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Old 21st October 2015, 12:15   #1
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Default Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

The Chevrolet Trailblazer has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 26.40 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Big size & presence matched to a solid build
• Spacious interiors with ample room in the 1st & 2nd seat rows
• Fast 2.8L turbo-diesel with 500 Nm of torque! Smooth 6-speed AT too
• Class-leading 241 mm of ground clearance & 800 mm of water wading capability
• Urban ride quality is more compliant than the Toyota Fortuner
• Equipment such as electric seat (driver), touchscreen audio, reversing camera & 18" rims
• Safety kit includes all-round disc brakes, ESP, TC, CBC, Hill Start Assist & more

What you won't:

• No 4x4 available! All direct competitors offer 4x4 / AWD
• Missing equipment (steering reach adjustment, navigation, sunroof, auto-dimming IRVM etc.)
• Unsettled high speed ride, especially at the rear
• Lazy AT gearbox is slow to respond to kickdown / downshift commands
• Only two airbags in such an expensive car
• Available in a single variant that's more expensive than the Fortuner 4x2 AT
• Mediocre fuel economy due to the 2000+ kilo weight, AT & powerful diesel


Last edited by GTO : 21st October 2015 at 13:25.
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Old 21st October 2015, 12:15   #2
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Don't mistake this Chevrolet Trailblazer for the one that was being sold in the United States until a few years ago. This is the second generation which shares nothing more than the name with its predecessor. Like the first-gen, this new Trailblazer also has a body-on-frame construction, based on the Chevrolet Colorado pick-up truck (sold in USA). It is a derivative of GM's global midsize pick-up truck architecture (GMT 31XX), developed by GM's South American Design Center in São Caetano do Sul, Brazil.

The Trailblazer is designed as a go-anywhere vehicle, specifically targeting emerging markets such as Latin America, Thailand, Philippines etc. It will no longer be sold in the United States. The Trailblazer made its debut (as a pre-production show car) in 2011 at the Dubai Motor Show, while its global sales began in early 2012, starting with Thailand (link (Chevrolet's all-new TrailBlazer SUV debuts. EDIT : Might come to India!)). As of today, it's being sold in markets such as the Middle East, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines and South Africa. The Trailblazer is also sold as the Holden Colorado 7 in Australia and shares its chassis + some other parts with the Isuzu MU-X.

Plans for an India launch are said to have been in place since 2012, but were supposedly delayed because:
- Bringing it in as a CBU would make it a non-starter on the pricing front;
- GM's Indian plant did not have a paint shop large enough to accommodate the Trailblazer.

Nevertheless, GM should have figured out a way to bring the Trailblazer in earlier. It's now going to have to contend with two formidable competitors, Toyota Fortuner the all-new Ford Endeavour (whose launch isn't too far away). An earlier launch would have given it a serious advantage. This is especially important as the Trailblazer we're getting is already 3.5 years old!

News of the Trailblazer's launch was originally shared with GM dealers during their annual meeting at Bangkok in February '15. During this meeting, Arvind Saxena (President & MD, GM India) also announced that GM India will increase its export activity. In 2015, the company plans to export around 19,000 cars to nearly 40 countries. A major part of this export activity will be to Mexico and Chile. Considering the excess capacity that GM India has and its poor local performance, exports were inevitable.

Chevrolet showcased the Trailblazer at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo (Chevrolet @ Auto Expo 2014). It's an important product for Chevrolet India due to the f-a-t profit margins in this segment, and also because the Captiva is dead. Further, such cars can bring a halo effect in the showroom & contribute towards the brand's image. In other markets, the Trailblazer is available with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. However, in places like the Philippines, the 2.8L is offered only with an automatic, while the manual is mated to a 2.5-litre diesel. For India, GM has decided to introduce the 2.8 diesel with a 6-speed automatic transmission in 2WD guise. Adventure tourers will find it disappointing that a 4x4 option won't be available. Hopefully, it follows later. The Trailblazer will take on the Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton and the upcoming Ford Endeavour. The Trailblazer will be imported to India from GM's Thailand plant as a CBU.

Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review-trailblazer.png

The overall layout and body style are similar to other pick-up truck based competitors like the Fortuner and Pajero Sport. At 4,878 mm x 1,902 mm, the Chevrolet Trailblazer is longer and wider than the segment best-seller and the benchmark for the masses, the Fortuner. The Toyota is marginally taller though at 1,850 mm (vs 1,838 mm). In person, this Chevy appears slightly larger than the Fortuner. Owners will love the sheer size and street presence. It's nice to see that chrome hasn't been applied excessively. An XL-sized Chevrolet grill dominates the huge front end, along with the projector headlamps. Even the foglamps are projector-type units with halogens. The bonnet is imposingly high, with swollen front fenders and squared wheel arches housing the big 18" rims that lend it an undeniable street presence. As big as the rims are though, there's a significant gap in the wheel arches. The rear end has LED tail lamps. No spare wheel on the tail-gate for that proper SUV look; the Trailblazer gets a full-size alloy wheel spare tucked away beneath the vehicle. Over the course of our review, Fortuner owners seemed most interested in this SUV. The clean square lines and a familiar body type might not seem very attractive at first, but I am sure the Trailblazer will age gracefully.

The build quality is tough & robust - you just know this is an abuse-friendly SUV. Our test car had been through a lot of media abuse, yet had nothing to show for it. The panel gaps are wider than expected, with areas like the doors & front fenders having larger clearances than what a Rs. 30 lakh vehicle ought to have. The kerb weight of 2,068 kilos sure is hefty! The Fortuner 4x2 AT weighs nearly 200 kilos lesser, and even the Fortuner 4x4 AT is lighter than the Trailblazer.

The Indian Trailblazer will only have 2 airbags. Sadly, the curtain and side airbags have been deleted on our version. On the positive side, the Trailblazer gets a laundry list of other safety features - traction control, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, ABS + EBD, cornering brake control, panic brake assist, hill start assist and hill descent control.

This SUV hit Thai showrooms in 2012. Chevy should have brought it to India much earlier. With the upcoming new Endeavour & Fortuner, the Trailblazer is going to face some serious heat:


A casual glance and a layman could easily pass this off as a Fortuner from the rear. It's only on closer inspection that the differences become more evident:


It's longer and wider than the Fortuner. Even boasts of a longer wheelbase at 2,845 mm (vs the Fortuner's 2,750 mm):


SUV-lovers will be drawn to its tall stance. Road presence? This SUV commands a lot of it. Available in only 3 colours - white, black & silver:


Class-leading 241 mm of ground clearance and 800 mm of water-wading capability. Unfortunately, GM has decided to bring this in as a CBU, which makes it attract the highest tax slab:


Projector headlamps for low beam. No Xenon lights here; just plain ol' halogens:


A massive split grill dominates the face. The bowtie logo is of an XL-size too:


Even the foglamps are projector-type units with halogens. The foglamp housing is surrounded by a chrome border:


Notice the unique bumper line. Also check out the bumper creases and black skid plate:


The bonnet is imposingly high. It's flat, yet has a very muscular look:


Chevrolet's Duramax engine family mostly includes large V8 diesel engines, jointly developed with Isuzu. This is one of the smaller engines to get the badging. The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck was launched in the US a few days ago with a slightly modified version of this motor:


Chrome ORVMs with integrated turn indicators:


Touches of chrome on the door handle add a nice touch. This premium SUV doesn't get pure keyless entry, something the cheaper Cruze is equipped with:


Windows have a chrome lining as well. Chrome is there, but not excessively so:


18" rims look awesome. These are wrapped around by 265/60 R18 Bridgestone rubber. These tyres are going to cost a bomb to replace (the size is uncommon):


Another angle to view the rims. Also notice the side step that you'll need the support of, to climb into this SUV:


Flush-fitting dual-tone roof rails. Sadly, a sunroof is missing from the equipment list:


Like others in this segment, even the Trailblazer gets a tiny roof antenna (and not an integrated one):


LED tail-lamps:


Notice the chrome inserts inside the tail-lamps:


The tailgate gets a chrome number plate garnish and a large bowtie badge sitting above it:


Rear windscreen washer looks out of place. It isn't well-integrated:


Camera offers a good field of vision and makes up for the poor rear visibility. Its useful even at night:


While the tailgate handle is mounted at a convenient location, it looks horrible! Sticks out like a sore thumb:


Unlike the Fortuner, the Trailblazer gets both - a reversing camera as well as parking sensors:


2 reversing lights (one on each side):


Black skid plate. Exhaust is meaty compared to the OEM stuff we usually see:


Spare wheel is mounted higher than the Fortuner:

Last edited by GTO : 24th October 2015 at 00:36. Reason: Adding point on only 3 colour options
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Old 21st October 2015, 12:15   #3
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This is an SUV you need to climb into and you will need the assistance of those grab handles mounted on the A-pillars. Senior citizens, beware. The colour theme of the interiors is black & beige. Black is used for the top half of the dashboard, gear console, centre console, armrest and doorpad highlights; the rest is all beige. The overall shape of the dashboard is contemporary. There is no 'wow' factor here; rather, the design is straight-forward and functional. A welcome change here is that Chevrolet hasn't used any fake wood finishes, which look cheap in my opinion. Instead, a glossy piano black finish is used. This looks far classier.

