2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS 2WD (582)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS 2WD 5-passenger midsize SUV. The first midsize SUV was the S-10 Blazer in 1983 and in 1995 it was redesigned and simply named Blazer. The third-generation for 2002, adopted the name TrailBlazer.

In Chevrolet’s words: “…the 2006 TrailBlazer adds the SS powered by a 395-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 engine with 20-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, unique exterior styling, specific interior appointments and available with all-wheel drive. StabiliTrak is standard on all TrailBlazer trim levels and the LT receives new front and rear fascias, grille, headlights, rocker panels and side moldings”.  

Well, unique exterior styling is a stretch, but it is a likeable effort. In fact there isn’t much to dislike except the plain wrap styling. This is a fast and fun car to drive and 0-60 speed at under 5 seconds is very impressive. And 60-100 mpg is a sizzeling scant few seconds more. Wow!

General Info:

Parts – U.S./Canadian 85%

Assembly – Moraine , Ohio , USA

Class:  – Special Purpose

Cars: Astro, Avalanche, Aveo, Blazer, Cavalier, Cobalt, Colorado, Corvette, Equinox, Express,  HHR, Impala, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Silverado, SSR, Suburban, Tahoe, TrailBlazer,  Uplander and Venture.

Handling & Performance:

As for me, the 6.0-liter V8 translates into “Rocket Ship” speed. This is the smoothest Blazer I have ever driven. I owned one of the last generation Blazers and it was great hauling a boat etc. and great for those all to infrequent hunting and camping trips. But you can’t help but be impressed with the effortless acceleration at any speed within its range. Freeway speeds are eclipsed by the quick response to your need to pass and so often I found myself well over the limit. It simply is a good feeling knowing you have all the muscle you need to get the job done.

Many critics continue to complain that automakers “just don’t get it”. They continue to produce muscle cars with horrible fuel economy. Either consumers are brain dead or assume carmakers know what they’re doing. Critics say NO, they don’t have a clue and appear to be ignoring the $3.00 plus / gallon of gas in the US and up to $9.00 per gallon in Europe .

Styling:

This and the Isuzu and Saab share the same platform and are all “today” designs and in the hunt for positions in this exceptionally desired class of gas guzzling vehicles. Well, I guess if it looks good, feels good and is flat fun then it must be a good thing. That’s the American way, right? Full speed ahead! Who, me worry?

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

The LS package is priced at $26,700 and you’ll add $4,895 for the SS package option. But the real cost comes when you visit the pump all too often. I seriously doubt the EPA numbers on fuel consumption at 15/19 mpg. I don’t thinnkkkk so.

Conveniences:

OnStar – the more I use this feature the better I like it. I would opt for it on my own car because I have had several instances where it was life saving. No, not a heart attack, but it has helped in several other ways where either fuel was very low or in one case we were lost in a very remote desert area with only cactus for company. Another time it was in the wee hours of the morning and finding a station open was a real challenge. In another situation I found myself in a neighborhood where I shouldn’t be at that time of day (or any time of day really) and I needed to find my way to safe ground without stopping to ask for directions. Not stopping because of the macho thing, but well you know what I mean). With OnStar you feel you have a friend wherever you are in the world by pressing that blue button. A must in my opinion in today’s world. A close second is XM radio. Love it.

Consumer Recommendation:

Damn I wish I could have my cake and eat it too. Power and performance and fuel economy too. Those concepts, however, are diametrically opposed of course, and it appears the carmakers are just giving consumers what they want or think they need. That’s the American way. Otherwise it is Socialism. We have the option to have what we want and we clearly want more – more – more and power is one of the more’s. We haven’t lost our need for speed and bigger is a good thing too. So we vote with our dollars. If you want the best in class and performance this SS is really a great feeling and fun to drive.

Recognized Competition:

Chevrolet TrailBlazer $24-30,000, Isuzu Ascender $26-36,000, Buick Rainier $31-33,000, Land Rover LR3 $38-53,000, Toyota 4Runner $28-38,000, Ford Explorer $27-36,000, GMC Envoy $26-38,000, Mercury Mountaineer $29-36,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $27-42,000, Honda Pilot $27-35,000, Nissan Pathfinder $25-36,000, Dodge Durango $28-37,000, Lexus GX470 $46,535, Mitsubishi Montero $36,000, Acura MDX $37-44,000.

Good News:

Powerful, smooth, comfy and fun to drive with great tuned road handling.

Bad News:

Expensive to operate – relatively speaking, vanity mirrors without covers – distracting!

Standard Equipment:

4.2-liter inline 6 cyl. engine, 4-speed auto trans, ft and rr stabilizer bars, special tuned shocks and springs, dual air bags, OnStar service including 1 year service, Stabilitrak stability control, 4-wheel ABS brakes, theft deterrent, rear child security locks, auto door locks, 16 inch aluminum wheels, solar ray glass, air conditioning, stereo with CD player, front bucket seats and console, folding 2nd row seat and cruise control. Then if you want the ultimate SS Option package: 6.0 liter 395 hp V8 engine, HD 4-speed auto trans, 20 inch by 8 inch 6 spoke polished wheels, tire pressure monitor, Road Course tuned suspension, fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver seat ($4,895).

And if you opt for the LS Preferred group: power mirrors, rear widow defogger, tinted glass, trailer wiring connector, remote keyless entry and theft deterrent ($995). XM satellite radio (3 months included) ($325).

Gas Stats:

15 City and 19 Highway MPG – yea, bet me!

Pricing:

MSRP $26,700 standard, and the test vehicle SS including destination charge is $33,625.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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