The 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer is the first SUV to receive the brand's prestigious SS badge. With the SS performance moniker comes a 395-hp, 6.0L V-8, sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels, more powerful brakes, and an available all-wheel-drive system. All TrailBlazers now come standard with StabiliTrak control, a sound-deadening Quiet Package, and improved low-drag brakes. Models equipped with the Vortec 5300 V-8 engine now offer the fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (formerly known as Displacement on Demand) system.
The new TrailBlazer SS is the first truck developed by GM's Performance Division. The suspension, which is one inch lower than non-SS models, was fine-tuned on the racetrack to achieve optimum handling. It features stiffer springs and larger front stabilizer bars. And, like all TrailBlazers, StabiliTrak electronic stability control is standard. Braking power has been improved with a larger high-flow master cylinder, larger front disc brake rotors, and heavy-duty iron calipers that can withstand high heat and pressure. ABS is standard.
Powering the TrailBlazer SS is GM's LS2 6.0L V-8, which is similar to the engine used in the Corvette and SSR. Also debuting in the TrailBlazer SS is a new Hydra-Matic 4L70-E electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. It features high-strength heat-treated materials and is specially developed to handle the high horsepower and torque loads of high-performance light-duty vehicles. Unique interior and exterior features also help distinguish the SS model from the rest of the TrailBlazer fleet.
The base engine for all other TrailBlazer models is an improved, 291-hp, Vortec 4200 inline-6. The Vortec 5300 5.3L overhead-valve V-8, rated at 300 hp and 330 lb.-ft. of torque, is now available as an option. Its Active Fuel Management technology, which promises improved fuel economy by seamlessly shutting down four cylinders when not needed, will likely be popular among fuel-conscious drivers. All come standard with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Chevrolet TrailBlazer has a healthy existence in the competitive Midsize Utility segment that saw 18 models competing in 2005, with more being added for 2006. High fuel prices helped this segment take market share away from its larger full-size brethren, but the smaller crossover utility segment promises to give it a run for the money. Still, the room and power capabilities of the Midsize Utility segment make it a good compromise between its compact and full-size counterparts.
The TrailBlazer accounted for 163,581 of the segment's 1,330,391 sales in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM That placed it third in sales behind segment leader Jeep Grand Cherokee (213,584 units sold in 2005) and the Ford Explorer (203,483). Other models with sales greater than 100,000 during the 2005 calendar year are the Honda Pilot (143,353), Dodge Durango (115,439), and Toyota 4Runner (103,830).
|LS||4 speed automatic||$24,430||291-hp / 4.2L 6-cyl||16/22|
|SS w/LS||4 speed automatic||$26,680||395-hp / 6.0L 8-cyl||14/17|
|LT||4 speed automatic||$26,715||291-hp / 4.2L 6-cyl||16/22|
|SS w/LT||4 speed automatic||$28,965||395-hp / 6.0L 8-cyl||14/17|