Tall & commanding is the best way to describe the driving position. The steering wheel is simple with no thumb contours. Still, it feels nice to hold. Shockingly, there is no adjustment for reach in this Rs. 30 lakh SUV, although the tilt adjustment has a good range. I missed the telescopic adjustment as I found the steering to be too close to my chest at times. Apart from this, the ergonomics are rather sorted. Audio and phone controls are on the LHS of the steering wheel, while those for cruise control are on the RHS side. The 'audio volume' & 'cruise control speed' buttons (on either side of the wheel) appear to be aluminium finished at first glance. Preset FM stations can be chosen directly from the steering wheel; it’s a boon if you listen to FM radio while driving. The small Chevy Camaro-inspired meters look sweet. However, because of their small size, they aren't easy to read on the go. The MID displays a variety of data including fuel consumption, dual trip meters, ECO mode display etc.

A Euro-style rotary knob controls the headlamps and foglamps. A scroller to controls the headlamp leveller is also located here, since this car doesn't have auto-levelling HIDs. Sadly, automatic headlamps & wipers have been deleted from the Indian version. This car gets a conventional stalk orientation with the indicators on the right side. The dashboard is lit with a cool blue back light, similar to what we have in the XUV500.

The A and B pedals are comfortably positioned. The brake pedal isn't as wide as in most other AT cars, yet it's comfortable and easy to reach. The dead pedal is medium-sized. You could rest your foot in the empty space between the brake & dead pedal too. The accelerator is a suspended-type unit. Overall comfort levels have nothing to complain about.

The quality of plastics is a mixed bag. The top portion of the dashboard has a soft-touch material which looks premium. The lower beige area is hard & crude, similar to that of the Toyota Fortuner. The doorpads have good quality plastics, but some of the other materials - like the power window console and door grab handle - have a different texture...these are far worse in quality & stand out like a sore thumb. The quality of switch-gear is satisfactory and all the controls have a consistently positive feel to them. On the other hand, the roof-lining is just of average quality. In summary, I'd say that the interior quality is closer to a Chevrolet Cruze than the Santa Fe. That said, it's noticeably superior to the Toyota Fortuner's interior quality.

The front seats are fairly big. They can accommodate large frames comfortably and the quality of leather is also nice. The seats' fore & aft adjustment range is generous and even the tallest of drivers will have enough space. The driver's seat gets electric adjustments without a memory option. Its height can be adjusted singularly (i.e. no separate adjustment for the front & rear part of the seat base). Because its under thigh support cannot be adjusted and since this is a high floor vehicle, I found it to be lacking. Only if you are tall, you will too (regular folk will have no issues). There is no lumbar support adjustment for the front seats. The seat height is similar to the Fortuner, but the dashboard is set low, thus rendering an unhindered outside view. The black armrest console gets an artificial leather cover with white stitching - this feels cheap & out of place, but then the Toyota Fortuner has a plain jane plastic cover which looks even worse.

The large ORVMs have an excellent field of vision. This is much needed for an SUV of this size. Shockingly though, the IRVM isn't an auto-dimming unit! Rearward visibility is poor, even with the 3rd row headrests down. You will need that reversing camera with adaptive grid lines.

All 4 doors get small map pockets and 1L bottle holders. On either side of the dashboard are two slide-out cup holders. While driving, you will find it difficult to park a large smartphone like an iPhone 6+ or Galaxy Note in the center console. There's a storage area under the driver's armrest which also houses the USB and AUX ports. The Trailblazer has two glove-boxes, both of which are medium-sized. On top of the dashboard is a covered storage cubicle, with another drawer below the headlamp control knob. Nope, none of the storage areas have felt lining or soft rubber (except the sunglass holder).

