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PNA Motor

548,000-1,734,000 baht/unit

Address:108, Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd., Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 Thailand

Tel:+6625615000

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 08:00-17:00

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Rating

Editorial Reviews

No frills for the tarmac

Can the Chevrolet Trailblazer unseat the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport in the entry-level front of pickup-based SUVs?

What's new?

After driving the updated Trailblazer in range-topping 4x4 form last week, it's now time to get behind the 4x2 version that's slated to take up the lion's share of Chevrolet's pickup-based SUV.

There are two trims to choose from: LT costing 1.244 million baht and LTZ priced at 1.379 million baht, with the latter one getting more driver-assist technologies.

You might easily suggest that the rear-wheel-drive-only Trailblazer is merely different from the four-wheel-drive version (costing 100k more) by the number of driven wheels. In essence, perhaps. Oh, and one more thing: 18-inch wheels are now standard across the range in the Trailblazer, so no more disproportionate alloys for the cheapest model.

But what makes the entry-level Trailblazer worth contemplating is the state of the competition. The Trailblazer now becomes the second SUV in its class after the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport to use just one engine to cover the entire price range.

As with the Pajero Sport's 181hp 2.4-litre diesel-turbo, the Trailblazer's uprated 180hp 2.5-litre variation puts the rest of the competition in the 1.2-1.3 million baht price range into shade when it comes to the power race.

The Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X and Toyota Hilux Revo all have smaller and less powerful engines on the entry-level front producing power in the region of 150hp.

Which brings us to the question: can the Trailblazer prove to be the better no-frills SUV over the Pajero Sport, which is priced slightly lower at 1.164-1.284 million baht?

Cheapest model now gets 18-inch wheels. Sattaphan Kantha

What's cool?

One of the immediate advantages the Trailblazer holds over the Pajero Sport is the interior. Apart from having a slightly more premium feel, the Chevy's cabin is made up of versatile seats that can fold flat for outright cargo space.

Then there's the chassis. The Trailblazer not only seems to have a more controlled ride but also better handling thanks to the new electric power steering. Speaking of that, all Japanese players in this class have yet to embrace such modern technology to help make driving easier at real-world speeds.

And the Trailblazer's performance isn't inferior to that of the Pajero Sport.

What's not?

It is a known fact that Thais like their SUVs to look different from the pickup vehicles. And it's here where the Trailblazer looks too much like the Colorado workhorse, with the Pajero Sport extending the advantage with glitzier looks.

While performance is basically the same, the Trailblazer's diesel feels less refined and is fractionally thirstier on fuel by a real-world difference of around 1kpl. That's probably due to the eight-speed automatic in the Pajero Sport; the Trailblazer uses a six-speeder.

Further proof is the CO2 level. The Pajero Sport manages to stay within the 200g/km level for 20% excise tax, while the Trailblazer fails to do so and must be content with 30%. That partially explains the Pajero Sport's class-leading competitive prices.

There's nothing separating the 4x2 and 4x4 on the skin. Sattaphan Kantha

Buy or bye?

By being 80,000-95,000 baht dearer than the Pajero Sport depending on trim, the Trailblazer may not seem as financially attractive upon initial purchase point (or running costs for fuel).

But the Trailblazer -- which, like the others, is already a million baht vehicle -- considerably compensates in other areas like with more liveable driving manners and cabin -- two key areas that many users of fake 4x4s will find handy for pure on-road and daily use.

While we found the Ford Everest to be the best 4x4 SUV so far, the Trailblazer could actually be the new 4x2 SUV to lust for at the moment.

The 180hp diesel can still be had for 1.2 million baht. Bank Kanchanavilai

Fold-flat seats remains one of the Trailblazer's selling points. Sattaphan Kantha

Location

108, Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd., Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 Thailand

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