The Trailblazer has been with us for about a year now and well, it’s just been updated and still looks just as fresh as when it arrived. Our test model, call it a lady in red with her bling-like 18” high polished alloys really did look the part.
Let’s be honest here though; this sector of the market is still dominated by the Fortuner. I can’t help but think that yes, it’s still the King in the ring but, in my opinion, its prospects that are brand loyal are almost too afraid to try something different.
The Interior of the Trailblazer is all about function. They have a million stow away compartments, which each has a decent amount of stash space. This is a true 7-seater and those last 2 seats actually fold flat into the floor, leaving you with a generous amount of cargo space in the rear. The back seats are adjustable too, just in case those rear occupants need a tad more leg room.
The new MyLink infotainment is a huge upgrade over the previous setup, which was just a radio. This new touch screen unit with rear camera looks great and fits the dash perfectly. It is also stupidly easy to use and navigate.
The 2.8 Trailblazer has 144kw and 500nm of torque. Yes you read that right. That’s enough to pull start nearly anything. The 2.8 motor is a gem, a little noisy, but diesels are usually just that and there is nothing you can really do about it. Low down lag is virtually zero and then you have this surge of pulling power that just goes and goes and goes; before you know it, you are well over the speed limit and the speed governor kicks in at a whopping 184kph. The 6 speed auto box, however, is smooth and the torque converter makes the upshifts effortless.
On our daily drive, the Trailblazer surprised us with an 8.6l/100km and a 10.3l/100km towing a 3 bike trailer with one bike strapped to it. This to me is magical, as most vehicles consumption figures skyrocket when just thinking about adding a trailer. The Trailblazer is still one of the industry’s leading towers at a maximum towing capacity of up to 3000kg with the optional heavy duty tow bar.
The 4×4 system on the Trailblazer is pretty basic and gets the job done. Primary drive is rear wheel drive with limited slip and an all-wheel drive or 4high is available with the turn of the jog dial. 4Low turns this vehicle into a totally different machine and makes it very capable with its clever traction control setup. Hill decent control is also standard on this LTZ model and makes going down slippery or rocky hills a breeze, especially for the inexperienced driver.
Now, the 2.8 is available in both 6-speed manual and 6 speed automatic. Both service their duties very well and some drivers may prefer one over the other. We found the manual to be a fair bit more economical over the automatic version, but the automatic version with its torque converter appeared to have less turbo lag. It was just that the manual version wanted you to move the stick more, where the convenience of the auto was just to get up and go.
The Trailblazer is still one of the top 3 in this segment and should really be considered when needed a family sized 4×4. It’s great on fuel for its size and weight, and also offers a superb 5 year 120 000km warranty and a good nationwide dealership network. Services are booked every 15 000km. For more info http://www.chevrolet.co.za/
The 2.8LTZ 4×4 Auto – R521 600
The 2.8 LTZ 4×4 Man – R504 500