The HVAC controls are housed in a circular console below the audio system. There's a big rotary knob which controls the temperature & has the temp readout in the middle. It's surrounded by all the usual HVAC buttons (along with those for the front & rear defogger). The air-conditioning system is strong. Even when parked under the sun for a long time, it brought the cabin back to comfortable temperatures quickly. I'd rate the capability to be at par with the Fortuner & XUV500. The front air-con vents have a healthy adjustment range. Pushing them all the way to the right closes them, but there's no individual air volume control. The front windshield defogger was surprisingly silent - even at high blower speeds, it didn't make any noise at all and worked effectively.

The infotainment system is a 7" touchscreen unit with capacitive buttons at the bottom for volume & power. The system offers audio and video playback with the usual set of inputs (USB, AUX, Bluetooth). No navigation though - another miss for an expensive SUV. A lot of FM / AM radio stations can be stored (not limited to 6 like in most cars). The 6-speaker ICE package sounds good and it's fairly punchy too. What's unique is the Siri Eyes Free for Apple users. This is voice command functionality (while the system is synced with your iPhone). Further, the ICE includes an embedded app called Stitcher SmartRadio which offers internet radio functionality.

Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio was seamless with my Samsung Note 4. However, the ringtone for incoming calls was too loud and I couldn't find a way to reduce its volume. Further, the ringer cannot be muted, so the only option you have while driving is to accept / reject the incoming call. The screen brightness & resolution are standard fare. I didn't find it lacking, except under very bright sunlight. The system doubles up as a reversing camera display. Reversing poses no problem as the camera is superb, even at night.

The beige and black interior theme is contemporary and will please all:


Even though the steering doesn't have thumb contours, it feels nice to hold:


Audio + phone controls on the left and cruise control settings on the right. They are illuminated. The aluminum-type buttons feel like they belong to a more premium car:


Found the steering too close to my chest at times. Should have had telescopic adjustment:


These Camaro-inspired dials look H-O-T. They're a bit too small though and difficult to read on the go:


Cool blue illumination looks sweet at night:


The MID displays liters used (since reset), tank range, digital speedo, a trip meter with average FE + speed and a timer!!


It also gives out information on the total number of hours the engine has been running (from the start), transmission fluid temperature, battery voltage (battery health) and a speed warning:


Some will like the ECO mode:


The positioning of the stalks is conventional i.e. light controls on the right and wiper controls on the left. You could navigate through the MID with the light control stalk:


Unfortunately, no start / stop button like the Cruze:


Conventional flippy key:


Euro-style light controls. No auto headlamp function either. You can adjust the dashboard backlight brightness via the switch on the left:


Doorpad looks nice. Still, chrome door handles, piano black inserts and a black armrest might be a little too much variation on the beige doorpad:


Chrome door handles. The doors auto-lock as you start driving:


Only the driver's window gets the auto up / down feature. The other switches don't...they aren't even backlit!


All 4 doors can accommodate a 1L bottle:


Black door armrest and switchgear feels low quality compared to the rest of the cabin. The doors have padding around the area where you'd rest your elbow:


No door scuff plate. As you can see, the beige door sill gets dirty very easily. In this picture, also notice that the driver's seat has electric adjustments:


The front seats are a comfortable place to be in. The quality of leather is nice too:


Even the passenger gets height adjustment. The controls here are manual, unlike the driver's side which is electric:


Thick & heavy seatbelt buckle is unusually large. Also, the seatbelt attachment (on the pillar side) is directly fixed to the floor (not tucked inside a plastic panel on the B-pillar):


Black armrest with contrast white stitching is wide enough:


Pedals are well-spaced out. Dead pedal is small:


These grab handles are useful for ingress / egress:


The ORVM adjustment panel:


Tall & wide ORVMs offer an excellent field of view:


No auto dimming feature - the height of cost cutting. You have to manually select the day / night mode:


Rearward visibility is poor (especially with the headrests of the 2nd & 3rd row raised):


Piano black centre console:


7" touchscreen infotainment system. It misses out on navigation!


