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2008 Chevrolet Avalanche

Overview
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2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Review

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First introduced for 2002, the Avalanche combined a full-size SUV body with a pickup truck's cargo bed. Redesigned last year, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche is built on GM's new full-size SUV platform, which is also used for the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, and it offers improved fuel economy and Flex-Fuel (ethanol/gasoline) capability. Refined small-block 5.3-liter V8 engines are standard, and a 6.0-liter V8 that uses variable valve timing is optionally available. Three trim levels are offered: LS, LT, and LTZ (with the LT level further divided into LT1, LT2 and LT3) and with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you regularly pull a boat or trailer and also need the cargo capabilities of a pickup truck, along with abundant passenger space and comfort, remember that a properly-equipped Avalanche can tow up to 8,000 pounds. With its versatile Midgate configuration, the 2008 Avalanche can be set up to carry long loads (including four-by-eight-foot plywood sheets) or, with rear seatbacks raised, to hold a full complement of passengers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If gas mileage is a major concern, you might be better off with a different sort of vehicle, because the Avalanche is not frugal, even with the Active Fuel Management System. Piloting an Avalanche through crowded urban streets is no picnic because of the vehicle's bulk, though maneuverability is better than some might expect.

What's New for 2008

Chevrolet makes head curtain side-impact airbags standard on every Avalanche.

Driving the Avalanche

Driving Impressions Compared to the first-generation Avalanche, the 2008 model has an impressive level of refinement. On good roads the suspension absorbs most imperfections, delivering an almost cushiony ride but not at...

the expense of control or security, and the Avalanche takes curves with a high level of stability. Acceleration is more rapid than it may feel, because power flow is so smooth. The automatic transmission shifts in an easy and positive manner, with a brief delay for acceleration to pass or merge. Steering is on the light side, but not effortless, and the vehicle has an impressively tight turning circle.

Active Fuel Management System
Chevrolet is by no means alone in offering cylinder deactivation, but it's a welcome addition to these heavyweight vehicles, which are known for consuming substantial quantities of gasoline.

Midgate Configuration
True pickup-truck fans might shun the Avalanche's relatively short cargo bed and SUV foundation, but the Midgate gives it a degree of versatility that's absent from traditional pickups.

2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Details
Interior

With its Midgate closed, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche can seat up to six passengers. Folding down the rear seat yields the greatest cargo-hauling capacity. Compared to the first-generation Avalanche, the 2008 model gains passenger space via a lower instrument panel and deeper windshield. Front-row seats have gained an inch of rearward travel. On LT and LTZ trims, a monster console separates front-seat occupants, who have a remarkably generous amount of space. The rear seat folds flat, rear-seat occupants enjoy more shoulder space and three fit easily, though the center position is a bit hard. Seatbacks are somewhat firm, but deliver above-average comfort. Gauges are easy to read at a glance.

Exterior

As with the original, the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche's Midgate opens to extend cargo-bed length from 5.3 feet to 8.2 feet. With improved aerodynamics and a strengthened chassis, the monochromatic exterior features wraparound fascias that eliminate bumper-to-body gaps. Storage compartments alongside the cargo box include drains and provide lockable space and a three-piece rigid cargo cover with interlocking panels is available. A sleek windshield angle extends into a smoother roofline, the front air dam is low and wide and prominent fenders with integrated wheel flares complement the bulging power-dome hood. A wide front and rear track enhance stability.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base LS trim, the Avalanche includes remote keyless entry, heated power mirrors, a cloth-upholstered 40/20/40 split-bench front seat with power on both the driver's and passenger's sides, side steps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear privacy glass, the StabiliTrak stability-enhancement system, head curtain side-impact airbags and 17-inch tires on five-spoke aluminum wheels. The midlevel LT version adds foglamps and front bucket seats with a center console. GM's Autoride suspension, with real-time damping for reduced body motion, is standard on the LTZ, as is a limited-slip differential and 20-inch wheels and tires. The LTZ and various levels of the LT group also include remote engine starting, rear obstacle detection, leather upholstery and power-adjustable pedals. All versions of the Avalanche include GM's OnStar emergency and communications system, while LT and LTZ trims receive Directions & Connections that includes Turn-by-Turn Navigation.

Optional Equipment

The Z71 Off-Road Package includes 18-inch wheels, the Z71 suspension, tubular assist steps, locking rear differential and a skid-plate package. Available articulated running boards automatically move downward and outward as the doors are opened. Individual options, depending upon trim level, include Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, a rearview camera system, 6.0-liter V8, navigation system, DVD backseat entertainment system with an eight-inch screen and 20-inch wheels.

Under the Hood

The standard engine is a Vortec 5.3-liter V8, matched to a four-speed Hydra-Matic transmission. Four-wheel-drive models use a version which can operate on E85 or gasoline. A 366-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 with variable valve timing is optional. Under certain conditions, Active Fuel Management Technology lets the engine run on four cylinders to save fuel.

5.3-liter V8
320 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
340 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, gas)


5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel (aluminum block)
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, gas), 11/15 (2WD, E85), 14/19 (4WD, gas), 11/14 (4WD, E85)

5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel (iron block)
320 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
340 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, gas), 11/15 (2WD, E85), 14/19 (4WD, gas), 11/14 (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8
366 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17

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Buying this car?

2008 Chevrolet Avalanche Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 359 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

Sharp truck with good diversity!

By on Saturday, August 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quality ride and drive, decent towing capabilities"

Cons: "Mid-gate is a bit cumbersome."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Although my experience purchasing this truck left very much to be desired... the truck it self is fantastic and fits my needs well. All of my trucks previous to this has been Silverados - and granted... I loved my 2010 Silverado heavy half with a 6.2L. But I like the diversity of the Avalanche... nice cab that can fit people with room to spare, can still haul my horse just fine and looks sharp doing it. Have had a few mechanical things needing work on it, but overall it feels and drives like a solid truck. Beautiful interior, sharp exterior. Only wish is that the mid-gate was a push of the button type thing, and not a major event."

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

It is everything all in one sad the are not built

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "awesome"

Cons: "had it all nothing needs to be added"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Tow , off road, camping sleep in back. drive to the country club. The Black Diamond is cool any where"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love my truck

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "nothing compares"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I wish GM. would change their decision. GM needs to continue building Avalanches. NOTHING COMPARES TO AN AVALANCHE"

love my avalanche

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "easy to drive, good on fuel for its size and age"

Cons: "not great leg room in rear"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My only complaints: rear leg room could be better - but thats a chevy problem overall for their trucks, would have liked a multi disc dvd like the ltz tahoe of the same year instead of the single disc. Huge blind spots, but that is corrected with the rearview back up camera. I love my truck! The ability to have a fully waterproof, auto locking tailgate with easy to remove solid panels is awesome. Would continue to buy if still made. The dvd system is easy to use, the bose sound system pumps out the tunes and sounds great. It towed the family duel car trailer accross 5 states fully loaded and never missed a beat!!!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

A real driving pleasure

By on Sunday, June 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "see review"

Cons: "see review"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Could not ask for a better vehicle. Beautiful finish, handles like a sports car, rides like a luxury vehicle with all luxury amenities, lots of interior comfort and space, and has neat, clean, hard covered, locked cargo carrying space that can easily convert to take in the rear seat area inside the cab. Only downer, not so good mileage (14 mpg). I really love this vehicle and rate it as THE best I have ever owned."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love this truck

By on Thursday, May 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,213

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Cannot for the life of me understand the reasoning behind stopping production of this vehicle. Best vehicle I ever owned."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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