2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.2 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 291 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT

  • Strong drivetrains, loads of room inside and a long features list make this an attractive family vehicle, but some cheap interior materials and iffy handling keep it from gaining our full recommendation.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Class-leading engine power, soft highway ride, room for seven, extensive features list, simple controls.

  • Cons

    Skittish handling around corners, numb steering, generic interior design with mediocre materials.

  • What's New for 2006

    Significant changes for the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT include new front and rear fascias for the LT and additional sound insulation on all models. Newly standard this year are OnStar, a stability control system and cruise control.

Full 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT Review

What's New for 2006

Significant changes for the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT include new front and rear fascias for the LT and additional sound insulation on all models. Newly standard this year are OnStar, a stability control system and cruise control.


After years of lagging behind the competition with old-tech engines, bouncy suspensions and cramped interiors, Chevrolet revamped its midsize TrailBlazer in 2002 and turned it into a true class contender. But just because the TrailBlazer is finally in the race doesn't mean it wins it.

Rugged and durable, the TrailBlazer has its roots in Chevy's Blazer line of vehicles, which has long provided transportation to those who take the "climb every mountain" maxim literally. The TrailBlazer traces its history to the S-10 Blazer, a compact sport-ute that first appeared as a 1983 model. Based on the S-10 pickup truck introduced one year earlier, the S-10 Blazer shared most of its components and some sheet metal with that small pickup. In 1991, a four-door S-10 Blazer appeared, just in time to serve up some competition to Ford's Explorer. By 1999, sport-ute fever was burning hot. Chevrolet astutely surmised that buyers would appreciate a dash of luxury with their off-road transportation, and the TrailBlazer was born. This plush version of the four-door Blazer featured a two-tone leather interior, monotone exterior scheme and unique alloy wheels. Unfortunately, this early TrailBlazer didn't quite measure up to its competition.

Thankfully, things took a turn for the better in 2002, when the TrailBlazer benefited from a top-to-bottom overhaul. The EXT was a midyear addition that rode on an extended wheelbase and added a third row of seating. While these improvements have certainly boosted the TrailBlazer's standing, they haven't sent it bolting to the head of its class.

The bottom line? If you can put up with the mushy handling and don't mind the cabin aesthetics, the TrailBlazer EXT is a competent vehicle that offers serious cargo room and above-average passenger space. But from our standpoint, there are even more competent vehicles for the same price or less.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door TrailBlazer EXT seats seven and comes in two trim levels -- LS and LT. LS models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone manual air conditioning, OnStar, a CD player and power windows and locks. LT models add a power driver seat, premium cloth upholstery, foglamps and keyless entry. Major options include leather upholstery, a sunroof, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a DVD-based navigation system, a Bose sound system, an in-dash CD changer and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The TrailBlazer EXT's standard 4.2-liter inline six puts out 291 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. That's more power than most of its competitors' V8s, but those who tow a trailer will appreciate the added low-end grunt of the optional 5.3-liter V8, which kicks out 300 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, V8-powered EXTs can tow up to 7,000 pounds; six-cylinder versions max out at 6,000 pounds. Buyers have a choice between two- and four-wheel drive; 4WD models get the Autotrac system, which can be set to engage all four wheels automatically when slippage is detected at the rear wheels.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes and stability control are standard. Side curtain airbags that protect front- and second-row rear occupants are optional. Though no crash testing has been performed on the EXT model, the regular-wheelbase TrailBlazer rated a perfect five stars in NHTSA tests for side-impact protection of front and rear occupants when equipped with the optional airbags. Frontal-impact testing resulted in a three-star rating for the driver and four stars for the front passenger. The IIHS rated the regular TrailBlazer "Marginal" (the second lowest ranking on a four-point scale) in 40-mph frontal offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The TrailBlazer EXT has a longer wheelbase than the regular TrailBlazer, and this allows it to accommodate a third-row seat, bringing passenger capacity to seven. Fold down both rows of seats in a TrailBlazer EXT and you'll have an impressive 107 cubic feet of cargo space. Most controls are simple to use, but a drab design and low-grade materials leave the Chevy's cabin several steps behind the competition.

