Chevy Avalanche is the industry’s most flexible utility vehicle, combining the passenger-comfort attributes of an SUV with the cargo capability of a truck. It is based on GM’s full-size SUV platform, which features segment-leading fuel economy and flex-fuel capability; a sharp, precise driving feel, interior refinement and notable quietness.
Avalanche is also designed with safety in mind. It delivers a 360-degree safety system of occupant protection and crash-avoidance technology with features such as standard StabiliTrak stability control system with new rollover mitigation technology. For 2008, Avalanche’s list of standard safety features is enhanced with the inclusion of head curtain side impact air bags on all models. Previously, they were optional on some models.
The 2008 Avalanche is available in LS, LT and LTZ models, with 2WD and 4WD. The standard powertrain includes an efficient 5.3L V-8 with Active Fuel Management™ technology that seamlessly switches from eight-cylinder to four-cylinder operation to save fuel. A 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management and variable valve timing (VVT) is also available, giving Avalanche customers more choices for selecting a vehicle that has the capability they demand. Several of Avalanche’s engines are FlexFuel-capable, meaning they can run on E85 ethanol-based fuel.
Also available is the popular Z71 Off Road appearance package. This optional package includes the Z71 Off Road suspension with high-pressure, gas-charged monotube shocks, 18-inch on/off road tires, automatic-locking differential, front recovery hooks, a durable skid plate and high-capacity air cleaner. Large, color-keyed wheel flares, an aggressive front fascia and chrome tubular assist steps, door handle centers, mirror caps and front grille inserts provide a one-of-a kind appearance. On the inside, a brushed metal look replaces the woodgrain accents for a more rugged appearance. Also included are leather-appointed bucket seats that are available in solid Ebony, Ebony with Light Titanium inserts, and Ebony with Morocco Brown inserts.
Additional changes for ’08 reflect customer preferences and further enhance Avalanche’s style. They include a change to a 40/20/40-split bench seat in LS models that provides convenient storage space in the center section; woodgrain trim added to the forward center console on LTZ and brighter instrument pointers in the gauge cluster. There are also two new exterior colors: Blue Granite Metallic and Deep Ruby Metallic.
Avalanche’s unparalleled flexibility enables it to function as an SUV, truck or both, thanks to the exclusive Midgate. Pioneered on the first-generation Avalanche, the Midgate opens to extend the cargo-carrying capability from the cargo bed’s 5-foot-3-inch-long (1.6 m) length to 8 feet 2 inches (2.5 m). The rear seat must be folded to achieve maximum storage capability; with the rear seat up and the Midgate closed, Avalanche has room for up to six passengers.
When the Midgate is open and the rear seat is folded flat, Avalanche can carry 4-foot by 8-foot (1.2 m by 2.4 m) sheets of plywood with the tailgate closed. Storage compartments alongside the cargo box provide ample and lockable storage. The storage compartments also have drains, so they can be filled with ice and used as coolers. A three-piece rigid cargo cover with interlocking panels also is available.
Avalanche’s flexible attributes also include a central-locking tailgate and cargo cover retaining straps. Also, the tailgate is spring-loaded to reduce the effort needed to open or close it.
Avalanche is powered by the small-block V-8 family. Standard on 2WD models is an iron-block Vortec 5.3L V-8 with 320 horsepower (239 kW)* and 340 lb.-ft. of torque (461 Nm)*, which offers Active Fuel Management. The 5.3L aluminum-block V-8, standard on Avalanche 4WD models, delivers 310 horsepower (231 kW)* and 335 lb.-ft. (454 Nm)* of torque. The 5.3L engines are mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L60 four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Two versions of the Vortec 5.3L V-8 – including an aluminum-block version that is standard in 4WD models – are compatible with E85, a renewable fuel made of 85 percent ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and 15 percent gasoline.
An all-aluminum 6.0L V-8 with variable valve timing (VVT), as well as Active Fuel Management is available on 2WD and 4WD models. It is rated at 366 horsepower (273 kW).* VVT helps optimize camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The system is enabled by a unique dual-equal cam phaser – the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 cam-in-block engine. The unique dual-equal phaser adjusts the camshaft timing at the same rate for both the intake and exhaust valves. A Hydra-Matic 4L70 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is paired with the engine.
Its aerodynamics contribute to Avalanche’s efficient performance . A steeply raked windshield and smooth roofline contribute to good airflow over the vehicle, while a dditional contributors to efficiency include a low, wide front air dam, tight tolerances and gaps between the fascias, lamps and grille openings, and front-end sealing that nearly eliminates air leak paths.
Interior refinement and convenience
Avalanche’s interior represents a high level of refinement, comfort, quality and convenience. It is roomy and airy, thanks to a low instrument panel and deep windshield that improve outward visibility.
Avalanche’s front seats are designed to provide comfort and easy entry/egress. Door pillar-mounted first-row three-point safety belts facilitate a slim seat design, which helps enhances cargo space behind the seats. Comfort comes from firm seat foams, including aggressive bolsters. The rear seat is unique to the Avalanche and enables easy access to the Midgate system. The seat folds flat, allowing longer items to be carried between the cargo bed and into the rear passenger compartment.
