What Happened to the Chevy Avalanche?

The Chevy Avalanche was a relatively short-lived unique truck. Why did Chevy axe the Avalanche?
Written by Eric Gilley
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Pickup trucks
are all the rage these days, and just a few years ago, Chevy had an additional pickup truck in its lineup. It wasn't an electric pickup truck like
the Electric Silverado
will be, but the Chevy Avalanche was actually a unique option at the time. Here's a look at the history of the Chevy Avalanche, what made it unique, and why it was ultimately killed off by Chevy.

What made the Chevy Avalanche unique?

According to
MotorTrend
, Chevy produced the Avalanche between 2001 and 2013, and the Avalanche had a lot of success in its early years. 
The Avalanche was a full-size pickup truck that was based on the Chevy Suburban. Its goal was to be a new kind of car. It had the comfort of the Suburban, but also the utility of the Silverado. 
The Avalanche had many innovations that allowed it to be unique. It had a ‘midgate’, which was a foldable steel bulkhead that allowed the truck bed to expand into the passenger area. The midgate allowed drivers to carry around stuff, such as plywood, fully enclosed. 
Another thing that was unique about the Avalanche was the fact that it was exclusive to Chevy. Usually, GM offers similar trucks and SUVs from both Chevy and GMC, and it's why GM will often cut features from both lineups at the same time. This was not the case with the Avalanche though, as GMC didn't get a version of the truck.
MORE: Why the Chevrolet Silverado EV Will Be Worth the Wait, According to Consumer Reports
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The early years of the truck

The first model year of the Chevy Avalanche was equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine, and it got 285 horsepower. Chevy sold the 2001 model year at a starting price tag of about $31,000, and it was an instant success. The Avalanche even won Motor Trend's 2002 Truck of the Year award.
Sales for the Avalanche kept climbing, but it hit its peak in 2003 with just under 94,000 units sold in that year. Its sales began to decline from then on, and in the 2007 model year, Chevy introduced the second generation of the truck.
Chevy made a lot of changes to the Avalanche in order to try to boost its popularity. For example, it now had cleaner styling that was similar to what Chevy customers were enjoying on other Chevy cars.

Why Chevy decided to discontinue the Chevy Avalanche

Unfortunately, those efforts by Chevy weren't enough. Just like other discontinued cars, Chevy decided to kill off the Avalanche because there wasn't an avalanche of sales. Some of the reasons why sales were hurting weren't entirely Chevy's fault, however.
2008 and 2009 weren't good years for the economy, and gas prices were high, too. As a result of those economic factors, Americans simply weren't interested in gas-guzzling pickup trucks like the Avalanche.
The Avalanche's sales numbers never recovered from the recession, so Chevy pulled the plug on the car in 2013. While the Avalanche may be no more, customers can still buy a used one.
MORE: Should You Get the 2022 Toyota Tundra or Chevy Silverado 1500?

A used Chevy Avalanche will still need to be insured

If you're thinking of buying a used Chevy Avalanche, then you should also be thinking about how you're going to insure it.
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