“Can you ever have too many SUVs?” Asked Chevrolet’s CUV Marketing Manager Steve Majoros opening up the bowtie brand’s news conference at the L.A. Auto Show. “The answer is no. In this market, you cannot have enough.”
And to try to prove its point, the bowtie brand unveiled yet another addition to its line-up, reviving the old Trailblazer nameplate which, in this case, is “slotting between the Trax and the Equinox,” Majoros noted.
Imported from South Korea, the new ute will be offered in a variety of different configurations, including the RS and Activ models that were unveiled in Los Angeles, and, while it won’t be the cheapest model on the market, Chevy is betting it can attract a broad range of buyers with a price tag starting under $20,000. The two models on the stand in L.A. are expected to push into the low-$20,000 range, though final pricing wasn’t revealed.
As with another recently revived name from the Chevy brand book, the Blazer, the Trailblazer RS is meant to be the sportier version of the new line, though we’ll have to wait for more details.
The Activ, meanwhile, is “tuned for off-road use,” according to the automaker, with dampers tuned to off-roading conditions and more aggressive Hankook Sport Terrain 17-inch tires. That said, it does not feature any of the more advanced features many associate with such driving, like Hill Climb or Descent Control.
A number of basic details remain to be released. What we know is the Trailblazer line will be featured with 1.2- and 1.3-liter turbo engines which, Chevy said will offer “up to 155 horsepower.” Both are paired with Continuously Variable Transmissions, though a nine-speed automatic is available with the 1.3-liter engine and all-wheel-drive.
AWD is optional with the smaller engine, as well. The system allows motorists to choose whether to activate it in rough road or weather conditions or deactivate it, and operate in front-wheel-drive mode, in order to improve fuel economy.
The basic look of the two new utility vehicles is designed to give them a more rugged appearance than many competitors – borrowing a number of cues from the more expensive Chevy Blazer. That includes a dual-port grille, as well as “a simulated front skidplate.”
The two models are differentiated slightly, both inside and out.
The Trailblazer RS, for example, has less cladding, a roof finished in either black or red, and 18-inch wheels and tires. The Trailblazer Activ has a more rugged appearance, rides on the Hankook 17-inch rubber, and its roof can be ordered in white or a greyish green.
Both vehicles get a number of standard active safety systems not found in many vehicles in this price range, including forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking and auto high-beam assist. Other, optional safety features include adaptive cruise control and cross traffic alert.
The new Chevrolet Trailblazer will arrive in U.S. showrooms next spring.