Anyone who says sport/utilities aren't changing the way trucks are built has never been in an Avalanche. The moment you climb into this truck and discover its unique features and innovative space management, you realize Chevrolet's created a new subsegment in the truck market.
When we tested the all-new Avalanche for Motor Trend's 2002 Truck of the Year competition, we were impressed by its strong powertrain, voluminous interior, unique styling (though opinions weren't unanimously favorable on this aspect), and inventive convertible cab. Such attributes helped the Avalanche take home the hardware two years ago and earned it a spot in our one-year-test fleet.
Our red 1500 Avalanche 2WD carried a base price of $30,465, to which we added leather/power seats ($1115), electric sunroof ($1095), the Z66 premium on-road suspension ($835), a self-dimming rearview mirror with OnStar functions ($546), and runningboards ($395). The total, including destination, came to $35,171.
This isn't cheap for a 2WD pickup/ute, but this one's feature packed and versatile to the extreme.
As soon as the Avalanche arrived, our staff put it to the test. The MTTV crew used it as a multipurpose production vehicle to store camera gear in the sealed, lockable bed, while comfortably carrying crew members along with Motor Trend staff in the cabin. On location, the crew used the composite bed panels as a sturdy, elevated platform from which to shoot.
The water hounds among us took every opportunity to exercise the Avalanche's optional Z66 suspension by towing their beach beauties to the docks. They found that the self-leveling suspension and tow/haul mode on the transmission simplified the towing process. The full-size rear seat also provides a cozy place for friends and family.