2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM
4x4, Motoring News, new models, off-road, suv

2017 Trailblazer SUV: ‘More comfort, safer than ever’

  • Class-leading’ tech with MyLink
  • More crash-avoidance features
  • Five new models from R464 000
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – Chevrolet says it has again “come out swinging” in the seven-seat SUV market with a revised Trailblazer line-up that, the automaker says, is even better value and has more drivetrain and specification option

The 2017 range is made up of five manual and auto versions of the rear-wheel drive 2.5 LT, rear and all-wheel drive auto and manual versions of the 2.8 LTZ and a new flagship, the Z71 based on the LTZ 4×4.

The price band is from R464 000 to R623 200 (for the Z71) which pays homage to Chevrolet’s ‘Z’ car performance heritage.

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM

Brian Olson,General Motors Sub-Saharan Africa’s vice-president for vehicle sales, service and marketing, told The Corner in a media release: “The new Trailblazer brings together superior levels of refinement, styling, comfort and technology with class-leading performance and driveability to meet the versatile needs of increasingly discerning customers.”

NOISE, VIBRATION ‘HALVED’

The 2.5 LT has a six-speed auto transmission and an upgraded Duramax engine rated at 132kW/440Nm and Improved management of noise, vibration and harshness reduced by more than half. There are driver aids such as lane-departure warning and blind-spot alert (for LTZ models).

General redesigns include a  new bonnet and headlights but keeps the distinctive horizontal bar between the updated upper and lower grilles.

The MyLink multimedia interface has been upgraded to be fully compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto and there are daytime running lights (diode versions on the LTZ) – the new LTZ Z71 flagship gets ‘blacked-out’ wheels rims, door releses and external mirrors along with a distinctive decal treatment.

2.5 DURAMAX ENDURES

New to the Trailblazer range is an uprated 2.5 turbodiesel engine with a six-speed auto transmission in the LT. This 132kW/440Nm combination, GMSA says, is unique to auto models with fuel consumption rated as 8.6 litres/100km and 0-100km/h in 11sec. Top speed is 180 km/h.

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM

The familiar 2.5 Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel continues in the 2.5 LT when matched with the six-speed manual transmission and its output is rated at 120kW/380Nm. Combined fuel-consumption is 7.6 litres/100 km and the truck takes 11.8sec to 100km/h. Top speed is also 180 km/h.

Top of the range units have a 144kW/500Nm 2.8 Duramax turbodiesel which, GM says, is unmatched by any other body-on-frame SUV for torque output “which makes tackling even the toughest on- and off-road challenges a walk in the park”.

The combined fuel-consumption for this engine is 9.5 litres/100km and 0-100km/h takes 10.4sec, top speed also limited to 180 km/h with a choice of six-speed auto/manual transmission with manual selection mode or a six-speed manual.

All Trailblazer models except the 2.5 manual (2515kg) can legally pull a braked trailer weighing 2965kg. LTZ models are available with all-wheel drive and low range, which is the default set-up on the Z71. Changing between the two-high, four-high, and four-low drive modes needs just a turn of a dial.

Wider tyres (255 instead of 245mm) on new 17″ rims are on LT derivatives,  LTZ versions get 18″ wheels with a gloss-black design. Tyres remain at 265/60.

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM

The Trailblazer’s cabin has a refreshed facia and front console and the convenience features expected from a luxury SUV of this size, including five points for charging devices and eight cupholders. Aircon is adjustable for all seven occupants and the rear two fold flat. Leather upholstery is fitted irrespective of model.

Luggage capacity ranges from 205 litres with all 3 rows upright, 1229 litres with the 3rd row down, to 1830 litres with the second and third rows folded flat.

TOUCH SCREEN THE CENTREPIECE

The Trailblazer’s engine can be started by remote control on the key fob though will remain locked until the ignition key is inserted.

The centrepiece of the Trailblazer’s cabin is the 19cm touch screen which shows information from cellphones and other devices. LT versions can display phone-based satnav such as Google Maps; LTZ units have their own satnav.

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Image: GM

Crash avoidance equipment across the range continues with anti-lock brakes, emergency braking pressure, seven crash bags, pre-tensioning seat-belts, IsoFix child seat anchors and front parking radar. LTZ models have electronic stability/traction control,  gradient-descent control and trailer sway control).

A rear parking camera is also fitted.

Technology added to LTZ models for the 2017 model year are forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert and tyre pressure monitors – said by GM to be “the most comprehensive driver aid packages available at this level”.

The SUV’s will be delivered with a five-year or 120 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan.

PRICES
Trailblazer 2.5D LT 4×2 – R464 000
Trailblazer 2.5D LT 4×2 a/t – R481 800
Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4×2 a/t – R552 800
Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4×4 a/t – R613 200
Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4×4  a/t – R623 200

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