Chevrolet TrailBlazer Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.20/5 Average
1,336 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Introduced for 2002 and produced through 2009, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer was one of the most popular midsize SUVs in America. Qualities like a smooth ride, a roomy cabin, plentiful features and an inexpensive price made it a hit with consumers early in the model cycle. But fleet operators picked up much of the slack in the later years as consumers went with more refined crossover rivals. Based on our testing experience, the TrailBlazer left much to be desired as a midsize SUV.

Although modern luxury features such as navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment were available, this SUV's handling dynamics were more state-of-the-past than state-of-the-art. The standard Chevy TrailBlazer's unresponsive suspension and imprecise steering wouldn't inspire confidence on back road detours or during quick transitions on the expressway. In past years, traditional body-on-frame SUVs like the TrailBlazer weren't expected to handle well in these situations. But times changed and virtually all of the Chevy's rivals offered superior road manners. Another major drawback was the TrailBlazer's cabin design. It looked out of date soon after its debut, and the quality of the materials and construction was always suspect.

From a performance standpoint, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS was an interesting choice, as it addressed the SUV's handling woes via substantial tuning to the chassis and steering. The SS also provided rip-roaring performance, courtesy of a 6.0-liter V8. But in the grand scheme of things, the SS was a niche vehicle. For a workaday midsize SUV, other truck-based competitors would serve you better than the standard Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

Most Recent Chevrolet TrailBlazer

As a unique model, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer debuted for 2002, though the name "TrailBlazer" was actually in use previously as an upscale trim level for the regular four-door Blazer SUV. After the TrailBlazer's debut, Chevy slowly phased out the Blazer and let the TrailBlazer become its main truck-based midsize SUV. There was also an extended-wheelbase version called the TrailBlazer EXT that offered seven-passenger seating and class-leading cargo room. At the time, the 4.2-liter inline-6 made 270 horsepower.

There were other changes over the years. The big news for 2003 was a special North Face Edition trim package and the availability of a 290-hp 5.3-liter V8 in the extended TrailBlazer EXT, while the next couple of years saw a host of evolutionary improvements like increased availability of the V8, power-adjustable pedals, restyled seating, side curtain airbags, DVD-based navigation, CD/MP3 audio and satellite radio.

The hotter, performance-oriented Chevy TrailBlazer SS packing a 391-hp 6.0-liter V8 debuted in 2006. This was also the year that the 5.3-liter V8 became available for non-EXT models and the inline-6 engine's output rose to 291 hp. The TrailBlazer EXT was dropped for '07. The 5.3-liter V8 was likewise history for 2009 and the TrailBlazer itself was gone for 2010.

Throughout most of the TrailBlazer's model run, there were three main trim levels: base LS, luxury-themed LT and high-performance SS. The LS came decently equipped, while the LT provided access to some higher-level features such as leather seating. Chevrolet offered two different packages for the SS model. The basic TrailBlazer SS (1SS) was equipped similarly to the LS but featured a powerful V8, a sport-tuned chassis, 20-inch wheels and a monochromatic exterior with black mesh grille. The uplevel version of the TrailBlazer SS (3SS) added all the LT's amenities. Apart from a white-faced tachometer and "SS" monograms on the seats, there was nothing special about the SS interior.

Although a four-speed automatic transmission was standard across the board, there was a choice of two- or four-wheel drive (4WD) except in the SS, which could have either two- or all-wheel drive.

Behind the wheel, we found that the Chevrolet TrailBlazer's suspension was a mixed bag -- its soft tuning resulted in a soft, comfortable ride around town and on the highway. But push it hard into a corner or hit the rough stuff too fast and the TrailBlazer's overly compliant setup would get out of sorts quickly. Most buyers would likely find the inline-6 engine adequate, though it's definitely lacking in low-end torque compared to some rivals' V6 offerings. Our test of the TrailBlazer SS revealed an altogether different beast that felt more like a muscle car than an SUV. It ripped to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds – or about as quick as a Dodge Charger R/T. Better yet, the SS model's modified chassis was capable of handling all that power. When pushed through twists and turns, the SS's body motions were well controlled and its steering feel was excellent.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 1,336.00
  • Great rig - 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
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    We’ve had very few issues with our Trailblazer. We bought it new, it’s now pushing 140,000 miles and it’s my wife’s car. It has met our need wonderfully and has never let us down. It pulled our trailer all over and other than a bit lacking in power in the mountains, it is just a 6 cyl., it performed flawlessly. It’s ability to navigate off road and in bad weather is second to none. It is the go to rig in the snow, better than my 4x4 pickup. I would buy another in a second.

  • Love it! - 2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    This SUV was passed down from my grandmother to my uncle and now to me. 2003, 146,000 miles and every thing works like new! I’m an going to ride it until the wheels fall off then I am going to look into the new Chevy Blazer!

