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[Test Drive] New Trailblazer rides off-road with confidence

GM's compact SUV leads S. Korean auto export list

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : July 30, 2023 - 15:36

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Chevrolet's new Trailblazer (General Motors Korea) Chevrolet's new Trailblazer (General Motors Korea)

The Chevrolet Trailblazer has come back as a compact sports utility vehicle that suits both an urban lifestyle and off-road driving.

As the vehicle nearly went through an overall facelift, the first impression that stood out was the sharp design of the front at the media test-drive held by General Motors in Seoul on July 26. The chrome bars running across the top and bottom of the radiator grille and the thin LED headlamps gave a solid, aggressive impression.

With a length of 4,425 millimeters, a wheelbase of 2,640 mm, a width of 1,810 mm and a height of 1,670 mm, the new Trailblazer seemed to offer a roomy interior, compared to other compact SUVs in the same segment.

The interior of the vehicle underwent a complete renewal to feature a more driver-focused design from the previous dual-cockpit layout. The front row boasts an 8-inch color cluster and an 11-inch color touchscreen, both of which are configured toward the driver.

The test-drive included city roads, highways and off-road courses. Torrential rain fell while driving on the highway. The new Trailblazer handled the wet roads quite well as the ride had no slips and felt safe.

Chevrolet's new Trailblazer (General Motors Korea) Chevrolet's new Trailblazer (General Motors Korea)

"The new Trailblazer has all the elements that represent Chevrolet's flagship, authentic American SUV, including outstanding engineering capabilities created by expertise acquired in the US and Canadian markets, and solid reliability, capable of driving in any environment," said Roberto Rempel, CEO of General Motors’ Korean office when the automaker launched the new Trailblazer on July 19.

The experience driving the car off-road backed up Rempel’s comments. With a 1.35-liter gasoline E-Turbo engine that can produce up to a maximum of 156 horsepower and maximum torque of 24.1 kilogram-meters, the new Trailblazer showed no signs of letting up when driving up a steep hill covered with slippery mud. The four-wheel-drive model, which is equipped with a Z-link rear suspension system, made off-road driving feel smooth and stable.

The front-wheel-drive model of the compact SUV is certified for fuel efficiency of 12.9 kilometers per liter while the all-wheel-drive model's official mileage is 11.6 kilometers per liter. The test-drive logged 9.8 kilometers per liter of fuel.

With the upgraded model, GM Korea is looking to build up on the success of the Trailblazer series in the Korean market and overseas. According to the Korea Automobile and Mobility Association, the compact SUV was the top auto export among all made-in-Korea vehicles, selling 123,160 units overseas in the first half of this year. The price of the new Trailblazer begins at 26.99 million won ($21,000)

Chevrolet's new Trailblazer (General Motors Korea) Chevrolet's new Trailblazer (General Motors Korea)