LEADING EDGE | Westcon
The Chev Trailblazer 2.8 diesel in red looks magnificent and with its updated specs it oozes a luxury look and feel and the MyLink infotaiment system, standard in all models is easy to understand and use.
The Trailblazer has forged a solid reputation in South Africa since launch in 2012, with versatility, off-road ability and on-road stability strengthening the nameplate in the demanding South African market.
For the 2014 model year, all Trailblazer models feature enhanced specifications which add value and class to the already well-specced range. All LTZ derivatives now feature a reversing camera as standard. All models also benefit from changes on the inside, with a new Dark Ash Grey interior colour scheme available along with front side airbags mounted in the seats.
The updated Chevrolet Trailblazer also features a new, multi-information central LCD display panel which features the usual trip computer readouts as well as two new menus for additional vehicle particulars.
The vehicle information display imparts critical information such as battery voltage, an adjustable speed warning, transmission fluid temperature (particularly important for off-roading), engine hours and an oil life indicator.
The additional economy gauges include an instantaneous throttle position indicator which indicates when economical driving is being achieved, as well as a historical fuel economy graph which shows fuel consumption history for the last 50 km. Both these features are geared to encourage more economical driving habits.
The Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system is fitted as standard to all derivatives. MyLink brings smartphone technology to the Trailblazer with a large 7-inch touch screen display and a host of media capabilities. Video and picture playback, full audio format support linked to six speakers, USB and aux integration, as well as Bluetooth for hands-free cellphone use and audio streaming, join Chevrolet MyLink’s downloadable app set which allow for an increasing array of integrated media use including Internet-based radio.
The Chevrolet MyLink concept is simple – an amalgamation of the most popular and advanced infotainment functions incorporated into an easy-to-use, attractive and effective interface which transforms the Chevrolet Trailblazer into a connected entertainment hub while on the move.
Chevrolet MyLink has been designed to be compatible across the board both in terms of phone integration and playable media formats, which means the most common music, picture and video formats can be streamed or played via most smartphones – the additional full-size USB and auxiliary ports ensuring that other sources of music, videos or photos can also be easily integrated. Up to 35 pre-set and 15 auto-stored AM or FM radio stations can be programmed as well, rounding off the complete entertainment solution that is Chevrolet MyLink.
Updated diesel engines for stronger pulling power
With four of the five Trailblazer derivatives featuring powerful turbocharged diesel engines, the line-up now benefits from uprated outputs from both the 2.5-litre and 2.8-litre Duramax diesel motors. The 2.5D LT model now makes use of 120 kW (up by 9%) and 380 Nm (up by 8.5%). The 2.8D LTZ models, available in either 4x2 or 4x4 guise, also see hikes in power from the proven Duramax turbocharged diesel engine, which now produces 144 kW (up 9%). Automatic 2.8D LTZ models receive further enhancement in the form of a torque increase of 30 Nm to 500 Nm.
Fuel economy from the updated engines also improves, the 2.5D LT derivative returning an average fuel consumption figure of 8.0-litres per 100 km, the updated 2.8D LTZ models returning as low as 8.5-litres per 100 km.
The two Duramax engines are ranked amongst the most powerful and fuel efficient diesel engines available in their respective displacement classes. Both engines make use of high-pressure common-rail fuel injection systems (2.0 bar) with turbocharged and intercooled induction systems. Both engines are Euro 2 compliant.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer continues to embody Chevrolet’s SUV know-how, which stretches as far back as 1936 when the original Chevrolet Suburban was first introduced. The Trailblazer name first debuted in 2002 when the Chevrolet brand gave birth to a large SUV with a balance between comfort and off-road ability being pinpointed as its most prominent aspects.
Featuring seven practical seats, ample room for luggage, a comfortable cabin and a refined drive, the Trailblazer offers the best combination of all-round attributes which culminate in an infinitely practical SUV.
Also featuring advanced 4x4 drivetrain design and technology, Trailblazer is as comfortable and capable off-road as it is in the city, where generous ground clearance (up to 230 mm), excellent critical angles and a sturdy 4x4 system allow for exceptionally easy off-road driving. Able to switch drive modes at the turn of a dial, 4x4 Trailblazer models offer 2-High, 4-High and 4-Low modes. Combined with the pulling power available from either the 2.8-litre Duramax diesel motors or 3.6-litre petrol V6, the Trailblazer makes for the perfect getaway vehicle, with class-leading towing capacity (up to 2 950 kg in 2.8D LTZ models) going further in making the Chevrolet Trailblazer a true all-rounder.
High specifications and safety equipment continue to feature.
Alloy wheels and colour coding for all models ensure the exterior remains classy, with LTZ models still featuring uprated LED tail light clusters and chrome detailing. On the inside, all models feature air conditioning with rear ventilation control and electric windows for all-round comfort, the LTZ derivatives featuring a more luxurious automatic dual-zone climate control system as standard as well, along with rear parking sensors, electric driver’s seat adjustment and leather upholstery.
All models also continue to feature eleven cup holders, cruise control, multi-function leather-bound steering wheels, multi-info trip computers, four 12V power sockets, side steps and mud flaps.
Safety equipment across the range still includes ABS with EBD, PBA (Panic Brake Assist), HBFA (Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist), a limited slip differential, six airbags including the two additional side airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, a collapsible steering column and remote central locking with auto-locking doors.
LTZ models benefit from the addition of ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and TCS (Traction Control System), HDC (Hill Descent Control), TSC (Trailer Sway Control) and EDC (Engine Drag Control), the LTZ automatic models also featuring HSA (Hill Start Assistance).
Chevrolet Trailblazer model range and pricing (incl. VAT)
Trailblazer 2.5D LT 4x2 MT R 451 500.00
Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4x2 AT R 533 100.00
Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4x4 MT R 572 300.00
Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4x4 AT R 591 500.00
All Chevrolet Trailblazer models come standard with a 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and roadside assistance package, as well as a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan, with service intervals scheduled every 15 000 km.
My personal experience with the Trailblazer was that it was very capable but I found the ride harsh for a SUV of this class. All in all the total package is good and pricing is realistic. I don’t think it will be a real contender against the new Fortuner or the Ford Everest for that matter. It does look great and is good value for money.