2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4 Z71

Boldly improved

"Z71 4x4 styling pack arrives."

"Adding a number of beautifying twists for a casually reinforced look."

"All the options and features you wish for are already there."

"A different SUV that represents your character, accomplishment, and originality," said Issam.

Most single men and women tend to drive a coupe car or even a sedan. But when it comes to commitment and family the search begins for an SUV that seats at least five passengers with ease with luggage. Why choose an SUV that can offer you 5+2 seats? Well, it is the 2017 Trailblazer LTZ 4x4 Z71 that brings you power and drivability for the father, design and comfort for the mother, safety and security for grandparents, and fun and entertainment for the kids.

I took my test drive vehicle from IMPEX, official distributor of Chevrolet in Lebanon, for a long weekend drive. Believe it or not, Lebanon has the most diverse types of roads. My destination was directly to the Cedars of Lebanon, the northern part.

Flashback history
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer is a mid-size sport utility vehicle that has been produced by General Motors since 2002. Basically the nameplate ‘Trailblazer' was the upscale model of the Blazer. The TrailBlazer nameplate was introduced in 1999 as an upscale trim line of the Blazer. In 2002, the TrailBlazer turned into a separate model.

The first generation (which we personally had at home) was the 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT (long wheelbase). The first generation stayed from 2002 until 2009. The second-generation TrailBlazer was unveiled as a concept at the 2011 Dubai Motor Show and as a production model at the Bangkok Motor Show 2012. The second-generation TrailBlazer is based on the truck frame of the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado. Back in 2013 we drove the second generation in Dubai. We weren't really attracted to the second generation as the design and interior were not really up to standards. The first facelift came on the 2017 model year.

What's new on the facelifted 2017 Trailblazer 4x4 Z71?
GM's mid-size SUV, the Chevrolet Trailblazer, has been revamped for 2017. And with it comes improved styling, comfort, technology and performance.

The Z71 will add the same dark-finish 18-inch painted alloy wheels, along with black body side moldings, belt line moldings, mirrors and door handles. There are also gloss-black covers for the B-pillars. From the exterior, add-ons are rounded out with Z71 graphics to the hood, and the cabin gets Z71 floor mates and headrest stitching.

Equipment already standard with the LTZ model includes a full-size spare, an eight-inch touchscreen MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite navigation and voice recognition, remote vehicle start via the key fob, leather-trim, and front parking sensors.

The LTZ also features climate control, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, tire pressure monitoring system, LED taillights, heated and power folding exterior mirrors, automatic wipers and chrome exterior highlights.

Standard on all Trailblazer models are seven airbags, hill start assist, trailer sway control, hill descent control and remote window operation via the key fob.

How does it drive?
If I want to compare it to the outgoing Trailblazer, then I can surely confirm that its capabilities off-road are way beyond that of the 2009 model. But, as we all know, the outgoing first-generation Trailblazer was produced in the USA. The actual one is produced in Thailand and is based on the Colorado pickup truck. So, you can imagine quite well that the Trailblazer 4x4 Z71 did an amazing job off-road in the Cedars! When driven in traffic or while parking, steering the wheel is plume-light; on main highways, it firms up the steering, making it controllable on high speeds and restraining road noise or shakings.

Verdict
It is quite possibly the finest 5+2 seat SUV in terms of features, styling and price in the Lebanese market. After a long weekend drive either on open roads or in dense traffic, the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer 4×4 Z71 made my trip as easy as a Sunday drive. I can say that it is a good choice for those who like taking road trips with their family.

Pros: Masculine exterior look, powerful V6 engine, features, spacious, infotainment system
Cons: Very delicate assistance features, only one color leather seats, too many buttons on the steering wheel, small third-row space
Rivals: Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer
4.5 stars
one word: round-package

Specs
3.6L, V6, 275 hp, 350 Nm @ 3,700 rpm
4WD, 6-speed auto
0-100 km/h: 8.8-9 sec, top speed: 180 km/h, fuel consumption: 12.2 L/100 km
Weight: 2,035 kg

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