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"Automobile" Magazine Long-Term Review


Charter Member
Full Member
Mar 15, 2002
Southern Delaware
Have any of you guys seen the first long-term check-in review on their Z71 Av? I just got mine today, and it is evident that some real dopes work for them! Here are some quotes:

"Let's get something out of the way: You either love how the Avalanche looks, or you hate it (one staffer said the Avalanche wasn't beat with the ugly stick, it is the ugly stick).

600 Miles
Davis calls the Avalanche ?a remarkable vehicle.? He finds the ride, handling, and roadholding to be very composed, better than some passenger cars.

936 Miles
Executive editor Mark Gillies blasts the Avalanche with both barrels, calling it a monster with a shoddy interior, too-light steering, and poor rear visibility.

2,441 Miles
Associate editor Joe DeMatio, the peacekeeper, admits that the steering effort is a trifle light but says the Avalanche does drive rather like a car.

2,850 Miles
Copy editor Matt Phenix joins the fray, defending the Avalanche?s driving manners and interior quality compared with those of Ford?s big trucks.

So, what do you all think? Shoddy interior? I don't think so! Too-light steering? A little, but it's not bad at all! "It is the ugly stick"? Really, if it's so ugly why have we never gotten anything from people other than "It's so cool" or "it's beautiful?" Well, I guess opinions are just opinions!
Opinions are just that - certainly in the area of appearance.

Shoddy interior - not really, certainly not compared to other trucks. I've heard some comparisons between the Av and luxury SUV's where the Av comes up short on interior ammenities and ergonomics, but is that really a fair comparison? IMO - it's not!

Now see, that's the one thing I liked about the new seats. I wish it came with the ovrhd msg cntr like my wifes Monte came with. Instant mpg, overall mpg, gals used. Who's idea was it to put a compass AND temp button on the mirror when they both do the same thing, shut both off?!
Could have put the radio ctrls on the steering wheel a year earlier. (y)
thats bs, the interior on these trucks are great, not too simple but not too complicated. i wish it a little more features like the mpg gage and some other small stuff. still better than fords interiors that look like they came out of a fisher price catalog :D:. Alex
So why should we expect anyone from "Automobile Magazine" to know anything about our TRUCKS? All they know how to critique are Hondas and Toyotas. :2: Sissy vehicles. If I wanted a vehicle to look and drive like an automobile, I would have bought a car. Probably a Monte Carlo or Impala LS. I'd like to know what these genius editors purchase and drive to and from work. Probably an Accord. That's real manly... :B:
I like the interior. How much better can it be anyway. What get rid of Onstar and put in GPS Video navigation. Naaaaa If I want it bad enough I will hook up my laptop inside. Maybe a better stock stereo would be an improvement. Rear visibility is low but the truck would never look the same with more. I would vote to keep it the way it is. The exterior is beautiful. The geniouses at GM figured out how to protect the truck while adding to its overall beauty by doing so. The truck drives better than some Caddy's I have been in. It is soooo smooth. It's turning is a bit light but this is not a complaint. I like how I can turn a 6.5 thousand pound truck with my little pinky.
The gold bowties look good on the tan leather, they should have put a darker one on the graphite leather. The rearward vis is poor, they should have offered the backup sensors. The steering got a little better for me when I raised the front tire pressure a few psi, anyone else seen this?

Well probably the biggest thing that comes to people's thoughts when they see an AV is it's looks. It's pretty radical but I have not had anywhere near the reaction I got when I purhased my other vehicle. I purchased a Pontiac Aztek in Oct/2000 and my AV in Oct/2001. People either liked the Aztek or hated it and it has received a lot of the same type of press (ugly stick remarks and all). In 7 months, I have not had one person come up to me and tell me that the AV was ugly like some have done with my Aztek. (Ironically the Aztek has won the 2001 JD Powers "most appealing entry SUV" award) I say to each his own with style. When it comes to a "review" style has nothing to do with the reality of whether or not the AV is a good vehicle mechanically, has a good feature set, is economical (or not), or has good performance. I really think that these reviewers write these types of lines to get people fire up about the article and spark discussions about it (and sell more magazines). One good thing that these articles hopefully accomplish is that they may keep the manufactures on their toes to always strive to do better next time. We can all be thankful for that.
I like the interior, especially the big center console and the little cubby holes which seem to be everywhere in the dash and overhead console. While cleaning out the AV this weekend I figured out that the driver and passenger cupholder can be completely removed. This made it so easy to wash the inside of it. I wish I could do that to my GMC Sierra, that thing is nasty. If you like you can also take the cupholder and turn it around the other way. So the cup is farther away from you. makes it easier to get to your cup especially if the cup has a handle.

The only complaint that I have is those stupid air bag warning stickers that they put on the sun visor. I would love to take them off, but I'm pretty sure the remaining adhesive would make them look even worse.
I find that most people tend to speak negetavily on something that they 1. Do not fully understand or 2. Something that could possible revolutionalize the industry.....

Seems like most of these guys who speak down on the Av....are most likely still living in a cocoon who believe trucks should always maintain a certain basic design and those that go above and beyond are stupid for doing so....Well guess what, I'm completely happy with mine...and can care less about what the editors have to say..

The interior of the Av is far from cheapish....very comfortable and well thought out...the only thing I would add in my opinion would be a stereo upgrade and equipt the 1500 Av.. with a tranny temp gauge...I would like to see something on the bottom left portion of my instument cluster instead of a grey pizza pie...

Like it or hate it the Avalanche is here to stay.....sooner or later they aren't going to be able to deny it anymore. :B:
Seem like fair criticisms of the vehicle - especially when you consider that some of the staff is likely to be biased against trucks in general (i.e. sports cars are their benchmark).

As for the "It IS the ugly stick" comment, I love that quote!

I have to admit .. I think the seats suck! :D:
I agree that the gold bow tie is cheap and tacky. I also have noticed that the leather down where the seat belts go into the seat is POORLY fitted.

But then ... hell ... it's a truck. And a pretty good one at that!
The interior was one of the reasons I went with the NF. I liked the red swooshes a bit better than the gold bowties and the contrast of the charcoal/green/red combination. At first I didn't care for the cordura nylon end panels, but now like them as they are as practical as pockets on a shirt. The neutral leather looked a bit too light colored for a rig destined for long hunting/fishing/photography trips and dirt roads and the solid charcoal was too much of a good thing.