Last post on Dec 20, 2003 at 9:44 AM
You are in the Pickups - Archived Discussions
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Chevrolet Avalanche, Truck
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#1964 of 2035 To Buy or Not to Buy
Mar 18, 2003 (7:13 am)
I am the owner of a 2003 Z71 Avalanche that I bought in mid January in Virginia. I have previously owned Chevy Trucks and currently own a '97 TransAm. I looked at the Tundra, F150XLT and Dodge Ram SLT. I needed the ability to tow my Pontiac as periodically I race it. Surprisingly, the Chevy 5.3L (327 cu in) in the Avalanche is nimble enough to move on down the road, yet stout enough to pull my car. I opted for the Chevy for a couple of reasons. In as much as I liked the competition, I am a "buy" American person - just my preference. The Toyota was decent, but dollar for dollar I thought the AV with its SUV/Truck ability was better for me. Unfortunately, Dodges - including trucks to certain degree, depreciate far faster that either the Fords or Chevys. Gas mileage was about the same. I do wish the Avalanche was available in the 6.0L as I think that would be a good compromise between the 5.3 and the 8.1; however, my understanding is that GMC will offer its "Avalanche" version this summer with the available 6.0 that comes in Sierras and the Cadillac EXT. Changing the air box to a K&N and adding dual exhaust will increase its power somewhat (intake/exhaust is everything) but I think one will find the 5.3 is adequate. Can't say anything about 0-60 times because to me it's a truck and I'm not racing it. I have a car for that. But you certainly won't slow traffic behind you. One should probably look more at the stopping ability. Consumer Reports gives the Avalance a red circle with a dot (good) for its overall integrity and customer satisfaction. Reading feedback from others and talking to other Avalanche owners has been positive. I think some improvements were incorporated in the 2003 which make it a little better than its first year sibling. Buy the Avalanche. It drives very nice, looks nice (it will grow on you) and I think you'll like it.
#1965 of 2035 bob503 - Dodge Ram
Mar 19, 2003 (12:12 pm)
Well, sir, you mention getting a Ram 2500 or Avalanche. I'm the owner of an '03 Ram 2500 Cummins Turbodiesel, and I love it. I am not among the group that thinks the 'lanche is the ugliest thing this side of the Aztek, but I do think my Ram is a nicer-looking vehicle. You don't mention which engine you're interested in? Gas engines, the new Hemi is probably about the same as the Chevy engine. I've heard it's getting worse mileage than people hoped for. If it's a diesel engine you're looking for, IMHO you can't do better than the Cummins, esp. the High Output version. Chevy's have better automatic trannys (though I've heard good things about the new 48re in the Dodge), though they're probably about the same in manual trannys. I love my Ram - you need to look at your needs and desires and drive both trucks before making a decision.
Mar 19, 2003 (12:31 pm)
I may be wrong but GMC was going to offer a smaller version of the avalanche. It was based on the envoy chassis.
Mar 20, 2003 (4:46 am)
I considered the Ran QC before I bought my Avalanche mainly because of the new Hemi. Just the thought of that 345 HP!! (never actually drove one). Two main reasons I didn't - first and foremost price. With the bigger rebate, my GM card rebate, and GM Supplier Discount pricing, the higher-priced Avalanche was cheaper to buy. The other consideration was the size. I never really liked the 143" wheelbase of the Sierra I was driving, and the Ram is only a couple inches shorter. And the overall lenght about the same. Whereas the Av is onl;y 130" wheelbase and several inches shorter overall. And of course I have an even longer bed that the Ram or my Sierra when I need it, which isn't often. For a beautiful ride and a pickup when I need it the Av is ideal. BTW, I got the model "Without Body Hardware". Never too crazy about the cladding, or even more so, the flat-top wheelwells. However I do wish it had the Av front end.
#1968 of 2035 Might Be Right
Mar 21, 2003 (5:28 am)
Ryanbab - you might be right on that. I was at a Pontiac dealership a feeks ago, and I may have not realized the GMC versioned AV was on the Envoy frame. That being the case, it will probably get the 6.L engine (maybe optional), but a bit smaller. I know the Chevy Trailblazer now offers an upgrade 5.3L engine instead of the 4.3 six cylinder. But it's stictly all SUV. Nice looking, but I needed the truck. The AVs WBH do look nice, but with or without, it's a good truck. And that Dodge Hemi is nice and has a good motor. One always respects the competition. Just stay away from the Ford SVTs as they're fast cars disguised in a truck body. Tangled with one in my Pontiac T/A, which is far from stock, and only because of a good shift and maybe a few footpounds more torque, did I keep from being humbled. But I went away and said, damn - that was one quick truck. But I love my AV and when weather breaks just a wee bit more, we'll see how it pulls my T/A.
#1969 of 2035 New Hemi vs. Chevy's 5.3L
Mar 31, 2003 (10:44 am)
I tested both of these a lot before making my decision:
Pros for Hemi: Exhaust note is awesome. Lots of torque to pull whatever you need to.
Pros for Chevy 5.3L: MUCH quicker off the line (not even close here). Much better gas mileage (4-5 mpg difference).
#1970 of 2035 Avalanche buyer, maybe?
Apr 17, 2003 (4:52 am)
Tundra owner here thinking of getting rid of 02 Tundra for 03 Avalanche! Wife thinks I'm nuts, but w/ Tundra's well known brake problems it might just happen. Like the de-plastic version and the powerful 5.3L is always inviting compared to the weak 4.7L toyota offers. Anyone drove both? Any responses would be welcome.
#1971 of 2035 Avalanche buyer, maybe?
Apr 17, 2003 (5:13 pm)
Why limit yourself to 5L in the 1500? Go for the 8L1 found in the 2500 Avalanche. The 5L is faster off the line (the times I've raced my manager) but the 8L pulls ahead later. Heck, or just throw a 9K pound trailer on the hitch and see who wins.
Sorry, I can't help you on the Tundra. I have driven the 4Runner and found the ride harsh, even for a truck chassis. Your gas mileage will be worse in the AV.
#1972 of 2035 Av Z71 for off-roading
Apr 17, 2003 (8:24 pm)
Guys, those who have Z71, how does it do off-road? Can you compare it to other off-road models by Chevy and other companies? Thanks!
#1973 of 2035 Steering for 2003 Av 1500
Apr 17, 2003 (9:05 pm)
Fellas, is steering in 1500 2003 Av rack-and-pinion or recirculating ball? gmcanada.com has it as a rack, but every other site I checked has it as a ball. So, which one is it?