The volume and power buttons are capacitive-type:


Under bright sunlight, screen visibility is poor. Otherwise, it is average:


Owners can preset many more than the usual 6 radio stations:


Equalizer & sound settings:


A clear camera display with guidelines help while reversing this large truck:


Some of the other functions that can be controlled via this system:


I didn't like the look of this HVAC console, but that's subjective. Around the display screen is a dial to control the temperature:


Air-con vents don't get individual airflow control. They can be shut completely though:


Two 12V power sockets, along with the 'Traction Control Off' and 'Hill Descent Control' buttons:


Chrome gear lever. Some will like it, others will find it garish:


P-R-N-D and a Tiptronic mode. No sports mode here:


There's even a shift lock button here. Pressing this button bypasses the gear lock system whereby you cannot move out of position "P" unless the key is inserted and the brake pedal is pressed. Use the shift lock button when you park on an incline and can’t move the lever out of "P". The feature could also be used when towing the vehicle:


Cup-holders and a shallow storage area beside the handbrake:


USB & AUX ports are hidden away in the armrest console:


There's an area above the dashboard to store smaller items...


...and some space below the steering wheel as well. In this picture, don't miss the OBD port:


The top glovebox is well-sized:


The lower glovebox is smaller:


Small storage tray below the side air vent that doubles up as a cup-holder. This is provided for the driver & co-passenger, both:


This placement will ensure that the air vent keeps the Pepsi cool:


A small compartment below the headlamp knob too:


The sunglass holder is finished (on the inside) with a soft material to protect your glasses:


Both sunvisors get vanity mirrors + illumination...


...and a useful ticket holder on the other side!


Bluetooth mic is situated near the driver's sunvisor:


Euro car-like windshield washer spray is superb:


The dash-mounted speaker. It even gets (what appears to be) a solar / cabin temperature sensor here:


Usually, that sensor is located here:


Curtain airbags absent in the India-spec version:


Such dummy buttons keep reminding you of features that are missing in the Indian Trailblazer:


Height-adjustable front seatbelts:

Last edited by GTO : 24th October 2015 at 09:58. Reason: Adding point on Stitcher radio
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Old 21st October 2015, 12:16   #4
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Middle row legroom is very good, as you would expect from this class of SUV. Even taller folk won't have any issue. That said, it does seem to be a bit lesser compared to the Fortuner. The seats are comfortable to sit on because of their higher placement. They are noticeably higher than in the Rexton and ol' Endeavour. The floor height is similar to other body-on-frame SUVs and taller than monocoques like the Santa Fe. The middle row seats recline fairly well and you can set yourself up in a relaxed position. The headrests are comfortable to use too. Here, even the centre passenger gets an adjustable small headrest. The floor hump is low and the middle seat is acceptable. Just that it's a little higher and not as well-contoured as the seats on the side.

Both front seats get short seatback pockets, while the grab handles get coat / bag hooks. The air-con vents for the middle & last row are mounted on the roof. Middle row passengers can set the fan speed, just like in the Fortuner. Do note, that the rear a/c has to be switched on from the front console before it can be controlled from the rear. The placement of these vents is just right; non-obstructive, yet effective for cooling. The middle row further gets foot-level vents under the front seats.

Access to the 3rd row requires you to climb & crouch (like most other UVs). The 3rd row of seats have limited legroom if the middle-row passengers recline their seats. An adult sitting on the last row will make the middle row passenger keep his seatback upright. The seats are good enough for kids or those who are shorter in height. On the plus side, these are full-size seats with proper headrests. They are surely more usable than the claustrophobic 3rd row of the Rexton. Chevrolet has provided proper retractable seatbelts here. 3rd row passengers get individual cup-holders on both sides, a storage area between the seats and a small cubicle for the LHS passenger (on the side). I must mention that the last row of seats limit the driver's rearward visibility, even with the headrests down. The rear defogger has exposed metal terminals with no plastic cover on them. They look crude and out of place in an otherwise well-finished cabin.

The tail-gate opens upwards with two struts that take it up smoothly. Boot space with all the seats up can hold a couple of handbags. That's similar to the Fortuner & a lot better than the likes of the XUV500. The boot has a nifty storage box which can be removed, if you so wish. The middle row gets a 60:40 split while the last row has a 50:50 split. You can fold any / all of them flat if you need to haul a serious amount of cargo. However, the high floor (due to the seats) is the only concern - you better have a strong back to lift heavy luggage in. I prefer the Fortuner kind of side-folding seats which provide depth in the boot whenever required. There are hooks provided - these can be used to tie down luggage or for luggage nets.

