John Floyd
Motorsport columnist
3 minute read
26 Aug 2015
5:00 pm

Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ 4×4 AT is a big boy

John Floyd

It's called a medium-sized SUV, but standing in my driveway, the 4 878mm long, 1 902mm wide and 1 847mm high Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ 4x4 AT looked anything but.

The Chevrolet Trailblazer LTX. Picture: Supplied

Perhaps it’s the 218mm of ground clearance and the 18 inch alloy wheels with 260/60R18 rubber that give it that seriously “I mean business” look or just the overall muscular appearance from stem to stern.

Based on the Isuzu KB, the Trailblazer does not reflect its origins in either design or styling. Last year it received many specification upgrades and the end result was the model now in my drive. It’s quite a step up into the Trailblazer, but once ensconced you find yourself in a very comfortable space; the light, airy cabin benefits from the two tone décor on the dashboard and door panels. That dashboard is well laid out and almost minimalistic. The main feature is the large centrally mounted display screen of Chevrolet’s MyLink, first used on the Sonic RS.

The 2.8 LTZ is a seven-seater and when in five-seater mode provides plenty of luggage space. But this becomes limited when the third row is raised. Both rows of rear seats can fold flat for more capacity. Passengers will be relieved to know the climate control extends to the second and third rows of seats through roof-mounted outlets.

The Chevrolet Trailblazer LTX. Picture: Supplied

The Chevrolet Trailblazer LTX. Picture: Supplied

This SUV is well-equipped, offering remote central locking with auto-lock, limited slip differential, power fold mirrors, cruise control, reverse camera, power windows, dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors, six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, leather upholstery, multi-function leather bound steering wheel, 12 volt outlets, side steps, eleven cup holders and a height adjustable steering column.

Supplies for my journey meant a trip to the local supermarket, and parking proved interesting due to very small parking bays. The amount of attention it created was impressive and – thanks to that very large “bowtie” on the rear – no one queried the Trailblazer’s origins.

Negotiating the narrow streets of a small coastal town in the Western Cape, the Trailblazer proved to be very agile and surprisingly easy to position, despite its size and the limited road width. On national roads, the big Duramax turbocharged diesel was a real pleasure. Despite sounding a little agricultural on idle, once the revs climb the engine note becomes muted.

The Chevrolet Trailblazer LTX. Picture: Supplied

The Chevrolet Trailblazer LTX. Picture: Supplied

Four cylinders displacing 2 776cc with 1 44kW at 4 000rpm and a thumping 500Nm of torque at 2 000rpm supplies effortless cruising capability with more than enough energy to match any incline or passing situation. This Euro 2 compliant engine is rated among the most powerful and fuel efficient diesels available in their category. GM claim 9.5 litres/100km, although the best I got was just over 11 litres.

Drive to the wheels is through a six-speed automatic transmission, with the option to select two high, four high or four low modes via a rotary switch mounted on the centre console. The Trailblazer is certainly a very good alternative for those looking to enter the world of the larger SUV with off-road capability and high specification and comfort levels. It carries a five-year/120 00km warranty and roadside assistance package and a five-year/90 000km service plan, with 15 000km service intervals.