2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Base 5.3L from North America
A family friendly utility vehicle that is hard to beat!
Water pump leaks - replaced 2X at 90,000 & 180,000 miles.
Catalytic converter clogged and replaced at 130,000 miles.
Instrument panel gauges - every individual gauge (mine has 6 gauges) has failed and been replaced at different intervals.
Rust is now developing above the rear wheel openings.
Full size crew cab pickup trucks with 8' long beds are a beast to drive because they are so long. The Avalanche is not a heavy duty pickup, but it is a practical vehicle with unbeatable utility. It has a full size 8' pickup bed when the mid-gate is open, and with it closed it is a comfortable 6 passenger crew cab truck with manageable length.
The Avalanche is very comfortable for long drives. Mine has a front bench seat and it comfortably held my wife and four children on many long trips when we were a younger family. At 190,000 miles it still has no problem cruising down the highway at 75 mph, and I do not hesitate to drive it anywhere.
The most expensive repair since new was replacing clogged catalytic converters. Be warned that this $1,000+ failure will happen regardless of anything you do, somewhere between 100k and 150k miles. I also replaced the water pump twice due to slow coolant leaks, but there have been no other drivetrain repairs. The instrument panel gauges eventually failed and this is a common problem for this model year.
I bought new in 2003, and if there were an alternative vehicle with a mid-gate arrangement I would consider it, but there are none, so I may keep it until it rusts away!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th February, 2016