If you are frustrated of paying a premium and then crawl inside cocoons which can not do much other than just pose for the camera, ask Chevy for a solution. They have something which can make you break your average sized parking lot and also teach you a great level of patience while dealing with city traffic. Saving the drama for the rest of the experience and cue heavy rock music, ladies and gentlemen, presenting the Chevrolet Trailblazer.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer arrived in India last year to sit at the top of the range and also to bid farewell to the once flagship SUV, the Captiva. Positioned at the segment which has always seen the dominance of the Toyota Fortuner, the Trailblazer has enough muscle to not just make its way into the ring with the other big boys but also stand tall amongst them, is what the brand thinks. Does it get our nod too? Team PF elaborates.
Muscle…muscle and more muscle
The Chevrolet Trailblazer has a very traditional old-school design which can be seen with the set of straights and squares. It might not appeal to the ones looking for a more curvy design with intricate detailing. But saying that, you cannot possibly ignore the enormous street appeal this mammoth SUV exudes.
If you see one charging towards you, there are no two views about you getting scared of it and a lot. The large..very large..radiator grille with Chevy’s bowtie arrangement dominates the front. The headlight design has been shared closely with the original concept displayed in 2011 and gets projectors headlights and foglamps. The bumper sits at a great height from the ground and gets a rugged bash plate underneath to take care of your careless off-road driving habits.
The side gets a large greenhouse area with curvy lines around the window panels. There aren’t any redundant lines craving for attention and at the same time there is enough muscle to give the side profile a sense of strength. The Chevrolet Trailblazer gets a class rivalling ground clearance at 253mm which is way above the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner and also the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. It runs on 265/60 R18 wheels smeared with Bridgestone Dueler H/T tyres which do a great job on hard surfaces.
The main highlight of the rear are the LED lights as the rest of the arrangement looks simple and minimalistic. It gets a compact windscreen spread across the blackened D-pillars which gives the a roof a floating-like design. There is a slight dash of chrome above the licence plate area. The slot to lift the huge tail-gate is placed on the lower area which at times is cumbersome to operate. And finally, there is a stubby exhaust pipe jetting out underneath the bumper.
While the high ground clearance might read nice for the ones who plan to take the Chevrolet Trailblazer on surfaces away from the normal terrain, getting inside the tall cabin is definitely a task, especially for shorter people. The side step is not an only-show accessory but a useful medium to step inside the cabin. Once inside, you will realise that you have entered the first floor and there is abundance of space, a completely alien concept for Mumbaikars.
The driver’s seat comes with electrically adjustable settings and gives a great overview of the front. The higher placed hood does tend to hinder the view but nonetheless the position feels very commanding. Similar is the case with the front passenger seat as well. The middle row seat can accommodate three average sized adults. The headroom and legroom is perfect for passengers of all size and proportions. Even the last row seat, which is normally an excuse and can only hold suitcases, is extremely spacious and feels more than that of the Ford Endeavour. It also gets its own armrest and cup holders on the side.
Chevrolet offers the Trailblazer in India in only one variant and thus is offered with every feature that comes in the international-spec variant. It gets a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Chevy’s MyLink software. The connectivity options include Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in along with video playback. The main feature that the Chevy Trailblazer misses on is navigation, something which even the sub-Rs 3 lakh Renault Kwid also offers.
In terms of feel, the dual-cockpit design of the Trailblazer’s cabin is decent but since it is a four year old SUV, the design demands a strong makeover which we believe will happen with the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer. As mentioned above, space is the highlight of the cabin followed by its features. The Trailblazer also gets ESC and cornering brake control, ABS with EBD, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, traction control as well as driver and passenger airbags.
Can it climb skyscrapers?
This muscular beast is powered by a 2.8-litre diesel motor that makes a generous 200PS of power at 3,600 rpm and produces 500Nm of torque at 2,000rpm. Paired to his motor is a 6-speed automatic transmission. Everything about the Trailblazer looks great on paper except for the fact that Chevy offers the Trailblazer in a rear-wheel drive configuration and not an all-wheel drive form. But there is a reason behind it. The 2WD made the pricing of the Chevrolet Trailblazer lucrative enough to be brought to India via the CBU route
Get the motor boiling and give the throttle a gentle push, the vehicle tilts a bit giving an essence of what’s strapped under the tall hood. Put it in the D-mode, and the tall structure begins to move. In the beginning, you would be gentle with it and so was I as its Hulky dimensions have the potential of destroying a small neighbourhood. However, the motor feels extremely tamed. The power delivery has been arranged in such a way that the motor stretches freely on the highways and not inside the city where driving the Trailblazer can feel cumbersome
And that is what we did with the over 2-tonne Chevy. Searched for the farthest place and just drove down there. The motor is in its element post the 2,000rpm mark, similar to typical diesel motors however what is not so typical is the huge torque that this motor throws out that too at a meagre 2,000 mark. The automatic gearbox does a good job in the auto mode, however in the manual mode, it lacks the precision and crispness of its rivals
Fast driving is not the forte of the Chevy Trailblazer, going on terrains that haven’t been frequented by others is. It has a segment crushing high ground clearance of 253mm with massive tyres and long travel suspension to take care of your adventurous driving style. The suspensions do a great job of swallowing undulations, like a boss. The only bit which was discomforting was the rear section which appeared to jump over even the slightest of bumps.
Should it enter your garage?
So let us do a quick recap of what all the Chevrolet Trailblazer is all about. Yes, it surely looks as if it hit the gym and came out with a vengeance. The commanding presence it has on the streets is simply fantastic. I am going to overlook its dated bits for its old school bully-boy looks. Inside, the feature list might not be as filling as its other American rival but hey, SUVs are meant to get the job done and one cannot sit dwindling his thumb playing around itsy-bitsy buttons. Fine, it might sound too exaggerated but still, the space that the Chevrolet Trailblazer offers is humongous especially with the fact the Trailblazer is even bigger than the already beast of a Toyota Fortuner
As far as the motor is concerned, the 2.8-litre motor produces decent level of performance. The higher ground clearance and the massive tyres make you lose your sanity for sure, but the grounded ride quality takes care of all that. The only area where it loses points is that Chevrolet offers it in only 2WD.
But then forget all of that if you want to be seen in a powerhouse of a machine and stand tall among your peers in style.
Related information on the Chevrolet Trailblazer