Car Review - Chevrolet Trailblazer 2005
Chevrolet Trailblazer 2005: The Weekly Driver Review
by James Raia
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 EXT has plenty to offer.
It's comfortable and provides a confident drive. It offers
vast cargo space, has an attractive two-tone interior,
a well-designed console and boasts of plenty of impressive
But sometimes subtle qualities or subtle deficiencies
are more impressive or problematic than a vehicle's overt
So it is with the new Blazer. While recently showing the
car to several friends, one sat in the second row of seats.
Surprisingly, his head easily hit the roof. My friend
is 6-foot-3, and while that's tall, he's not a giant by
"I've got a Scion and there's plenty of rear seat
headroom," my friend commented.
The quick analysis made a good point. As the largest and
most powerful Blazer available, shouldn't a 6-foot-3 person
sit comfortably in the middle of the car's three rows?
Conversely, an SUV hardly seems like a vehicle for a remarkable
sound system. But the Bose premium sound system available
in the Blazer's Sun, Sound and Entertainment Package is
superior. The combination AM/FM stereo, six-disc changer,
XM satellite radio and eight speakers are arguably the
finest music package I've experienced in any test car
in the past two years.
Beyond a curious space limitation and a wondrous sound
system options, the Blazer offers an odd mixture. It's
a well-designed SUV with plenty of space for family and
cargo. It has adequate steering and handling, and it offers
a quiet ride considering its status as a large SUV with
Yet, the Blazer falls short in other key areas.
The vehicle's braking system seems uneven - fine in some
circumstances, soft in other scenarios with far-too-long
response time. The Blazer maneuvers well in traffic and
its turning radius is surprisingly tight and efficient.
But again, for each of the vehicle's strengths, there'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
daytime running lamps, remote keyless entry, tinted rear
glass, 65/35 second and third-row folding seats and a
rear window defogger, among other standard items.
Three options packages, the aforementioned Sun, Sound
and Entertainment, as well as the Luxury and V8 Power
Play packages, can add nearly $7,000 to the base sticker,
pushing the total price to more than $41,000.
Some options are worthwhile, including the OnStar Emergency
System (with one year of free service) and leather-appointed
seats. Other options cruise control, leather-wrapped
steering wheel and steering wheel audio controls
are standard for other manufacturers'
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
SUV on the market. But certainly, for nearly $40,000,
good brakes and sufficient second-row headroom shouldn't
2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer
Safety features -- Dual-stage driver and front passenger
airbags. Antilock brakes.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) -- 14 mpg (city), 19 mpg (highway).
Warranty -- Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Power
train, 3 years/36,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/100,000
free roadside assistance, 3 years, 36,000 miles
Base price -- $34,270.00
About the Author
James Raia is a Sacramento, Calif., journalist who writes
about sports, travel and lifestyle topics as well as the
automotive column, The Weekly Driver Review.
To read more car reviews, visit: The Weekly Driver Review
To subscribe to his free electronic newsletters, visit
the web site: www.ByJamesRaia.com
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