Holden Trailblazer a step up from Colorado 7 predecessor
What is it?
To put this in context the previous model wasn’t quite the family favourite it had hoped, let down by cheap aesthetics and a harsh, often noisy ride.
The new one is much improved, a lot quieter and smoother but with the same rugged off road appeal.
What’s it cost?
There’s just two models to chose from, the LT priced from $47,990 or better equipped LTZ from $52,490 – both with the same 2.8L turbo diesel and 6-speed automatic.
It gets five stars for safety with a reverse camera and rear parking sensors standard, along with LEDs, alloys and a 7 inch infotainment unit.
Comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that provide extended phone connectivity.
In the LT, which misses out on satnav, this means you can project and control your phone’s navigation software from the screen.
For $4500 more the LTZ adds leather and climate air, but the latter is only single zone.
It’s also got larger 18 inch wheels, a larger 8 inch display, auto lights and wipers, front sensors and heated front seats.
Plus you get some added safety features like forward collision warning, blind spot alert and lane keeping assistance.
The car can also be started remotely, not that we see much use for this feature.
What’s it go like?
Surprisingly well, believe it or not.
Built in Thailand, unlike its predecessor, Trailblazer benefits from some local suspension tuning with changes to make it ride and handle the way Aussies expect.
The steering is no longer hydraulic, it has a larger brake booster, stiffer body and engine mounts and plenty of sound deadening has been added to make the cabin quieter.
The 2.8 litre turbo diesel punches out a healthy 500Nm of torque and it shows as the big wagon surges away from the line.
Granted it’s a still a bit noisy and truck-like, but the electrically assisted steering is light and makes it feel smaller than it actually is – no doubt acknowledging the fact mum could be the pilot a fair percentage of the time.
Rated at 8.6, we were getting 9.6L/100km after 500km.
Off road Trailblazer will take you as far as you’re nerves allow, without much risk of damage – although the low hanging running boards are easily dented.
A rotary dial located between the front seats facilitates the change from two to four-wheel drive.
As such it remains two-wheel drive unless you select high or low range, the latter requiring a stop and shift to neutral before it can be locked in.
What we like
Large. Seats seven. Plenty of rear legroom but the third row is realistically going to accommodate only younger children.
More importantly it’s got rear aircon with outlets down the back that will stop the littlies from getting car sick. That from experience is a scenario you really want to avoid.
Our phone paired quickly and easily with the Holden MyLink infotainment system but the system looks different yet again to that in other Holdens.
Has no problem keeping up with the traffic and is more than up for the rough stuff, with above average off road ability.
In fact, the low range reduction is among the best we’ve encountered in an auto and, teamed with down hill descent control, makes easy work of rocky descents, freeing the driver up to keep an eye out for obstacles.
What we don’t
Holden hasn’t been overly generous in the equipment department, but at least that’s kept the price down.
The seats aren’t terribly comfortable and you could end up with a sore butt if you have to spend too much time behind the wheel.
Not much room behind the third row for luggage and you need to remove the luggage screen before you can raise the seats – with nowhere to put it once you have.
The ride though improved is still a long way from car-like, but it’s far from awful.
That’s okay if you’re mainly after the wagon for its off road ability which is considerable.
Note too that it can tow only 2800kg, compared with the ute which is rated at 3.0 tonnes.
The class leader is good for 3100kg.
You get two power outlets in the front but only one USB port.
What are the alternatives?
Ford Everest, from $54,990 – based on the best selling Ranger ute it’s well equipped but basically overpriced.
Toyota Fortuner from $47,990 – based on the Hilux it produces less power and torque, not to mention the fact the base model comes with steel wheels.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, from $45,000 – based on Triton it’s not bad despite the fact it’s got a smaller less powerful diesel – but even the top of the line Exceed misses out on satnav.
Holden Trailblazer Price: from $47,990 Warranty: 3 years/100,000km Capped priced servicing: $1047 in total for 3 years/45,000km Service interval: 9 months/15,000km Safety: 5 stars, 7 airbags Engine: 2.8-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 147kW/500Nm Transmission: 6-speed auto; 4WD (2WD unless you select 4WD) Fuel consumption: 8.6L/100km Dimensions: 4887mm (L), 1902mm (W), 1846mm (H), 2845mm (WB) Weight: 2194kg Spare: Full-size alloy Towing: 2800kg