Chevy Avalanche Discontinued, No More Midgate

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Chevrolet has announced plans to discontinue their unique Avalanches pickup in 2013. It will go out in style with a Black Diamond special edition. Will this truck be remembered as a pioneer or a dud?

Chevy Avalanche Discontinued

The somewhat awkward Chevy Avalanche will be discontinued in 2013 .

The Chevy Avalanche was first introduced in 2001 with four-doors (crew cab), more car-like interior and of course its best known feature, the “midgate” hatch to add more cargo room for longer hauls.

While it started strong reaching more than 93,000 trucks sold in its third year, sales have dropped to the mid 20’s the last two years.

Most people believe the drop is sales is due in part to the Avalanche’s success. Prior to the truck hitting the market, many trucks were seen as “work” trucks with very little family friendly interior and few four-door models available. Nowadays, there are dozens of crew cab, luxury type trucks to choose from and the market is full of larger, family friendly trucks.

Another theory is that the quirkiness of the midgate hatch didn’t quite catch on completely with some truck owners, preferring the traditional truck look and not a crossover.

While this news is just the latest in an industry where car makers are consolidating their brands and focusing on their top sellers, it is a sad day for anyone hoping for a little variety in car shopping.

What then is the legacy of the Avalanche? Will it be remembered as the truck that helped push crew cabs into the mainstream? Or that truck with the weird midgate?

What do you think?

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Josh says:

    Personally I think it was one of those niche vehicles, it only worked for some people. And I call it a vehicle not a truck cause to me it isn’t one. Yes it has a bed like a truck but so did the El Comino and how many people called them trucks? To me one of the points to having a pick up to keep things that you don’t particularly want near you separated (dead animals, bark dust, dirt, cow crap). If you use the mid gate in the Avalanche and try to be like a truck by hauling something nasty…well you will be wearing it as soon as you hit freeway speeds lol. Get a truck or an SUV quite trying to mix them.

  2. Mickey says:

    I think they look sharp. Won the last two awards for truck. I wouldn’t turn one away especially this design. Price was too high. That’s why crewcabs did so much. What’s forgotten the Avalanche is on the SUV frame not a truck frame.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Resale on these things are dirt cheap. Why buy a new one when a 2 year old with very little mileage is half the price? The other reason for terrible sales is the Styling. Who wants a plastic truck with a weird half bar thing off the back. They were nice at first but then people woke up and realized they were out of style without a classy look. I think chevy is better off sticking to a tahoe that can tow and a silverado that can take a payload and not combine anything else.

  4. Rick says:

    Not only does Josh not know how to write he doesn’t know anything about the Avalanche either. You can carry all the cow crap you want and just leave the midgate up and it’s no different than any other pickup with a short bed. I know there’s something that a pickup can do that an Avalanche can’t but I don’t know what it is yet. As a matter of fact, there’re some things the Avalanche can do that a pickup can’t as well. See how far those 12′ 2-by’s hang out the back of your short box pick up with nothing you can do about it. As for Anonymous, I LIKE that “bar thing” and the rest of the styling of them (the ones without all the plastic) – and if you really think they’re dirt cheap, let me know when you find some because I’ll take ’em!

    • S.E. says:

      Amen to that bro! I have an Avalanche and I know exactly what you mean about things that both can do what the other can’t do. I was carrying a load that could not get wet and thanks to the Avalanche that provided cover that kept everything dry. I will buy the 2013 Black Diamond Edittion to keep to keep the dream alive.

      • shamie says:

        Love my 8th Avalanche and am extremely saddened by its impending demise. Better than any truck I had prior because it’s ride is far superior.

    • Dale says:

      Let me know where I can find one dirt cheap I would love to have one without all the plastic on it , I love the way they look and the versatility of it .

  5. Anonymous says:

    Rick, come to louisiana to find the cheap ones. Some here are really half the price of new ones and are only 2 years old and aren’t even broke in. I would have gotten one but the tundra bug got me first and now I’m a Toyota buyer. I did shop around but I trade out every few years so it made more sense for me tk go with a toy rather than a rock.

