2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Automatic-transmission operation
  • Quiet running
  • Ride comfort
  • Handling

The Bad

  • Fuel economy
  • Short rear-seat bottoms
  • Visibility
  • Abundant, though tolerable, size
  • EXT model discontinued

Notable Features of the 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

  • Inline-six-cylinder engine
  • Active Fuel Management V-8
  • 390-hp TrailBlazer SS
  • Available Autotrac 4WD
  • Tight turning circle
  • Electronic stability system

2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet's midsize TrailBlazer sport utility vehicle debuted early in 2002 as a five-passenger vehicle. A seven-passenger, extended-length TrailBlazer EXT joined the lineup later, but was discontinued after 2006. Changes for 2008 are few, but include newly standard side curtain airbags and changes to option packages. The midsize TrailBlazer SUV competes with the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 2008 TrailBlazer offers a standard 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine and an optional 5.3-liter V-8. The latter engine includes General Motors' Active Fuel Management technology (formerly called Displacement on Demand), which deactivates four cylinders under light loads, such as highway cruising.

TrailBlazers come in LT and SS trim levels. A high-performance SS model packs a sport-tuned suspension and a 6.0-liter V-8 from Chevrolet's Corvette sports car.

The TrailBlazer is closely related to the Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7X.


Exterior
The TrailBlazer rides a 113-inch wheelbase and measures 191.8 inches long. The headlights, grille and other elements share similarities with Chevrolet's larger Tahoe and Suburban. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, while 18-inch wheels are available. The SS has 20-inch wheels. Three new colors are available, including Dark Cherry Metallic, Black Granite Metallic and Desert Brown Metallic.

Ground clearance is 7.8 inches. The TrailBlazer SS rides an inch lower than other TrailBlazers, but ...
Vehicle Overview
Chevrolet's midsize TrailBlazer sport utility vehicle debuted early in 2002 as a five-passenger vehicle. A seven-passenger, extended-length TrailBlazer EXT joined the lineup later, but was discontinued after 2006. Changes for 2008 are few, but include newly standard side curtain airbags and changes to option packages. The midsize TrailBlazer SUV competes with the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The 2008 TrailBlazer offers a standard 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine and an optional 5.3-liter V-8. The latter engine includes General Motors' Active Fuel Management technology (formerly called Displacement on Demand), which deactivates four cylinders under light loads, such as highway cruising.

TrailBlazers come in LT and SS trim levels. A high-performance SS model packs a sport-tuned suspension and a 6.0-liter V-8 from Chevrolet's Corvette sports car.

The TrailBlazer is closely related to the Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7X.


Exterior
The TrailBlazer rides a 113-inch wheelbase and measures 191.8 inches long. The headlights, grille and other elements share similarities with Chevrolet's larger Tahoe and Suburban. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, while 18-inch wheels are available. The SS has 20-inch wheels. Three new colors are available, including Dark Cherry Metallic, Black Granite Metallic and Desert Brown Metallic.

Ground clearance is 7.8 inches. The TrailBlazer SS rides an inch lower than other TrailBlazers, but ground clearance remains the same. Other changes for the TrailBlazer SS include stiffer suspension springs, bigger brakes and a larger front stabilizer bar.


Interior
A plastic-heavy dashboard incorporates a four-spoke steering wheel and large instrument gauges. Two-row seating is standard, and the backseat folds for additional storage. With the rear seat down, maximum cargo volume measures 80 cubic feet.

XM Satellite Radio is now standard on all models, as is GM's OnStar communication system. Options include a backseat entertainment system with a DVD player, power-adjustable pedals and leather seating surfaces.


Under the Hood
Rated at 285 horsepower and 276 pounds-feet of torque, the TrailBlazer's 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder teams with a four-speed automatic transmission. The optional 5.3-liter V-8, operating with Active Fuel Management, produces 300 hp and 321 pounds-feet of torque. It also works with a four-speed automatic.

The TrailBlazer SS holds a 6.0-liter V-8 sourced from the Corvette. It's rated at 390 hp and 395 pounds-feet of torque, and it runs through a heavy-duty four-speed automatic.

Rear- or four-wheel drive is available. When properly equipped, the TrailBlazer can tow up to 6,800 pounds.


Safety
All-disc antilock brakes are standard, as is an electronic stability system. Side curtain airbags are now standard on all models. Dual-stage front airbags deploy with varying force depending on crash severity.

Driving Impressions
Performance is a strong point. When tromping on the gas, few TrailBlazer drivers are likely to realize the source of power is an inline-six-cylinder 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, but it's not a dramatic difference.

On smooth surfaces, the four-wheel-drive TrailBlazer's ride is comparable to a car's. Its handling is a bit on the slow side, but the driver benefits from a satisfying steering feel.

Interior space is ample, and the seats are somewhat firm. The hard-working TrailBlazer competes enthusiastically against the Ford Explorer and other midsize rivals in passing power, ride comfort and handling.



Latest 2008 TrailBlazer Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

V8 pulls our camper great!

by Camping family of 4 from Appleton on September 13, 2018

Even as an older vehical it's a great ride and I love the extra room in the extended cab for strollers and such, plus enough room for groceries. Down fall is that you can't access the 3rd row seating ... Read full review

(4.0)

Sound car

by James TB from Pee Dee area, SC on August 24, 2018

The car meets my needs. Carries full load of fodder for soup kitchen at church with back seat folded. Exhaust manifold and catalitic converter melted at 83,000 miles. No warranty allowed. Radio is ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer LT w/1LT

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
acceptable
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
marginal
Structure/safety cage
acceptable

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
acceptable
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
poor
Overall Side
marginal
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
marginal
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The TrailBlazer received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker