Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2019

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Just as crossovers, which combine the best of cars and SUVs, are gaining popularity so are SUTs, or sport utility trucks. SUTs like the Chevrolet Avalanche are designed to provide the seating capacity of an SUV with the hauling capabilities of a pickup truck.

Reviewers say that the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche delivers on this promise. Like the Honda Pilot SUV and Ford Expedition, the Avalanche can seat six passengers and tow over 8,000 pounds.

However, it costs about the same as a full size crew cab pickup truck, and it features a roomy pickup truck bed as well.

When it comes to interior features and ride quality, reviewers say that the Chevy Avalanche is much closer to a luxury SUV than a pickup truck. Base models include tech features like Bluetooth connectivity and an iPod dock, as well as heated mirrors.

Higher-level trims are equipped with leather seating, a Bose sound system and a touchscreen navigation system.

To find out how much it costs to insure the Chevrolet Avalanche compared to other SUTs like the Honda Ridgeline and Cadillac’s Escalade EXT, read on.

You can also get instant auto insurance quotes by typing your zip code into the box above.

How much is auto insurance for the Chevrolet Avalanche?

According to the NADA Guide, annual auto insurance rates for the Chevrolet Avalanche and the competing Honda Ridgeline are comparable, at $1,158 and $1,119, respectively.

The Cadillac Escalade EXT is much costlier to insure, with annual rates of more than $2,000, but this is not so shocking considering that the Escalade’s base price is nearly double that of the Avalanche and the Ridgeline.

Since options in the SUT class are slim, you might also consider a used 2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac. These cost about the same as the Ridgeline,and car insurance rates for this sport utility truck are about $1,063 per year.

Maintenance Costs for the Avalanche

At just $2,266 for five years, the NADA Guide’s estimated maintenance costs for the Avalanche are reasonable. Both the Ford Sport Trac and the Cadillac Escalade cost a bit less to maintain, at $2,011 and $1,586, respectively, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

The 2011 Honda Ridgeline is the most expensive SUT to maintain, reports the NADA. Ridgeline owners can expect to pay approximately $2,610 for scheduled maintenance during the first five years they own the vehicle.

2011 Avalanche Repair Expenses

While the 2011 Honda Ridgeline is one of the most expensive SUTs to maintain, it is one of the least expensive sport utility trucks when it comes to repair costs.

The NADA estimates that owners who drive 15,000 miles per year will incur approximately $1,600 in repair bills over five years. Repair costs for the Ford Sport Trac are a bit higher than those for the Ridgeline, at an estimated $1,727 for five years.

Avalanche drivers will rack up repair bills of around $1,835 during the first five years they drive their SUTs, and Cadillac Escalade owners will have the highest 5-year repair bills, at an estimated $1,935.

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Fuel Expenses for the Avalanche

Even though the Chevrolet Avalanche isn’t the best value in its class when it comes to auto insurance rates, repair costs or scheduled maintenance expenses, it does offer the best fuel economy in the SUT class.

With an EPA fuel economy rating of 15 city mpg and 21 highway mpg, it beats out the Honda Ridgeline by 1 mpg on the highway.

Ford’s Sport Trac is a distant 3rd, getting 13 city miles per gallon and 19 highway miles per gallon, and the Escalade EXT gets just 13 city mpg and 18 mpg in highway driving.

Chevrolet Avalanche Safety Ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t administered any crash tests for the 2011 Avalanche yet, but the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted some tests.

Both the 2011 and 2010 Chevrolet Avalanches earned 3-star rollover scores, which mean that they have a 22.8 percent chance of rolling over in extremely sharp “fishhook” turns at high speeds.

The 2010 Avalanche received 5-star ratings for its protection of the driver and passengers in frontal-impact collisions at 35 mph. No side impact tests have been conducted.

If safety is a high priority for you, you might consider the Honda Ridgeline instead of the Avalanche. It earned a 4-star rating in the federal government’s rollover testing, and it also performed well on the IIHS’ crash tests.

It earned the highest available rating of “Good” in rear, front, and side impact collision testing.

Safety Features for the Chevrolet Avalanche

The 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche features standard safety equipment like anti-lock brakes, traction control, and dynamic stability assist.

Reviewers like Consumer Guide complain that the Avalanche lacks clear rear visibility, so it is strongly advised that buyers upgrade to the Convenience Package if they purchase the base model. It includes rear parking assist and a backup camera. These features are standard on higher-level trims.

Reviews for the 2011 Chevy Avalanche

Although U.S. News and World Report ranks the Avalanche 3rd out of the three entrants in the sport utility truck class, reviewers say it is still an excellent compromise between a truck and an SUV.

However, buyers who want SUV-like handling and maneuverability will be disappointed, according to Car and Driver. The Avalanche comes with just one engine choice, a 5.3 liter V8 that is only “adequate,” according to Consumer Guide.

U.S. News reports that its towing and hauling capacities are respectable, though. It can haul a payload of almost 1,600 pounds and tow up to 8,100 pounds, and its 4-wheel drive is sufficient for weekend recreation.

Compare Auto Insurance Quotes for the Chevrolet Avalanche Today!

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