In terms of utility and what you see what you get factor, the 2018 Chevrolet Trailblazer with the Z71 4×4 package has received a dealer treatment to handle the terrain of the Middle East, in this case it’s the desert. With a truck-based platform the Trailblazer can endlessly perform sand donuts around the more watered down version of off-roaders in its category. Roll up your sleeves and start “Trailblazin”.
Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 4X4 2018 Review
To put it rather bluntly this Trailblazer is “old skool” and reminds us of the previous generation of Toyota’s Fortuner. Built in Thailand, the Trailblazer gets a new lease in life and is aimed for the Asian market where price and terrain management doesn’t come at a price. With shared components from Isuzu’s mid sized pick-up truck, which is a reworked ladder frame chassis, this Trailblazer can flex its way through the tropical jungle as well as the desert landscape of the Middle East.
A 3.6L V6 mated to a 6 speed automatic gearbox which features a 4 wheel drive system that can be switched off to run in two wheel mode gets low-range gears, ideal for loose gravel and sand terrain. It’s not just a beach buggy but we need to ask our-self what do we want from a 4×4. In recent times, 4×4 have started to favor asphalt-driving conditions than off-roading, just take the Nissan Pathfinder for instance, it has become a crossover.
Our red Trailblazer with the Z71 4×4 package comes with steel bumpers, skid plates and LED bar while the dealer also fitted BF Goodrich’s excellent KO2 all terrain tires which adds further to the Z71 4X4′s adventure prowess. The side steps are deleted which makes the climb into the cabin more of a mini jump. But that’s ok because the aim was to increase the ride height and the approach angle of the vehicle to better traverse through the dunes and climb terrain that are deep down in the desert.
The ride around town is, shall we say ok. This is a pick-up truck based platform but still the rear is not as jumpy as one would predict it to be. The steering is light, which makes tight parking easier, but for serious off-roaders the absence of a weighted steering feel would take away some of their initial enthusiasm.
A rotary dial located next to the hand brakes offers easy access to the different drive system and at the same time the Trailblazer has its heart in the 21st century with features like smart-phone connectivity, navigation, lane departure warning and hill descent control.
Z71 4×4 embroidery on the head rests and matt black stickers on the bonnet to reduce the glare from the sun are just some of the details that differentiate this as the “Z71 4X4” trim. It also comes with black painted rims and blacked out badges which points to its naughtier side.
We did not take this Trailblazer deep into the desert, but a short run into the perimeter of the desert told us that our expectations were right. The Trailblazer feels light-footed and does not seem to sink down into the sand. The KO2’s after being deflated to 13 psi spreads and increases the footprint while tackling a dune can be done head on thanks to an increase in approach angle and also the fact that you can be a bit careless as the steel bumper will take abuse and brush against the sand without cracking or dislodging from its brackets, something that a stock plastic bumper will never do.
This is a 7 seater that can take you and your friends, and your camping gear anywhere in the UAE. With a staring price of around AED 129,000 its value for money is undeniably high. And as the saying goes Chevrolet was right in “Keeping It Simple” by using a proven robust chassis coupled with off-roading gearing and a fool-proof V6 which makes this Trailblazer quite Blazin’.
Price and Specs: Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 4X4 2018 Review
|Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 4X4 2018 Review|
|Displacement||3.6L, V6, 4WD|
|Gearbox||6 speed Automatic|
|Rated Output||275 Hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Rated Torque||350 Nm @ 3,700 rpm|
|L – W – H (mm)||4,877 – 1,902 – 1,842|
|Top Speed||180 kmph|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||9.1 seconds claimed|
|Fuel Consumption||13.8L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)*||Starts at AED 129,000|
Images by Brian Donegan: Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 4X4 2018 Review