Living up to its name, the Chevy Trailblazer continues to blaze a trail in the medium-sized SUV segment with it outstanding features that include a powerful turbo-diesel engine, spacious interior, outstanding ride and handling, fuel-efficiency, state-of-the-art connectivity and top-rate safety systems. This model has consistently given the Fortuner and Montero Sport a run for their money making it Chevrolet Philippines’ best-selling model.
To make sure that it stays a favorite model of the Filipino consumers, The Covenant Car Company Inc. introduced five new variants of the Trailblazer thus providing customers more options that will better suit their individual needs. The new variants include the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×2 LTX MT (manual transmission), Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×2 LT AT (automatic transmission), Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×2 LTX AT, Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×4 LTZ AT and the new Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×4 LTZ Special Edition (SE) AT – bringing up the SUV line to a total of seven variants.
Recently, we were provided with a 4×2 Trailblazer LTX demo unit to drive for the weekend.
This Trailblazer variant retained the 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine that produces 200 horsepower at 3,600 revolutions per minute and 500 Newton-meters of torque at 2,000 rpm. To complement the powerful engine, the six-speed automatic transmission has been retuned for optimal performance and outstanding fuel economy. With similar models, cruising the highway at 100 kilometers per hour usually requires an engine speed of 2,000 to 2,200 rpm. With the retuned transmission, cruising at the same pace only requires an engine speed of 1,600 rpm for the new Trailblazer variant. During our weekend drive, we were able to post a fuel consumption 14.7 kilometers per liter in highway driving (average of 100 kph) and 8.1 kpl in city driving conditions (mostly in heavy EDSA traffic).
The new Trailblazer keeps its forceful appearance with its body in-wheels out design that provides high approach and departure angles for better scaling abilities. Even in its stock form, the Trailblazer provides excellent visibility for drivers with its tall ride height and panoramic glasshouse frame. The tall stance of the SUV is complimented by a new set of 18-inch alloy wheels that makes the model look more sophisticated.
One of the features that have made the Trailblazer a favorite in the segment is its spacious and comfortable seven-seater cabin. To make the interior even better, Chevrolet now offers leather seats for a more upscale feel. The cargo capacity be easily increased just by reconfiguring the second- and third-row seats.
Despite its brawny size, the Traiblazer is still easy to maneuver even in cramped spaces, which is aided by the new back-up sensors and live camera view that shows up in the rear-view mirror.
Making the ride extremely comfortable, the Trailblazer makes use of double wishbones in the front and a pair of five-link coil spring suspension at the rear. The steering is pleasing and provides adequate road feedback at all speeds. The stopping power is adequate, thanks to the four-wheel disc brakes.
Safety is still a major factor in the design of the new Trailblazer. Available features on the Trailblazer includes anti-lock brake system, dynamic brake distribution, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, panic brake assist, electronic stability control, engine drag control, cornering brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist, hill descent control and hill start assist that are usually found in more upmarket vehicles. However, with traffic in Metro Manila and bad weather during the weekend, we were not able to fully test the features listed above.
One new feature that we got to try and love is the new reversing camera with rear sensors, the rear view mirror with a 4.3-inch chromatic LCD and digital compass, and a new overview parking sensing monitor. With the Trailblazer’s hefty size, these new features helped considerably in getting in and out of extremely tight spaces.
Chevrolet has brought mobile connectivity to a different level with the Trailblazer. Standard to the new Trailblazer 4×2 LTX AT is a new Android Infotainment System with Mobile Connect for both iOS and Android mobile devices. The new system connects and mirrors smart devices on the Trailblazer 4×2 LTX AT’s built-in touchscreen monitor, allowing its users to play music of their choice, call, send SMS or even use GPS applications like Waze to navigate around the city. Now, users can still be productive and even have fun even while stuck in the horrendous metro Manila traffic.
Another useful gadget on the new Trailblazer is the 電ash camera mounted on the back of the rear-view mirror. Owners now have the option of recording their road trips and traffic events with the video camera system that has a capacity of 32 GB.
The Trailblazer we drove is priced at P1.488 million. Although the price tag may seem a bit high, at first glance, all the power, efficiency, convenience, technology and safety factors that come with it makes it the best bang for your buck.