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Model-year 2002 was a defining moment for the TrailBlazer. That year saw the midsize SUV benefiting from a redesign that made it a much more competitive player in its segment. It also saw the launch of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT, an extended-wheelbase version of the popular sport-utility vehicle.
The TrailBlazer EXT gave you everything a TrailBlazer did, plus an extended wheelbase and a third-row seat that enabled it to accommodate up to seven passengers. This means you benefited from all the good things offered by Chevy's best-selling midsize SUV of the time -- most notably, a long list of standard features and a cushy highway ride. Unfortunately, you also got the not-so-good things, like uninspired interior design and dull steering and handling that became restive when the road got twisty.
The breakout stars of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT's lineup were its engines. The SUV's 4.2-liter inline-6 charmed us with 275 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque (power jumped to 291 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque in 2006), giving it more grunt than was offered by many competing V8s. For heavy-duty towing, a 5.3-liter V8 was available that churned out 290 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque (boosted to 300 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque in 2005). With all that power underfoot, we really wanted to love the TrailBlazer EXT, but shortcomings regarding its handling and cabin kept it from fully capturing our hearts. Model-year 2006 marked the end of the line for this king-sized SUV. More information about the TrailBlazer model can be found here.