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  1. #1
    Moderator vetteboy86's Avatar
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    Default Buying wife new vehicle, input welcome!

    Looking at buying my wife a Trailblazer, probably 05 or newer. I am going back and forth on the V6 or V8. I know the V8 has the (DOD) but it doesn't get that much worse mileage than the V6, plus you get the added hp and tq.

    Any suggestions???

    Thanks,
    Craig
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  2. #2
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    GS Diva's Avatar
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    Although I'm not an SUV driver at all and probably can't appreciate a Trailblazer, I would say that given today's gas prices, a V6 would be much more practical! Just my opinion...

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  3. #3
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    The trailblazer doesn't have a V6. It has the 4.2 dual overhead cam inline 6. A great engine by the way.

  4. #4
    Moderator vetteboy86's Avatar
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    Yep, you are correct! A slight oversight on my part. The I6 does put out impressive numbers, 291 hp and 271 tq, and 20 hwy mpg and 15 city mpg, compared to the 5.3 which is like 19 and 14.

  5. #5
    Tuna's Avatar
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    Is she going to use it for heavy hauling or towing?
    If no, the I6 will do just fine.
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  6. #6
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    Quote Originally Posted by vetteboy86 View Post
    Looking at buying my wife a Trailblazer, probably 05 or newer. I am going back and forth on the V6 or V8. I know the V8 has the (DOD) but it doesn't get that much worse mileage than the V6, plus you get the added hp and tq.

    Any suggestions???

    Thanks,
    Craig
    Well, first thing you need to know is that no TrailBlazer has a V6 engine. The base TrailBlazer powertrain is an inline six. I should add that, as inline sixes go, it's a pretty good one, too. It has a DOHC head and makes 285hp whereas the 5.3L V8 only makes 15 more. Admittedly, in mid-range torque, the V8 excels.

    The EPA mileage figures for both engines bear little relation to what the truck will get in real life. Her fuel mileage in the real world depends greatly on what your wife will do with the vehicle and how she drives it.

    If the duty cycle will be primarily light loads, driven primarily around town by someone who's an easy driver, the I-6 is clearly the best choice. Once gas goes to 5 bucks a gallon you will welcome that six cylinder.

    On the other hand, if the loads will be heavy or you guys may tow a boat, tow some ATVs or a utility trailer, or she'll drive a lot at highway speeds over medium or long distances and/or the wife is a "lead foot", the V8 is the choice to make.

    That said, you should consider carefully whether you need a truck-based SUV, at all.

    Many people who want a sports-utility vehicle can actually get by with what the market calls a "crossover" but what really is a car-based, all-wheel-drive, station wagon with high ground clearance.

    Crossovers are almost always a little smaller, are always lighter, are easier to drive and, virtually all of them get better mileage than truck-based SUVs and some of them get significantly better mileage than truck-based SUVs. Chevy's cross over is called "Equinox".

    If you don't need 4WD or AWD and high ground clearance (and few people do unless they live in places that see below freezing winter temperatures or drive off road a lot) but want an SUV that gets great gas mileage and you can live with something smaller, look at the Chevy HHR. It carries four and has a cargo area behind the rear seat that holds more than one would think. When ordered with the 170hp engine and the sport suspension, it makes an excellent combination of small size, great mileage and modest hauling ability. In fact, I bought my wife an HHR.

    Don't get caught up in the idea that full-sized or mid-sized SUVs are inherantly safer than smaller crossovers or compact SUVs. In some cases they are, but in other situations they may not offer any significant safety advantage over a smaller vehicle unless they are also ordered with stability enhancement.

    Lastly, don't buy into the urban myth that full-sized or mid-sized truck based SUVs are safer because the driver sits up higher. That, for the most part, is not proven by accident statistics.

  7. #7
    Member G Winter's Avatar
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    My daughter and son in law have a 2002 trailblazer with the I6. I was quite impressed with the power. Most of their driving is in a city of about 140 k and the average mileage sits at about 14 mpg, and my daughter does have a heavy foot. One thing seems to be weak on them. At 50k the sway bar links needed to be replaced. Cost on those was about $25 each, but they were a couple SOBs to get lose. Maybe a good air wrench would have helped.

    Glenn

  8. #8
    Moderator vetteboy86's Avatar
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    I appreciate all your responses. I have been thinking about what we will really need, vs. what she really wants. She started out wanting a highlander, and since I had a 4runner some time ago, I didn't disagree to much other than the price tag.

    I figured that the trailblazer was a good vehicle, but the equinox has caught my attention. I want her to be safe in whatever she has. Plus 4WD would be nice for here since we do get a fair share of crappy weather.

    I guess my hidden agenda is that if she gets something with towing capabilities it would relieve some dutys of my truck

    Well I have much to consider, and look forward to more suggestions.

    Craig

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