BUILT FOR THOSE WHO LIKE ‘EM BIG | CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER 2.8L 4X4 Z71
BY RUBEN D. MANAHAN IV
Common buyers of SUVs are those with big families, a large group of friends, or simply love big automobiles. In the Filipino setting, family and friends are always top of mind when spending quality time like vacations, which makes space and comfort top considerations when choosing a vehicle.
The 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 has these and a lot more to offer, benefiting not just those who ride up front. This sizable beast, which was updated in September of last year, is one Chevrolet’s bestsellers and it is not surprising why it gained such a huge following.
As a full-bodied vehicle, the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 has the build that can be noticed easily in a pool of SUVs. The strong lines provide a more muscular/toned look that exudes toughness — similar to a powerlifter.
One of the tallest in its class, the height of the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 is complemented by 18-inch, gunmetal-finish wheels that give it a bolder and more muscular look. Known for class-leading space, roominess is obviously one of its key selling points. The 40/60 split folding middle row and 50/50 third row seats are easily converted to a spacious loading area should you need payload room. Aesthetically, the racing lines on the hood give it a distinct Chevy character and presence that resembles its equally-powerful sibling, the Camaro (a.k.a. the ‘Transformer” Bumblebee).
It not only looks powerful, it really is. The Trailblazer’s reputation is predicated on speed, power, and torque. Taken outside the metro, this brute showed that it could really perform. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Euro 4-compliant, 2.8-liter Duramax turbo diesel engine with Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) delivers 200hp and 500 Nm to aggressively take the road.
Despite all that power, the shifting of gears is as refined as a gymnast making precise moves for a recital. No sudden thuds even when shifted from neutral to drive.
With very little push on the gas pedal, the Trailblazer registered 11.24 kilometers to a liter after it was driven outside the metro (8.9 liters per 100 kilometers) and around eight kilometers to a liter during a two-day weekend drive around the city. Considering its dimensions, fuel consumption seems to be at par with segment competition.
Gone are the days when big vehicles were difficult to drive as the ute is equipped with Electronic Power Steering (EPS), which makes up for the rigid chassis and fully boxed frame.
The drive is lighter and parking easier, as it adjusts the weight of the steering wheel depending on driving conditions. Driven during traffic or when parking, steering the wheel is feather-light; on highways, it reduces the weight on the steering, making it manageable during high speeds and cuts out vibration.
Nowadays, most premium vehicles allow their entertainment system to pair with mobile phones. Well, so does the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71. Packed with the Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment system that’s compatible of with various operating systems, drivers or passengers carrying smartphones can connect their phone to the car via Bluetooth and manage apps via an eight-inch touchscreen with Siri Eyes Free and voice-recognition.
Passenger comfort is top priority as mid- and third-row passengers have four additional vents in the middle and a separate dial for the air-conditioning system so that they can control the air flow in the back. The front and mid row have more than ample legroom while the third row is designed to accommodate young kids or small adults.
Aside from front airbags for driver and passenger, the Trailblazer has Traction Control, Anti-Brake Lock (ABS), Panic Brake Assist (PBA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Isofix and tethers on all variants. It also comes with assistive features such as Hill Descent, Hill Start, Anti-Rolling and trailer sway control.
The Z71-exclusive assistive features are Forward Collision Alert, Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Departure warning, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and tire pressure monitoring system. The active assists are highly sensitive to distance, but adjustable. Its strong beeping sound may be disconcerting to the driver or passengers in the beginning and takes just a little getting used to.
Positives: Sufficient power, masculine look, roomy, flood capable, stylish premium look, features and feel.
CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER 2.8L 4X4 Z71
Negatives: Many blind spots, very sensitive assistive features, too many buttons on the steering wheel, cramped third-row seat space.