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Avalanche Reviewed In Consumer Reports!!


Charter Member
SM 2003
Full Member
Apr 14, 2002
I just received my Sept. 2002 issue of Consumer Reports today, and this month they review Crew Cab pick-ups. Their article title is "Family Friendly Pickups" and sub-title is "All crew cab pick-ups provide room for at least five people,but the Chevy Avalanche offers more versatility than the others".
The article rated the AV superior over the Ford F-150 Super Crew and Dodge Ram Quad Cab, even higher than the Toyota Tundra.. but for some reason they said they could still not recomend it :8: :8:: They recommended the Tundra, though :2: :2:. Pick the new issue up at your local news stand and enjoy the read!!
I own a 1996 T-100, which is the predecessor to the Tundra. While I find that it is a remakably reliable vehicle, it is in no where near the same class as my avalanche.
The power, smooth ride, room, and general feel of the Avalanche makes the Toyota seem almost pre-historic in nature. But, I keep the T-100 around for all the dirty stuff!! Plus, I haven't let my sixteen year old son near the keys to the AV!! >:D The Toyota fits him well, though (decent gas mileage and general reliability).
Also, around here, you can buy a well-equipped Av (after discounts) for less than a well-equipped Tundra (Toyota dealer thinks they're made of gold). And with the smooth running 5.3, gas mileage is not much less that the Toyota..
I've generally found Consumer Reports picks to be somewhat confusing. They are mostly tree huggers, and base thier opinion too heavily on fuel economy. I've always felt they should stick to reviewing toothpaste and toasters.
I agree with Brett. Consumer Reports has historically had a fetish for Toyota and Honda. This is no secret. Based on their reports on automobiles, I don't put much stock in their opinion on toothpaste and toasters either. :9:
They had generally good things to say about the AV, but they dissed the Ford and totally trashed the Dodge!! They also have a special sidebar on the mid-gate feature. Worth the read!!
It's like you guys said earlier...it's hard to take their opinion for what its worth considering they have been known to be biased......the best thing to do is to take it with a grain of salt and the confort in knowing you still have a kick arss ride..... :B:
Remember folks, Consumer Reports also rates the Toyota Camry and the Lexus ES-300 as a good bet on the used car market. You know the Camry and the ES-300, will the ill-designed heads on the 3.0 V-6 that cause massive sludge build up and self-destruction at very low mileage despite proper maintenance that Toyota refuses to repair or even acknowledge exists as a problem.

Yup - for some reason I don't get Consumer Reports gets a chubby over anything Toyota or Honda builds. We love the Avalanche but we've got to support Toyota.

Consumer Reports has a very strong bias against American cars in general, and General Motors in particular. It seems that they determine what the result will be and then bias their testing to ensure that they reach that conclusion. Occasionally they mess up and you read the review and then their recommendations and wonder if they have read the same review, because the review doesn't appear to support their conclusions. I stopped believing their automotive reports after I bought their highly recomended Ford Aerostar back in 1988. I drove it 100K miles, but was very happy the day I got rid of it!
I've been told that Consumer Reports had a history of basically accepting money in exchange for the best reviews/recommendations. Supposedly they've cleaned up their act recently but how can you trust them? Consumer Reports is worthless IMHO. If you really want the inside scoop, go talk with an unbiased mechanic that works on everything under the sun.

As for me, I don't even consider anything from Toyota to be worthy of the title "truck" or "pickup". Those are for the city slickers that don't know a darn thing about them who just want something that -looks- like a truck. Some of the foreign cars may be better than ours but I'm sure not giving up my American truck. It's the Chevy for me! :B:
People put too much stock into Consumer Reports. You can find much better detailed reports that make sense with some diligent searching of the web.

I find Motor Trend and Car and Driver to be far superior in their reviews of vehicles.

I used to have a CR subscription - not any more. I got so tired of the bias. I only used the data they listed to be able to make my own comparisons and judgements. Even their ratings on appliances became useless to me because they would only test the most expensive models and I could never find the exact model I was buying on their list.

The straw that broke the camel's back was in 1999 when I bought a Pontiac Grand Am. They actually came out and said "there is nothing in this car to recommend". Turns out they tested a 4 cylinder base model, while they compared it to Accords and Camrys that were fully loaded 6 cylinder models, and gave it a terrible rating. Now, three years later they rate the GA as average. What a joke! Anyway, I love my Grand Am and Avalanche and CR can kiss my American rear end.
Midlifecrisis, Well put! We are on our 2nd Grand Am. Had a 93 GA for 7 years and it was only in the shop once for a leaky upper hose after we took delivery.

