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Holden Trailblazer LT 2017 review

EXPERT RATING
7
Derek Ogden road tests and reviews the 2017 Holden Trailblazer LT with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Derek Ogden road tests and reviews the 2017 Holden Trailblazer LT with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The Chevrolet Trailblazer, formerly the Holden Colorado 7, comes to Australia from a different direction, on its way up market, with little or no added cost to the customer.

Developed by Holden in collaboration with GM Brazil alongside the 2017 Holden Colorado, the new Holden Trailblazer looks and has a big emphasis on high-tech features. 

Despite a long list of new technology and a design makeover, the 2017 Trailblazer pricing remains largely unchanged from its predecessor. The entry-level LT (our test vehicle) stays at the $47,990 of the corresponding Colorado 7, while the LTZ carries a skinny price premium of $1000 ($52,490) over the similar Colorado 7.

Styling

At close to five metres long and two metres wide, the Trailblazer carries its bulk in pleasing proportion, not allowing size or decoration dominate as in some of the larger sports utility vehicles.

Its height and width are emphasised by a wide bar, incorporating the headlamp set-up on the outer edges, and splitting the radiator grille in two. 

Further styling enhancements include LED daytime running lamps surrounded by chromed accents complementing the front fascia and beefed-up bonnet design.

Features

A redesigned interior includes premium-look heated leather seats with contrast stitching, a fresh new dashboard and updated centre console.

This really is a truck-style engine, we’ve no problem with that.

Adding to interior cabin comfort, remote vehicle start via the key fob allows Trailblazer to reach a comfortable cabin temperature before passengers climb in. However this not something we approve of, having an engine running with no one in the driver’s seat, and perhaps kids in the back is potentially dangerous.

GM-Holden has been strong in high-tech vehicle multimedia, and more recently internet connectivity. The Trailblazer carries on the tradition. The big wagon boasts a new eight-inch colour touchscreen, with the latest Holden MyLink infotainment system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, designed for seamless integration with the driver.

Engines/transmissions

The 2.8-litre Duramax 2 four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel, mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, stumps up an impressive 500 Nm of torque at a low 2000 rpm which makes the Trailblazer ideal for towing. Peak power of 147 kW comes up at a rather low 3600 revs. This really is a truck-style engine, we’ve no problem with that.

Safety

Holden has had the Trailblazer confirmed with a five-star ANCAP safety rating. It has many active and passive safety features including driver’s knee airbag, trailer sway-control and hill descent assistance. Blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert are added to LTZ models.

Driving

With grab handles in all the right places, mounting the Trailblazer is no hard task. Getting into the back seats, with the second row tumbling forward to the back of the front seats allowing reasonably easy access to the space.

With the third row in use load space isn’t too bad. A waterproof well with lid across the back of the cargo compartment floor allows extra gear (or a few days’ groceries) to be stowed out of sight while still using the main luggage area on top.

There are quieter motors on the market than the Trailblazer’s old-style 2.8-litre turbo-diesel. The six-speed automatic transmission is a bit ‘yesterday’ but it offers seamless changes and smooth going. The 500 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm puts sees it delivering responsive overtaking. Shift-on-the-fly to 4WD is always handy.

There can be few complaints with fuel economy, with the Trailblazer using only 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway and a miserly 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres in a stop-start town running.

Holden's Australian and Brazilian engineers have teamed up to deliver extensive improvements over the Colorado 7, including a revised steering calibration providing a more precise steering feel thanks to a faster steering rack ratio and fewer turns lock-to-lock. 

While the variable steering effort in the electric system allowed the test vehicle to handle well at low speeds. At higher speeds steering tended to be on the light side with less driver feedback from the wheels. However, off road in tough going this could be an advantage. 

Other key chassis developments include a revised set of engine, transmission and body mounts designed to provide a more refined ride, in addition to a new final drive ratio on the manual transmission, again for better drive quality, especially while towing.

Pricing guides

$33,990
Based on 124 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$24,980
Highest Price
$43,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LT (4X4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $25,900 – 34,320 2017 Holden Trailblazer 2017 LT (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LTZ (4X4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $28,300 – 37,510 2017 Holden Trailblazer 2017 LTZ (4X4) Pricing and Specs
Z71 (4X4) 2.8L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $31,800 – 41,690 2017 Holden Trailblazer 2017 Z71 (4X4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7