I don’t exactly know why I still choose to shoot during the worst of days, but usually when the weather agencies tell you there is a signal number 2 storm headed towards your shooting location you don’t go. Since I had the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 4×4, confidence was on my side.
It’s a simple formula. Use a truck base, and add seven seats to it, then watch the Philippines fall in love with it. Before this simple formula though, the Trailblazer nameplate made an appearance in the Philippines in the Mid 2000s with the American variant of the Trailblazer. I remember being invited to what was GM Autoworld to view the Chevrolet Trailblazer LT as pre-sale event. It was powered by a 4.2L petrol engine, mated with a 4speed A/T, and 4×4. The Trailblazer left the market a few years after, but made a more than stellar comeback in 2012 with the Chevrolet Trailblazer we know today.
Ready. Set. Go
If there were something I could go on for days about, regarding the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer, it would be the best in class performance. The specific unit I was loaned out was the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71. Let me geek out for a second. The Trailblazer Z71’s power plant is a 2.8L Duramax, mated with a 6-speed Automatic Transmission, spitting out 200 Horsepower, and 500Nm of Torque. This basically means the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 has enough power and torque to spin the earth the opposite direction! Take all that performance and combine it with a 4wheel drive system, which is activated on the fly with the Electronic Drive Mode Select knob, and you have quite the capable SUV. Step of the accelerator and the Trailblazer jolts you out of any situation, and have complete control in the process.
Cocoon of Safety
Having all this power, and presence could intimidate first time drivers, especially if they’re stepping up from a smaller vehicle. Active safety features helps you navigate around the metro. Lane Departure Warning will keep you in the lines if you have a hard time estimating the size of the Trailblazer compared to the lane. If you drift out of your lane without using your indicators, the system sounds and pops up a warning light. This system worked flawlessly on roads like SLEX, and NLEX, but it got quite confused at areas of EDSA. Apparently the lanes would have to be clearly painted out for the system to work efficiently, but EDSA looks like a word search puzzle gone wrong. What really amazed me, was the Hill Descent Control. This system distributes braking power using the ABS, to each wheel, to smoothly guide you down a steep pass without using your brakes. Even on a slippery stormy day like the day I chose to shoot the vehicle, it gently brought me to the bottom of a steep driveway.
What a Looker
Looking at the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer, you’ll know you got the Z71. The hood has matte black graphics with Z71 on them. Even on the rear, the Z71 graphic is quite evident. Not much has changed in terms of styling with the previous generation of Trailblazer in terms of the rear. You now have LED taillights with chrome accents within them. The front is where the nip and tuck happened. Supporting a new sportier front fascia, but don’t let the boyish looks fool you, because this Trailblazer is still tough as nails. You wheels are beautiful 18” painted gunmetal black aluminum, with the gold Chevrolet logo inserts. This is unique to the Z71.
You’ll know you’ve purchased the Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 right when you peek into the doors. The leather headrests have “Z71 4×4” embroidered right on to them, and this compliments the rest of the beautifully leather wrapped seats. The dashboard has changed for this year model, breaking away from the Isuzu/Chevrolet looking interior. The Trailblazer now has the dashboard styling of its bigger brother the Suburban. The jewel of your dashboard is the 8inch screen with the Chevrolet MyLink Infotament System, which I ran on Apple CarPlay. The system lets you use the native buttons on the steering wheel to also control your Apple CarPlay. Vehicle air conditioning systems are a huge factor in buying a car in the Philippines, especially if your interior is leather. Scorching hot climates will directly affect the relationship of your skin and the leather in your vehicle. The 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer Z71 has a great party piece to solve this problem. Using your key fob, you can remotely run the Trailblazer to cool the interior for 10mins before starting your journey!
If you want a class leading performance truck to carry you and your family safely, and swiftly this would be the truck you want. You have the 7 seats, the diesel engine, and the truck base. How could you go wrong, especially if the company you buy it from has been making trucks for the past 100 years.