Chevrolet TrailBlazer

The 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer provides something for everyone. All trim levels provide a comfortable ride for five passengers, good towing capability and ample cargo space.

There are two trim levels available: LT and the SS. The LT trims come standard with a 4.2L inline 6-cylinder engine that produces a healthy 285 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 276 ft-lbs of torque at 4600 rpm. The optional 5.3L V8 engine makes 300 horsepower at 5300 rpm and 321 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. The 5.3L V8 sports the impressive active fuel management feature that deactivates four of the eight cylinders and propels the vehicle on just four cylinders in situations where extra power is not needed. The transition from eight to four cylinders and back is virtually undetectable and helps boost fuel economy.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, power windows and locks, OnStar, cruise control, air conditioning, a CD player with XM satellite radio and StabiliTrak stability control system.

The LT trim adds features such as a roof rack, fog lamps, power mirrors, power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and automatic dual-zone climate control.

For those wanting a sportier SUV, the TrailBlazer offers its SS trim level in either 2-wheel drive or all-wheel drive versions. The SS TrailBlazer includes a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, heavy duty front disc brakes, a limited-slip rear differential, quicker ratio steering, and the Corvette-based LS2 6.0L V8 engine, as well as other changes. These enhancements create an aggressive look outside and some serious acceleration with sub-six-second 0-60 mph times. Power reaches 390 horsepower 6000 rpm and 400 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm.

Notable options on all trim levels include a rear seat DVD entertainment system, Bose premium speaker system and power sunroof.

Standard with both the LT and LS are front and passenger airbags along with head curtain side impact air bags.

At less than $30,000 the 2-wheel drive LS offers impressive standard equipment for the price. A loaded 4-wheel drive LT V8 TrailBlazer can push just past the $36,000 mark.

The 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer offers a 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty along with 5-year/100,000 mile roadside assistance and 5-year/100,000 mile Courtesy Transportation Program.

Editors' Review

Once upon a time, the Chevrolet Trailblazer was a body-on-frame, midsize SUV. The old-school Trailblazer was a beefy thing, available with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. But as shoppers' needs have evolved, so have the SUVs themselves. After more than a decade, the Trailblazer is back in the form of a kinder, gentler, subcompact crossover.

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is offered in LS, LT, Activ and RS trims. The Activ is the one pictured here, which has a rugged-ish look, while the RS is a little sportier. Like the Buick Encore GX with which it shares a platform, the Trailblazer is available with either a 1.2-liter turbo I3 and a continuously variable transmission, or a 1.3-liter turbo I3 with either a CVT or a nine-speed automatic. For this review, I'm focusing on the uplevel 1.3T and nine-speed combo.

The Trailblazer is larger than the Chevy Trax, but with its sub-$20,000 starting price, is actually the least expensive SUV in the company's lineup. It shares a lot of its design with its big brother, the Blazer, and to good effect. The dual-port grille and squinty headlights look great, but don't be fooled by what Chevy calls the "simulated" skid plate down below. Still, I like the sculpted hood and I am always here for a two-tone paint scheme. Personally, I think the Trailblazer looks best in RS guise.

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The Good ~ Snappy turbocharged engine ~ Excellent styling ~ Great infotainment tech

The Bad ~ Bland interior ~ Can get more expensive than most of its competitors

The Bottom Line The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a welcome entry in the segment, but many of its competitors are a better value.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 7
  • Design 7.5
  • Media 9

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