CHEVROLET AVALANCE
$30,965 - $35,865
(877) 766-9732 or www.chevrolet.com
Street Smarts: 8
Appetite for Chilly Adventure: 10
Style: 6
Versatility: 11
Value: 9

The Avalanche is as comfy on the highway as it is capable off-road. A great package.

Simply stated, the Avalanche might just be the most versatile vehicle on the planet. That's because it serves double-duty as a five-passenger, short-bed truck/SUV and load-hauling long-bed pickup. The Avalanche comes with a standard tailgate and a midgate, which separates the cargo box from the passenger compartment, and a removable rear window, making it highly adaptable to the load species you're hauling. If it's human, leave the rear seats up and window in place; if it's inanimate (or hasn't bathed in a while), fold down the seats, remove the window (no tools required), and haul to your heart's content with the eight-foot bed. Ingenious? You bet. And that's not all: The Avalanche comes with a lockable, hard plastic bed cover, to protect weather-sensitive loads, a powerful, 285HP 5.3 liter V-8, and a suspension that's as comfy on the highway as it is capable off-road. It's a great - if somewhat unsightly - package, no matter how you fill it.

NISSAN FRONTIER CREW CAB LONG BED
$18,749 - $26,349
(800) 352-4079 or www.nissandriven.com
Street Smarts: 8
Appetite for Chilly Adventure: 9
Style: 10
Versatility: 8
Value: 9

Nissan hasn't forgotten driving pleasure in the midst of this utilitarian makeover.