QOTD: Room for Growth?
Chevrolet dusted off another historic nameplate on Wednesday, resurrecting the Trailblazer name after a decade-long (U.S.) absence and applying it to a tweener crossover bound for the narrow ground between the subcompact Trax and compact Equinox. V8 and inline-six motivation will not be part of this package.
While GM’s reuse of the Trailblazer name isn’t likely to anger as many diehard Bowtie fans as the reborn 2019 Blazer, the emergence of yet another Chevy-badged crossover makes one wonder about just how well-stocked a lineup can be.
Chevrolet, like rival Ford, clearly felt there was room to grow. Come next year, the brand’s utility vehicle lineup will span five crossovers and two body-on-frame SUVs. Across the automotive landscape, automakers are scrambling to add new utility models, bridging segments and, in the case of Hyundai’s Venue, creating new ones.
The proliferation of crossovers across all segments and the emergence of a crop of vehicles designed to take on Jeep’s Wrangler (Ford’s upcoming Bronco; a possible GMC model) lead us to ask: has Chevrolet’s light truck lineup finally topped out? Has the number of nameplates reached its peak, or can you see white space that Chevy won’t be able to leave unfilled?
[Image: General Motors]
JohnTaurus on May 30, 2019
I dont have an issue with automakers filling gaps, even if they're only perceived gaps. As others mentioned, a few decades ago, there were many different car models, most not terribly different from one another, from the same brand, often overlapping in price and so on. Nobody threw up their hands and yelled about it then. It's just that the majority of B&B despises crossovers, especially small ones. I am agnostic on most crossovers. I wouldn't choose an Escape or CR-V, but I like my Element just fine. Is it a sporty, fun-to-drive Civic Si with more cargo space? Hell no, and I knew that going in. I wanted something utilitarian that was a little more unique than your average vehicle of this type. Having an Element with a manual transmission certainly qualifies, as it stands out in a sea of Rav4s and such. The rubber floors and slightly increased ground clearance are useful in the awful contractor parking lots (really just fields that look something like WWII battle field) and when I go camping. My second choice was a Ford F-150, so even though the Element isnt terribly good on fuel compared to my Taurus, for example, it is more economical than the truck would've been. It's also pretty easy to park, I can squeeze it into parking spots that Silverados and Tundras have to pass by. The clamshell rear doors are perfect for accessing my lunchbox, hardhat, etc rather than having to walk around the rear door as I did with the Taurus. Of course, it's easier to get in the Taurus' back seat to ride back there, but most of the time, itll be just me in the Element, unless I meet someone and we use it to go camping and/or fishing, etc. I guess if I had a family, a proper 4 door crossover might be more appealing, but for now, this one suits my needs just fine. As I said, I probably wouldnt have bought a CR-V, even though they're not terribly different in terms of size, chassis and drivetrain. Sum it up to say: different strokes for different folks. Live and let live.
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