The Car Connection Chevrolet TrailBlazer Overview
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer was a mid-size sport utility vehicle sold from 2002 through 2008, built on a body-on-frame truck platform that spawned similar vehicles for most of GM's other brands. Those included the GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada (briefly, until the Oldsmobile brand was killed off), the Isuzu Ascender, and even the Saab 9-7X, the only truck-based and U.S.-built model ever sold by the now-defunct Swedish import brand.
The TrailBlazer was replaced in the Chevrolet lineup in 2009 by the Traverse crossover utility wagon, which offered more car-like ride and handling and more interior space due to its unibody construction. Similarly, the Buick and GMC versions of the same vehicle were replaced by the Enclave and Acadia, respectively.
The TrailBlazer name actually started as an upscale trim level on the prior generation of Chevy Blazer mid-size utilities, but became its own model with the 2002 introduction of an all-new vehicle. Its truck heritage was evident in its solid rear axle, and the choice of either a 273-horsepower 4.2-liter straight-six engine or a 302-hp 5.3-liter "small block" Chevy V-8, both engines mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The large engines and heavy structure produced low fuel-efficiency ratings, with the highest combined fuel economy rating for any version of the TrailBlazer being 16 miles per gallon.
An optional four-wheel-drive system provided both automatic engagement and manually-selectable settings for "4WD High" and "4WD Low" ranges. A detachable trailer hitch was standard on the TrailBlazer, and three trim levels were offered: base LS, mid-level LT, and top-of-the-line LTZ, which included four-wheel disc brakes, alloy wheels, a more luxurious interior with leather upholstery, a premium Bose sound system. The styling of the Chevy TrailBlazer was lightly upgraded for 2006 on the LT models and up, with a new grille and front fascia and some minor interior trim changes.
The TrailBlazer SS, a performance model, was introduced in 2006 with the same 391-hp 6.0-liter V-8 used in that year's Corvette sports car, though with some tuning changes. It wore 20-inch alloy wheels on lowered suspension, and could be ordered with rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel-drive system unique to that trim package. Another version was the TrailBlazer EXT, which had a longer wheelbase to permit a third row of seats. This model was sold only from 2002 through 2006; it was canceled when GM closed the plant in which it was assembled.
The TrailBlazer name was reintroduced for a 2013 sport-utility based on the new Colorado pickup truck, but that vehicle is not sold in North America.