The Chevy Trailblazer started strong and has just kept going. Ever since its debut, the Trailblazer has remained one of the highest selling SUVs on the road, showing off cargo and passenger space along with an uncanny knack for smooth performance most others in its class cannot claim. The Trailblazer premiered for the 2002 model year as a midsize SUV combining the new-era luxuries larger vehicles have with a little more refinement than the "average" American SUV. Taking over for the legendary Blazer, it was initially constructed on the GM's GMT360 platform along with the GMC Envoy, Oldsmobile Bravada, and Isuzu Ascender (the longer-wheelbase EXT version was derived from the similar GTM370 platform). Power was generated from a 4.2L inline six capable of around 270 horses mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive was offered as an option. Also available at introduction was the Trailblazer EXT, which showcased seating for up to seven and a spacious cargo area. Sales were big for the model and praise came quickly, as the Trailblazer took home the North American Truck of the Year award in its first year (2002).
Several changes were implemented come 2006. The Trailblazer LT was upgraded with new accessories, such as a new front fascia, as well as with updated interior trim the SS received color-matched side skirts and special rear/front fascias designed specifically for the model. Engines were also beefed up. The base engine became capable of 291 horsepower due to the bunch of power-enhancing parts, but an optional 5.3L small-block V8 with Active Fuel Management was also offered. Three trim levels highlight the Chevy Trailblazer: LS (base), LT, and SS. LT is directed to the luxury trim, while the SS as in Chevy tradition, is thought to be the high-performing version of the vehicle. The SS comes in two separate models: the 1SS is outfitted with several of the same comforts of the LS, with the differences being a punchier V8, 20" wheels, sport-tuned suspension, revised underhood parts, and a black mesh grille. 3SS Trailblazers display all of the LT attributes with the same powertrain as the 1SS. For 2007, the EXT Trailblazer was discontinued from the lineup and more changes were on the way. The last year of the model being assembled saw GM drop the V8 engine from the lineup and instead use the 4.2 inline 6 across the Trailblazer roster, with the exception being the SS, which comes with a 6.0L V8 rated at 391 horsepower and 395 pounds-per-foot of torque.
Sales of the Chevy Trailblazer have always been impressive. Chevy sold over 100,000 units of the model during 2001 as a 2002 model, with the Trailblazer averaging approximately 237,000 units sold per year throughout its first six years. The industry hasn't been shy about praise, either. Along with being named the North American Truck of the Year, the Chevy Trailblazer has also been nominated as Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year (2002) as well as being dubbed the Most Appealing Midsize Sport Utility Vehicle by J.D. Power and Associates. For its most recent year of production, Edmunds.com said the Chevy Trailblazer has "strong engine performance, comfortable highway ride, and user-friendly controls."
The Chevy Trailblazer is one of the company's most respected members, following in the tradition of the Blazer and the innovative concepts that have emerged from generations past. Boasting an smooth yet reliable engine and a penchant for rugged style, the Chevy Trailblazer is a hot commodity for that brand of driver which craves midsize SUV sensibility without the rumbling performance that other models in its class lock onto. Fired up and ready, the Trailblazer has become a fixture of the American landscape.
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