Chevrolet South Africa has announced a few updates for its Trailblazer large family SUV range, including new powertrain models and a new infotainment system. Trailblazer is part of the segment of cars that compete against the likes of Ford Everest and Toyota Fortuner. It is not a best-seller in its segment of the market, but Chevrolet is working at rectifying this.


Starting with the two powertrains, buyers can get themselves either into an uprated 2.5-litre or a 2.8-litre. Both are turbo diesel and can be combined with either a 6-speed manual or automatic, depending on the trim level. Speaking of such, you get either an LT or an LTZ.


The 2.5-litre is good for two power outputs, depending on the model one chooses. At base level we get 120kW of power and 380Nm of torque with a 6-speed manual, related to a claimed 0 – 100km/h time of 11.8 seconds and an average fuel consumption of 7.6 litres per 100km from the 76 litre fuel tank. Slightly up the ranks is the uprated version with a VGT – Variable Geometry Turbo – that takes things to 132kW and 440Nm, matched to a 0 – 100km/h time of 11 seconds and an average fuel figure of 8.6L/100km.


Top of the pile is the proven 2.8 litre Duramax Turbo-diesel (VGT) that gives up a healthy 144kW and class-leading torque of 500Nm. Chevrolet reckons it will go from standstill to 100km/h in 10.4 seconds, reaching a top speed of 180km/h. Average fuel consumption is said to be 9.5L/100km and you can have the models attached to this engine with either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox.


I got to drive the Z71 model which is based on the LTZ 4×4 version with 6-speed automatic. The Z71 brand may be unfamiliar to most South Africans but it basically pays homage to Chevrolet’s Z or “Zee” car performance heritage. Homage only by the way, because this is by no means a Z car, nor is it a performance SUV at all. Regardless, it looks really sweet with the blacked out wheels, door handles and mirrors, as well as the black decal treatment, including the “racing stripes”.


The interior is more comfortable, with full leather seats and fittings. I did struggle to find a comfortable seating position initially, due to the lack of telescopic steering wheel adjustment. But eventually I was able to settle in nicely. The steering wheel itself is multifunction which is useful for when one is too busy to fidget with the MyLink directly. The Trailblazer is highly spacious of course, with three rows of seats that allow up to 1 830 litre of luggage space when both second and third rows are folded flat.


Probably the most exciting new feature is the second-generation of the MyLink infotainment system which comes with a 17.8cm touch screen. I was able to connect the system to my Huawei P9 smart phone easily and played with the Bluetooth as well as Google Maps function with ease. Normal applications are still present, including the radio and USB connection.


“The new Trailblazer brings together superior levels of refinement, styling, comfort and technology with class-leading performance and drivability to meet the versatile needs of increasingly discerning customers,” says Brian Olson, vice president vehicles sales, service and marketing General Motors Sub-Saharan Africa.


Chevrolet Trailblazer Prices

Trailblazer 2.5D LT 4×2 manual (R464 000)

Trailblazer 2.5D LT 4×2 automatic (R481 800)

Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4×2 automatic (R552 800)

Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4×4 automatic (R613 200)

Trailblazer 2.8D LTZ 4×4 automatic (R623 200)

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