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2003 Chevy Avalanche: Award-winning Innovation

Since its introduction, the innovative Chevy Avalanche has taken the market by storm, including Motor Trend 2002 "Truck of the Year" honors.  For 2003, Avalanche builds on its momentum with new safety, comfort, convenience and performance features.

“The Avalanche simply stands out from the competition with its ability to change from an SUV to a full-size pickup,” said Rick Scheidt, Avalanche marketing director.  “It not only provides unparalleled flexibility in the mix between passengers and cargo, it also upholds the heritage of Chevy Trucks as the most dependable, longest-lasting trucks on the market."

 

A safe environment

Avalanche features a comprehensive package of security features, including “all-belts-to-seats” restraints at front outboard positions, side air bags and standard four-wheel disc antilock brakes. For 2003 the Avalanche safety story gets even better. 

StabiliTrak is a vehicle stability enhancement system (VSES) that improves vehicle stability on various road surfaces at various speeds, particularly on slick surfaces or during emergency maneuvers. It is available on the half-ton, two-wheel-drive Avalanche with the Vortec 5300 5.3L V8 engine for 2003. 

StabiliTrak maximizes handling and braking dynamics by using a combination of systems and sensors including antilock brakes, traction control and electronic suspension. An array of sensors continually monitors the driver’s intended vehicle path, measuring steering angle, wheel speed, brake pressure, lateral acceleration, longitudinal acceleration and yaw rate. This information is provided to an electronic control module that continually monitors vehicle dynamics and is programmed for intervention thresholds.

The system intervenes when it senses one or more of the wheels slipping, loss of lateral traction (side slip), or detects understeer (“snow-plowing”) or oversteer (fish-tailing). Automatically, the system adjusts engine torque or brake pressure at individual wheels to help steer the vehicle in the intended path.

The 2003 Avalanche also provides early compliance to 2005 federal seat standards for child restraint anchorages. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system for child seats is provided in the front-passenger side seat and second and third-row center and passenger side seats.

Additional new safety enhancements for 2003 include a passenger-sensing system and dual-level air bags. The automatic passenger-sensing air-bag system automatically deactivates the passenger-side air bag under certain conditions to protect children. The system assesses whether the occupant in the seat is an adult or child, based on the measured weight on the seat cushion and tension in the belt system, if any. If these measurements are typical for a child, the air bag is disabled. If they are typical for an adult, the air bag is enabled. 

A dual-level air-bag system is a supplemental restraint system designed to detect vehicle deceleration and, based on the deceleration data, provide an appropriate amount of air-bag inflation. Sensors located in the front of the vehicle work with the sensing diagnostic module (SDM) to measure the severity of the impact.  The SDM uses the data to determine the type of air-bag deployment (first stage or second stage) or non-deploy. Dual-stage air bags are designed to help reduce the occurrence of inflation-induced injuries by deploying the air bag less forcefully in lower-speed crashes. 

The 2003 Avalanche features improved brake performance, better "pedal feel" and quieter operation.

Avalanche's sure-footed Autotrac 4WD system gets improved fuel economy when operating in 2WD, as well as improved “driver feel” during parking-lot and other low-speed maneuvers.  

 

New family of entertainment choices

Impressive new entertainment systems -- including rear-seat entertainment systems with a DVD player and flip-down screen – add to Avalanche's “creature comforts.” These systems feature the next-generation Radio Data System, and can interface with services such as XM Satellite Radio, a new option for 2003.  Available rear-seat audio controls allow second-row passengers to enjoy a separate audio source from front seat occupants.  A custom-designed Bose audio system uses a new, high-powered, six-channel amplifier and six speakers.  

The 2003 Avalanche offers XM Satellite Radio as an option on all models. XM radio features 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, including 71 music channels (more than 30 of them commercial free) from hip hop to opera, classical to country, bluegrass to blues and 29 channels of sports, talk, children's and entertainment programming. XM also brings to the vehicle, for the first time on radio, a diverse selection of 24-hour news sources previously available only in the home. XM's next-generation sound quality technology provides superior sound remarkably close to compact disc.  

