2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer Interior
Seating and space are adequate in the TrailBlazer, but reviews say the interior is rather uninspiring. The high points are a straightforward layout and comfortable seating for five, but reviews complain about the use of low-grade materials.
Roominess is one of the TrailBlazer's major assets. Five adults, two up front in three in back, "will find the passenger compartment accommodating," according to Forbes. And Kelley Blue Book says the TrailBlazer "has good front- and rear-seat legroom, lots of headroom and a fair amount of cargo space."
Regardless, reviewers are largely unimpressed. Car and Driver argues, "The cabin lacks a quality feel," while MarketWatch "felt that the design of the interior looked a bit dated." Edmunds suggests that interior quality has been an issue from day one, "It looked out of date soon after this midsize SUV's debut, and the quality of the materials and construction has always been suspect." Consumer Guide compares the cabin to the competition, noting, "The similar Ascender, Envoy, and 9-7X have more-upscale interiors than TrailBlazer, but all suffer generic fabrics and unappealing hard, molded plastics that don't match the look or feel of most competitors' decor."
The TrailBlazer seats five passengers in two rows. "Now that the long-wheelbase EXT version has been dropped," says Edmunds, referring to a discontinued trim level, "there's no way to get a third-row seat." In general, reviewers agree with Cars.com that "interior space is ample, and the seats are somewhat firm." Consumer Guide finds "good head and leg room, even for taller folks," and calls the seats "too soft for best support, but not uncomfortable."
The back row is spacious. The Chicago Sun-Times writes, "This is one of few mid-size SUVs that will allow three adults to sit comfortably in the second row, at least if they're on the slim side." Consumer Guide claims that "six-footers have ample head and knee room, plus adequate underseat foot space," and argues that the rear bench seat is "comfortable, fairly supportive, and wide enough for three adults with a little squeezing." Even Edmunds, despite lamenting the lack of a third row, concedes, "The second-row accommodations, at least, are reasonably spacious."
The 3SS is the only trim that comes standard with leather seats, though leather seats are available as an option on the LT.
The TrailBlazer doesn't skimp on features. "Up front," reports New Car Test Drive, "the driver gets complete and clean instrumentation. Heating and air-conditioning can be controlled separately by the driver and front-seat passenger." Meanwhile, says Kelley Blue Book, "a long list of optional equipment makes it easy to personalize the TrailBlazer." Edmunds finds, "Luxury and performance features, such as a navigation system, DVD system and stability control are fully up to date."
The base LT model comes standard with air conditioning, power windows and door locks, power rear-glass release, cruise control, OnStar, auxiliary power outlets, a tilt-wheel steering column, an AM/FM stereo with CD player, XM Satellite Radio, and premium cloth front bucket seats.
Stereo and Entertainment
Consumer Guide calls the touch screen navigation/audio system (optional on the LT and 3SS models) "fairly easy to use," and says it "doesn't complicate stereo adjustments." Regarding the stereo that comes with the navigation, New Car Test Drive writes, "We found the premium 275-watt Bose system offered outstanding sound quality and adjustment versatility. Most of the available audio systems include RDS (Radio Data Systems) technology, allowing the listener to search for stations by type, display information including song and artist identification, and provide traffic and weather updates." For 2008, Chevrolet adds satellite radio as an additional feature for Trailblazers.
The TrailBlazer offers good cargo room for its class. According to NewCars.com, this means that the "TrailBlazer is likely a better choice than the average midsize SUV as far as hauling capacity, especially if you often need to carry a lot of cargo or big pets." "Cargo capacity is generous," decides Edmunds, pointing out, "With the seats in use there are 44 cubic feet available, but if you fold down the 60/40-split rear seat, it nearly doubles, putting 80 cubes at your disposal." The split seat, says Consumer Guide, "converts easily, helped by automatic-folding headrests" -- though the "liftgate's opening glass sits too high up for easy routine loading/unloading." The sport-tuned SS, which sits lower, doesn't have the same problem. The observes, "Loading stuff is a snap with the TrailBlazer SS because the large cargo area has a low, wide opening."
The cabin, reports Consumer Guide, has a "good array of pockets and compartments for small items." New Car Test Drive provides a rundown: "The center console includes an open storage bin, an enclosed compartment and two cup holders forward of the gear lever plus two cup holders for the rear passengers. There are pockets in the front doors and behind the front seats, though none in the rear doors. Behind the rear seat is a small hidden compartment under the floor."