2002 to 2009: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer is a one-generation model that was the successor to the Chevrolet Blazer. It was followed by a pair of SUVs: the Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse.
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer is underpinned by the same platform powering the Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck of that era. Related models based on this SUV include the Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender, Oldsmobile Bravada and Saab 9-7X.
The TrailBlazer’s silhouette features upright roof pillars with available strip molding protecting the front and rear doors. The squared wheel wells are accented by character lines. Chevrolet offered a variety of wheel and tire choices, including alloy wheels. Extra thick tires for improved handling were also found on the high-performance TrailBlazer SS.
Chevrolet offered an extended wheelbase EXT edition with a higher roofline and unique rear doors for easier third-row access. All TrailBlazer models feature stacked rear combination lights, reflectors and one or two exhaust tips.
The base TrailBlazer offers seating for five, while EXT models add a third-row seat that provides room for two additional passengers.
Initially, Chevrolet offered one powertrain choice: a 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine that’s paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. For 2003, the TrailBlazer EXT gained an available 5.3-liter V8 engine. That engine was later offered as an option on 2006 to 2008 standard wheelbase models.
Beginning in 2006 and lasting through 2009, a TrailBlazer SS model was offered. It comes with a 6.0-liter V8 engine making 390 horsepower, which is paired with either rear- or all-wheel drive.
Chevrolet made a few changes to the TrailBlazer across its single-generation run. For 2004, the TrailBlazer gained some newly available features, including power-adjusted pedals, navigation and satellite radio. Changes for 2005 included refreshed interior styling, and new options like full-length side curtain air bags.
For 2008, only small changes were noted, including the addition of satellite radio and side curtain air bags as standard equipment. In its final year of production, Chevrolet dropped the V8 engine option for the 2009 model, but added Bluetooth to the options list.
TrailBlazer buyers might consider competing models like the Ford Explorer, Nissan Xterra, Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The TrailBlazer can also be cross-shopped with the Toyota Highlander, Ford Edge, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-9.