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2012 Chevrolet Avalanche Overview
Chevrolet's Avalanche has undergone a few changes for the 2012 model year, getting standard trailer sway control and hill start assist. Meanwhile LT trims have heated seats and LTZ trims have a heated steering wheel added as standard equipment. The Avalanche seats 5 passengers comfortably with room for an additional passenger.
Six trims are available for the 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche: LS, LT and LTZ, each of which is available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). Each is equipped with a Vortec 5.3-liter OHV 16-valve V8 engine that generates 320 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. All run on either premium gasoline or FlexFuel and are estimated by the EPA to get 15 mpg city/21 highway using gas and 11/16 on E85.
Each Avalanche trim comes standard with a Crew cab and a 5.3-foot-long bed. The GM segment-exclusive removable midgate allows the Avalanche to switch from being a pickup to an SUV. Other standard features for all trims include dual-zone climate control, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, power steering, an adjustable steering wheel, cloth seats, driver's lumbar support, heated power driver’s side mirror, heated front passenger mirror, remote keyless entry, rear-window defogger, automatic headlights, 60/40 split rear seat, AM/FM stereo with single-CD player, OnStar (with Directions & Connections for the first 6 months, including Turn-by-Turn Navigation), Sirius XM satellite radio with Sirius XM NavTraffic for a 3-month trial subscription, Bluetooth wireless technology, USB ports, front and rear tow hooks, a full-size spare tire and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with touring tires.
Moving up to the LT trim adds automatic climate control, 6-way power heated front seats, leather-appointed seats, power-adjustable pedals, remote keyless start, a 7-speaker Bose sound system and a 40/20/40 split rear seat. Standard features for the LTZs include a navigation system, perforated leather-appointed seats, automatic-dimming rear-view mirror, front passenger lumbar support, seat memory, heated and cooled front seats, a Bose Centerpoint surround-sound system with 8 speakers and 20-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels with performance tires.
Three packages are available for 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche LS trims. The Convenience Package features power-adjustable pedals, a remote vehicle start system, rear parking assist with rear-vision camera and an inside rear-view mirror with rear camera display. The All-Star Package (which is not available in Texas) comes with inside rear-view auto-dimming mirror, outside heated power-adjustable power-folding mirrors, a heavy-duty trailering package, heavy-duty locking rear differential, front halogen fog lamps, chrome door handles, chrome grille with bright chrome grille insert, an additional 9 months of Sirius XM satellite radio service and 20-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels with performance tires. A Texas Edition Package (available only in Texas) mirrors the All-Star Package but adds Texas Edition badging. The LT trim can be equipped with an Off-Road Suspension Package, which features off-road jounce bumpers, specially tuned springs and gas-charged monotube shocks, front and rear wheel flares, and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with on/off-road blackwall tires. The Sun, Entertainment and Destinations Package for the LT adds an additional 9 months of SiriusXM satellite radio and NavTraffic service, power sunroof, AM/FM/Sirius XM with CD/MP3 player and navigation, a rear-view camera and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
As far as safety and security features, go, the 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche comes standard with dual-stage driver's and passenger front airbags, front-seat-mounted, head-curtain side-impact airbags and passenger sensing system. Other standard features include a tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system (with traction control, trailer sway control and hill start assist) and a vehicle antitheft system. Rear parking assist and fog lights comes standard on the LT and LTZ trims.
Because of its makeup, many current owners of the 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche feel that it handles very well for such a large vehicle. One common knock against the vehicle is that it has large blind spots on both sides of the vehicle, making lane changes a daunting task. However, making up for that is the 5.3-liter V8, which several owners stated delivers plenty of power and torque and handles off-road situations extremely well when equipped with 4WD.
The beauty of the 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche is that it is basically a crossover between a full-size pickup and an SUV. The presence of the aforementioned Midgate allows the Avalanche to be converted from an SUV into a full-size pickup in less than a minute (or vice versa). For buyers looking for only a pickup, or only an SUV, the Avalanche may not make sense because of its price tag and its towing capacity of 8,100 pounds when properly equipped (which is lower than other full-size pickups, including Chevy's sibling Silverado). But, for someone who likes versatility in his or her daily driver, the Avalanche may be the perfect choice.
by Mark S. Baker
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