Trailblazer finds its way
When you think about it, it’s rather surprising utebased SUVs don’t sell better than they do.
They offer basically all the adventurous perks of their dual-cab donors, while adding a more comfortable suspension and the convenience of a big boot and/or extra row of seats.
Given more and more families are going for utes, you’d think the above package would appeal to many. And yet, ute-based SUVs are nowhere near dual-cab sales. Take the Trailblazer, which has 1301 sales to its name so far this year, compared with its Colorado cousin’s 9696.
After a week in the entry-level LT, we think the Trailblazer deserves a bit more love.
The 2.8-litre diesel works well with the transmission and nearly all of the ample torque seems to be available from low in the rev range.
However, it doesn’t escape its commercial origins. The engine is still noisy and there is ample vibration at idle, while the steering wheel’s reach can't be adjusted.
Others in the segment may do a better job of being refined but you’ll pay more than the LT's $47,990 entry point.
And you get a decent amount of gear for the money: Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, seven-inch infotainment screen and automatic headlights are all present.
Unfortunately the LT misses out on the higher grade’s safety tech. The interior is also pretty standard entry-level fare – hard plastics, cloth seats – but the big, robust switchgear suits the vehicle and the materials will be hardy to withstand the abuse dished out to it.
And rugged, outdoors fun is why you'd go for Trailblazer in the first place.
The engine’s 500Nm is among the most torque on offer – especially in this price range – meaning it can tow 3000kg and also has trailer sway control.
You also get a lot of cabin space, with even adults able to use the third row where there are air vents, storage options and cup holders.
With seats six and seven stowed, you can fit 554 litres of cargo up to the belt-line, or 878 litres to the roof, though the cargo bay floor is quite high.
There’s an easy dial to switch from 2H to 4L, though there is no diff lock as in some competitors.
Verdict: The Trailblazer LT offers a lot of space and capability in a pretty affordable and comfortable package.