New driver convenience package

A new driver convenience package is available for 2003. For the first time, Avalanche offers brake and accelerator pedals that can be adjusted rearward in unison by nearly 3 inches for better positioning and comfort; also, they are available with a memory feature. An available eight-button steering wheel control allows Avalanche owners to personalize several functions (trip calculator, fuel data, etc.), and safely access all entertainment systems. The controls also provide easy access to the OnStar system, an innovative in-vehicle communications and assistance service designed to provide drivers with access to live, personalized service and emergency assistance at the touch of a button, 24 hours a day.

A new multi-zone manual-control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is standard on Avalanche. It allows the driver and front passenger to adjust the temperature to their own comfort – as much as a 30-degree Fahrenheit difference between the two front zones. Exterior mirrors feature power tilt glass and power folding to protect them in narrow spaces; heating elements that clear frost, snow or ice; left side electrochromatic glass that dims glaring headlights; puddle lights; new turn indicators embedded in the glass; and a memory feature. Homelink Universal transmitter is also part of the package.

Automatic aids

The battery-rundown protection now automatically turns off the headlamps and park lamps in addition to interior lights after 10 minutes if left on inadvertently.  A more powerful 145-amp generator – which provides a quicker battery charge and slows battery discharge during vehicle operation – is standard.  A memory subsystem can remember preferences for seat, mirror, new adjustable brake and accelerator pedals, and climate control settings. A new four-position headlamp switch allows drivers to turn off the daytime running lamps more easily, when necessary.

An available new, power-adjustable camper mirror can be extended to a vehicle width of as much as 106 inches.  

‘Smart’ electrical systems

An advanced new multiplexed electrical architecture makes the 2003 Avalanche even “smarter” so it can provide more functions for 2003. A communication network transfers data throughout the vehicle. It enables the driver information center, which can be programmed for English, Spanish or French, to monitor and report as many as 34 vehicle system functions, including new service indicators for StabiliTrak, "Ice Possible" and "Door Ajar." Avalanche's instrument panel and cluster have been redesigned to accommodate these new features. 

Avalanche for 2003 features three new exterior colors: Charcoal Gray Metallic, Arrival Blue Metallic and Yellow (interim availability). Avalanche body cladding is darker than last year. 

Strong Chevy Truck foundation

Avalanche offers uncompromising brawn and stamina. The durable and powerful 285-hp Vortec 5300 5.3L V8 engine is standard on 1500 Series models. The Avalanche 2500 Series offers the Vortec 8100 8.1L V8 engine, which achieves 340 hp and boasts a 12,000-lb maximum towing capacity. A three-section frame with hydroformed front and rear rails gives precise dimensional control as well as excellent strength and stiffness. 

Innovative and functional

The Avalanche combines the best attributes of GM’s full-size truck family with striking looks and innovative configuration abilities. It also seats up to six adults comfortably.

Avalanche’s revolutionary Convert-a-Cab System and Midgate offer great flexibility and function. When the rear passenger seat is folded, the Midgate can be lowered to allow longer and larger cargo. When folded down, the Midgate allows the 5'3" standard bed length to convert to a full 8'1" – long enough to carry 4' x 8’ sheets of plywood.

A three-piece rigid cargo cover with interlocking panels can be used to cover and protect the cargo box and its contents from the elements. Portions of the Avalanche Midgate and tailgate are made of GM’s durable, scratch- and dent-resistant PRO-TEC composite materials. Two Top-Box Storage compartments on either side of the cargo box provide a combined 3.5 cubic feet of lockable storage space. The compartments also have drains, so they can be filled with ice and used as coolers.

The North Face Edition Avalanche has unique features for outdoor enthusiasts. For 2003, the interior now has Medium Gray trim, door trim panels, floor mats with The North Face logo, and a white instrument cluster. The exterior color, Sage Green is unique to the North Face Edition, with Sunset Orange, Onyx, Black, Pewter and Summit White available as well. Also included are two Summit Pod backpacks and Water Duffalo storage bags.

 
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