Review of the Chevrolet Trailblazer
A new launch from Chevrolet is coming to India this Diwali. After some not so memorable car launches like the Sail sedan and hatchback and Enjoy, this new launch is going to be a full size SUV. A power packed move by Chevrolet to finally make its mark in the Indian Automobile .
Chevrolet has had successful models such as the Spark, Beat, Optra and Cruze in the small car and sedan segment but nothing in the fiercly competitive premium SUV segment. And the Trailblazer, as the name suggests, plans to create its own trail.
Chevrolet last had an all new launch in 2013 when the Enjoy was launched an since then there has not been a completely new car coming in from Chevrolet. So the expectations are quite high. Also, when a car that will compete against the people favorites such as the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour, we are likely to sit up and take notice.
So how does the Trailblazer stack up against the veterans … lets take a look :
Looks and Design
First things first… Chevrolet will be bringing this car to India through the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route after which it will be assembled at the GM facility in Halol, Gujarat.
Looks wise the Chevrolet is big…. Yes, even bigger than the Toyota Fortuner and that’s saying something. The Fortuner itself is huge and bigger than that is the Trailblazer. The car is longer than 4.8 meter and more than 1.9 meters in height. The car looks bigger thanks to the stance and the tyres which are 265/60 R18 tyres. There is also a good gap between the wheel arches and and the tyres. The design is also good.. commanding awe and respect. However, the use of chrome is minimal.
We feel there could have been more chrome bits added to the design.The front grille is split in two and adds to the imposing stance. However, comparing to the Fortuner, this car has more rough and tough look rather than the sleek and premium finish that Toyota has given to the Fortuner inspite of the size.
The cabin requires you to jump in if you are of a normal height. Seriously. The seats are well positioned and well cushioned. Comfortable and large. The center console has a high glossy finish with blue backlight dials. There is a seven inch touchscreen which is easy to use. The car also get projector headlights, cruise control, powered mirrors, and electric adjust to the driver’s seat.
Colors used in the interiors are beige and black with good fit and finish, nothing exceptional. It is similar to the Cruze, though I was expecting more refinement, considering the price bracket this SUV is placed in.
Storage space in the cabin is good but what is woefully less is the boot space. If the third row is being used than placing more than 1-2 bags would become difficult, that too medium sized bags only.
Engine, Performance and Ride Quality
The car is fitted with a massive 2.8 litre , 4 cylinder Duramax diesel engine. Power delivered is fantastic with 197 bhp at 3600 rpm and the torque is 50.99 kgm at 2000 rpm Both class leading numbers. The SUV’s kerb weight is 2068 kgs.
The engine has double overhead camshafts to work the 16 valves and also has a water cooled, geometry turbocharger and common rail injection which operates at a high pressure. The six speed automatic gearbox is light and is tuned nicely with the engine to give maximum output . The engine lacks power at the top end beyong 4000 rpm, but the bottom end and mid range are good to go .
The hydraulic power steering, anti locking brakes and suspension is good too. Dual airbags are a part of the package.
The car would be a monolith to drive in everyday city traffic bit on highways and with the large turning circle, difficult to negotiate narrow roads.
Coming to its off roading capabilities, the car is no serious off-roader. The suspension is a combination of double wishbones up front and a five link set up at the rear with coil springs at all the four corners. Off roading at slow speeds is ok but if you catch up on the speed you are bound to have a jumpy ride , especially in the back seats. The trailblazer is only available in 4x2 initially. However, I doubt Indian buyers are looking for true blue off roaders.
Overall the car is good – looks wise, engine wise and performance wise. But nothing trailblazing for sure. The car will be priced around Rs. 29 lacs , the high pricing thanks to the CKD route. The car will have to compete hard to rake up numbers against the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour which have performed consistently well since ages.
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