In the midsize SUV segment, Chevrolet has long been frustrated, watching Ford steal the show with the Explorer. The 2002 TrailBlazer is Chevy's best shot at reversing that order. It's a total redesign, including a stunning new straight-six engine, stiffer and lighter chassis, sophisticated suspension, powerful brakes and impressive details. The vehicle's 40-month planning and execution was done in a careful, creative, thorough and extremely bold manner. According to GM engineers, the TrailBlazer exceeds all the targets that had been set for it. Based on the specs and early performance, that claim is easy to believe.
There are three models of TrailBlazer: LS, LT and LTZ, which come either as 2WD or electronic 4WD.
All TrailBlazers have four doors and come with the new 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission.
Standard equipment on all models are dual-stage driver and passenger airbags (activating with less intensity in slower crashes) plus seat-mounted side airbags in front, in addition to steel door beams.
A complete tow package is also standard, including a hitch platform with seven-pin wiring for trailers with brakes. The standard final drive ratio is 3.73:1, with 4.10:1 available for more responsive towing and 3.42:1 for higher gas mileage. However the estimated EPA rated mileage of 15/21 mpg city/highway is based on that optional 3.42 rear end (a legal EPA loophole) so "higher" is relative.
Some options on the LS that are standard on the LT and LTZ include remote entry, cruise control, rear defogger, cargo cover, carpeted floor mats, heated mirrors and GM's OnStar security system with GPS tracking and cell phone communication, including emergency assistance and remote unlocking. Options on the LT and LTZ that are unavailable on the LS include 2WD traction control, running boards, six-disc CD changer and Bose sound system.
Unavailable on the LS are foglamps, rain-sensing wipers, rear heat controls, leather interior, power heated seats, Driver Information Center, rear seat radio controls with headphone jacks, and 17-inch wheels. About the only things you can get on the LTZ but not the LT are heated/memory seats, rain-sensing wipers and 17-inch wheels.
Skid plates for the transfer case and fuel tank, sliding electric sunroof and locking rear differential are options on all three models.