NEW FOR 2008:

– All models are now four-wheel drive; two-wheel drive availability deleted
– CD/MP3 stereo standard on all models
– Curtain airbags standard on all models
– LS trim line deleted
– Revisions to equipment groups
– Exterior colours: Dark Cherry Metallic, Black Granite Metallic and Desert Brown Metallic

For 2008, the Chevrolet Trailblazer receives trim and safety changes, including an upgraded stereo and curtain airbags as standard equipment. Two-wheel drive models were offered in 2007, but all are now four-wheel drive.

The Trailblazer comes with a choice of three engines. The LT comes with a 4.2-litre inline six-cylinder that can be optioned to a 5.3-litre V8, which uses Active Fuel Management to deactivate half the cylinders under light load for better fuel economy. The SS model comes only with a 6.0-litre V8. All three engines mate to a four-speed automatic transmission that’s a heavy-duty model in the SS.

The base LT package, called the LT1, includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone manual climate control, fog lamps, privacy glass, heated mirrors, roof rack side rails and crossbars, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, front floor console, cruise control, floor mats, tire pressure monitoring system, tilt wheel, six-way power driver’s seat 65/35 flip-and-fold rear seat, keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo and OnStar.

The optional LT3 package adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, memory feature and reverse tip-down, overhead console, driver information centre, reading lamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature display, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, heated leather seats with six-way power adjustment, and rear-seat audio controls.

The SS adds 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, SS-specific black mesh grille, cargo net and cover, leather seats with SS logos, limited-slip rear differential, sport suspension, and premium sound system with XM Satellite Radio.

The body-on-frame Trailblazer shares its platform with the GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7X. The six-cylinder fits it well, while the V8 is a better choice if you plan on using its cargo and towing abilities. Handling can be mushy on the LT; the SS version really tightens up the steering and suspension, and it’s great fun to drive, but its power, price and fuel consumption may be more than many buyers prefer.

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