet Avalanche includes several upgrades, including a new six-speed automatic transmission, additions to the Navigation Radio system, a fuel-saving axle on V8-powered two-wheel drive models, and a heavy-duty trailer package with available integrated brake controller. The LTZ model features new enhancements, including heated and cooled 12-way power seats with perforated leather, chrome-accented body side mouldings, new rear fascia with chrome accents and trailer hitch cover, brushed metal steering wheel trim plate, new embossed sill plates, and a Centrepoint Surround Sound Bose speaker system.

Based on GM’s full-size SUV platform, the Avalanche comes with a choice of three engines. A 5.3-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management, which shuts off half the cylinders under light load, is standard on the LS and LT with 2WD. A flexible-fuel 5.3-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management is standard on all 4WD models and can be optioned on the 2WD LS and LT. A 6.0-litre V8 with Active Fuel Management can be optioned on the LT and LTZ.

All Avalanche models are rated as one-ton trucks; the LS and LT come in 2WD or 4WD, while the LTZ comes only in 4WD.

Features on the LS include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone manual air conditioning, assist steps, three-piece composite stowable tonneau cover, rubber cargo mat, privacy glass, heated mirrors, front recovery hooks, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, floor mats, driver information centre, tire pressure monitoring system, tilt leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, power windows with driver’s express down, 20/40/20 cloth seat with six-way power driver’s adjustment, second-row 60/40 split-folding seat, CD/MP3 stereo, XM satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, trailer tow package, remote starter, power locks with keyless entry, automatic headlamps, OnStar, and theft deterrent system.

The LT adds fog lamps, centre console, rear seat audio controls and headphone jacks, cloth bucket seats with six-way power driver’s adjustment, color-keyed door handles, and OnStar with Turn by Turn Navigation.

The LTZ adds 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, chrome door handles, bright chrome grille mesh insert, power-folding mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming, reverse tip-down and integrated turn signals, roof rails and crossbars, heated washer fluid system, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, heated and cooled perforated leather twelve-way power seats, driver’s side memory, six-CD/MP3 stereo, Bose premium seven-speaker system, AutoRide air assist suspension with rear auto-level control, and rear parking assist.

Also the base for the Cadillac Escalade EXT, the Avalanche uses a signature "Midgate", which opens to extend the cargo bed from a length of 1600 mm (63 inches) to 2500 mm (98 inches). The cargo box also contains lockable storage compartments with drains, so they can be used as coolers.

More SUV than truck, the Avalanche has a smooth ride, well-finished interior and roomy cabin. Items can be stored under the removable three-piece cargo cover and secured with the lockable liftgate. The "Midgate" gives it even more storage possibilities, but it’s a very time-consuming and fiddly operation, and enough work that most people won’t go to the trouble just for short jaunts. However, the gate can be left down with the rear window in place, and once the cargo cover is put on the box, it provides safe storage if you don’t need to use the rear seat for passengers.

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