June 26, 2014
2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ, 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche Z71, 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ. Click image to enlarge
Vehicle Type: Pickup truck
History/Description: Avalanche was a Chevrolet crossover pickup that packed some innovative cargo and storage systems, proven pickup engineering, and one of the most bad-ass names ever applied to a truck. Launched for 2007, Avalanche competed with other nichey trucks like the Explorer Sport Trac and Honda Ridgeline.
Avalanche’s unique design enables it to work as an SUV, a truck or both – thanks to the exclusive “midgate”. It opens to extend the cargo-carrying capability from the cargo bed’s 5”3’ length to a full 8”2’ if you open it up and fold the rear seat down. With that seat flipped up, you’ve got room for up to 6.
Look for four-wheel drive, Bluetooth, USB audio connectivity, remote start, locking rear diff, navigation, heated leather, memory seats, automatic climate control, power-retractable assist steps, power-adjustable pedals, and plenty more. Towing capacity exceeded 3,674 kg (8,100 lb), and a Trailer Sway Control system, added in 2010, helped enhance confidence while hauling stuff.
Engines / Trim: Most models in the used market will pack Chevrolet’s 5.3L small-block V8 engine, making between 310 and 326 horsepower, around 335 lb-ft of torque. That was bolted to a four-speed automatic transmission in early models from this generation, and a six-speed automatic from 2009 on for better mileage and performance. Some units got a mighty 6.0L V8, making up to 366 horsepower.
The Z71 Off-Road package, if fitted, adds high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, an automatic locking differential, front tow hooks, a skid plate and a high-capacity air filter. Note that LT and LTZ were the Avalanche’s top-line trim grades.
What Owners Like: Owners typically list the flexible cargo area, on-board space, nice ride and good looks as their top ‘likes’ of this generation Avalanche, with the up-level stereo system and comfortable leather seats garnering some praise, too. Other owners comment positively on the traction control system and four-wheel drive, which team up for confident driving in the winter.
What Owners Dislike: Seems that most Avalanche owners have little to complain about, beyond the standard complaint of heavy gas usage associated with any V8-powered truck. In all though, it seems that Avalanche owners are a pretty happy bunch.
Here’s what some Avalanche owners are saying on autoTRADER.ca.
Common Issues: Start with a full walkaround, investigating for signs of rust at the edges of the body panels, inspecting tire and brake condition, and ensuring there are no signs of shoddy body work that may be concealing a past accident or other damage.
Some owners have complained of a water leak from the sunroof, if equipped, that could allow water to back up in the drainage tubes built into the system and leak into the front footwell carpeting. Investigate for signs of moisture under the front floor mats and carpeting. The solution, if moisture is detected, could be as simple as blowing the drainage tubes out by jamming an air compressor in from the sunroof area and lettin’ ’er rip to blow out dust, dirt and debris that may have accumulated. A sunroof drain tube that’s become internally disconnected or kinked or damaged will require considerably more work. Here’s some more reading.
2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ. Click image to enlarge
Issues have been reported with repeated dead batteries, which is a pain in the tail. Apparently, GM released updated computer system software to correct a potential issue where the electrical system doesn’t fully shut off when the Avalanche does, possibly draining the battery too low to start the engine. Any issues with the electrical system in the Avalanche you’re considering should be investigated by a GM technician. Note that a weak or dying battery, bad electrical system grounds and loose battery cables can cause a world of electronic issues, including random warning messages and the like.
Confirm proper operation of the cruise control system and all associated controls. Failure of the system to engage could be the result of a bad brake pedal switch, which is easy and cheap to change, and requires removing only one bolt.