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Return of the tough trucks

2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer and Colorado

Hear the word “Chevrolet” and two things will immediately come to mind: muscle cars like the Corvette and Camaro, or rugged pickups trucks and SUVs that tear up the countryside. Such is Chevrolet’s excellent brand recall and awareness that they’ve managed to train our brains to subconsciously link them to all-American muscle and hard-working trucks. It comes as no surprise then that when Chevrolet proudly proclaimed, “We know trucks” during the launch of their new Trailblazer SUV and Colorado pickup, we completely believed them.

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  • The Trailblazer’s Apple Carplay-equipped entertainment system

Oozing machismo

Exterior changes are rather subtle, but are significant enough to make a noticeable difference. The changes are most apparent up front, with reshaped headlights with daytime running lamps combined with an aggressively large grille and hood enhancing its masculine features. Large 18-inch alloys adorn all higher-end models, with the Trailblazer Z71 variant looking particularly rugged with its all-black chrome.

 

Updated cabin

There has been some criticism regarding the Trailblazer and Colorado’s interior trim, and Chevrolet has paid attention. Completely revamped, the interior of these new Chevy trucks reflects a premium sophistication previously lacking from its predecessor. The seat material has been upgraded to better leathers, and the seat firmness itself has been updated to improve comfort in the back. The dash now features soft-touch materials with stitched inserts, with Chevrolet’s latest MyLink infotainment system nestled snuggly in the middle. MyLink’s interface is highly intuitive, and features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — a first in its segment.

Well-mannered on and off road

It’s when you finally take the new trucks out for a spin, however, that you notice how much attention Chevrolet has paid to the small details that improve drivability. Chevrolet has updated a fair chunk of the Trailblazer and Colorado underchassis, from the springs, stabilizers, dampers and engine and transmission mounts. The result is a much more refined ride, further emphasized by a retuned electric power steering system which has a much lighter feel at low speeds, but nicely tightens up as you pick up the pace. Steering wheel vibrations that you would normally feel on rough roads have also pretty much been eliminated, which increases driving confidence.

The top-of-the-line Trailblazer and Colorado are powered by the same 2.8-liter Duramax turbo diesel engine which outputs 200-hp and a staggering 500-Nm of torque, while lower end models receive the 2.5-liter engines with 160-hp and 380-Nm of torque. The engines still performed admirably in Chevrolet’s custom off-road track, where each truck was pushed to its limits. Trials ranged from 35-degree tilted roads, 500-mm river fording, and 45-degree hill climbs, which the Trailblazer and Colorado both conquered with relative ease, even without a rear locking differential. Chevrolet is especially proud of their 4×4 heritage, and they made sure their off-road expertise was properly reflected on the Trailblazer and Colorado.

 

Feature-packed for less

There are also additions to safety, which include a driver’s knee airbag, tire pressure monitoring, lane departure warning, and parking assist, while the Trailblazer gets additional features such as stability control, blind spot warning alerts and collision mitigation.

Despite all the upgrades, the Trailblazer and Colorado manage to remain competitively priced in their segment. Starting October, the Trailblazer will be available in three variants: 2.5 4×2 LT 6MT (P 1,378,888), 2.8 4×2 LT 6AT (P1,509,888), and 2.8 4×4 Z71 6AT (P 1,881,888). While, the Colorado will be available with four options: 2.5 4×2 LT 6MT (P 1,167,888), 2.8 4×2 LT 6AT (P 1,267,888), 2.8 4×4 LTZ 6MT (P 1,613,888), and 2.8 4×4 LTZ 6AT (P 1,689,888).

In an increasingly competitive segment, Chevrolet has proven that the customer is what matters most to them. They’ve listened; they’ve heard; and the Trailblazer and Colorado are shining examples of that.