Topping the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche trim lineup is the LTZ 4WD five-passenger full-size crew cab pickup. Featuring the unique mid-gate system, whereby the rear cabin window and wall can be removed, this well-endowed truck’s bed expands from just over 5 feet to over 8 feet long. Additionally, such appearance goodies as 20-inch polished alloy wheels, a roof rack, a trailer hitch and wiring, and step running boards are all standard, as is an active, self-leveling suspension system. Inside, the LTZ 4WD presents standard leather upholstery, heated, power-adjustable front bucket seats, cruise control, leather-and-wood-accented steering wheel, dashboard, and door trim, dual-zone climate control, power accessories, including heated, reverse-tilting, power-retractable outside mirrors, remote engine start, universal remote garage door opener, and memory for driver's settings. Entertainment is provided by the standard single-CD player with ten Bose premium speakers, satellite radio, and a USB connection, while a voice-activated DVD navigation system and OnStar/Bluetooth hands-free phone technology keep passengers pointed in the right direction and connected to the outside world. Options, meanwhile, include six-passenger front bench seating, a power sunroof, heavy-duty Trailering Package, rear-seat DVD entertainment, and power-retractable step running boards.
Safety-wise, the 2011 Avalanche LTZ 4WD uses a center and rear locking differential, electronic hi-lo gear selection, and auto-locking hubs to provide on-demand four-wheel-drive traction. This all-weather, almost-all-terrain pickup’s safety prowess is further bolstered by four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, OnStar post-collision safety technology, and rear parking sensors.
The standard powertrain for the 2011 Avalanche LTZ 4WD is a 320-hp 5.3-liter Flex Fuel V8 engine and six-speed auto-manual transmission. Expect 335 lb-ft of torque from this combo, as well as E85 ethanol capability, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation at highway speeds as well. Fuel-efficiency numbers are unavailable for this 4WD heavy hauler, but mileage will be tepid, at best. Trailer-towing capacity, meantime, is 8,000 pounds.