Driving Impressions

While the inline six provides adequate power for most driving, the V8 is our choice, as it provides loads of torque for easy passing and merging and extra stamina when hauling heavy loads. Soft suspension tuning gives the TrailBlazer EXT an extremely comfortable ride around town and on the highway. But push it hard into a corner, or take a bump too fast in the dirt, and the sport-ute's soft setup gets out of sorts quickly.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Love it

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

Love this vehicle - plenty of room for our family of 6. Other than routine maintenance (oil changes, brakes, tires) our only service issue has been replacing battery and front wheel bearings at 6 year mark. No complaints here :) This has been a very versitile and reliable vehicle for us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Wouldn't buy another one.

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

We bought our 2006 Trailblazer approximately 3 years ago, so the vehicle would have been 3 years old. Since that time we have had to replace the switch for the windows because they quit working. Now the motor acts like it will give out anytime. The heater fan at a cost of $400, the fuel gauge quit, which is quite the production because they have to drop the whole fuel tank. Chevrolet does have a recall since they have had this problem often so they will reimburse you for half. My check engine light comes on every so often along with the "skid" light. When they decide to they don't go off for awhile. Now it is rusting on the doors.

Worst investment ever

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LT 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

I bought the car used 3 years ago with 43,000 miles on it. Since then I've had to nothing but problems: -Needed a new starter -Driver's side window motor -Heater wires melted and needed to be replaced ($300 fix) -Gas sensor does not work ($700 fix) - 2 wheelbearings - New Battery - Throttle body cleaning (felt like the car would die out when idling) - back emblem fell off - New Transmission at 100,000 Only positive- great in the snow


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

I bought the 2006 Trailblazer EXT with 20,000 miles. A week after I bought it the emissions light came on. I have had it to the garage 6 times and every time I get it the light is off. After driving it about a week the emissions light comes back on. They have replaced sensors and fuel valves. The vehicle has been to a General Motors dealer but they have not fixed the problem. The fuel gauge drops to empty when there is a quarter tank of gas. When I start the engine the gas gauge goes to where it is suppose to be and then after driving a little distance it again drops to empty and the low full light gauge comes on. Any idea how to fix the problem.

Why did you stop making

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

Bought my Trailblazer used from the dealer. Have been back and forth a good few times to the beach, and such and running errands. Biggest problems thus far were with tires (cheap foreign knock offs, one blew out on me and the belt wasn't even steel, it was fabric!) and a pulley bearing for the serpentine belt. I would say to Chevy Blazer/Trailblazer concept is sound, however get your parts somewhere else because it does not take an engineer to figure out that plastic will NOT last 100,000+ miles. Other than that, powertrain and drivetrain have been good overall. Has Bose radio and RSE system in back, AC is Ice cold. Snow driving has been fun, and has held the road even in drifts.

Worst vehicle ever

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT LS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)

The first year of ownership was great...after that it went totally downhill! It has been in the shop more than all of my previous vehicles combined. Air bag problem, emblem fell off, rear wiper went bad, bumper warped and was replaced, steering problem that can't seem to be fixed, fuel tank replaced, three of the doors have had panels replaced (a couple more than twice) and I'm sure to suffer from more. Glad I bought an extended warranty since I have used it twice already. Can't get rid of it since the value isn't worth anything.

Talk About The 2006 TrailBlazer EXT

2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT Discussions See all Started By

I have located a few Trailblazer EXT's and most everyone is only offering me around $7,500 off of MSRP. I would be tempted to purchase one of these if they would give me $10,000 off but they won't bud...

A few weekends ago I had to replace the fan clutch on my '06 Trailblazer EXT LS. In addition to getting the P0495 code from the check engine light, when I rev'd it up it sounded like a jet engine. I...

I found out that there was a recall in 2006 for the Trailblazer ext ls regarding the tire pressure that was inaccurately marked on the vehicle. I was never informed. I have turned in my Trailblazer, b...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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