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Chevrolet Trailblazer – Brawn rules

Snapshot: The big, macho and imposing SUV from Chevy has got the Toyota Fortuner in its sights. But is it better than its established rival?

Chevrolet seems to have studied the Indian market really well. It knows Indians love their SUVs to be big, brawny and solid looking. So the carmaker has gone against the trend and decided to launch a XXL sized car instead of a soft-roader. In comes the Trailblazer. With its imposing looks, gigantic dimensions and huge cabin Chevrolet is going for the Fortuner’s jugular and hopes to take away buyers from its main rival. Well that’s the plan, atleast.

Exteriors

The huge grille with its chrome surrounds and horizontal split along the bonnet gives the Trailblazer a XXL stance. This SUV stands at around 1.9metre in height and that along with its 4.8metre length ensures that the Trailblazer looks imposing when on the road or off it. SUVs are known to have solid ground clearance and the Trailblazer does not disappoint in that department either. You get a class leading figure of 241mm. The side profile is complete with the 18-inch wheels and the raised suspension, which gives this car a muscular look. The rear end though isn’t very imposing. But overall, this is a design which will scare fellow motorists on the road every time they see it in their mirrors.

Interiors

The tall stance of the car means that you climb into the car instead of sliding into it. Chevrolet has given footboards on the outside of the car to help occupants get in as well. Once inside you will notice the nicely made cabin. Interior quality is good and there are plenty of places to keep your odds and ends. The big steering is nice to grip and the dials lit up in blue looks sporty too. The quality of materials is as good as the Toyota Fortuner. All three rows get their own AC vents. The last row is decent on space for average size adults. But taller passengers will have to move upfront. The second row of seats offers good head and shoulder room. The seats don’t slide but the back rest angle can be alerted for better comfort.



Engine, performance and gearbox   

The SUV will come with only one engine option. It’s a 2.8-litre diesel with 200bhp of power and 500Nm of torque. All this power is transmitted via a six-speed automatic gearbox. There is no 4x4 option for now.

This makes the Trailblazer the most powerful car in its class. Power delivery is phenomenal and once you get past the 1,700-1,800 mark on the rev counter torque is available in spades, propelling this 2-tonne behemoth swiftly. Keep the attack on the accelerator pedal and you will be doing illegal speeds without realising it. The Trailblazer is brisk once on the move. Overall, this is a quick SUV.

The gearbox is decent for most part and suffers from no lag. But when used in manual mode takes a scant second or so to downshift. This engine is however a tad noisy, especially when you rev it hard, the cabin can get noisy.   



Ride and handling

The big chunky tyres as well as the long wheelbase help this SUV annihilate most potholes with minimum fuss. While a lot of reviewers will complain that there is plenty of body roll around corners, we will remind you that this is a SUV not a sportscar.

The steering is light for the most part, which ensures that driving around town is a breeze. High speed manners are good too, with the car remaining stable over the worst of roads even at speeds in excess of 100kph.


Safety and features

Along with the multiple airbags and ABS available, the car also gets cruise control, projector headlamps, leather seats, a sunroof and electric adjust for the driver’s seat among other things.   

Summary

With its big personality, lots of space and a comfortable cabin along with the punchy diesel engine the Trailblazer seems to have all its bases covered when it comes to SUV lovers in India. It’s a good alternative to well established rivals and probably better than them in some key areas.

 

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