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Facelifted Chevrolet TrailBlazer out to heat segment up


With sales of the brand new Toyota Fortuner continuing to rise and Ford set to expand its now locally assembled Everest range, General Motors has joined the fray with the unveiling of its much awaited facelifted Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

First shown in production form at the Bangkok Motor Show in August this year, the heavily revised TrailBlazer not only ushers in a radical new look, but also range expansion and inclusion of a new flagship model.

Continuing to make use of the same underpinnings as the recently refreshed Isuzu KB, the TrailBlazer now gains Chevrolet's latest corporate look with a wider logo bar, new bonnet, full width dual port grille, new headlights with daytime running LED's on high spec models, new air dam at the base of the front bumper, and new foglight design.

While still boasting seven seats which fold flat allowing for luggage capacity to swell from 205-litres to 1 830-litres, the interior has been significantly updated with a brand new dash, integrated seven-inch touchscreen MyLink infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, upgraded materials, leather upholstery across the range and better sound denting.

In addition, the range topping LTZ drops the previous app-based navigation system for a full satellite guided setup, while the base LT now adopts smartphone navigation for the first time. Models fitted with the optional six-speed automatic transmission also receive Remote Vehicle Starting allowing for the TrailBlazer to be started and the climate control set from the outside, using the buttons on the key fob.

Safety has also been stepped up with all models getting a driver's knee airbags and front and rear parking sensors as standard, while the LTZ adds Hill Decent Control, Trailer Sway Control, Rear Cross Traffic Assist, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Sport Alert and Tyre Pressure Monitor.

Underneath the skin, the electric power steering now features Active Pull Compensation that measures torque output to maintain the TrailBlazer's path of travel, and Smooth Road Shake Compensation aimed at reducing vibrations from imbalanced front wheels.

Up front, the TrailBlazer retains its predecessor's 2.5 and 2.8-litre Duramax turbodiesel engines, but with the former receiving a substantial power bumps thanks to the fitment of a new variable geometry turbocharger. Available only when paired to the new six-speed auto, the unit makes 132 kW and 440 N.m of torque, while the manual option remains unchanged at 120 kW and 380 N.m.

As before, the 2.5 is solely offered in LT trim with drive going rear wheels and fuel consumption being rated at 7.6 L/100 km for the manual, and 8.6 L/100 km for the automatic. Top speed is limited to 180 km/h with the manual reaching 100 km/h from standstill in 11.8 secs, and the automatic in 11.0 secs. Emissions are rated at 198 g/km and 226 g/km respectively.

Completing the range, the flagship LTZ again makes sole of the 2.8-litre Duramax, but with the deletion of the manual four-wheel drive in favour of the new Z71. Based on the standard 2.8 auto, the Z71, which in the States denotes a model with off-road prowess in mind, mainly adds a set of gloss black 18-inch alloy wheels, black door handles and mirrors, and unique Z71 decals.

Power however remains unchanged at 144 kW and 500 N.m of torque, with a choice of two-or-four-wheel drive being the only option. Chevrolet claims a 0-100 km/h sprint of 10.4 secs for both a limited top speed of 180 km/h, with fuel consumption being rated a 9.5 L/100 km and emissions at 249 g/km.

A five-year / 120 000 km warranty and five year / 90 000 km service plan is standard across the range.



TrailBlazer 2.5 Duramax LT 120 kW / 380 N.m R464 000
TrailBlazer 2.5 Duramax LT AT 132 kW / 440 N.m R481 800
TrailBlazer 2.8 Duramax LTZ AT 144 kW / 500 N.m R552 800
TrailBlazer 2.8 Duramax LTZ 4x4 AT 144 kW / 500 N.m R613 200
TrailBlazer 2.8 Duramax Z71 4x4 AT 144 kW / 500 N.m R623 200

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