One of the industry’s true trendsetters—the Chevy Avalanche—will cease production after the 2013 model year, but the Bowtie brand is ensuring its demise is bittersweet: The division will mark the occasion by offering a snappy new 2013 Chevrolet Black Diamond Avalanche limited edition model and a major price break across the entire Avalanche family—which will now start at $35,980 (excluding a $995 dealer freight charge).
“More than 580,000 Avalanches have been sold since its introduction in 2001, and Avalanche has won major awards and recognitions throughout its run,” said Mark Clawson, Avalanche marketing manager. “So it is only fitting that Avalanche retires on a high note.”
The Black Diamond package is a relatively subtle setup, adding body-colored bed surrounds and a unique sail-panel badge, but that’s because Chevy has decided to focus on rewarding buyers with increased value in the Avalanche’s final year on the market. For starters, the brand has rejiggered the standard equipment offered on both the LS and LT trims, with the former now including a rearview camera system, rear park-assist technology, fog lamps and remote start, and the latter benefitting from a standard rearview camera. Then, Chevrolet has reduced the base price for all models—after equipment adjustments—by $2,500.
An Avalanche of Versatility
Speaking of equipment, the Avalanche has kept up with the times and continues to offer the kind of features expected on today’s family-friendly trucks, including heating and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate controls, a rear-seat entertainment system, a premium Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound audio system, and touchscreen navigation.
The 2013 Chevy Avalanche is powered by an eager-for-action Vortec V8, which is capable of developing 320 hp and 335 lb.-ft. of torque from its 5.3 liters of displacement, while still returning 20 mpg on the highway. Further, drivers can choose from rear- or all-wheel-drive models, too.
The Avalanche Legacy
And, of course, the Avalanche will be available only with a spacious crew cab that can hold up to five people in relative comfort. That may seem like no big deal now, when crew-cabbed full-size trucks account for some 65 percent of all light-duty pickup sales, but that’s only because other rivals jumped on the bandwagon after the Avalanche debuted. Back in 2002, when the truck first launched, its ability to combine the functionality of a full-size pickup with the interior amenities and roominess of a full-size sedan helped the Avalanche reset expectations in the segment—and win the 2002 Motor Trend Truck of the Year award.
It’s also worth noting that even as other entries, including the Chevy Silverado, began putting their focus on crew-cab models, the Avalanche has continued to earn third-party honors. Just last year, the Avalanche was the No. 1-rated “Large Light-duty Pickup” in the 2011 AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards and among the top three “Large Pickup” models in the 2011 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study; this year, the Avalanche was Consumer Reports’ 2012 Top Pick in the “Pickup truck” class, with editors noting it sill offered “the best combination of utility and versatility of any pickup we’ve tested.”
“Although Avalanche sales have tapered off in recent years, as crew cabs have grown to dominate Silverado sales, we know there are many Avalanche enthusiasts among Chevy customers,” added Clawson. “The Black Diamond Avalanche is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and making it just a little more attractive to own one more Avalanche.”
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