2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong engine performance, comfortable highway ride, extensive features list, user-friendly controls.
  • Skittish handling around corners, numb steering, generic interior design with mediocre materials.
Other years
List Price Range
$4,995 - $6,495

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A strong drivetrain, plenty of room inside and a long features list make the 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer an attractive family vehicle, but some cheap interior materials and iffy handling keep it from gaining our full recommendation.

Vehicle overview

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. 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 Chevrolet TrailBlazer is a direct descendant of 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 the Explorer.

By 1999, SUV fever was burning hot. Chevrolet astutely surmised that buyers would appreciate a dash of luxury with their off-road transportation, and the Chevy 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, undermined by cavernous gap tolerances between panels, a dated exterior and decidedly subpar handling.

Things took a turn for the better in 2002, when the Chevrolet TrailBlazer benefited from a top-to-bottom overhaul. There was more power under the hood, more style on the outside and more passenger and cargo room inside. 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 (the exception to this being the new SS trim) and don't mind the drab cabin aesthetics, the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer is a competent vehicle. But from our standpoint, there are even more competent vehicles for the same price or less.

2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer models

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer offers two trim levels -- LS and LT. LS models come decently equipped, offering such features as 16-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone manual air conditioning, cruise control, OnStar, a CD player and power windows and locks. LT models add a power driver seat, premium cloth upholstery, foglamps, keyless entry and 17-inch alloys. The SS package can be added to either model, and includes sport suspension, 20-inch polished wheels, unique interior and exterior trim and the 6.0-liter V8. 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.

2006 Highlights

The headlining news for the 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer is the debut of a new SS trim. This is the first time that Chevrolet has applied an SS badge to an SUV. The TrailBlazer SS trim includes a 391-hp, 6.0-liter V8; an available all-wheel-drive system; a sport-tuned suspension; 20-inch wheels; and more powerful brakes. Special SS interior trim pieces and reduced exterior body cladding are also part of this new package. Other changes for the TrailBlazer this year include new front and rear fascias for the LT trim, additional sound insulation and a newly available 300-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8. OnStar, a stability control system and cruise control are also now standard for all trim levels.

Performance & mpg

The TrailBlazer's standard 4.2-liter inline six puts out 291 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. 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. The SS package includes a 6.0-liter V8 with 391 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, V8 models can tow up to 6,800 pounds; six-cylinder versions max out at 6,200 pounds. Buyers have a choice between two- and four-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive TrailBlazers with the SS package gain an upgraded system with a Torsen center differential. The SS is seriously quick and can hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes and stability control are standard. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional. If equipped with the optional airbags, the NHTSA gives the Chevy TrailBlazer a perfect five stars for its protection of front and rear occupants in side-impact crashes. Frontal-impact testing resulted in three-star ratings for the driver and four stars for the front passenger. The IIHS rated the TrailBlazer "Marginal" (the second lowest ranking on a four-point scale) in 40-mph frontal offset crash testing.


The 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer is great for freeway on-ramps and highway passing, but stop-and-go driving reveals a lack of low-end grunt from the standard inline six that keeps it from earning unanimous praise. While the inline six provides adequate power for most driving, either of the V8s are our choice, as they provide loads of torque for easy passing and merging and extra stamina when hauling heavy loads. The sport-ute's suspension is a mixed bag. Its soft tuning results in 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 TrailBlazer's soft setup gets out of sorts quickly. The SS is another story. Around town and at normal freeway speeds the ride is firm but comfortable. When pressed on twisty roads, the SS' body motions are extremely well controlled, the steering feel is excellent and there's very little lean during hard cornering.


The Chevrolet TrailBlazer offers ample interior room, with five adults able to fit comfortably. If you need seven-passenger capacity, you'll want to look at the longer-wheelbase TrailBlazer EXT. Although most of the controls are easy to use, the overall interior design is drab compared to the cabins of competitors, and many of the TrailBlazer's interior materials look and feel cheap. The cargo bay holds 44 cubic feet, and if you fold down the 60/40-split rear seat, you've got 80 cubes at your disposal.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

My heavy chevy
LS 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
I have had this truck since 07. I bought it for myself as a birthday gift. It sits at 198,000 miles and it runs like I just drove it off the lot. I keep up the necessary maintanace on it. I have been threw a few battiers, much to my own fault for having my system hooked up to it. A fuel tank sensor (recalled so I got my money back), tires, water pump two times, an altanator, rear hatch shocks, and some front end stuff (struts, control arms, bearings, etc. ) I love this truck and I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I'm not looking forward to the day I have to replace it...
Solid Engine, Good value vehicle
Brad M.,12/20/2015
LS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
My parents bought a 2006 4WD LS Trailblazer from a used car lot in 2007/2008 with about 20K-30K miles on it. We have since owned the vehicle since 2010. This SUV was the first one I've ever owned. It took a little getting used to the low gas mileage, but living in Pennsylvania with sometimes heavy snow and icy conditions, it was great having a vehicle with 4WD and good ground clearance. This vehicle will hit 200,000 miles within the next month and I hope to keep the vehicle for at least another 20K miles (unless some costly major repair is needed). The vehicle is on its 3rd or 4th set of tires, I replaced the engine belt at 187K miles, I've replaced the front struts, all 4 rotors recently, and the belt tensioner twice ($15 part). The O2 sensor has been replaced once and I am online now ordering a thermostat for the engine (and a rear tail-light, my wife backed into a car yesterday while out shopping). The Inline 6 engine is highly rated and I've never had any issue with it. The rear struts need to be replaced, but it still passes state inspection and each time the mechanics mention how great of condition this vehicle is in. My only complaints with this vehicle are that the interior is cheap looking on our LS model. The dash is cheap feeling hard plastic and the rear speakers have been out for over a year. Overall I love this vehicle and would consider buying another even though they are pretty old. There is a fantastic website forum called TrailVoy.com with tons of discussions for any problem you could have with this vehicle and helpful tips on DIY fixes, or advice on paying for repairs.
Fuel Sensor issue
We had a fuel sensor issue with the Trailblazer. The gas gague always read empty when the sensor went out. There is a "hidden assistance recall" that GM has that you have to go thru a dealer. We were quoted $340 just to replace the sensor and not the pump. We found the sensor on e-bay for $25.00 and did it ourselves.
06 Trailblazer
This is my second Trailblazer. First one was 2003. Kept the 2003 for about 4 years and 90,000+ miles. I bought the 2006 in 2009 with about 30,000 miles on it. It now has 115,000 miles. Love its power and appearance. Gas mileage is acceptable with about 15-17 city and 20 -22 on the highway. Only problems with it other than maintenance was the fuel sensor, which I had to replace and belt tensioner ($20.00). I have replaced the brakes twice. Tires replaced once. Used it to pull 4,000 lb trailer for a while. It did it, but it wasn't happy. With a 3,000 lb trailer it drives much better, but hwy mileage sank to about 13-14 mpg. When this one wears out I will look for another one.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer features & specs 


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer Overview

The Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer is offered in the following submodels: Trailblazer SUV. Available styles include LS 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), LS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), and LT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS is priced between $4,995 and$4,995 with odometer readings between 110968 and110968 miles.
  • The Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer LT is priced between $6,495 and$6,495 with odometer readings between 91714 and91714 miles.

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Which used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2006 Trailblazers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,995 and mileage as low as 91714 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $21,650.

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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Trailblazer lease specials