  6. Mickey says:

    Rick having a Crewmax falls about the same as an Avalanche as for the bed. That lumber can be put two ways where your full size bed truck only has one. I can run lumber through my back glass or strap it down in the bed. Not everyone would buy 12′ 2×4’s. If you’re in construction then by all means get what you need. I managed very well with 4 queen palm trees 12′ tall in my short bed thank you.

  7. mk says:

    A little surprised that the avalanche will be gone since consumer reports and others say it is very reliable and rated a very good, if not, a best buy. I would say it is a niche vehicle crossover not really a truck but darn close, more upscale look for the yuppier crowd who doesn’t want to own a pickup and has a better ride. Not for me, too expensive vs. a real pickup truck, but for others, it fits their needs. Now, GM has to get over the chevy volt NOT selling and costing them millions in debt yet again.

  8. Josh says:


    What I was trying to imply is that if you needed more than a 5′ bed to haul something nasty you would have to fold down the mid gate to do so. In doing so you would expose you and your interior to whatever it is that you wanted to use a pickup for in first place. Granted you could just make another trip or use a trailer (people that bought crew maxes would have a similar problem). I was simply trying to make a point that some people buy a pickup to keep things separate from themselves. Don’t get all defensive cause you bought a mall crawling mommy missile instead of a real truck. Let’s keep it nice.

    • MANYTOYZ says:

      Hey JOSHY, Don’t be a hater just because you can’t affort one,These mall crawling mommy missile can haul more than your truck can even think of.You have not owned one and thats why you are ignorant.I have owned all brands of trucks and the Avalanche is by far the best all round truck,ONLY problem is a bad design on the tonneau cover rail,You can not put an ATV in the back because of this.

  9. Ava Owner says:

    Well I like the Avalanche because of the interior. It’s extremely roomy and comfortable. MOST of the time I don’t need the bed, but it’s handy when the wife and I go rock hunting. Plus we have the luxury of a true large SUV. IF we needed to haul something that wasn’t dead… it’s nice to be able to let the midgate down to haul 12′ sheetrock. I’m sad to see the line go because prior to the Ava, I had always had pick-ups. Just something about the spacious interior and the separate bed with a three section cover, it’s great for hauling a family of four and tons of luggage to the airport, protected from the elements. I should mention I have a 2004, and it goes 4 wheeling on a regular basis. I find the newer ones too expensive… and I’d be afraid to scratch the paint!

    What pickup has as much interior space as the Avalanche?

  10. Carol says:

    I love the Avalanche! I bought one in 2007 and just bought a loaded 2013. I am sad to see it go. At least I will enjoy my beautiful 2013 for next few years. I had a Silverado crew cab and considered a Tahoe but I would choose the Avalanche every time. In fact everyone I know that has or owns ones loves them!

  11. Jack says:

    Somebody please explain my desire. I have watched every YouTube video of the Avalance and Escalade Ext’s I could find and none of them showed clearly weather it would be practical to leave the glass intact after lowering the hatch to the truck bed. I find it frustrating that no one has shown this. The closest thing I’ve seen is the glass intact with a speakerbox there, with hatch door removed. I’d like to remove the back seats and have the glass with torneou cover be water tight with the hatch door down. Would I have to install some custom reinforcement rail to keep the glass from falling down without the hatch door holding it up?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not 100% sure I understand your question. But if your asking if you can let the midgate down that will lead into the truck bed and connect to the inside of the vehicle, and leave the back glass inplace. The answer is yes. I have a 2007 LT Avalance. I dont do it ever, but you can. I’ve only done it when I was playing around with. and you can leave the three sections over the bed that way everything is covered from the elements outside.

    • Anonymous says:

      …continued from last comment. The glass is held in place by two knobs on each side. not the mid gate. so it wont fall down. Also there are three little clamps at the ceiling that hold the glass inplace.

    • Joe Motown says:

      Jack you absolutely do not have to make any alterations to the vehicle to access the full 8 foot bed. The glass stays put where it is , that is unless you would like to remove it. The Tonneau top stays put as well keeping the interior of the truck indlucing the bed protected from the elements…Makes for a great sleeping berth on those camping trips where you need right and tight protection from the elements. I have an 08 I just traded in for the 2013 because the line is being discontinued. Have been driving Trucks/Suvs for 38 years and the Avalanche is the most comfortable riding, versatile, stylish ride I have ever had. MotownJoe

  12. Dinger says:

    I own a 2011 Z71 4×4 Av. The Avalanche is awesome – built on the Suburban frame. I’m actually going on a month long camping trip, boondocking, hotel every few days with my dog and I plan on riding around with the lids on the back bed and the midgate down – it’s where I’ll sleep on my air mattress…totally enclosed. No tent this trip.

