PDA

View Full Version : Chevy Avalanche 04-05??? Any good?


jkski
01-27-2008, 07:50 PM
My truck search continues and now I have added the 2500 Chevy Avalanche to the mix. So, does anyone have the 2500 version, and what do you think about the 04-05 model years? Every one of these I have found has the 8.1l motor, why is that? Did they not offer the 6.0? How bad is the fuel mileage on the 8.1?

I've got my field narroed to the GMC crewcab 2500hd or a 2500 Avalanche, so feel free to give me your thoughts on which is better and why?
Thanks in advance.

Waketn
01-27-2008, 09:22 PM
I would go with the 2500HD. More space in the bed

Waketn
01-27-2008, 09:22 PM
I would go with the 2500HD. More space in the bed

Jerseydave
01-27-2008, 10:49 PM
8.1 Liter engines don't exactly get good mileage, neither do the 6.0L. (I've had 2 of the 6.0L) I see you have a prostar 197, what else do you need the truck to tow or do? Unless you're towing over 6000 lbs., I'd look for a 5.3L Avalanche or p/u. Much better mileage and good towing up to around 5000 lbs.

I have my 6.0 Suburban only because I tow a 9000 lb. trailer and plow snow with it (heavy duty trans.) If not for those 2 reasons, I'd have a 1/2 ton suburban. They ride so much better than the K-2500.

Just my $.02 :D

JohnE
01-28-2008, 07:06 AM
I've got an '05 Avalanche 1500 with the 5.3 and love it.

jkski
01-28-2008, 08:28 AM
I had started this discussion in another thread when I was focusing only on the 2500hd and received a lot of positive feedback and helpful advice, however, that was before I started to consider a 2500 Avalanche. The reason I would need to go to the 2500 Avalanche is that I need to be able to plow with it and haul the occassional X45, bobcat, etc.. I do not honestly use the bed space that much in my existing truck, so I am not overly concerned about that. This vehicle would actually be replacing a truck and a durango.
So, how bad is the 8.1 vs the 6.0 in terms of gas mileage? I know from most people that have the 6.0 in their 2500hd, they are getting around 10mpg, how much more will it drop with the 8.1?

ShamrockIV
01-28-2008, 08:40 AM
have you considered duramax? much better life and better mileage too!!

BrianM
01-28-2008, 09:18 AM
Ask your mileage question to the Avalanche owners forum. They are really active and full of good information about the Avys. http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php
From what I have read over there the 2500 and 8.1 combo is a beast. A quick search of the site says that the 8.1 gets in the range of 8-12mpg.

If you don't use the bed in your truck a ton the Avy is the way to go. It is great being able to keep stuff in the huge "trunk" out of the weather. I rarely take off the bedcovers and haul lumber, drywall, plywood all the time. As said above if you are just pulling the 190 I would just go with the 1500 version and the 5.3 Much better mileage and ride and wil pull tht boat great.

tones03
01-28-2008, 09:23 AM
8.1L is a gas hog but a torque monster. I drove a 2500 Suburban with an 8.1 and loved it and could tow anything but never got over 12MPG and was more like 10.

jkski
01-28-2008, 12:04 PM
Ask your mileage question to the Avalanche owners forum. They are really active and full of good information about the Avys. http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php
From what I have read over there the 2500 and 8.1 combo is a beast. A quick search of the site says that the 8.1 gets in the range of 8-12mpg.

If you don't use the bed in your truck a ton the Avy is the way to go. It is great being able to keep stuff in the huge "trunk" out of the weather. I rarely take off the bedcovers and haul lumber, drywall, plywood all the time. As said above if you are just pulling the 190 I would just go with the 1500 version and the 5.3 Much better mileage and ride and wil pull tht boat great.

Thanks for the link and info, that is exaclty what I was looking for. As with anything, the fuel mileage reports vary quite a bit but all in all it looks to be in the 9-14 range, which is pretty much the same as the 2500HD. If all I did was pull my 197 then a 1500 version would be great, however, I am always pulling more and pushing snow and don't want to underbuy.

