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Motoring

Blazing a New Trail

With the new Traiblazer, Chevrolet holds the ace in this class, by adding a slew of upgraded design elements and technological amenities. By Gavin Nazareth

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It’s a beast of a machine, confidently straddling the road, while also giving the driver a distinctive height advantage. Its athletic stance looks ready to tackle any terrain, yet offering the passengers comfort, style and safety. Launched in the first quarter of this year, the 2015 Chevrolet Trailblazer, which checks in at an impressive 4.8m by 1.9m, with a height of 1.8 metres, has upgraded design elements and technological amenities added to an already successful package; it has retained the proven powertrain, the roomy seven-seater interior, and the multi-functionality. With the upgraded model and a new tagline, ‘Inspiration to Go Beyond’, the company hopes to take the vehicle beyond its traditional positioning to a more urban target audience who will be inspired by the driving dynamics and refinement to go beyond their usual destinations.

On the exterior, the Trailblazer’s muscular lines have been softened slightly by smooth aerodynamic lines that arise at the chromeaccented ‘dual-port grille’, flow over the high belt-line, travelling all the way to the LED brake lights at the back. A new body colour, ‘Satin Steel Gray’ has been added and the LED tail lamps are now standard on the LTZ and LTZ1 variants. Other features include new front and rear bumpers, LED projector headlamps, LED fog lamps and daytime running lamps resulting in a more muscular and sportier profile. The rear hatch is now equipped with a rear-view camera that is activated when you shift into reverse. On the on-board touch-screen color display, the area behind the vehicle is shown up with dynamic guidelines that illustrate the vehicle’s potential coverage area and the projected coverage area changes its orientation according to steering inputs.

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Chevrolet Trailblazer LT 2.8L 2WD Engine: Commonrail variable-turbo direct injection with intercooler system DOHC, 16-valve, in-line, liquid-cooled/ Electronically controlled injector pumps Horsepower: 200 horsepower Torque: 500 (50.9) Nm@2000 rpm Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic Suspension: Front - Independent, double wishbone with gas shock absorbers/Rear - 5-link coil spring rear suspension Tires: 265/60 R18

What’s Inside Inside, its longer wheelbase gives it an edge over its competitors cocooning occupants in a capacious plush interior that has been designed for absolute comfort. The cabin is also quieter now compared to the previous model due to enhanced soundproofing created with additional insulation in the bulkhead. Seating is in new Brownstone colour premium-grade leather, which offers the seven passengers including the driver, an upscale tactile feel. The last two seats fold flat to give you an impressive 1,830 litres of cargo space. Up in front the ‘Piano Black’ centre console houses a 7-inch touchscreen, which acts as a hub for Chevrolet’s awardwinning MyLink infotainment system. The top-line variant is equipped with six speakers, a touch-screen and built-in satellite navigation. The system can also display album art, videos, pictures, DVD playback, smartphone connectivity, and streaming audio. Once connected, options such as audio, pictures and movies, telephone, smartphone link and settings are projected onto the Trailblazer’s touch screen. Users can access personal playlists and make hands-free voice calls, amongst other functions. Steering wheel-mounted controls allow you to operate cruise control, adjust your music issue voice commands, and take phone calls all with the tap of a button.

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Driver information includes an Eco Index display that provides real-time feedback about fuel efficiency and a statistics page showing average fuel consumption over the last 50 km. Based on throttle inputs, a leaf is shown when the driver drives economically. A proven second-generation Duramax four-cylinder turbo diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox featuring electronic shift control powers the 2015 Trailblazer greatly improving its acceleration, and towing and payload capacity.


Safety & Handling Safety-wise, the new Trailblazer offers new pre-tensioners for lap-belts and two airbags in front, in addition to other features including Traction Control System (TCS), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and Panic Brake Assist (PBA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), and Hill Start Assist (HAS). It’s also the newest in braking technology and is fitted with disc brakes on all four wheels for quick, safe stops, and for exceptional control when regulating speed. On steep slopes, the Hill Descent Control (HDC) ensures that the engine and brakes work together automatically to optimise the speed of the vehicle, making descents smooth and safe. While Hill Start Assist (HSA) prevents the car from free-rolling when stopped or parked on a slope. This function is automatically activated when the brake is manually released, holding the car in place until the throttle is engaged. The Trailblazer has lower running costs, which according to thecompany is why service intervals are pegged at every 15,000 km, as opposed to the standard 10,000 km of other models.

The Verdict

While the 2.8L variant pumps out 147 kW (200 hp) of power at 3600 rpm and 500 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm, the 2.5L variant is 120 kW (163 hp) at 3600 rpm and 380 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. Four coil springs and a five links rear suspension system eliminate the bouncy and choppy ride character typical of conventional vehicles in the same class. A coil spring setup also provides greater suspension articulation in off-road conditions, and makes it more comfortable on bumpy roads.

With its class-leading diesel engine that offers power as well as performance, fuel efficiency, and other refinements, Chevrolet offers a great mid-size SUV that will continue to dominate its class. In the city it performed well, the suspension nicely cushioning the more pot-holed inner sois. Turning around tight corners posed a small problem given the vehicle’s big dimensions, but what I think is, its best suited to long road trips, especially Bangkok to Chiang Mai or further north.

Chevrolet Sales (Thailand) Limited Rasa Tower 1 Level 21 555 Phahon Yothin Rd, Jatujak Tel: 02-791-3400 Suggested Sales Price: Starting at B1,129,000 en.chevrolet.co.th

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Blazing A New Trail  

Auto review of the Chevrolet Trailblazer for Masala magazine

Blazing A New Trail  

Auto review of the Chevrolet Trailblazer for Masala magazine

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