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Chevrolet Trailblazer 2005: The Weekly Driver Review - Articles Surfing
With the addition of the 5.3-liter, 325-horsepower V8 extended cab(EXT), eight Chevrolet Trailblazer models are on the road in 2005.And as the largest and most powerful Blazer available, the new EXThas plenty to offer.
It's comfortable and provides a confident drive. It offers vast cargospace, has an attractive two-tone interior, a well-designed consoleand boasts of plenty of impressive option packages.
But sometimes subtle qualities or subtle deficiencies are moreimpressive or problematic than a vehicle's overt characteristics.
So it is with the new Blazer. While recently showing the car to severalfriends, one sat in the second row of seats. Surprisingly, his headeasily hit the roof. My friend is 6-foot-3, and while that's tall, he's not agiant by any stretch.
"I've got a Scion and there's plenty of rear seat headroom," my friendcommented.
The quick analysis made a good point. As the largest and mostpowerful Blazer available, shouldn't a 6-foot-3 person sit comfortablyin the middle of the car's three rows?
Conversely, an SUV hardly seems like a vehicle for a remarkablesound system. But the Bose premium sound system available in theBlazer's Sun, Sound and Entertainment Package is superior. Thecombination AM/FM stereo, six-disc changer, XM satellite radio andeight speakers are arguably the finest music package I'veexperienced in any test car in the past two years.
Beyond a curious space limitation and a wondrous sound systemoptions, the Blazer offers an odd mixture. It's a well-designed SUVwith plenty of space for family and cargo. It has adequate steeringand handling, and it offers a quiet ride considering its status as alarge SUV with 17-inch tires.
Yet, the Blazer falls short in other key areas.
The vehicle's braking system seems uneven - fine in somecircumstances, soft in other scenarios with far-too-long response time.The Blazer maneuvers well in traffic and its turning radius issurprisingly tight and efficient. But again, for each vehicle strengththere's a weakness. The Blazer's fuel rating of 14 mpg (city)and 19 (hwy) is hardly impressive.
Standard features are adequate: power mirrors, heated daytimerunning lamps, remote keyless entry, tinted rear glass, 65/35 secondand third-row folding seats and a rear window defogger, among otherstandard items.
Three options packages, the aforementioned Sun, Sound andEntertainment, as well as the Luxury and V8 Power Play packages,can add nearly $7,000 to the base sticker, pushing the total price tomore than $41,000.
Some options are worthwhile, including the OnStar EmergencySystem (with one year of free service) and leather-appointed seats.Other options * cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel andsteering wheel audio controls * are standard for other manufacturers'SUVs.
A Preferred Equipment Savings reduction of $3,150 lowers the top-of-the line Blazer's price, after a $685 destination charge, to $38,515.
As such, the Blazer isn't the most expensive or most economical SUVon the market. But certainly, for nearly $40,000, good brakes andsufficient second-row headroom shouldn't be issues.
2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer
Safety features -- Dual-stage driver and front passengerairbags. Antilock brakes.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) -- 14 mpg (city), 19 mpg (highway).
Warranty -- Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 3 years/36,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/100,000 miles; 24-hourfree roadside assistance, 3 years, 36,000 miles
Base price -- $34,270.00
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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