Even the rear doorpad can hold a 1L bottle. Notice the pentagonal-shaped speaker cover:


The rear seats can recline in 4 steps & fold in a 60:40 ratio. Maximum reclined position shown here:


Middle row seats are placed higher than in the Rexton or old Endeavour, and are a comfortable place to be in. Even the middle passenger gets a small headrest:


Armrest with integrated cup-holders:


There is a padded section on the door. However, the quality of switchgear and door grab handle is below average:


Middle row occupants get roof-mounted air vents, blower speed control and a cabin light:


4 levels of adjustment. The rear air-con needs to be switched on from the centre console (in the front) before it can be operated:


I liked the design & placement of these air vents. They're non-intrusive, yet very effective:


Spring-loaded grab handles:


12v power socket for your smartphone:


Getting into the last row is a two step process. First, you have to fold the middle row flat...


...then, you can tumble the middle row away. Do note these seats don't slide forward:


Even last row occupants get adjustable headrests and retractable seatbelts:


I was able to squeeze my 6.3 ft frame here. Sure, I had to sit with my knees up, but shorter adults and kids will be fine:


Due to the glass area, this row doesn't feel claustrophobic:


With the headrests in a raised position, rearward visibility is awful for the driver. Actually, it's restricted even with the headrests down:


Seatbelt buckles are nicely tucked away. Also check out the small storage cubicle between the seats:


Cup-holders on both sides, with a storage area for the left passenger:


With all the rows in place, you can manage to squeeze in a couple of handbags & backpacks:


The last row splits in a 50:50 ratio for added flexibility:


With the 3rd row completely folded, you have enough cargo capacity for a week-long family road trip:


The 2nd & 3rd rows fold almost flat. There is enough space to move a house with these folded down!


A storage area below the boot floor too. Can be removed, if you so wish. You can unscrew the spare tyre from here:


A 12v socket, boot lamp and luggage ring:


On the RHS, there's another boot lamp, along with a luggage hook & ring:


Access to the jack and other tools:


Even the middle row seats have these rings. Use them with a cargo net to keep loose items in place:


Exposed rear defogger pin looks cheap! Why is there no plastic cover here?

Last edited by GTO : 21st October 2015 at 12:35.
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Old 21st October 2015, 12:16   #5
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The 2.8L Duramax motor with 197 BHP & a whopping 500 Nm of torque. It uses a water-cooled variable geometry turbo:


The Indian Trailblazer gets a 2.8 liter diesel with a variable geometry water-cooled turbo. It makes 197 BHP (@ 3,600 rpm) and 500 Nm of torque (@ 2,000 rpm)! That 500 Nm of torque is particularly interesting. In comparison, the Fortuner AT makes 'merely' 360 Nm. Unlike the Fortuner though, Chevrolet is going to offer the Trailblazer as a RWD AT only, at least initially.

You have to fire up the engine using a conventional flippy key. Strange that its cheaper sibling - the Cruze, gets an engine start / stop button, but not the Trailblazer. At idling rpm, engine sound in the cabin is well controlled. It's clattery outside, but in-cabin damping is impressive. However, the mechanically-linked radiator fan makes a big racket on the outside and inside! This intrudes into the otherwise quiet cabin and low NVH package.

The initial surge at low revs isn't as sprightly compared to the Fortuner automatic, mainly due to the taller gearing. Still, the torque converter does a superb job of masking turbo lag even with such tall gearing. With a light foot, the AT upshifts smooth & early in the city. Floor it past the 2,000 rpm mark and the 500 Nm of torque makes its presence felt. Even for such a heavy vehicle, the Trailblazer pins you to the seat whenever you accelerate hard. It pulls like a freight train and the acceleration is very fast! The experience will always leave a smile on your face. On the flip side, gearshifts are slow and lazy. There's typically a second of delay when you floor the accelerator, but after that short delay and a downshift, the acceleration is strong. This is when you really feel the torque. 6th gear isn't engaged before 80-90 kph; that's because the 6th ratio is extremely tall. It's well suited to cruising & does 100 kph at 1,500 rpm, with 120 kph seen at 2,000 rpm. The Trailblazer will cruise all day on the expressway in a very relaxed manner. Overtaking isn't a concern at all. Just account for the gearbox's 1 second response time and plan your overtaking accordingly. Once the gearbox drops a ratio, you'll fly past the vehicle in front. You could also downshift using the tiptronic mode and prepare the Trailblazer for overtaking before the actual manoeuvre.

