With its unique and versatile convertible midgate configuration, the 2010 Chevy Avalanche offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to transporting passengers and cargo. Adding to its appeal is its good looks, sharp interior, topnotch crash test ratings, comfortable seating and smooth ride.
The Avalanche's innovative body style is half pickup truck, half SUV. While its four-door crew-cab configuration is pickup-like, it's SUV-like in its one-piece body where the cab and bed are not separated.
It's the unique midgate design that lends the Avalanche its special versatility and flexibility. The midgate is a foldable wall with a removable window that separates the bed from the cabin. The bed can be either fully open like a pickup or enclosed like an SUV when using the watertight and lockable bed cover. In fact, a number of flexible configurations are possible when pairing the midgate and bed cover.
New developments for the 2010 Avalanche include a reduction to three trims from four and the addition of an USB port to the stereo system. In addition, the optional 6.0-liter V8 engine is no longer offered, while a single-speed transfer case has become standard on four-wheel-drive models (a two-speed transfer case is an available option).
If you're generally shopping the market for vehicles with this kind of flexibility, there's a couple other choices perhaps worthy of consideration. The Cadillac Escalade is basically the same truck, but with more power and luxury ... and at a higher price. While the Honda Ridgeline doesn't have the midgate and is strictly a car-based design, its smaller size makes it more maneuverable and may be an alternative for those who need less maximum cargo capacity.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2010 Chevy Avalanche is available in three trims: LS, LT and LTZ.
Standard features on the Avalanche LS include full power accessories, air conditioning, a composite cargo bed, a removable three-piece cargo cover, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat with center storage, a power driver seat, basic OnStar capability, satellite radio, a CD stereo, a USB port and an auxiliary jack.
Moving up to the Avalanche LT adds front bucket seats, power-adjustable pedals, rear audio controls, Bluetooth, rear parking assist, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium audio system and an upgraded OnStar system with turn-by-turn navigation.
The top-of-the-line LTZ model then adds heated and ventilated leather seats, a navigation system, integrated turn-signal mirrors, 20 inch wheels, a rearview camera, an adaptive suspension and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Depending on the model, stand-alone or packaged optional features include power running boards, a rear DVD entertainment system, a navigation system, 20 inch wheels, a sunroof, a rearview camera, a trailer package and an integrated trailer-brake controller.
There's also a popular Z71 Off Road package that adds upgraded 18-inch off-road tires, specialized springs and shock absorbers, a skid plate, front recovery hooks, a high-capacity air cleaner, a unique front fascia, large wheel flares and chrome assist steps.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
The 2010 Avalanche is offered with either two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). The 4WD models now come standard with a single-speed transfer case, while a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing is an available option.
Powering all 2010 Chevy Avalanche models is a 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces a robust 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic as the only available transmission. When properly equipped, a 2WD Avalanche has a tow capacity of 8,100 pounds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for a 2WD model is 15 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway. The 4WD model had not yet been rated at the time of this writing, but the 2009 was rated at 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.
Standard safety features on all Avalanche models include stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), the OnStar emergency communications system and a full-length side curtain airbag system with a rollover sensor.
The Avalanche also did very well in government crash testing, earning the highest scores of five stars in all frontal and side-impact occupant protection categories.
The 2010 Avalanche's cabin is attractive, solidly contructed and user-friendly. The seating is comfortable and supportive. Six passengers can be accommodated when equipped with the split-bench front seat, five with the front bucket seats.
The cargo bed is 5-feet-3-inches long with the midgate up. However, the bed can grow to over 8 feet by dropping the midgate and sliding the rear seats forward. Utilizing these features is also surprisingly easy. There's also additional available storage in the cargo box's outside compartment or by removing the cargo covers.
For a full-size pickup, the 2010 Chevy Avalanche's acceleration is surprisingly brisk. In addition, its steering is light yet responsive, while handling around corners is quite capable. And the overall ride is smoother and quieter than a traditional pickup due to its SUV-like body. That said, this is a large-sized vehicle, making for significant blind spots and more challenging parking lot maneuvers.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try an Open-To-The-Public Auto Auction in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
2010 Chevrolet Avalanche:
LS, RWD: list price: $35,725, invoice price: $33,224
LS, 4WD: list price: $38,775, invoice price: $36,061
LT, RWD: list price: $38,830, invoice price: $36,112
LT, 4WD: list price: $41,880, invoice price: $38,948
LTZ, RWD: list price: $45,815, invoice price: $42,608
LTZ, 4WD: list price: $48,865, invoice price: $45,444