2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer

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$24,430

starting MSRP

2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Six-cylinder performance
  • Quiet running
  • Ride quality
  • Handling

The bad:

  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Fuel economy
  • Short rear-seat bottoms

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • SS

  • LS

    $24,430

  • LT

    $26,715

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Inline-six-cylinder or V-8
  • New 395-hp SS model
  • Available side-curtain airbags
  • Car-compatible bumpers
  • Available Autotrac 4WD
  • Tight turning circle

2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer review: Our expert's take

By

With gasoline prices hovering at $3 a gallon, this may not be the best time for Chevrolet to cram a big 6.0-liter V-8 engine into its midsize sport ute, but there’s no denying that the TrailBlazer SS makes the trip from gas station to gas station pretty entertaining. We averaged 13.2 mpg. In a word: ouch.

Introduced in 2002, the TrailBlazer first was offered with a 4.2-liter six-cylinder, then a 5.3-liter V-8, and finally this 6.0-liter V-8, not that much different from the engine found in the Chevrolet Corvette and Pontiac GTO. It’s mated to the beefy 4L70-E automatic transmission, which is just a four-speed, but with the kind of power this engine makes, the number of gears is academic.

The engine isn’t all with the SS: You also get a lowered, sport-tuned suspension, big 20-inch tires and wheels, and interior and exterior trim that set it apart from the other, lesser TrailBlazers.

The SS is the regular-length TrailBlazer, rather than the extended version with three rows of seats. That’s fine, because that version of the TrailBlazer is not a personal favorite. If you really need three rows of seats, the new Tahoe is a better choice.

But if five passengers is plenty, the SS is a competent, albeit thirsty, carpooler on weekdays. Also, it is more than willing to make a trip to the drag strip on weekends. Inside, the leather upholstery is nicely executed, and as in all TrailBlazers, the instruments and controls are well-placed. Despite the sports suspension, the SS rides smoothly, even on rough roads, and handling is excellent for an SUV.

Outside, the SS trim is subtle enough to keep from embarrassing drivers of a certain age but still advertises, quietly, that this is something special. The SS is offered only in white, black, silver or blue, and the black test model looked as though it meant business.

Which it does. The pushrod 6.0-liter V-8 may not be as sophisticated as some newer-design V-8s, but it is a superb engine — smooth and fast, with linear power that just feels right. The TrailBlazer isn’t quite as exciting as its central competition, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, but it’s close, and it’s cheaper.

It isn’t, however, cheap. Base price of a rear-wheel-drive TrailBlazer LT (the SS is offered in four-wheel drive, but our tester was rear-drive) is $26,715. Add the SS package ($5,270) and a few other options, and the bottom line is $36,605, which — given the capability — isn’t bad. Stability control and anti-lock brakes are standard; side-curtain air bags are an option.

General Motors sells this same basic SUV as the GMC Envoy, Buick Rendezvous, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender, but if you want the hot-rod version, you have to get the TrailBlazer.

Selected video versions of Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith’s road tests can be viewed online at OrlandoSentinel.com/classified/automotive.

Base price: $26,715.

Price as tested: $36,605.

EPA rating: 15 mpg city, 19 mpg highway.

Details: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive SUV with a 6.0-liter, 395-horsepower V-8, and a 4-speed, automatic transmission

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior design 4.1
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.3
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

I LOVE THIS CAR

I bug this car in the last 10 years and I love it. I put 220,000 miles. But the engine star to give me problems, if some body can tell me we're I can fine a engine please

4.3

Been great until recently

I love the trailblazer but the issues that have come up and the research I've done I'm surprised how many people own. The first 6yrs of owning it was outstanding. Now I feel like it's a money pit. It get regular maintenance on oil changes and tires when needed. Check engine light has been on for 4 yrs. We have checked and changed what the code says and reset it but still on. I've lost my lights while driving the heater works sometimes. Changed and fixed what it was and still acts as if there's electrical problems. Battery gauge fluctuates and my lights also. Just installed new alternator. That's the 2nd one in a year lights and heater still fluctuate.

5.0

Very happy with the performance

The vehicle is very nice, is has good pick up and I feel very comfortable inside. Lots of space for all of my stuff. I am very happy with my choice.

See all 87 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2005

GMC Envoy

$28,525

starting MSRP

2004

Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT

$30,070

starting MSRP

2008

Chevrolet Trailblazer

$27,745

starting MSRP

See all 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer articles