The 6-speed gearbox has a modern-type inline pattern, unlike the outdated gate used in the Fortuner. When driven with a light foot, the gearshift logic is sorted. Shift quality is smooth too. With medium length accelerator inputs, the gearbox is like most other old school units. It gets puzzled and prefers to stay in either a gear lower or a gear higher than ideal. Even with the accelerator pinned all the way to the floor, this gearbox shifts early (at ~3,800 rpm). Of course, you can take the revvs higher using the tiptronic mode, but power starts tapering down after 4,000 rpm and the engine isn't as revv happy as the Hyundai Santa Fe's either. Shifts using the tiptronic mode are slow and usually accompanied with a delayed response. Nope, there are no paddle shifters provided here. Being such a heavy and powerful vehicle with an old-school transmission, fuel efficiency takes a hit. I saw 7.5 kpl over a mixed city + highway run. Good thing that the fuel tank is huge (76 liters).

The front suspension has a double wishbone independent design while the rear includes a 5-link coil spring. It's very tricky to tune the suspension of such a tall SUV. With generous suspension travel, a live rear axle and a ladder frame chassis, the stability of the vehicle has to be considered, maintaining a certain level of comfort at the same time. The Trailblazer has a slightly softer suspension setup compared to the Fortuner. As a result, low speed ride over the worst of roads is more absorbent. This Chevy eats up the deepest of potholes without any complaint, although you are always aware of the bulky live rear axle. The front & rear suspension do feel out of sync at times (nothing new for a vehicle of this type). Still, I'd rate the ride quality better than the Fortuner. In fact, it's in the league of the Pajero Sport. With speed though, the ride deteriorates. At triple digit speeds even on well-paved tarmac, this SUV simply doesn't ride flat. Like other body-on-frame SUVs, it is unsettled & 3rd row passengers will feel it the most. In comparison, the monocoque Santa-Fe and CR-V offer a magic carpet ride on the expressway! Do note however that ride quality should improve with a full load of passengers on-board.

High speed stability is sorted. The SUV feels planted even at triple digit speeds on both, well-paved and bad roads. Body roll is of course there, but it's not so excessive that things get scary. Again, the behaviour is similar to other body-on-frame SUVs from this segment and you must always be aware of its tall center of gravity. Be cautious, this isn't a corner carving sedan. Must mention that it is dynamically superior to the Ssangyong Rexton, but not as confident as the full-time 4WD Fortuner. In such a top heavy vehicle, it is comforting to know that the ESP is watching over you. On roads with poor surfacing & loose gravel, I could see the ESP light blinking on the instrument cluster.

The hydraulic steering is on the heavier side at parking speeds and in low speed traffic. At speed, it's well-weighted. Without a doubt, this is the nicest steering among all SUVs that I have driven. There is none of that slack at the dead center position. The steering is fairly direct too. However, with a turning radius of 5.9 meters & a heavy steering at slow speeds, the Trailblazer can get cumbersome in tight city conditions.

The ground clearance is a massive 241 mm! You could probably drive over small buildings . This is higher than the Fortuner (220 mm) and Pajero Sport (215 mm). Even the real world GC is generous. The clearance at the rear muffler is 253 mm, while the spare wheel is mounted higher than in the Toyota. Equally impressive is the 800 mm water-wading capability! There is metal protection for the transfer case & engine, but unlike the Fortuner & Pajero Sport, the fuel tank isn't protected by a metal shield. Just wish the Trailblazer had 4x4 so that owners could make better use of that hefty ground clearance. This Chevy feels very rough road friendly.

The nicest part of the Trailblazer's driving experience are the brakes. The pedal is properly calibrated, aided by massive ventilated discs at all 4 ends and a host of electronic safety aids. Braking performance is superb. This has easily the strongest brakes of any ladder frame SUV I have driven (that includes a Prado!). Uniquely, the rear discs at 318 mm are bigger than the front (300 mm).

You can turn the Traction Control off when required, but not the ESP:


Coolant, power steering & brake fluid tanks are all mounted at the same place. Very convenient:


Look at the battery housing (at the bottom). It can accommodate a much larger battery...almost twice the size!


ECU is mounted quite high (behind the battery). Good for protection while wading through water. Should have had a full cover though:


Mechanical fan makes a lot of noise! It gets louder as the revs climb:


The horn is weak for such a huge SUV:


The bonnet insulation sheet:


Surprisingly, this premium SUV doesn't get pneumatic struts! Even the far cheaper Mahindra Scorpio gets them now (link to image):


4-wheel disc brakes are standard . The size of the front discs is 300 mm while those at the rear are 318 mm:


It can gulp in 76L of diesel (Fortuner = 80L):


The fibre fuel tank doesn't get a metal protection plate...


