2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer

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2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review

Space and performance mark strong suits, but nothing else stands out.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 TrailBlazer classifies as a midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by Chevrolet, a division of General Motors Corporation. It debuted in 1999 as a higher-end version of the Blazer. Since 2002, the TrailBlazer has been sold as a separate model.

The Range

Body Styles: five-door SUV
Engines: 4.2-liter I-6, 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet TrailBlazer LS, Chevrolet TrailBlazer LT, Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS

What's New

The 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer comes with a performance-oriented SS trim. This marks the first time that Chevrolet adds an SS trim to an SUV. Other than the new trim, the TrailBlazer LT also improves the front and rear fasciae.

Exterior

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer sits on a wheelbase of 113 inches and stands around 74 inches tall. The ground clearance reaches 7.8 inches. The wedge-shaped fender flares give the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer an appearance that looks distinct from its other GM counterparts, including the Buick Rainer and GMC Envoy.

Interior

The 2006 TrailBlazer offers abundant space, allowing five adults to sit comfortably inside. The extended-wheelbase TrailBlazer better suits those who want an SUV to comfortably seat seven occupants. The controls seem easy to use, but the overall design of the interior remains lackluster and hardly evokes a positive reaction. The interior of the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer feels downright dismal compared to that of its competitors. Moreover, the materials used inside look and feel cheap. Cargo space stays strictly adequate for an SUV of its size. With the 60/40-split rear seat folded down, it offers 80 cubic feet of space for loading.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer comes fitted with a standard 4.2-liter, inline-six engine that delivers 291 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The optional 5.3-liter V-8 remains available and it delivers 300 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. Those who need trailer-towing capabilities prefer the V-8, since the low-end power available from the engine helps tow large loads. Chevrolet offers an SS package with a six-liter V-8 that delivers 391 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, along with an upgraded four-wheel-drive system with Torsen center differential. With the right equipment installed, a 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer with the 5.3-liter, V-8 engine tows up to 6800 pounds. A TrailBlazer with the inline-six tows up to 6200 pounds. The TrailBlazer SS remains more performance-oriented than the other variants, going from zero to 60 mph within 6.3 seconds and crossing the quarter-mile mark in 14.4 seconds. For a midsize SUV, these numbers look remarkable.

All engine options offer a good highway driving experience. However, the inline-six engine displays a clear lack of power at low revolutions, making it a difficult proposition in stop-and-go traffic, especially with a large load in the rear. The inline-six provides enough power for most other purposes, but the V-8 engines prove to be better choices for providing enough torque to pass and merge, and they offer lots of stamina for towing heavy cargo. The suspension feels more on the soft side, making the TrailBlazer a very comfortable vehicle on the highway and around town. However, pushing it around a corner or taking it too much onto dirt roads affects the ride quality. For those who want performance, the SS makes a good choice. The ride on freeways and around town feels firm and comfortable, but the SUV remains in control even on rugged and winding roads. The SS experiences nice steering and a minimal lean while cornering.

Safety

The 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer comes with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and stability control as standard features. The dual-stage front airbags deploy with varying forces according to the severity of the crash. Optional safety features include full-length side curtain airbags. With the optional airbags installed, the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer earns a five-star rating for rear- and front-occupant safety in side-impact collision tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The car receives three stars for driver safety and four stars for front-passenger safety in the frontal-impact collision tests. The TrailBlazer has a ?marginal? rating, which marks the second-lowest rating, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2WD, 4.2-liter V-6, automatic: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2WD, 5.3-liter V-8, automatic: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2WD, 6.0-liter V-8, automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT 2WD, 4.2-liter V-6, automatic: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT 2WD, 5.3-liter V-8, automatic: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer 4WD, 2-liter V-6, automatic: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer 4WD, 5.3-liter V-8, automatic: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer 4WD, 6.0-liter V-8, automatic: 13/16 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT 4WD, 4.2-liter V-6, automatic: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT 4WD, 5.3-liter V-8, automatic: 13/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful engine
  • Comfortable highway ride
  • Extensive list of features
  • User-friendly controls

You Won't Like

  • Unstable handling around corners
  • Numb steering
  • Lackluster interior design
  • Mediocre materials used for the interior

Sum Up

Space and performance mark strong suits, but nothing else stands out.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Buick Rendezvous
  • Ford Explorer
  • GMC Envoy
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Isuzu Ascender
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
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