Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Jim Flammang
August 27, 2003
Vehicle Overview Despite the emergence of this all-new midsize sport utility vehicle early in 2002, Chevrolet has kept the smaller, prior-generation Blazer in its lineup. Rather than a V-6 or V-8 engine, the TrailBlazer holds a 275-horsepower, 4.2-liter, all-aluminum inline-six-cylinder.
The TrailBlazer debuted as a five-passenger vehicle. Chevrolet soon added an extended-length TrailBlazer EXT model that features a seven-passenger capacity and an available 5.3-liter V-8 engine. Both come in LS and LT trim levels. A North Face Edition targets outdoors enthusiasts with such extras as lower accent-colored body cladding, running lamps, a liftgate luggage rack, headlight washers, duffel bags and a blanket.
Adjustable brake and accelerator pedals are optional on 2004 models. A monochromatic instrument panel and a last-door locking feature are installed. A new series of radios incorporates XM Satellite Radio and Navigation Radio operation.
The regular-length five-passenger TrailBlazer rides a 113-inch wheelbase and measures 191.8 inches long overall. The seven-occupant TrailBlazer EXT is 207.8 inches long overall and comes equipped on a 129-inch wheelbase. The EXT stands 2.6 inches taller than the regular TrailBlazer. Ground clearance totals 8 inches. Wedge-shaped fender flares help give the TrailBlazer a different appearance than its GM companions, the GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada.
Seating for five people is standard in the regular TrailBlazer. GMs OnStar communication system is standard in all models except the LS, and a backseat entertainment system with a DVD player is optional. Cargo capacity is 80.1 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.
The seven-passenger TrailBlazer EXT gets a third seat with a full footwell and 23.4 cubic feet of space behind the seat. Cargo space reaches 107 cubic feet when all of the rear seats are folded. The second-row seat folds and flips forward to permit easier access to the rear.
Under the Hood
A standard 275-hp, 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. A 290-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 is available in the EXT only. TrailBlazers are available with either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and the latter includes a two-speed transfer case. The Autotrac systems Auto 4WD setting transfers power to all four wheels automatically as conditions change.
All-disc antilock brakes and seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard. Dual-stage front airbags deploy with varying force.
Performance is a strong point. When tromping on the gas, few drivers are likely to realize that the source of power is an inline-six-cylinder engine rather than a V-8. Not only is engine sound barely discernible, except when pushed really hard, but road noise is also virtually absent. Acceleration is undeniably stronger with the V-8 engine in the EXT, but its not a dramatic difference.
On smooth surfaces, the four-wheel-drive TrailBlazer rides similar to a car. Its handling is a bit on the slow side, but the driver benefits from a satisfying steering feel.
Interior space is ample in both the front and rear, and passengers occupy seats that are somewhat firm. The hard-working TrailBlazer competes enthusiastically against the Ford Explorer and other midsize rivals in passing power, ride comfort and handling prowess.