...the engine, transmission and transfer case do!


241 mm of clearance is generous all throughout. Spare is a full-sized alloy:


Clearance at the muffler is 253 mm:

Last edited by GTO : 21st October 2015 at 12:41.
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Old 21st October 2015, 13:31   #6
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Official Reviews.

Thanks for sharing - rating review 5 stars!
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:01   #7
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Unless Ford and toyota get extremely optimistic with the pricing of the new Endy and Fortuner respectively, this Chevy is DOA. as it is the Chevy brand is very weak (which i found to my dismay when i sold my captiva earlier this year), and coupled to that is the astronomical price. Now i am waiting for the Endy to be launched and am hoping for a sub 22L price for the 2.2 auto.
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:04   #8
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The pricing is seriously good for a CBU.

A special thumbs up for the engine

But makes me feel they should have brought in the 4x4 even at 1.5-2L more it definitely would have gotten a lot of fan following from us enthusiasts.

PS- If this being a CBU is priced so well makes me think what kinda profits Toyota is making on the fortuner

Last edited by karan561 : 21st October 2015 at 14:10.
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:08   #9
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
The Chevrolet Trailblazer has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 26.40 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
Good looking car. Not the best among expected 2016 competition but much better than GMs earlier offering in this space.

If GM can price a (fairly) loaded CBU for 26L, then I can only wonder the kind of margins Toyota must be making with their current bare bones Fortuner.

I am hoping GM will be thinking of offering a lower variant with the smaller engine, fabric seats, manual gear box for substantially less - maybe even XUV W10 territory since the cost reduction would get amplified 2x with CBU taxes thrown in. Would be great to see a SUV this size at 17L ex showroom.

Last edited by Asifgrkhan : 21st October 2015 at 14:10. Reason: typo
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:12   #10
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

A very well written review. Chevy seem to have missed the trade by omitting an AWD variant. But I guess most owners will stay on the road than off it and even if they do, the powerful motor and high ground clearance will work for light offroading. The Chevrolet brand will work against it. Lets see how the market responds to the Trailblazer. But even now, my money is on the Endeavour.

Last edited by karthick_b : 21st October 2015 at 14:13.
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:13   #11
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Thanks for the great review, very detailed.

Just wondering why is GM launching it in India now. The updated Endeavor and Fortuner are on their way. Honestly don't see customers choosing the Trailblazer over the current Fortuner.

On a side note - a 30L SUV has only 2 Air bags - shocking!

I was in the market for a SUV, no regrets of choosing the Sante Fe a few months back.
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:16   #12
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
The pricing is seriously good for a CBU.

A special thumbs up for the engine

But makes me feel they should have brought in the 4x4 even at 1.5-2L more it definitely would have gotten a lot of fan following from us enthusiasts.

PS- If this being a CBU is priced so well makes me think what kinda profits Toyota is making on the fortuner
perhaps the fact that this is imported from Thailand, which results in the India Thailand FTA benefits on import duties, helps keep the price at this level.

I still feel that given the vintage of this vehicle, and the Chevy brand, this is overpriced. Chevy should launch a manual at 22L to lower the entry point. being a CBU, importing a manual shouldnt be an issue.
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:25   #13
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Talk about sitting ducks! This one can be the perfect example for that. Chevy was waiting, waiting and waiting for ever. I don't think there is any other manufacturer who is as confused as Chevrolet India. This is as good as not being launched, in another few months Ford Endeavour will eat this , that is if there is anything left by that time. I think Mary Barra have different priorities, so don't expect anything good to happen at GM India for sometime. Feeling sorry for the dealers, I'm surprised some are still holding on!
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Old 21st October 2015, 14:53   #14
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Why is there always a slip between the cup and the lip? Fortuner 4x4 AT is cheaper on road in Mumbai as per my call with the Chevy dealer. And given that Toyota has stronger reliability and brand image, not to mention resale value, I bet Toyota is thanking GM for giving the outgoing Fortuner a slightly longer life!
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Old 21st October 2015, 15:03   #15
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Default Re: Chevrolet Trailblazer : Official Review

Wow!
Rated full 5 star to a beautifully written review.

I am planning for a SUV in the near future - maybe Apr 2016. The way this review has been written, I know what to look for, what to not care about and what to not allow.

Thanks.

At the proper time, I might ask more relevant clarifications from you. Again, thanking you in advance.
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