2004 TrailBlazer EXT New Car Test Drive
Chevrolet TrailBlazer is powerful, rugged and capable, yet smooth, comfortable and civilized. Its rigid chassis, sophisticated suspension, powerful brakes and impressive details place it among the best of the mid-size SUVs. It's stable and comfortable and offers a smooth ride. It handles rough washboard surfaces well and is capable off road, offering a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system and skid plates. TrailBlazer is powered by a superb six-cylinder engine.
An extended-wheelbase model called the TrailBlazer EXT offers tree rows, seating up to seven people. It comes standard, but a V8 is available as an option. The EXT needs the V8 due to its heavier weight. Due to its much longer length, the EXT lacks the handling and stability that make the standard TrailBlazer great. Equipped with the V8, a Trailblazer EXT 2WD model can tow up to 7,100 pounds.
New options for 2004 include adjustable pedals, XM satellite radio, and navigation radio.
The 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer comes in just two trim levels, LS and LT. Each of those is available in regular and extended wheelbase lengths, and with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Long-wheelbase Trailblazers are called Trailblazer EXT, and stretch 16 inches longer in wheelbase to provide a third row of seats for seven-passenger capacity.
The base engine for all TrailBlazers is the Vortec 4200, a 4.2-liter inline-6 with dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and variable phasing of the exhaust cam, rated at 275 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet.
An optional 5.3-liter overhead-valve V8 only available for the TrailBlazer EXT is rated at 290 horsepower and 325 pounds-feet of torque.
Safety features include dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, which inflate with less intensity in slower crashes. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are optional ($350).
LS ($27,145) models are nicely equipped with dual-zone air conditioning, CD player, reclining bucket seats and floor console, power windows and programmable door locks, tilt steering, four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, 16-inch aluminum wheels, perimeter lighting, luggage rack roof rails, and three power outlets. The optional LS Preferred Equipment Group ($1035-$1225, depending on the wheelbase length and whether the vehicle is equipped with 2WD or 4WD) adds cruise control, remote keyless entry, an alarm, deep-tinted glass, heated foldaway mirrors, a rear window defogger, trailer wiring harness, color-keyed carpeted floor mats, crossbars for the luggage rack, and Charcoal-colored body-side moldings.
LT ($29,645) models add fog lamps, an overhead console with Homelink transmitter and Travelnote digital recorder, body-color grille and door handles, and eight-way power for the driver's seat.
The optional LT Preferred Equipment Group ($2050), adds two-tone leather seating surfaces, dual front eight-way power reclining bucket seats with lumbar support and driver-side two-position memory, OnStar, electrochromic rearview mirror with eight-point compass and outside temperature gauge, and body-color exterior moldings. Additional option packages for the LT bundle automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a driver information center, and rear seat audio controls ($585-$1310); and heated leather seats with memory, power adjustable pedals, CD/cassette stereo, and power and heated foldaway mirrors ($1360-$1605). Exclusive options for the LT include a Bose sound system ($495), and a rear-seat DVD entertainment center ($1295).
The North Face Edition ($1525 on top of the price of a Preferred-Equipment LT, or $1725 on a Preferred LT EXT) includes all of the equipment listed above, plus unique North Face seats, mesh map pockets, Rainsense automatic wipers, headlamp washers, 17-inch wheels with on/off-road tires, liftgate lighting, an under-floor storage cargo liner, heavy-duty floor/cargo mats, an adjustable cargo shelf with a table (EXT model only) and North Face duffel bags and blanket. the North Face also sports exterior clearance lights and some unique exterior identification. A locking differential ($270), two-tone paint ($150) and skid plates (with 4WD, $130) are mandatory options with the North Face Edition.
Trailblazer EXT LS ($29,695) and Trailblazer EXT LT ($31,595) are equipped with third-row seating and separate rear-seat heating and air conditioning controls. EXTs are fitted with 17-inch wheels and tires.
Four-wheel drive ($2250) is available for all models. A sliding electric sunroof is available for all models ($550-$800). A trailer-hitch is standard on all Trailblazers. The standard final drive ratio for TrailBlazer and EXT is 3.42:1; 3.73 and 4.10 ratios are available ($50) for more responsive towing though the 4.10 ratio is not available with the V8 engine. GM's OnStar security system is also offered as a stand-alone option ($1235 on LS, $870 on LT). It provides GPS tracking, cell phone communication, and emergen.
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