2004 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4WD 4dr SUV (4.3L 6cyl 4A)
Chevrolet based this compact SUV on their S10 pickup. This means that it is a truck based SUV which is some what of a rarity in today's world. The down side is that this adds weight but to me, I plan to own this truck for a long time and the frame offers some great jacking points. The power trane is based on the Chevrolet 350 V8 minus 2 cylinders so the basic design has millions of development miles under its belt. From a service stand point, the push rod motor eliminates the need to replace a cam belt which is an expensive requirement on many of its competitors. The automatic transmission offers electronic control which helps with drivability. The truck is a proven design which I prefer.
In 2003 Chevrolet offered port fuel injection on the motor which improves cold weather starting and lowers exhaust emissions. They also added a balance shaft to the motor earlier in the production cycle to cancel vibration as the V6 - 4.3L design was affectionately known as the "Shaker".
They do not make this truck any longer in NA so making improvements is a moot point. They use Billstein shocks and a twin piston ABS caliper on the front discs which helps with braking. The bottom is covered in a series of plastic panels, which if made of steel would enhance off road performance.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.