Avalanche’s spacious interior creates an environment that exudes quality and precision. Flush-mounted accessories and controls, such as the climate control/radio center stack, create a seamless, “single unit” appearance. Also, there are almost no exposed metal hardware or latches, as all models feature enclosing “close-outs” around the seat bottoms and door sill trim plates. Comfort features include an efficient HVAC system, and generous storage capability – with the segment’s largest center console storage bin, a large glove box and numerous storage compartments. Avalanche also offers a host of available convenience features, including:
- Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist
- Remote vehicle starting
Avalanche also features an impressive audio/navigation lineup, which provides quality entertainment and information. GM’s family of CD/MP3-compatible radios leads the audio lineup, with an available DVD entertainment system that includes an 8-inch screen (with in-dash loading). A touch-screen navigation radio is available and incorporates the view monitor for the available rear-camera system.
Avalanche’s monochromatic design is lean and agile, with a steeply raked windshield and smooth roofline that accentuates the exterior length. Avalanche wears the distinctive face of Chevrolet, with a large Chevy gold bowtie, centered on a twin-port horizontal grille. The body-colored grille surround is inset with an argent texture mesh. Fog lamps and headlamps feature jewel-like optics.
Avalanche’s front end styling reflects its capability. It includes the fast-rake windshield; a bulging power dome hood; a prominent fender design with integrated wheel flares; bold grille and headlamps; and a full-wrap fascia. The wraparound fascia eliminates the conventional bumper-to-body gap and is one of the numerous attributes that gives the Avalanche a refined look. It also enhances aerodynamics.
Avalanche offers a range of 17-inch and 20-inch wheels. Seventeen-inch wheels and tires are standard, with 20-inch factory-installed wheels available (standard on LTZ). The larger wheels fill Avalanche’s wheelhouses, giving the vehicle a confident stance.
Avalanche also offers convenient power articulating running boards, which blend smoothly with the vehicle’s design. They automatically move downward and outward when the doors are opened, providing a lower step-in height.
Available on LTZ models is the Chrome Appearance Package. It includes a stainless steel exhaust tip, chrome recovery hooks, and the choice of one of six 20-inch wheel designs.
Full-size SUV foundation
Avalanche is built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and a premium interior system that bolster the vehicle’s comfort, quality and capability. Wide front and rear tracks enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel.
A stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components. This helps reduce vibration. Even the tires on the large, 17-inch and 20-inch wheels were designed to reduce noise.
Noise-reducing components and materials are used throughout the body structure, including the headliner material, door seals and front-of-dash area. The engines also feature a quiet-tuned alternator and an acoustically tuned engine cover that reduces engine noise heard inside the vehicle. The door seals help reduce seal “pull-away” at highway speeds, which can cause wind noise.
Avalanche’s quietness and smoothness are complemented by the Autoride suspension system, which is standard on LTZ. This segment-exclusive bi-state, real-time damping system provides an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion. The system consists of a semi-active, two-position damping control system that responds in real time to road and driving conditions, based on body and wheel motion sensors.
Avalanche offers up to 8,200 pounds (3,720 kg) of towing capability, when properly equipped, enhancing its flexible, ready-for-anything capability.
The ’08 Avalanche offers security in the form of a 360-degree safety system of occupant protection and crash-avoidance technologies. Features include standard head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for both rows and front-seat safety belt pretensioners that are linked to the vehicle’s sensing system to provide segment-exclusive deployment in rear-end crashes.
The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment. These head curtain side air bags stay inflated longer than air bags developed only for side impacts, since rollover incidents can last longer. The deployment duration and other design features of the air bags combine to provide increased occupant protection and the ability to help keep occupants inside the vehicle.
Sensors located at the front of the vehicle, in the side doors, and within the occupant compartment provide increased and more immediate crash detection. The vehicle’s sensing system provides industry-exclusive capability to deploy front seat safety belt pretensioners during certain rear-end collisions, enhancing the belt system’s ability to hold the occupants firmly in place.
Crash avoidance is bolstered through strong design and driver control dynamics, such as wide front and rear tracks, as well as responsive suspensions – including a standard coil-over-shock front suspension design and rack-and-pinion steering. Avalanche’s fully boxed frame contributes to enhanced crash energy management. The front frame section has been designed to optimize crush progression, resulting in energy absorption efficiency. The improved crush performance, enabled by hydroformed frame rails and efficient chassis component packaging, also comprehends design provisions that help improve vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility in the event of a frontal impact with a smaller vehicle.
Additional safety features include:
- Standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology
- Standard dual-stage driver’s front air bag
- Standard dual-stage outboard-front passenger air bag with Passenger Sensing System
- Standard tire pressure monitoring system
- Available rain-sensing wiper system
- Available Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound and display via three LEDs near the rear window
- Available rearview camera system designed to provide the driver with a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
- Standard pull-up/push-down power window switches
LS models come standard with OnStar and a one-year Safe & Sound service plan; LT and LTZ models come with a one-year Directions & Connections plan that features Turn-By-Turn Navigation. OnStar includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to emergency services to potentially dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. If the vehicle is in a crash that activates an air bag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar advisor, who will check on the occupants or summon emergency help if necessary. OnStar also can assist authorities in locating a vehicle if it is reported stolen (ability to locate stolen vehicles varies with conditions).