One of the most successful vehicles of any type on the South African scene has been the Toyota Fortuner, which at times has outsold sedans. Clearly, we have developed an enduring love affair with midsize SUVs based on an LCV platform.
Chevrolet’s Trailblazer is the latest of the breed, having been launched in October 2012. It’s something of a departure for the company locally, which until the advent of the Trailblazer hadn’t made the same SUV headway as on its US home market. In what’s become a hugely competitive medium SUV playground, GM is playing up the value-for-money aspects of its new vehicle. The results are being seen in some promising sales figures.
First off, the Trailblazer casts a bold, imposing shadow – so in sheer size it matches its maker’s claims of offering a lot for the money. The appearance is reinforced from the commanding driving position.
In terms of space, the ‘blazer scores again. Up to seven seats are available, the third row tipping into the floor when not needed.
Dynamically, we’re not so sure, at least as far as the 2,5 is concerned. It’s not the most refined of powertrains and doesn’t encourage vigorous driving. On the plus side, the comfortable ride, fuel-efficient engine and vast interior are just the kind of attributes you’d want in a station wagon that can be driven on poor road surfaces and where high ground clearance is necessary.
We’d also tend to agree with GM on the value equation when it comes to convenience and luxury features, with a generous array – from air-con to multi-function steering wheel – across the range. Perhaps most notably, given the vehicle’s likely use as family transport, are the inclusion of ABS with EBD and BAS, and four airbags.
Drivetrain: Rear, 5M
Engine: 2,5 turbodiesel
Power: 110 kW
Torque: 350 N.m
Price: R 371 300