|Midsize SUV; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $4,000 – $22,500*|
2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT
2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer interior
2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT
2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer
Lack of curtain side airbags is a drawback in today’s SUV market. Furthermore, making front side airbags optional in 2003, just to lower the base price, seemed ill-advised. Otherwise, GM’s midsize SUVs match most rivals for pace and space. TrailBlazer is the price and sales leader among the GM group, but Envoy ranks as the best overall value. Not only does the Envoy top TrailBlazer in interior decor, but its optional rear load-leveling air suspension delivers needed improvements in ride and handling.
Chevrolet’s all-new midsize sport-utility vehicle shared its design, powertrain, and body-on-frame platform with the GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada. All three debuted for 2002. Each was a four-door wagon with its own styling details inside and out. Each, too, was larger than the model that it replaced.
The wheelbase of the TrailBlazer was 6 inches longer than that of the 1995-vintage Blazer, and its body was 10 inches longer overall. Some 5 inches wider and taller than the Blazer, it was also bigger inside, though seating was limited to five passengers. A longer-wheelbase seven-passenger model with three rows of seats arrived later.
These redesigned General Motors SUVs shared a new 270-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive models could have available traction control. TrailBlazers could instead have GM’s Autotrac four-wheel-drive system, which could be left engaged on dry pavement and included low-range gearing.
Antilock four-wheel disc brakes and front side airbags were standard (the driver’s bag covers the head and torso). LTZ models had 17-inch wheels, but other TrailBlazers rode on 16-inchers.
TrailBlazer rivals included the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, and Toyota 4Runner. Chevrolet continued to produce the previous Blazer,repositioned as a budget SUV.
This midsize SUV lost its standard front side airbags for 2003, but gained more six-cylinder power, a V8 option for its largest model, and available DVD video.
TrailBlazer was a four-door wagon offered in five- or seven-passenger form. The regular-length five-passenger version came in LS, LT, and LTZ trim. The longer-wheelbase EXT had three-row, seven-passenger seating, extended rear doors, and a raised rear roofline.
GMC’s Envoy and Envoy XL dressed the same basic design with different styling and available features. So did the Oldsmobile Bravada, which did not offer an extended version.
TrailBlazers came standard with a four-speed automatic transmission and an inline six-cylinder engine. Optional on the EXT was a 290-horsepower V8, borrowed from Chevrolet’s full-size SUVs.
Front side airbags, formerly standard, were now a $350 option. The driver’s airbag covered the head and torso. Curtain side airbags were not available.
A new option for all but LS models was a rear-seat DVD video entertainment system. LTZ and EXT versions came with 17-inch wheels, versus 16s on other models. A new North Face Edition trim-and-features package was designed in concert with the outdoor apparel and equipment maker.
Finally, the EXT added LATCH-system rear child-seat anchors and five-seaters gained a 22-gallon fuel tank (up from 18.7) during the model year.
Power-adjustable pedals, satellite radio and a navigation system were available for 2004 models. Buick now offered a new Rainier model, on the same platform as the TrailBlazer.
This year, TrailBlazers came in LS and LT trim, with 17-inch wheels standard on the LT EXT and optional for regular-length LT models. Options included rear DVD entertainment, GM’s OnStar system and a sunroof.
A revised V8 and available head-protecting curtain side airbags mark 2005 changes for Chevrolet’s midsize SUVs. A V8 is optional for the extended EXTs and now has GM’s Displacement on Demand feature. The newly optional curtain side airbags cover the 1st and 2nd seating rows–and replace last year’s available seat-mounted front side airbags.
A sporty SS version tops 2006 additions to these SUVs. Newly available for five-passenger models, the SS package included a 395-hp V8, sport suspension, and unique trim. It came with 2WD or all-wheel drive without low-range gearing.
TrailBlazer lost its extended-length, seven-passenger model for 2007.
The 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer gained curtain side airbags as standard equipment.
TrailBlazer lost its 300-hp 5.3-liter V8 but was otherwise unchanged for its final model year. A wireless cell-phone link was newly available.