By on April 19, 2021

2005 Saab 9-7X in Denver junkyard, LH front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The General had a healthy sales hit with the GMT360 platform in the 2002 model year, when the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada hit the showrooms. Since GM had devoured Saab in 2000 and most American car shoppers wanted trucks or truck-shaped machines by that point, it seemed to make sense to produce a Saab-badged GMT360 and extract some cash from that slice of the car-buying populace that craved both the rugged-lifestyle signifiers of a truck and the quirky-yet-sensible Swedish image of a Saab. The Isuzu-badged version— the Ascender— had had its debut for 2004, and so the Saab 9-7X appeared for 2005 (sadly, no Daewoo- or Vauxhall-badged versions were produced). Here’s a first-model-year 9-7X, found in a Denver self-service yard last week. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2020

gm

Your author can’t explain why his neighbor purchased a new Chevrolet Blazer Premier, but he can understand why General Motors felt the need to insert a new crossover between the Equinox and Traverse. CUV white space = $$$, I think the famous equation goes.

With this in mind, the existence of the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, slotted between the Trax and Equinox, is equally understandable. Boasting a brace of three-bangers and more space and MPGs than a Trax, the decidedly non-BOF Trailblazer serves as a larger stepping stone to the Chevy brand.

Timing, however, was not the Trailblazer’s strong suit. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2020

gm

We can’t tell you how the Chevrolet Trailblazer, reborn as a vastly different vehicle for 2021, drives (thanks to a first drive program scuttled at the 11th hour by coronavirus), but at least we can tell you what to expect at the pump.

As the model starts quietly trickling onto dealer lots at a time when most Americans are scared to leave the house, the Environmental Protection Agency has gotten around to testing the model’s full range. Two three-cylinder engines and two transmissions are on tap. Let’s take a look. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

gm

The unexpected and potentially under-cylindered 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a vehicle you would have read about in these digital pages, had the pandemic not scrubbed a first drive event scheduled for late last week. For sure, yours truly was quite curious to see how well the model’s brace of boosted three-cylinders hauled around the tweener crossover’s modest bulk.

Alas, drive impressions are off the table as we deal with this virus thing. We’ve told you the specs already, given you a taste of what to expect from the not-quite-compact CUV and its Buick Encore GX sibling, and even revealed the EPA ratings of the latter model.

Now it’s time to hit the trail(blazer). (Read More…)

By on November 22, 2019

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Chevrolet announced the rebirth of the Trailblazer (note the spelling) for the 2021 model year. However, unlike its predecessor, it’s now a compact, three-cylinder CUV. The comments got a bit heated, pitting the GMT 360 version against its contemporary competition.

So let’s settle this. It’s time for a Buy/Drive/Burn in 2005.

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2019

gm

Not to be left behind as rival automakers unveiled their latest and greatest in L.A., Chevrolet pulled the remaining wraps off its upcoming Trailblazer. Arriving this spring as a 2021 model, the Trailblazer — like its Buick Encore GX sibling — fills a questionably-sized gap between the compact and subcompact class. The brand’s other returning nameplate, the Blazer, plugged a hole between the compact and midsize class a year ago.

While we now know more about the Trailblazer, its starting price might be its most unique feature. (Read More…)

By on May 29, 2019

gm

Hot on the heels of its Chinese-market debut in Shanghai last month, General Motors has foisted a reborn Trailblazer on North America. Take our word for it — GMT360 afficionado Chris Tonn couldn’t be happier.

The original TrailBlazer (note the uppercase “B”) bowed out of the American market after 2009, though a Holden-badged version built on the Chevy Colorado platform appeared overseas in 2012. The unrelated Chinese model is what you see here, riding atop a new architecture that underpins the Buick Encore GX you saw earlier today.

That’s right, the 2021 Trailblazer is a small crossover that slots between the subcompact Trax and compact Equinox. GM decided upsetting Blazer purists wasn’t enough. (Read More…)

By on April 2, 2019

General Motors plans on giving attendees of Auto Shanghai a crossover-themed enema later this month. Buick will introduce the second-generation Encore, as well as its larger GX variant, while Chevrolet focuses on the 2020 Trailblazer and Tracker.

While both models have vanished in the United States, replaced with the more tersely named Traverse and Trax, the Trailblazer and Tracker persist in Asia, Australia, and parts of South America. GM plans on debuting new editions of the pair in Shanghai on April 16th and has issued a teaser image (above) as a reminder — just like it did with the Encore.  (Read More…)

By on July 27, 2018

Isuzu Ascender Rear, Image: GM

Chris writes:

2006 Isuzu Ascender: the reverse lights are on while driving forward, in drive. I got pulled over for this. Anybody have an idea why they stay on when in drive? How I can troubleshoot this issue?

Thanks for your time. (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2017

2004 GMC Envoy Radiator Cap Leak, Image: OP

Dave writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I have a 2004 GMC Envoy, 4.2-liter six-cylinder, with about 123k miles that seems to be leaking coolant from somewhere around the radiator cap. Every time I come to a stop with the windows down or pull into the garage I can smell antifreeze. The radiator appears full and the reservoir seems to be maintaining a fairly consistent level of the pink stuff. It never leaks enough that I see wet spots except now and then around the cap, and even then it’s only a few drops at most. I’ve taken it to the mechanic; they double checked all the hoses and connections and even replaced the cap, but it didn’t help.

I replaced the cap a second time thinking I got a bad one, but the smell remains. By happenstance the cap I bought happened to be the exact same brand the mechanic used. I’ve attached a picture of the engine bay showing the areas where I can see dried coolant. The perplexing part to me is that, judging by the splatter pattern near the oil fill and the air filter box, some of the coolant seems to be making it to the fan. Still, I never see any wet spots leading in that direction. Do you have any suggestions?

As a side question, I have been getting an intermittent CEL with an associated P0526 code (fan speed sensor). It will come on for a trip or two and then go away on its own. Any chance the supposed coolant hitting the fan could be causing the CEL?

(Read More…)

By on July 14, 2017

2015-Buick-Avenir-Concept-10

Today marks the third and final entry in our Domestics Abroad miniseries. This is where we take a look at the models proffered around the globe that wear a domestic company’s badge on the grille, but are not offered in the brands’ domestic markets. This is ground zero for “you can’t get that here.” All nameplates you’ll see in this series are current production models.

We kicked off this series with Ford and its 13 qualifying models. Second was Chevrolet, which had 9 models accounted for, and one which I forgot (you can see it below the jump). The Unmentionables will cover the remaining international offerings from Buick, Dodge, and Ram.

(Read More…)

By on June 11, 2012

Even though the gods of the Ren Cen saw fit to deliver us the Opel Astra, the capricious and jealous Dan Akerson still managed to deny his Chosen Ones the elusive diesel/manual body-on-frame SUV, leaving the faithful to wallow in a sea of front-drive, car-based gasoline powered crossovers that nobody ever buys. Ever.

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2012

A double shot of news on the General Motors SUV front. Automotive News is reporting that Cadillac considering a small SUV to compete with the BMW X3. A separate article suggests that the General will give auto writers another excuse to bitch about the lack of body-on-frame SUVs, with its decision not to import the Thai-engineered TrailBlazer.

(Read More…)

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