MIMC
01-28-2008, 12:58 PM
jkski -

As an active team member of the General I will give you my honest opinion, because honesty is what keeps our customers happy. :) Do you honestly need the torque and hp of the 8.1 or the 6.0 with the 4L80E trans? If you do, then they are great trucks in regards to towing capability and the Avalanche versatility can't be beat. If you don't need that much "muscle" then I recommend you keep looking for a 1/2 ton w/ the 5.3 or the new 6.0 with the 4L60E or the 4L65E trans. The 8.1 and 6.0 w/ 4L80E are gas pigs!!! I ask you to really question the need for that type of power, because you WILL pay for it in regards to MPG. Having driven both vehicles (I am a moderate to aggresive driver) the 2500 Ave w/ the 8.1 got me 10-12 mpg, and the best I got out of the 6.0 w/ 4L80E was 14.5 mpg. At $3 a gallon it adds up quick and often. Just my honest opinion. The most important thing for you is to be honest with yourself and what you need the truck to do.

jkski
01-28-2008, 01:12 PM
Honesty is always best and appreciated.
I have gone back and forth over this for quite some time and always end up back at the reality that while I do not "need" a 3/4ton for everyday use, I do need one about 1-2/month, depending on the month, for plowing and pulling. With that said the 8.1 seems like excessive overkill, but I have not yet seen a 2500 Avalanche with anything other than that motor. The 6.0 is what I'd get in the 2500HD if that is the direction I end up going, as, while I likethe Duramax, I do not "need" it, as it is certainly overkill for my use. I pretty much realize that no matter what direction I go, I will be getting killed in terms of fuel consumption..just a reality.
Again, the advice and honesty is much appreciated and what makes this such a great place.

MIMC
01-28-2008, 01:31 PM
jkski -

3/4 ton Avalanche's only came with the 8.1 liter! They did not sell well and that is why we no longer offer a 3/4 ton Avalanche. Duramax is a great package, sort of expensive, but again more than you need. Are you looking for used? If new is an option, look at the 2007/2008 1/2 ton crew cab with the Vortec Max package. 6.0 l with the 4L65E - awesome tow/work package and with the cylinder deactivation you can get 18-20 on the highway. If you do a lot of plowing then I would lean towards the 2500. Any questions just post again!

Thanks -
MIMC

jkski
01-30-2008, 07:58 AM
jkski -

3/4 ton Avalanche's only came with the 8.1 liter! They did not sell well and that is why we no longer offer a 3/4 ton Avalanche. Duramax is a great package, sort of expensive, but again more than you need. Are you looking for used? If new is an option, look at the 2007/2008 1/2 ton crew cab with the Vortec Max package. 6.0 l with the 4L65E - awesome tow/work package and with the cylinder deactivation you can get 18-20 on the highway. If you do a lot of plowing then I would lean towards the 2500. Any questions just post again!

Thanks -
MIMC

MIMC,
If I can get around the snow plowing issue, I need an Avalanche that can tow on average 5K - 7klbs for about 15k miles per year. The rest of the time it will either sit idle or possibly be used for longer trips.
So, with that set of parameters, will the 5.3 in the 1500 handle that without burning up the tranny? Keep in min that I have now fried 2 tranny's in a 1/2 ton Dodge Ram 4x4 and they were not abused.
Thanks.

BrianM
01-30-2008, 08:28 AM
MIMC,
If I can get around the snow plowing issue, I need an Avalanche that can tow on average 5K - 7klbs for about 15k miles per year. The rest of the time it will either sit idle or possibly be used for longer trips.
So, with that set of parameters, will the 5.3 in the 1500 handle that without burning up the tranny? Keep in min that I have now fried 2 tranny's in a 1/2 ton Dodge Ram 4x4 and they were not abused.
Thanks.
I think you will be fine with the 5.3 but if you tow that weight often look for a 5.3 with the 4.10 rear end. They are out there and will tow that weight better and be easier on the transmission.

MIMC
01-30-2008, 03:01 PM
Jeff -

A 5.3 Avalanche w/ either a 3.73 (standard) or 4.10 ratio will tow 5-7K comfortably - as long as the trailer has some type of trailer brake system. Any full size truck, no matter how equipped, is rated for 4,000 lbs, so an Avalanche w/ a 5.3, 3.73 rear end should tow 5-7K with out any issues - if you are more comfortable than go with the 4.10 rear end. A GMT800 Avalanche (old style) max tow rating is 7900 lbs with a 4.10 rear end, 3.73 was around 7500 lbs. I believe trans and engine coolers were std for those vehicles. Hope this helps!