  • 03 trailblazer good car - 2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

  • Its an truck with a vette guts - 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    A truck with vette guts. Awesome performance you must get the awd 3ss to really see why this truck is a eye catcher!! Really wish it came with dual exhaust system and a wheel bolt pattern that you can get rims for its so hard to get a set to match up. I love this sport truck and Im the second owner no major issues except the air suspension.To all tbss owners you may need to convert air suspension to a shock and spring deal way easier ! Vette truck ss.

  • Interior - 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    No Good! Material is cheap. All four inside door open/close lever covers are cheap brittle plastic and fell off or out and had to be replaced!

  • 2008 Trailblazer - 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    We bought it new, I now have 160,000 miles on it and are heading for Arizona tomorrow. No problems whatsoever. New bat., new tires, new alt., thats it. I have a 18 camper and traveled around the USA. handled great, could use a little more power, but did nicely in the mountains. I have a 4500 lb. boat and we go to Lake Superior, approximately 350 miles, and it handled the job nicely.

  • Solid Engine, Good value vehicle - 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
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    My parents bought a 2006 4WD LS Trailblazer from a used car lot in 2007/2008 with about 20K-30K miles on it. We have since owned the vehicle since 2010. This SUV was the first one Ive ever owned. It took a little getting used to the low gas mileage, but living in Pennsylvania with sometimes heavy snow and icy conditions, it was great having a vehicle with 4WD and good ground clearance. This vehicle will hit 200,000 miles within the next month and I hope to keep the vehicle for at least another 20K miles (unless some costly major repair is needed). The vehicle is on its 3rd or 4th set of tires, I replaced the engine belt at 187K miles, Ive replaced the front struts, all 4 rotors recently, and the belt tensioner twice ($15 part). The O2 sensor has been replaced once and I am online now ordering a thermostat for the engine (and a rear tail-light, my wife backed into a car yesterday while out shopping). The Inline 6 engine is highly rated and Ive never had any issue with it. The rear struts need to be replaced, but it still passes state inspection and each time the mechanics mention how great of condition this vehicle is in. My only complaints with this vehicle are that the interior is cheap looking on our LS model. The dash is cheap feeling hard plastic and the rear speakers have been out for over a year. Overall I love this vehicle and would consider buying another even though they are pretty old. There is a fantastic website forum called with tons of discussions for any problem you could have with this vehicle and helpful tips on DIY fixes, or advice on paying for repairs.

  • Awesome Vehicle that saved my life - 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    Had I been driving my Pontiac I would be dead. The accident was really bad and is costing a lot to fix my trail blazer, but I would now and will always trust my Chevy SUV.

  • Worst vehicle ever - 2005 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    I purchased this vehicle from my father (the original owner) in about 2011. My father bought it new in 2005 for about $35,000. He went to trade it in, in 2011 but was only offered $4,000. That alone is absolute crap return on investment. There was only 115,000 miles. That means it had a $31,000 loss in 6 years. Ive owned it from my father, and it has been an absolute nightmare. Everything and anything keeps going wrong. In the last few years, I have replaced the brake pads 3 times, rotors 3 times, exhaust manifold, head light assembly 2 times, secondary air intake pump, hub assembly, e-vap system, radiator, power steering pump, rack and pinion, wire shorts in the stereo, and other general up keep. I have only owned this vehicle for about 4 years, and it sat in my garage for the last 10 months because I cant afford to keep fixing it. I was speaking to my father who was salesman for Chevrolet and he also agreed that he will never own another Chevrolet product after owning this hunk of junk. The gas mileage on this vehicle is atrocious, I cant get more than 275 miles per tank of gas. Also, since Ive owned this vehicle Ive only put on about 30,000 miles in 4 years because of the constant cost for up keep. I would never recommend this vehicle or any other GM product to anyone. The only good thing that this vehicle has done for me, is it has allowed me to find tons of how to fix videos and become more handy on fixing my own vehicle. Ive spent somewhere in the neighborhood of about $5,000 on fixes in the last 4 years. Please look at other vehicle, I cant say enough bad stuff about this product.

  • My heavy chevy - 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    By -

    I have had this truck since 07. I bought it for myself as a birthday gift. It sits at 198,000 miles and it runs like I just drove it off the lot. I keep up the necessary maintanace on it. I have been threw a few battiers, much to my own fault for having my system hooked up to it. A fuel tank sensor (recalled so I got my money back), tires, water pump two times, an altanator, rear hatch shocks, and some front end stuff (struts, control arms, bearings, etc. ) I love this truck and I wouldnt trade it for anything else. Im not looking forward to the day I have to replace it...

Chevrolet TrailBlazer Reviews By Year:
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