2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine lineup, comfortable highway manners, straightforward controls.
  • Aging design, nondescript cabin with some mediocre materials, unsettled handling, no third-row seating, below-average crash-test scores.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$2,763 - $4,155

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Though still a decent SUV, the 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer's aging design puts it at a disadvantage against newer competitors.

Vehicle overview

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer represents what one could consider to be the old guard of midsize SUVs. In the midst of a consumer shift to carlike crossover SUVs, the TrailBlazer maintains the traditional SUV trait of truck-based architecture. While this provides advantages in terms of off-road performance and towing capacity, it limits the vehicle's appeal to those mostly interested in responsive handling and a well-packaged and versatile interior.

The TrailBlazer was last redesigned in 2002, and its age is showing. Though performance and ride quality remain strong points, the Chevy's cabin design is dated and its handling, always circumspect, doesn't inspire much confidence. And unlike most rivals with optional third-row seating, the 2008 TrailBlazer makes do with just two rows and a passenger capacity limited to five.

The 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer could still be a fair choice for consumers wanting a vehicle for frequent towing or off-road use. Some might also find appeal in the high-performance TrailBlazer SS. But overall, we think there are plenty of better choices for a mainstream midsize SUV. Models like the Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner handily top it in terms of cabin refinement and handling composure while also offering the option of third-row seating. This is also true for new crossovers like the Toyota Highlander and Saturn Outlook. Even if you are set on a TrailBlazer, the vehicle's evergreen status means you could pick up a certified-used model for additional savings.

2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer models

The 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer is available in two distinct trim levels -- LT and SS -- with several variations to consider. The base 1LT package comes well-equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone manual air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, OnStar, satellite radio and a CD player. The 2LT upgrade adds automatic climate control, rear air-conditioning and audio controls, leather seating, a power driver seat, heated outside mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Stepping up to the TrailBlazer 3LT gets you 18-inch wheels, driver seat memory, a power passenger seat, heated front seats and a Bose sound system. Depending on trim variation, major options include power-adjustable pedals, a Sun and Sound Package with a sunroof and a premium audio system, rear-seat DVD entertainment and a navigation system.

The basic high-performance TrailBlazer SS (1SS) package is equipped similarly to the 1LT in terms of comfort and convenience features, but also incorporates upgraded V8 power, a sport-tuned suspension with quicker steering, high-performance brakes, 20-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential and special interior and exterior trim. The top-of-the-line 3SS package is even more fully equipped, much like the 3LT package.

2008 Highlights

The 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer carries over with minimal changes, most notably adding satellite radio and side curtain airbags to its standard equipment list.

Performance & mpg

Chevy's TrailBlazer comes standard with a 4.2-liter inline-6 that generates 285 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. A 5.3-liter V8 is optional, featuring 300 hp and 321 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are backed by a four-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drivelines.

The TrailBlazer SS boasts a 6.0-liter V8 cranking out 390 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, mated to a heavy-duty four-speed automatic. For the SS, one may choose standard 2WD or an available full-time AWD system that maximizes street performance instead of off-road ability. Either way, the SS is seriously quick and can hit 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. Maximum towing capacity varies from 5,900 pounds on six-cylinder models to 6,800 pounds with either of the two V8s.

Safety

The 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer includes standard antilock disc brakes, stability control, OnStar communications and side curtain airbags. Government frontal impact testing garnered three stars out of five for the driver and four stars for the front passenger, while side-impact crash testing resulted in a perfect five stars for the protection of both front and rear occupants. In frontal offset crash testing by the IIHS, the TrailBlazer received a "Marginal" score (the second-lowest ranking on a four-point scale).

Driving

The 2008 Chevy TrailBlazer's standard suspension has both good and bad qualities. With tuning on the soft side, it offers an exceptionally comfortable ride around town and on the highway but loses composure quickly when pressed hard through corners or over bumpy terrain. The SS is a different story, delivering a firmer but still comfortable ride at normal road speeds. When pushed through corners and twisty roads, however, its body motions are extremely well controlled, with much more precise steering feel and very little lean.

Interior

The TrailBlazer's cabin is rather bland and constructed with some subpar materials, but the layout is straightforward and it's reasonably comfortable for up to five adults. For its higher price tag, there's nothing exceptional about the SS model's interior aside from a silver-faced tach, monogrammed "sport" seats and a few pieces of bright trim. Cargo capacity is generous, however, with nearly 44 cubic feet of luggage space that increases to 80 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2008 Trailblazer
Lynn Douglas,12/30/2015
LT 4dr SUV 4WD w/3LT (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
We bought it new, I now have 160,000 miles on it and are heading for Arizona tomorrow. No problems whatsoever. New bat., new tires, new alt., that's it. I have a 18' camper and traveled around the USA. handled great, could use a little more power, but did nicely in the mountains. I have a 4500 lb. boat and we go to Lake Superior, approximately 350 miles, and it handled the job nicely.
Good Truck
fratblazer08,10/24/2010
Got my 08 Trailblazer used and I've been loving it ever since. Has a plenty of power for a pretty large SUV, yet also gets around 19mpg if driven for optimal fuel economy. Drives perfectly smooth and handles really well for an SUV, the only thing is that the sway bars are VERY stiff, so going over a speed bump at an angle is going to shake you pretty bad. Handles well off road, can hold its own just fine even with 2wd. I preferred almost everything about the Trailblazer when I compared to all the other SUVs of its caliber on the market.
Great Vehicle
kimba727,02/13/2011
Leased 1Lt w/4x4-- 1 yr into owning the vehicle moved cross country--happy with performance and ride. It was a comfortable vehicle and has great turning radius for getting in and out of parking spaces. Even my hubby liked the turning and handling. I was involved in a 3 car crash-rear ended by a earlier model TB and had minimal damage-new rear bumper and lift gate. This vehicle held up. My lease is up and cant buy it--so will turn it in- It will be missed and down the road I will keep checking to see if I cant pickup the same model. It was great in the snow or any elements. Always felt safe and comfortable.
Love my TrailBlazer!
New chevyowner,01/06/2009
After being a 25 year Ford customer and having a dismal experience with my last Explorer, I decided to make the switch to a Chevy. Wow what a difference, I should have done it years ago. The TrailBlazer is as beautiful as the Explorer, with a much smoother ride. I can't feel every little crack in the road like with the Explorer, the transmission is superb with none of the problems I experienced from day one with the horrible Explorer transmission (so far, I haven't had it long). Chevy offers the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty which tells me that they put alot of confidence in their product.

Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
390 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
285 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
390 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
285 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer features & specs

Safety

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
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Used 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer Overview

The Used 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer is offered in the following submodels: Trailblazer SUV, Trailblazer SS. Available styles include SS 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV w/2LT (4.2L 6cyl 4A), SS 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV 4WD w/2LT (4.2L 6cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV w/3LT (4.2L 6cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), SS 4dr SUV AWD w/3SS (6.0L 8cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A), SS 4dr SUV w/3SS (6.0L 8cyl 4A), LT 4dr SUV 4WD w/3LT (4.2L 6cyl 4A), Fleet 4dr SUV (4.2L 6cyl 4A), Fleet 4dr SUV w/2FL (4.2L 6cyl 4A), Fleet 4dr SUV 4WD (4.2L 6cyl 4A), and Fleet 4dr SUV 4WD w/2FL (4.2L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 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) 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale near. 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 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Can't find a used 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,789.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $20,121.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $12,679.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 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