Traded it for a 2000 GA. Yet even better than the previous one. We've now had this car for about 29 months and it only has 11,003 (as of this morning) miles. We'll be keeping it for a while as well!

Hello all,
Historically, CR has been very good at providing reviews of mom and pop commuter-type of vehicles.They would fault a Mustang or Camaro over "bad" gas mileage and lack of trunk space, prioirities for CU, but not for the intended buyer or use of a "specialty" vehicle. CU tends to judge automobiles from the mindset of a buyer of a kitchen appliance.
Wow - another Av/Grand Am owner. That's great!

My Grand Am is a 99 GT model with 49K miles on it. I drive it a lot for work and to keep miles off the Av. I must be stupid - everyone else drives the Av as much as possible. Unfortunately my wife gets the Av during the week. But boy do I savor the Av on the weekend. Yummmmmmmmm......... ;D
Can someone tell me the Toyota Tundra fan club web site ??? It's such a great vehicle it must have a fan club :rolleyes: Go to google and do a search for toyota tundra fan club and see what comes up :0: (y) >:D
How about Pontiac/AV owners?

I have a '00 Grand Prix GTP (Supercharged) and that car has been nothing but PERFECT!!!

I don't know what I love more, My AV or my GTP? ?

AV - BIG, MASSIVE, COOL, Engineering Marvel
GTP: FUN, CORNER HUGGER, Blow the doors off a BMW, Fast car...

Well... at least I don't have any Japanese cars!! ;)

(y) (y) (y)*** WOW, with this post, I AM NOW A CAFCNA Regular! No more newbie status!!!*** ;D ;D ;D ;D
I place no value on CR's reporting either, and I have always owned some sort of Chevrolet, but I have to step up and defend Toyota trucks. While they may not have the payload, trailering capacity, or comfort of our Av's, Toyota builds (or at least has built) some of the best 4X4's (from an enthusiast point of view) in the world. I've seen some old Land Cruisers (back when Land Cruisers were real trail rigs, not luxury SUV's) do some pretty amazing things.
I have a subscription to CU for many many years. To use it you must read why they make a rating and not just read the recommendation. In the case of the AV, they might like it, except for gas mileage. Since I didn't buy for the gas mileage, I disregard that in my decission to buy. They once downrated a toaster because the power cord was too short. I wanted a short cord so I bought it.

GM and other American auto makers have yet to build cars and trucks with the same reliability as Japan Inc. They have come close and certaintly Japan Inc has slipped more than once but overall we are not as reliable. Again, the AV being based on the Suburban should do well, even as a first year model. We have learned alot from Japan Inc, the performance of this 5.3L engine compared to my 1979 5.7L engine is just amazing and with better gas mileage. ;D

Ultimately, CU and others (including Japan Inc) are having to admit there just isn't anything like the AV. If all CU could find wrong was gas mileage and the traditional reliability issues, CU loved it, >:D, independent of the final recommendation.
Chevy has trumped them all and the race is on for the others to catch up. ;D :D ;D
I must disagree with jst 4f on some points, IMHO. During the mid 80's, yes, the American Mfgs. were very bad. But, Japan is not close to the U.S. in history. The U.S. cars of the 30's to the early 70's were very dependable. And they have no vehicles to compare to the the trucks of the late 80's & current.

I still see 1960's cars running around, where are the 1969 Toyota's ? And my current 97 Tahoe is dead-on reliable. Sorry, I just do not see many older cars from Japan running around. :B:
Japan 'raised the bar' on automotive quality and reliability, and IMO took advantage of the low point in American quality during the 70's / 80's to get a toe hold - we've been playing catch up since. . . .

As for Consumer Reports . . . IMO, they have an anti-GM bias in addition to an anti-American bias when it comes to cars. To pick a toaster use CR, to pick a car / truck C&D or MT are better magazine choices!
I just came home and got my copy of Consumer Reports in the mail today. I havn't read it yet, but, I scanned though the article and it seamed to give it good reviews against the Ford F150 Supercrew and the Dodge Ram Quad Cab. I'm also an Online member of consumer reports, so I could email the article if any one is interested.
BTW the Av tested is 1500 Z71.
my email is Damon@ArgusC.com
keep replying to keep this thread on the front page.
For more info on this topic, please check out the thread I started on July 29th titled "Avalanche Reviewed In Consumer Reports!"