When General Motors officially shuttered operations in Thailand, it meant the death of the Colorado pick-up and the Trailblazer PPV. As a result, Chevrolet Philippines lost two of its most popular models in the country.
Fast forward to the present day, and the Trailblazer name has officially returned. But unlike its predecessor which was a pick-up-based SUV, the new one is a crossover utility vehicle (CUV) through and through. That's right, the Trailblazer is now competing at a smaller segment.
But does it have what it takes to take on its nearest competitors? What features does it have (or lack) over the old Trailblazer?
To find out, we did a comparo between the two Trailblazers to see just how the new Trailblazer can stack up against its pick-up-based predecessor. For this particular spec check we comparing the new top-of-the-line Trailblazer LT against the Trailblazer Z71.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the two Trailblazers is their significant difference in size. Whereas the SUV was a body-on-frame 7-seater PPV, the crossover is a unibody 5-seater crossover.
Beginning with the 5-seater, the new Trailblazer measures 4408mm long, 1808mm wide, and 1660mm tall. It also has a 2640mm wheelbase and 178mm of ground clearance. While not exactly as big as the SUV, it can stand toe-to-toe against other compact-sized crossovers.
As for the previous Trailblazer, it's 4887mm long, 2132mm wide, and 1852mm tall. It has a more generous 2845mm wheelbase, as well as better ground clearance rated at 219mm. With its pick-up-based platform, it's no wonder the SUV towers over its crossover successor.
With its smaller size and lack of third-row seats, Chevrolet Philippines says the new Trailblazer is now aimed against the likes of the CX-5, Forester, and X-Trail. It might not be competing in the midsize SUV segment now, but at least it's now competing in the compact crossover market.
Choc-full of features
If there's one thing similar between the two Trailblazers, it's the number of available features and amenities.
Both are equipped with touchscreen infotainment systems that support AM/FM radio, USB, Bluetooth, and even Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity. The two also come with automatic climate control, with the Trailblazer SUV benefitting from a dual-zone function for added convenience. Leather upholstery comes as standard, while the front seats are heated for when the weather becomes cold.
Putting cargo in either of the two can be done with ease thanks to a hands-free power tailgate. And should you need more space at the back, the 60:40 split rear seats can be folded to make extra room for long (and tall) luggage.
Other available features available in both vehicles include an engine start/stop button, six-speaker sound system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, and electronic power steering.
The two Trailblazers may be completely different vehicles, but Chevrolet made sure both are equipped with plenty of standard features.
Aside from having similar names, both benefit from forced induction. But unlike the previous Trailblazer which came with turbo-diesel, the new one comes with turbo-gasoline and one less cylinder.
The crossover is powered by a 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder dubbed E-Turbo. Despite its small size, the engine actually makes a respectable 155 PS with 236 Nm of torque. Power is then sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Over to the SUV, it has a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel inline-four. Dubbed the Duramax, the engine made 200 PS and 500 Nm of torque. In the top-of-the-line Z71, it was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift, along with 4WD capability.
Some might say that turbo-diesel is still their preferred choice of propulsion. But with most automakers nowadays switching to downsized turbo-gasoline engines, it does make sense when it's applied to smaller crossovers. Still, we do miss the pull of the 2.8-liter Duramax from the previous Trailblazer.
Safe and Secure
Another thing worth mentioning about the two Trailblazers is the level of standard safety features.
Despite the two vehicles being launched several years apart, both come fully loaded with both passive and active safety. It gets anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, hill-hold control (aka hill-start assist), hill-descent control, tire pressure monitoring system, and a host of airbags.
For extra peace of mind, the 2022 Trailblazer does come with the Advanced Driver Assist (ADA) system. This gives the crossover intelligent safety functions like forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, reverse camera with rear-cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring.
In its last update, the Trailblazer was actually one of the first SUVs to offer smart safety systems. While not equipped with ADA at the time, the Z71 Trailblazer did come with forward collision alert, lane departure warning, reverse camera with rear-cross traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.
After taking a good look at what the 2022 Trailblazer has to offer, it seems it can hold its own against its predecessor. Sure it may be smaller in size and has a less powerful turbocharged engine, but when it comes to features, both are fully decked out in both amenities and in safety.
But at PHP 1,621,888, the 2022 Trailblazer LT is on the pricey side. Before Chevy discontinued the Trailblazer Z71, the range-topping SUV already had a sticker price of PHP 1,998,888. At its current price range, Chevrolet's new compact crossover is already bordering on the price of much bigger SUVs which could affect its value-for-money proposition.
Do you think Chevrolet did right with the Korea-sourced 2022 Trailblazer? Or could they have instead gotten the units from SAIC-GM to make it more affordable?