TEST DRIVE: 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 - The King of the Hill
It's common knowledge that the family is the binding force that keeps every household together. Most of the time, we tend to put utmost consideration when we are going to purchase something. "Would this be enough for the family? Would the family love this? Will this be enjoyed by the family?"
It seems that when the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 was brought to the Philippine shores September last year, this would perfectly befit what every family-oriented product should be: Power and drivability for dad, design and comfort for mom, safety and security for grandparents, and fun and entertainment for the children.
STYLING - 8/10
The 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 has the build and the face of a real SUV. The strong lines, provide a more muscular/toned look that exudes toughness.
Being the tallest in its class in the market, the height of the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 is complemented by the 18-inch gunmetal wheels, giving it a bolder and more masculine finish.
Driving the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 in "Pull Me Over Red," some drivers seem to appreciate the beauty of this beast. Driven on EDSA on a late Friday night, many seem to notice the hue complemented by the racing lines that makes it "distinctively Chevy." The same lines give the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 an uncanny resemblance to its equally-powerful sibling: the Camaro (aka the Transformers' movie Bumblebee).
The leather accents on the door panels, plus the leather seats gives the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 an elegant and comfortable look. The dashboard is fitted with an infotainment that could be accessed through the steering wheel, touchscreen system and/or via buttons in the center console.
Such design exudes a theater-like feel inside the cabin. The additional chrome nameplate on the door panel gives the vehicle a more elegant feel.
ENGINE & PERFORMANCE - 9/10
After taking it on a short spin around the metro, it is noticeable that the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 has more than enough power thanks to the Euro 4-compliant 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine.
Taken outside the metro, this big-bodied brute showed that it could really perform. The 200 hp and 500 Nm of torque could be felt as it aggressively takes the road, thanks to its Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT).
FUEL ECONOMY - 9/10
The 2017 Chevrolet clocks 11.24 kilometers per liter after it was driven outside the metro (8.9 liters per 100 kilometers) and around 8 km/L (12 L/100 km) during a two-day weekend drive around the city.
The figures would be so-so if the vehicle runs on gasoline, but since it is diesel-powered--and considering its size--fuel consumption is at par with the competition.
FEATURES - 10/10
Another notable feature is the Chevrolet MyLink Infotainment system, which is fitted in the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71. An eight-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity, the said feature is compatible with multiple smartphone operating system. Apart from that, the technology has Siri Eyes Free and voice-prompt to access calls, messages, or music.
The 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 has rain sensors so drivers need not worry about turning it on or off; you can just turn the sensor on before the drive (if one is expecting rain on their destination), and the rest is--well, history.
Since it is known for class-leading space, roominess is one of the key selling points for the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71. The middle and third row are easily converted to a huge cargo area as the seats are designed to flatten when needed.
Although the height poses a slight challenge for passengers riding this beast, it gives peace of mind when driving over big puddles during heavy downpour.
DRIVING IMPRESSIONS - 9/10
But all the power and torque packed in the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 does not mean it is difficult to drive. In fact, the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 has Electronic Power Steering (EPS), and complemented by its rigid chassis and fully-boxed frame, make driving the vehicle easier.
The said technology also made city driving lighter and parking easier as it adjusts power assist proportionately, depending on the driving conditions. If driven in traffic or while parking, steering the wheel is feather-light; on highways, it firms up the steering, making it manageable on high speeds and limiting vibration.
Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, driving either on open roads or in heavy traffic, the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 makes every trip as easy as a Sunday drive.
VERDICT - 9/10
For size, capabilities and features, the Chevrolet Trailblazer could be a good contender among its competitors in the market. The big fella right here has a lot more to offer to drivers and passengers alike.
If one is fond of carrying a closed group of five to seven people without undermining comfort and quality feel and look (although elders might find it a little difficult to ride this one without getting any assistance), this powerful beast can also be comforting and securing, hence a good choice for those like taking road trips with their family.
PROS & CONS
- Sufficient power
- Very masculine look
- Very roomy
- Anxiety-free during floods
- Distinctive "Chevy" lines and style
- Features and feel
- Many blind spots
- "Very sensitive" assistance features
- Leather seats easily get hot under the sun
- Too many buttons on the steering wheel
- Cramped third-row space