If there’s ever a country that needs rugged, hardy and comfy pickups and SUVs, it’s the Philippines. Crappy roads (have you driven on EDSA lately?) and the occasional flash flood every time Mother Nature does its thing almost necessitates the use of SUVs and pickup trucks on our roads. Add apocalyptic levels of traffic to the mix, and you have a market that’s screaming for tough, rugged cars that need to be able to go anywhere but still feel comfortable to drive.
Enter Chevrolet’s 2017 Trailblazer and Colorado. While Chevy’s trucks and SUVs have always had class-leading performance in terms of ruggedness and comfort, but the interiors of their vehicles have never been what you’d call luxurious. The refreshed models have taken many of the complaints and criticisms of its customers to heart, and the results speak for themselves.
Finally, premium interiors paired with a muscular face
There’s been quite a number of changes done to the aesthetics of the new models. The front is more muscular, tapping into Chevy’s 100-year truck heritage. The lights have been reworked, the hood is a little wider and the vehicles now get daytime running lights. The taillights have also been updated, and the vehicles also get 18-inch allow wheels.
Probably the biggest change that Chevy has put into the two vehicles is the interior. Chevy’s pulled out all the stops to make you feel like you’re stepping into a premium vehicle. The company used plenty of soft-touch plastic inside the car, and the seats are now leather. The center dash has Chevy’s latest iteration of their MyLink infotainment system, which incidentally also supports both Apple CarPlay AND Android Auto. That’s awesome news specially for techies, since the dash can now show more detailed information than regular infotainment systems in other vehicles.
Chevrolet has revamped the innards of both models as well for a more refined drive. A new electric power steering system combined with a revised suspension makes the vehicles effortless to drive, even in high speeds. Chevrolet’s particularly proud of the new NVH deadening properties of the mounts that they used on the transmission, engine, stabilizer, springs, dampers and seals, which makes the vehicles 10 to 8 decibels quieter on the road compared to the previous generation.
While creature comforts are nice, both the 2017 Trailblazer and Colorado are rugged machines, able to go offroad at a moment’s notice when need be. The Colorado has a maximum wading depth of around 800mm, though Chevrolet recommends not going over 550mm if you can help it. It’s also capable of traversing inclines of up to 45 degrees safely, and makes short work of even the crappiest road. Chevrolet’s even thrown in several new driving assist features on both vehicles – both now have a driver’s knee airbag as well as a tire pressure monitor, lane departure warning and front and rear parking assist. There’s also vehicle stability control, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert and side blind zone warning for the Trailblazer.
As far as powerplant goes, the two new vehicles will have a choice between a 2.5L Duramax engine and a bigger, 2.8L Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine (VGT). The upgraded 2.5L Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine now also benefits from a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) producing 132kW (180 PS) of power and 440 Nm of torque, while the 2.5L Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel engine (FGT) is still available on lower specification models matched with a manual transmission.
A ride that’s comfortable even when you go off the beaten track
With so many features in the cars, we didn’t have any doubts about the challenging road conditions that we drove in Danao, Cebu during our test drive. We drove the Colorado down to the Danasan Eco Park in Danao, Cebu, where the roads were less than ideal, and incredibly narrow. The Colorado felt responsive during our drive, which is thanks to the new electric power steering. The car felt stable as we navigated through twisting roads and hilly inclines, helped by the automatic hill descent control.
Once we got to the Eco Park, we were greeted by Chevrolet’s torture track designed to test the Colorado’s abilities. A 35 degree tilted road, 500mm river crossing and a 45-degree uphill climb were just some of the things the Colorado had to go through. The Colorado managed to get through each of these challenges with flying colors – and we’re sure that it’ll be able to navigate Manila’s challenging roads just fine.
All in all Chevrolet’s latest refresh for the Trailblazer and Colorado are impressive. The brand has finally addressed the less than stellar interiors of their highly rugged and powerful trucks, and the result is phenomenal. While both vehicles will retail at premium prices for their categories, there’s plenty of value to be had both on the inside and outside.
2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer configurations and prices:
- Trailblazer LT 2.5L 4×2 M/T – PhP 1,378,888
- Trailblazer LT 2.8L 4×2 A/T – PhP 1,509,888
- Trailblazer Z71 2.8L 4×4 A/T – PhP 1,881,888
2017 Chevrolet Colorado configurations and prices:
- Colorado LT 2.5L 4×2 M/T – PhP 1,167,888
- Colorado LT 2.8L 4×2 A/T – PhP 1,267,888
- Colorado LTZ 2.8L 4×4 M/T – PhP 1,613,888
- Colorado LTZ 2.8L 4×4 A/T – PhP 1,689,888