Chevrolet has decided its best course of action is to expand their crossover lineup with a complete butchering of all we know and love of the TrailBlazer name with this new small, sporty hatchback. As a devout fan of GM’s midsize SUV platform from the mid-2000s, and someone who has had lots of experience with the old TrailBlazer and even owns the old Colorado, a close kin to the old TB, I figure it’s useful if I share my thoughts.
I love it.
Yes, negative commenters will immediately be sure to fly to their keyboards, quickly tapping away that the new TrailBlazer is not worthy of the name, but I have to ask, what exactly does the TrailBlazer name mean? It’s always been an extension of the idea of the Blazer, a differentiating version of said Blazer suffix. The original version was nothing more than a luxury trim, it wasn’t until 2002 when the name was used for the Blazer’s replacement.
My history with the 2002-2009 TrailBlazer is storied, but doesn’t deserve going into right now. Just know I’ve always had a fondness for them, and they’ve never let me down when I needed them. So, my natural thought when I heard the name was returning was a sense of uncomfortable doubt, but when the new one was finally released, I sat back, thought about it, and ended up finding a way to like it.
You see, I brought up the initial comment about the whole TrailBlazer name just being an extension of the Blazer idea, and this new model evokes that idea perfectly. While this one may not be a bigger version of the Blazer or a more luxurious one, it’s a more compact, pocket-sized version of the Blazer. It’s the Blazer lite. The Blazer Mini. The BlazerU. I quite like the new Blazer, anyway, so this should be a surefire home run for me.
But, things can change the moment I drive one. If it’s anything like the new Equinox, I can accept it, but if it’s like the Trax, I’ll pass. But my hopes are up for now.
The new TrailBlazer is not a stain on the old TrailBlazer’s name, it’s a revision of what it means, and I can respect that.