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2009 Chevrolet Avalanche

Overview
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2009 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. The second generation launched in 2007 continues for 2009 with a host major improvements and the addition of a more fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission. The Chevrolet Avalanche is built on GM's full-size SUV platform, which is also used for the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, and it offers gasoline as well as Flex-Fuel (E85) 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 2009 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 2009

Major changes include a new six-speed automatic transmission and revised rear gear ratio for maximum fuel efficiency. OnStar 8.0 now offers Stolen Vehicle Slow Down, Bluetooth and turn-by-turn downloads on vehicles equipped with DVD navigation. LTZ trims receive even more standard equipment including heated and cooled 12-way power seats and a Surround Sound Bose speaker system.

Driving the Avalanche

Driving Impressions Compared to the first-generation Avalanche, the 2009 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.

2009 Chevrolet Avalanche Details
2009 Chevrolet Avalanche photo Interior

With its Midgate closed, the 2009 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 2009 model provides better 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 2009 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 smooth 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. 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 8.0.

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, XM Satellite Radio with real time traffic assist for navigation equipped models 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
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 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), 10/15 (2WD, E85), 14/19 (4WD, gas), 11/14 (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8
366 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
376 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19

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2009 Chevrolet Avalanche Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 355 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

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 9 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."

2 people out of 2 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."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love the luxury with practicality

By on Saturday, May 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable"

Cons: "discontinued"

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

"I love driving in comfort/luxury. I also love do be able to haul full sheet of plywood along with my tools while having the gate shut! This is my 3rd Avalanche would have gone for the fourth if they didn't discontinue."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Its to bad Chevy discontinued the model in 2014

By on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great driving and the hard lid truck bed"

Cons: "mpg is disappointing with the 5.3 liter"

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

"Best all around truck ever, comfortable to drive great 4 wheel drive. A little disappointed in the gas mileage, 15.8 mpg average. Although its a truck so what did I expect. The hard covered bed and the ability to open up the wall between the bed and rear seats is fantastic. I was able to load 12ft pieces of wood trim, and close the bed gate. Don't know what Chevy was thinking when they discontinued this great vehicle."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

2013 Avalanche Black Diamond LTZ Poor Quality

By on Thursday, May 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "None"

Cons: "Poor quality."

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

"Bought 2013 Chevy Avalanche LTZ new. Nothing but problems. Water pump 6ooo miles, bad radiator, piston slap, idles rough, door hinges worn out chrome rims falling apart and corroded, even with constant waxing. even the factory floor mats no good. This truck made in Mexico. Piece of junk. Don't waste your time with government motors anymore. Go buy a Toyota. I am a long time Chevy buyer and had nothing but trouble with last 3 Chevy trucks. Chevy service dept. a joke. Takes weeks to get parts."

3 people out of 3 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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