    If for some reason I need a pick-up I can move stuff in the cab, put the mid-gate up and use the open bed. I’ll agree it’s not the best looking truck out there, but I don’t have an ego problem worrying about what people think about me – I buy things for their usability. As far as usability, it has more than both a Silverado and Suburban. Chevy should have called it a Silverburban or Suburberado and Cadillac should have named the EXT the Escalanche. What?

    The only things I don’t care for on the Av is the cladding that tends to fade and get blotchy (which can be fixed) and the bed isn’t as wide as a normal pick-up. There are times where I would rather have a larger bed, but overall I can’t complain – the Av rides so much better than a pick-up and has a better looking front end than the Silverado (IMO).

    I think the Av is for the person who isn’t sure whether they want a pick-up or an SUV – so they get an Sport Utility Truck – the Avalanche. That’s the boat I was in. I’m a single computer programmer who works from home, doesn’t need a truck to do jobs, but I like the outdoors and I’ve owned dirt bikes before, go camping, etc. I’ve used the Av with the lids on and have done trips where I filled up the back and left the lids in the garage for the weekend. No other vehicle can you do this with (except the EXT if it is still going to be made post 2013)

    Oh – and the 10-way power seats are totally worth it!

    The only thing I will say negatively is that Chevy’s navigation system is total crap for the price they charge for it. It freezes if you try to play an iPod through the USB, run a DVD for a kid in the back AND get the Navigation system to give you guidance all at the same time…c’mon Chevy – use something better than a Pentium 2 for the processor and give it some more RAM! I literally had to turn off the truck and turn it back on (reboot it) to get it back up and working (at a stop light)

  13. kwietstorm says:

    Can’t believe we coming to the end of the Av rein. I see a few haters here…but we all know that the Av is one of the best looking trucks out there. Let’s not even talk about the endless customization options available for this bad boy. I don’t care too much for the early model cladded versions but they still look tough.

  14. Wingo says:

    I had a 2004 Sunburst Orange II Avalanche I ordered just the way I wanted wo/the cladding,added a SnugTop cap and loved every minute of that truck. When I heard GM was going to discontinue the Av in 2012, the Bride suggested getting a new one since its configuration worked so well for us. I ordered and now have a 2012 LS Granite Blue, (only because Sunburst Orange II wasn’t offered) w/convience package. I transferred the cap from the 04 to the 12 with a little modification on the lower fiberglass part of the rear liftgate window on the cap and painted it to match. Still miss some of the features the 04 had, like the Automatic Temperature Control that this one don’t have because it was only available in the high end packages, (which sucks GM),but I’m still trying to find a way to change that out. All in all, I can’t think of another vehicle I’d rather drive and if it comes time again, I hope someone out there will pick up on this configuration and make me a customer in the future.

  15. ashley says:

    The Avalanche is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned and I am extremely sad to see it go. My first was a 2003 and now I have a 2007. I will probably buy the 2013 soon. I like the Silverado too, but to me it doesn’t come close to the Avalanche. And the Ridgeline is just way to small for me.

  16. Mike M. says:

    I have a 2003 avalanche and i love it.Bought it brand new and its still going strong.In a couple more years I might get the black diamond edition.Its been the best vehicle Ive ever had.Sad to see them go.

    • wayne says:

      have the 07 love the flexibility. only complains are the gladed rails. I will upgrade to the black diamond, that truck is for only classy adventures
      etc, not for dead animals and people who only wants to haul nasty stuff.also you have to be able to afford aint heavy if its not a chevy baby

  17. wayne says:

    best truck out there, best looking , most flexible,to own one you must be able to afford it ,you must have class, and great taste. . bet you dont look classy as the avalanche all you guys talking trash.

  18. Faby says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with people, the avalanche is the best truck ever invented. I love it for all kinds of reasons but mainly for how it looks. It’s just so handsome!. I wish I had one /.\

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