Monday, December 29, 2014

Neither Fish Nor Fowl...

So, I saw this headline:

Say goodbye to 5 discontinued cars in 2014

on the Comcast main page and didn't realize the article was a year old and meant 2013 models that weren't returning in 2014. One of these vehicles was the Chevy Avalanche, which was always one of those WTF vehicles. I still don't understand the purpose of the Avalanche, and continue to be mystified why someone might have chosen one over a traditional pickup.

Instead, it's open from the cab to the back gate, with three separate pieces enclosing the back to the elements. With the panels removed, it was somewhat similar to the old K-5 Blazer, except that it had four doors and the seats are all under the roof rather than the rear seat in the open air like the Blazer.

I always wondered how the Avalanche held up over its lifespan. Chevy didn't cover itself in glory with the body cladding, which faded quickly and wound up being removed in later iterations. The removable panels seem like a great idea, until you factor in year after year of freeze/thaw cycles, rain, washing, etc. The Mrs. had a convertible, and getting the roof to fit to the body required several different trips back to the dealership after a new leak would be discovered. I can't see how the Avalanche would not be subject to the same woes.

I thought that at one point a different back end was available that would turn the Avalanche into a clone of the Tahoe. That actually made sense, in that you could have the enclosed area for cargo while still maintaining the ability to carry oversize items in a pinch. It may have been an aftermarket item, however, akin to the canvas camper shells available for pickups.

Fairwell, Avalanche; your passing was so unremarkable as to take a year for Comcast to notice it...

That is all.


gunfreezone said...

Same as the Ford Explorer Sportrac (that I own). It is a smaller truck which fits in an urban environment's parking spots, it had regular seating instead of many a pick up half assed rear seats and in the case of South Florida, it took less time to cool off than a traditional SUV which is a blessing come July. The Ford has been gone a while now, but good luck tying to find an used one to buy.

ZerCool said...

@ Gunfreezone - 'cept the Avalanche is roughly the same size as a Silverado 1500.

I actually DO see the appeal of this type of vehicle - I poked and prodded at a Honda Ridgeline while waiting for MrsZ's CR-V to be serviced and rather liked it. And I love my Frontier crew cab. Holds four adults, has room to carry nasty crap and dead animals in the back.

Jay G said...

Except that both the Ridgeline and the Explorer SporTrac have *SEPARATE* bed and cab areas. They're essentially pickups with a small bed.

The Avalanche is an SUV with the back hacked off and plastic cladding - which GM sucks at - added in its place.

I'm curious how a 2002 model that has spent its whole life in New England, upstate NY, or around Cleveland, OH fares for leaks and rattles...