Northwest NEWS

June 11, 2001



TEST DRIVE - 2002 Chevy Trailblazer LT 4x4

The 2002 Chevy Trailblazer mid-size SUV has been redesigned and re-engineered. Considering the number of attractive standard features and the amount of people who stopped to look over my test model, the Trailblazer is headed for success.
   A sturdy, but attractive vehicle, my new pewter metallic LT four-wheel drive test model came with less than 500 miles on it. GM developed the Trailblazer as a computer-designed carbon-fiber body mounted on a tube frame chassis.
   Built with a Vortec 4200 six-cyclinder engine, it has power to spare. Matched with a 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, the handling is smooth and quiet. The Trailblazer has independent front suspension and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.
   At the 32nd annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, driver Larry Ragland drove the 2002 Trailblazer and won the overall four-wheel vehicle award and the Trophy-Truck divisional title after going head to head with V 8 drivers during the almost 500 mile course.
   The Trailblazer comes with the Autotrac 4-wheel drive system that can be operated as a part-time system. But it also can be placed in Autotrac mode, which automatically adjusts to changing traction situations. With Autotrac, the vehicle stays in rear drive until the back wheels start to slip. When that happens (i.e., when sensors detect a disparity between front and rear wheel velocity), it transfers some power to the front wheels. When traction is regained (front and rear wheel speed becomes equal), the system returns to rear-drive.
   The LT package adds the leather interior and 8-way power and passenger seats with lumbar support. The interior is sculptured towards the driver and has easy access to all controls. The dials are easy to read. The shift control is on a center console and covered in leather.
   Standard on the Trailblazer is dual zone air conditioning, cruise control, self-dimming mirror, automatic headlights with flash to pass, 16" sport aluminum wheels, heated mirrors, dual stage front air bags, front seat side air bags, rear window defogger, AM/FM/Stereo Radio/CD player, tinted glass, 18.7 gallon fuel tank and more.
   The rear view mirror has buttons for OnStar which comes standard with one year of service.
   A fun feature is the standard travel note recorder located in front overhead console. With the press of a button you can record messages with a playback/save/delete system. The Homelink feature for automatic garage door opening is also on that console.
   There is plenty of storage with a center overhead console and a lower deep center console.
   The driver and passenger windows have express down.
   There are five cupholders and three power outlets.
   With the side running boards option, this is a very easy vehicle to enter and exit. My 86-year-old mother had no trouble getting in or out with the help of the overhead grab bars and the side step.
   The rear cargo door opens easily and has a strap for pulling it back down. There is plenty of space and if you need more, the back seats easily fold down.
   With 6,400 lbs. of towing capacity, the trailer hitch and harness come standard.
   There are safety features and front and rear 5 mph bumpers.