For some reason everyone is suddenly releasing updates to their seven-seater family SUV models. Recently Toyota announced it was updating its Fortuner just a few months after the latest generation was launched. At the time we suggested that it might be because Ford is about to start building cheaper versions of its Everest in SA. Well if Toyota was worried then so is Chevrolet, because it has now released a significantly revised Trailblazer.
It could not have come too soon either. The Trailblazer was dated almost the minute it was launched, at least in terms of the plasticky interior. The new version gets a whole new look externally, which sees the Trailblazer raise its game. The extensively revised dashboard and new touch screen infotainment system allow it to chase its key rivals just a little harder.
Available immediately, the 2017 range now comprises five manual and automatic versions of the rear-wheel-drive 2.5-litre LT, rear and four-wheel-drive auto and manual versions of the 2.8-litre LTZ and a new flagship in the shape of the Z71, which is based on the LTZ 4×4. Pricing ranges from R464 000 to R623 200 for the Z71.
“The new Trailblazer brings together superior levels of refinement, styling, comfort and technology with class-leading performance and drivability to meet the versatile needs of increasingly discerning customers,” says Brian Olson, vice-president vehicles sales, service and marketing General Motors sub-Saharan Africa.
Major changes include a much bolder nose with new bonnet and headlights and redesigned lower valance.
Daytime running lights are now also standard fare and are LED items on the LTZ model. The LTZ Z71 gets black wheels, door handles and mirrors.
The 2.5 Duramax engine in the LT has been upgraded and provides 132kW and 440Nm. LTZ models get new driver aids such as lane departure warning and blind spot alert. There are also some new terms to the market including Active Pull Compensation, which constantly measures steering wheel torque being applied by the driver to maintain the vehicle’s path.
The new dashboard is not dissimilar to that in the Everest. It looks to be a major improvement. The new generation MyLink 2.0 multimedia interface is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The company says it has cut noise levels, vibration and harshness down by more than half.
Another unique feature available on LTZ models is Remote Vehicle Start which allows the vehicle to be started from outside using the buttons on the key fob. This functionality allows for additional driver and passenger comfort by activating the climate control system and rear demister. In this mode, the vehicle remains locked and cannot be driven until the key is inserted into the ignition slot.
The updates certainly give the new Trailblazer more appeal, and we are looking forward to seeing if the company has done enough to match its competitors with its latest family offering.