MIMC

jkski
01-30-2008, 03:28 PM
OK, last question for a while.....I think.
I've done the side-by-side comparison between the 2006 GMC 15OOHD Crew Cab w/6.0l and 3:73 gears vs. the 2006 Avalanche w/5.3 and 3:73gears and they match-up pound for pound (for the most part) except in the towing capacity, where the GMC shows a 9900lbs vs. the Avalanche at 7900lbs. The biggest surprise though was, and please correct this if you know differently, the gas mileage quoted was the same...14city/17hwy for the GMC w/6.0 and 14city/18hwy for the Avalanche w/5.3l...is this correct or am I missing something? The 6.0l in the 2500HD is only getting people in the 10-12mpg range from what I've read, so why is it so different in the 1500HD?

ShamrockIV
01-30-2008, 03:32 PM
man u guys need to invest in a suburban or yukon xl or maybe the short models!! i get around 20mpg from mine and it is a 4X4!!

i am just saying!!

jkski
01-30-2008, 03:40 PM
20mpg.....I dream of that! Truthfully the tow vehicle I use only leaves the garage if it is pulling something or pushing the white stuff around, otherwise it is nothing more than garage decoration. I drive my little 92 Mazda MX3 that gets 31mpg for daily use...until it decides to quit on me!!!

BrianM
01-30-2008, 04:45 PM
I think you will find that the stickers don't really tell the whole story. Search around and you will find that in the real world the 6.0 in that 1500HD is going to return that 10-12mpg average exactly like the 2500hd. On the highway you might see 15 -16 on a good day. With the 5.3 the average is going to be more in the range of 15-16 and you will get 18-19 on the interstate. Towing the two will probably both get the same mileage at about 12mpg.

Ski-me
01-31-2008, 04:53 PM
I have a 04’ GMC Yukon XL with the 8.1 and 3:73 gears and I get on average 11-12 mpg. If I reset my mileage while on the freeway, I get closer to 14 on the highway but as soon as I pull off and drive around for awhile on the streets, the average tends to drop back down to 12 mpg. Someone made the comment about the transmissions with the 6.0L and 8.1L. I’m sure this contributes a lot because my engine spins around 2300 rpm’s cruising at 70 mph. My old 5.3 Tahoe was closer to 1800 rpm’s.

As far as power, there is a difference and you need to test drive them. The 6.0L felt sluggish, especially on the freeway or accelerating quickly. The 8.1 just goes! I had to look hard for the 8.1 (found in Wisconsin), but it’s worth it if you are considering the ¾ ton truck. If they offered the Duramax in the suburban, I’d be all over it.

Just my 2 cents…..

MIMC
02-01-2008, 10:53 AM
jkski -

Never trust the window stickers, those EPA ratings are not real world ratings or tests. The EPA has recently change their test parameters to provide more real world EPA ratings - you should start seeing the new EPA ratings I believe with the start of the 2009 models.

The 1500 HD with the 6.0 liter had the 4L80E trans and will get you 12-14 MPG average if you are somewhat nice to it. Towing will drop to around 9-10. The 3/4 Avalanche with the 8.1 was mated with the 4L85E trans, again it will get you around 12-14 average, drop to around 10 while towing. The reason the Avalanche with the 8.1 seems "faster" or has more "pep" is becuase the 8.1 had 15 more HP and 85 more ft. lbs. of torque at 800 rpm less than the 6.0.

If I had to choose I would go with the 3/4 ton Avalanche. I have driven both, MPG's will be about the same and ride quality and creature comforts are better on the Avalanche. Regardless, the L18 (8.1) was a beast of an engine - I would love to have one! If you find one, PM me the VIN and I'll do some internal "research" for you!

Good luck!
MIMC

ShamrockIV
02-01-2008, 10:59 AM
20mpg.....I dream of that! Truthfully the tow vehicle I use only leaves the garage if it is pulling something or pushing the white stuff around, otherwise it is nothing more than garage decoration. I drive my little 92 Mazda MX3 that gets 31mpg for daily use...until it decides to quit on me!!!

we got close to 22 on trip to florida last year with 8 of us in it!!
mine is the family vehicle!!!
we use it to go to the lake, tow boat, church, etc. sits in the garage as much as possible!!
tows my 205 wonderfully.

