Used 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS

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2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
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2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Pros

  • Powerful engines, comfortable highway manners, straightforward controls.

Cons

  • Antiquated design, generic cabin with some mediocre materials, unsettled handling, no third-row seating, mediocre safety scores.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer lags behind other traditional midsize SUVs and newer crossover designs due to its aging platform and disappointing performance in key areas.

vehicle overview

We've never been fans of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, though we must admit that our skepticism hasn't prevented it from being a popular choice among sport-utility vehicle shoppers. Affordable and generally competent, the latest TrailBlazer has been around since 2002 as Chevy's midsize truck-based SUV offering. However, the TrailBlazer hasn't changed much since then, and time has marched on. Outclassed in almost every area, you might say the TrailBlazer's expiration date lies somewhere in its rearview mirror.

An example of the traditional SUV genre, the midsize 2009 Chevy TrailBlazer has rugged truck-based underpinnings that provide a beefy towing capacity and a decent level of off-road capability. While this is fine for those who use their vehicles for a lot of recreational use, it also limits the vehicle's desirability for those more interested in responsive handling and a well-designed, versatile and up-to-date cabin. And while the TrailBlazer's ride quality remains a strong point as truck-based SUVs go, crossovers like Chevy's own Traverse -- the TrailBlazer's replacement arriving this year -- are better still and also offer three rows of seating and much better overall packaging.

At the right price, the 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer might offer a lot of value for shoppers who can make use of its truck-based advantages. And high-performance niche fans will also find a lot to like in the limited-production TrailBlazer SS. But for most consumers, there are certainly better choices in the midsize-SUV universe. Traditional models like the Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner offer more cabin refinement and superior road manners, while crossovers like the Traverse, Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Highlander deliver greater passenger and cargo capacity and a more contemporary overall design. The TrailBlazer, as well as its GMC Envoy twin, should be avoided.

Trim levels & features

The 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer is a midsize SUV available in four distinct trim levels: LT, 2LT, 3LT and SS. The base LT package comes equipped with 17-inch alloy 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, Bluetooth, heated outside mirrors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Stepping up to the premium TrailBlazer 3LT nets you 18-inch wheels, driver-seat memory, a power passenger seat, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals and a Bose sound system.

The high-performance TrailBlazer SS has been streamlined into a single top-of-the-line model this year and is equipped similarly to the premium 3LT package in terms of standard and available features. It is primarily differentiated by its powerful V8 engine, sport-tuned suspension with quicker steering, heavy-duty brakes, 20-inch wheels, limited-slip differential, and special interior and exterior trim including SS-specific instrumentation. Depending on trim variation, major options include a two-tone exterior treatment, a Sun and Sound package with a sunroof and a premium audio system, rear-seat entertainment and a navigation system.

2009 Highlights

The previously optional 5.3-liter V8 engine has been dropped for the 2009 Chevy TrailBlazer, and Bluetooth phone connectivity is newly available.

Performance & mpg

TrailBlazer LTs come equipped with a 4.2-liter inline-6 that generates 285 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. It's backed by a four-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The TrailBlazer SS boasts a 6.0-liter V8 cranking out 390 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. For the SS, one may choose standard rear drive or an available full-time AWD system that maximizes street performance instead of off-road ability. Either way, the SS is plenty quick and can hit 60 mph in under 6 seconds. Maximum towing capacity when properly equipped is 6,800 pounds. A 4WD TrailBlazer with the six-cylinder engine delivers an estimated 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 17 mpg in combined driving. An AWD TrailBlazer SS, not surprisingly, checks in considerably lower with a 12/16/13 mpg rating.

Safety

The 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer includes standard antilock disc brakes, stability control, OnStar and side curtain airbags. Safety scores are mixed; 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, the TrailBlazer received an "Acceptable" rating (the second-highest ranking on a four-point scale) for frontal offset tests but just a second-lowest "Marginal" score during side impact tests.

Driving

The 2009 Chevy TrailBlazer's standard suspension elicits mixed reviews. With a soft calibration, it offers a very comfortable ride around town and on the highway but loses composure quickly when pushed hard through corners or over uneven or broken terrain. You might say its handling dynamics are more state-of-the-past than state-of-the-art. The SS, on the other hand, is a much more competent machine, capable of delivering potent performance with a firm but still comfortable ride at all road speeds. The standard inline-6 engine delivers adequate power, though some might find it lacking in low-end torque when pressed.

Interior

The TrailBlazer's cabin hasn't changed in the last few years -- it's still pretty vanilla and constructed with mediocre materials, but at least the layout is straightforward and it's comfortable for up to five adults. For a premium price tag that can easily exceed $40,000, there's nothing special about the SS model's interior aside from a silver-faced tach, monogrammed and bolstered leather "sport" seats and a few pieces of bright trim. Cargo capacity is adequate, with nearly 44 cubic feet of luggage space that increases to 80 cubic feet with the rear seats folded -- sufficient for most uses, but slightly below average compared to its leading competitors.


Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

SS Rocks!
MidnightMike,03/03/2010
Well this is my second TBSS. My first one in Red Jewel was stolen. While waiting for the insurance claim to come in, our rental was a 2009 Ford Flex. I have always been a GM guy, and I need the room for my dj equipment, and the Flex really impressed me, but I happened to be in a Chevy dealership, and noticed a black one on the floor. I fell in love all over again. This one stays in the garage now. I bought wife a Mazda3 to take to the train station. She's happy, and I'm happy, and the SS is safer.
Super Sweet Ride
superspeed,01/24/2010
Bought this truck a month and a half ago after test driving everything from Audi A5's to Infiniti FX35/45's to 2010 Camaro SS. My Trailblazer SS with 3SS package blows them all away. With the exception of how much time I spend at the gas station is not important because similar to other reviews, you do not buy this truck for the gas mileage. Amazing ride. Will take a Grand Chverokee SRT8 off the line and see them in the rearview in a couple of seconds. Most Mustangs GT's dont have a chance. Touch screen Nav with Bose stereo and dual climate are a nice touch. No complaints whatsoever. If you are looking for a conventional suv but aren't ready to make the move this is definitely the way to go
Avoid GM Trash Talk
silencedogoode,11/05/2011
This Trailblazer was the worst road commode I have ever owned. The quality at GM sucks. At 5k mi the trans. slipped. At 8k mi the heater core plugged, and 10k,,,heater core again. Dexcool was eating the seals. At 13k mi, the engine suddenly locked up, after a tow, the dealer told me the eng. was blown. GM at first would not honor the warranty,,,no surprise with Obama at the helm. Squeaks, rattles, loose, and cheap plastic trim, everywhere you look, I was disgusted. I drove this mechanical [violative content deleted] to a Subaru dealer, and bought an 09' Outback LL Bean. Wow! What a difference.
Amazing
wallen,05/28/2009
I have had my tb SS for about 4 months now and am loving every moment. I was a little skeptical at first b/c the SS has been out for almost 4 years now and hasn't had all the new GM updates, but the engine makes it well worth it. The symphonic sound of the engine when the car is floored is just amazing. Fuel economy stinks, but hey, don't buy the car if that is what you are looking for. Also great because you get all the power, and the space. And not to mention, its an eye catcher. 20" really make the car. They really pop on the dark red. If you want the vehicle, find one and buy it b/c they are discontinued after this year
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Features & Specs

MPG
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
390 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
12 city / 16 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
390 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS 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
    Marginal
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
Used 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS Overview

The Used 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS is offered in the following styles: SS 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A), and SS 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS?

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 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SSES are available in my area?

Used 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS Listings and Inventory

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 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.

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Check out Chevrolet TrailBlazer lease specials