South Africans continue to show their love for SUVs in the aggressively contested market. Toyota Fortuner is currently dominating the sales chats with over 8000 units sold last year alone, but Chevrolet is set to disrupt the market with the latest Trailblazer range.
We put the new Trailblazer Z71 4X4 automatic to test as part of our Durban Tourism feature, by driving all the way from Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal. The journey was painless with all the comfort and convenience features expected from a luxury SUV including no fewer than five points for charging devices and eight cup holders.
Inland from the beautiful beaches of Durban to the scenic KwaZulu-Natal Midlands where the picturesque Valley of a Thousand Hills lies, the Trailblazer proved to be a tough and seriously stylish SUV built for those who dare to be bold. It comes equipped with many innovative technologies, advanced active safety features, improved noise, vibration and harshness, as well as improved ride and handling, designed to keep you on track, wherever your passions take you.
The Trailblazer was designed with safety in mind. It comes packed with radar sensors around the vehicle for protection, front and rear park assist, tyre pressure deflation detection and 7 airbags. The LED-lit symbols on both exterior mirrors alert you when another vehicle ventures into one of your blind spot zones. Using a high-resolution camera to scan for vehicles ahead, this available feature alerts you to a potential crash risk with both audible and visual alerts.
The lane departure warning alerts you when the vehicle unintentionally strays from the current lane without direct steering input and the indicator being used. The rear-cross traffic alert uses radar sensors to warn you of objects crossing your path as you back out of a parking lot. Visual and audible alerts are also triggered if moving vehicles are detected.
I was very impressed with the inviting interior that features leather seats with accent stitching, a fresh new centre stack and an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. The second and third row folds flat, offering an ideal combination of space distribution, adaptability and comfort.
What I found cool was the remote start with a simple push of a button on your key fob. When the car starts remotely, the doors remain locked and climate controls activate to their previous setting.
The 7-inch colour touch-screen display allows you to handle calls, play music and access contacts from your compatible smart device.
The new Chevrolet Trailblazer echoes the styling cues that distinguish Chevrolet from everything else on the road – from its signature dual-port bold grille to a refreshed front and bold new headlamp, as well as iconic hood design. The car has an unmistakable presence that intrigues from every angle. The new LED headlamp design anchors safety and attention with sleek contours that complement its tough muscular frame.
I can boldly say that we dominated the N3 with fluid and responsive power with the 2.8L diesel engine that delivers 144 kW of power, 500 Nm of torque. The 6-speed automatic transmission of the Trailblazer is very smooth and the electric power steering played the part by allowing us to manoeuvre with less effort.
- Power: 144kW at 3600rpm
- Torque: 500Nm at 2000
- Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.4 seconds
- Top speed: 180km/h
- Fuel consumption: 9.5/100km
- Fuel type: Diesel
- Fuel tank capacity: 76L
- Price: From R464 000
What we like
- Perfect family car for any road trip
- Comfort and convenience features
- Many innovative technologies
- Advanced active safety features
- Improved noise level
- Excellent ride quality
- Great interior space
- Great ground clearance
- Great head and leg rooms
- High driving position
What we don’t like
The Chevrolet Trailblazer is a very attractive proposition in the segment. The recent upgrade reaffirms its great value with more surprise and delight features than its rivals. It is well suited to both the urban commute as well as long cross country adventures. It has all the comfort and convenience features expected from a luxury SUV.