Evan Jones
02-01-2008, 11:01 AM
I've got an '06 3/4 ton Av. I love it. The storage is fabulous, the versatility is great, and the power is awesome. I get about 10 mpg around town, 12 or 13 on the highway, and 8 or 9 when towing. I live close to work (1 mile) so I don't mindf the lousy mileage, and I tow either the 205 or a Jeep on a heavy trailer several times a month. It tows effortlessly. I bought it used with 20K on the clock, and it came with the new 100K warranty. Find an '06 and you should be able to get that same warranty

jkski
02-01-2008, 03:25 PM
What did you get your 06 2500 for??? and what all does the 100k warranty cover?

captain planet
02-01-2008, 04:23 PM
jkski, just pull the trigger already.:steering: Just don't buy a Dodge and you won't have to worry about a tranny. If you get a GM, just keep an extra alternator handy with the wrenches to do a quick change out and you'll be fine.

Oh, and you ended one of you sentences in a preposition!;)

jkski
02-01-2008, 04:31 PM
CP,
It's not like buying an MC...that I'll pretty much just pull the trigger on at a moments notice. Besides, look whose talking...with as much time as you have spent drooling over a 197!!!

As far as ending my sentences incorrectly...I am a marketing guy, we can pretty much do whatever we want. as general rules do not apply to us!!!

captain planet
02-01-2008, 04:47 PM
CP,
It's not like buying an MC...that I'll pretty much just pull the trigger on at a moments notice. Besides, look whose talking...with as much time as you have spent drooling over a 197!!!

As far as ending my sentences incorrectly...I am a marketing guy, we can pretty much do whatever we want. as general rules do not apply to us!!!
Guilty as charged. :o However, I have to buy a house before I get a new boat. You "need" a new truck and don't have a new house waiting in the wings. Get off your wallet and get a new truck already! :D

Oh, and best wishes in your search.

Evan Jones
02-01-2008, 04:50 PM
I paid 29K for it last June. with 20K miles on it. The warranty covers all mechanical elements I believe. (Drivetrain.) Another reason I usually go for the heavier duty models is they are just that....Heavy Duty. I don't have to worry as much about breaking stuff because everything is a bit beefier.

What does the The Chevy 100,000-Mile Warranty include?
In general, the powertrain warranty covers the engine, transmission, transfer case and axle assemblies on light duty vehicles as indicated below:
Engine
Cylinder head, block, timing gears, timing chain, timing cover, oil pump/oil pump housing, OHC carriers, valve covers, oil pan, seals, gaskets, turbocharger, supercharger and all internal lubricated parts as well as manifolds, flywheel, water pump, harmonic balancer and engine mount. Diesel engine coverage includes the timing belts until the first scheduled maintenance interval.
Transmission/Transaxle/Transfer Case
Case, all internal lubricated parts, torque converter, transfer case, transmission/transaxle mounts, seals, and gaskets.
Drive Systems
Final drive housing, all internal lubricated parts, axle shafts and bearings, constant velocity joints, axle housing, propeller shafts, universal joints, wheel bearings, locking hubs, front differential actuator, supports, front and rear hub bearings, seals and gaskets.
Is my Roadside Assistance coverage extended also? What is the coverage?
Yes, for five years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first), you get the added assurance of 24/7 Roadside Assistance. This includes Fuel Delivery so you can reach the nearest fuel station, as well as Lock-Out, Flat Tire (covers change only), Jump-Start and certain Emergency Towing services.
GM Roadside Service can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This service is provided at no charge. Roadside Service is available only in the United States and Canada.

jkski
02-01-2008, 04:52 PM
House......heck you've got a trailer by the lake, what else do you need!!!
Have fun with the house and I'll continue with my search and maybe I'll find one by the time the water thaws!!!

JohnE
02-01-2008, 06:04 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, but my 1500 Avalanche with the 5.3 gets 17-18 mpg highway and 15 mpg towing my 197 on the highway.

But if it were going to sit as often as I read in one post and be used for mostly plowing and towing, I'd get a heavier duty pickup and scrap the
Avalanche thoughts. The beauty of the Avalanche is how versatile it is. I tow my boat, use it daily, we take it to weddings instead of my wife's car, etc. But a vehicle for just towing and plowing would be a pick-up for me.