Is this the 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer?

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Could we be getting a new 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the US? These photos suggest yes!

I miss the Chevy Trailblazer, honestly. It was the last mid-size body-on-frame SUV from General Motors. These days, if you want something smaller than a Tahoe, or a house – I mean, a Suburban, and if you’re looking to spend less than $50,000 on a proper SUV, you’re out of luck at Chevrolet or GMC. It’s a shame, really. The Trailblazer, and its predecessor, the Blazer, was an affordable mid-size SUV that offered cargo capacity, decent fuel economy for what it was, and the ability to tow 5,000 pounds thanks to its body-on-frame architecture.

Now, if you want something smaller, you’re stuck with the three-row Traverse crossover, seen here:

 

2015 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

2015 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ

The Traverse is a fine vehicle, with three rows of seating and available AWD. The problem? It’s a FWD-based unibody crossover. Essentially, a hip minivan for 2015. There’s no offroad capability. Its base towing capacity is a mere 2,000 pounds. Power comes from a 3.6 liter V6 that’s actually quite good, but there’s no diesel, and no V8. If you pine for an SUV that you can use for work and family hauling, this is not the vehicle you are looking for.

The 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer is, though. And these photos indicate that it just might be coming to America. Good morning, my neighbors! Here is a 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer being driven in Michigan on manufacturer’s plates. It was spotted and photographed by reader Alison Chan.

2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ front 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ wheels 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ right side 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ rear 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ rear interior 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ left side 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ Interior

 

What do we know from the photos? Quite a bit. This 2016 Chevy Trailblazer isn’t wearing any camo of any kind, but there’s clearly some testing equipment in the front of the interior. Looks like some sort of data connection to its OBD II diagnostics port, possibly emissions testing. The badges on the rear indicate that this is an LTZ, so it would be the top trim level – or one of them, as some Chevrolet models further break down LTZ into 1LZ, 2LZ, and sometimes 3LZ.

We can see leather seats, very nicely appointed, and a touch screen in the center dash. Probably an 8 inch unit with Chevrolet’s MyLink voice activated technology like all of the other models. Its face is very reminiscent of the hot-selling Chevrolet Colorado, which is a good thing. It appears to be lacking a third row seat, which makes sense. This would slot in below the Tahoe and Suburban, but still be a fully capable 4×4 SUV, as indicated by its 6-lug hubs and increased ground clearance.

Overseas, the 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer is already being sold, and it’s quite popular in many emerging Asian markets. They also have an awesome engine choice: a 2.8 liter Duramax turbo diesel V6. It produces 200 horsepower, but a very healthy 369 lb-ft. of torque! This would be a great choice to bring over here, but there’s no word on whether or not GM will bring its miniature Duramax over to the states. If we can’t get a 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer, the least they could do is make it an option on the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and 2016 GMC Canyon pickups. A small pickup truck with a diesel engine would sell like hotcakes – and the gas versions are already doing quite well in that department as it is!

The global 2016 Chevrolet Trailblader rides on the GMI700 platform, just like the Colorado and Canyon pickups. It could be only a matter of time before Chevrolet unveils a US-market Trailblazer SUV for us as well. We suspect it would start out at around the same price as the Traverse, or maybe slightly cheaper for base model trims. Current 2015 Traverse pricing starts at $30,995 MSRP for an LS FWD model, all the way up to $42,810 for an LTZ FWD. If you spring for the all-wheel-drive, those prices jump to $33,870 for an LS and $44,810 for an LTZ.

What do you think? Would you buy a body-on-frame midsize SUV that started in the $28-32,000 range? I think the answer for many people would be a resounding “yes.” Just please, GM: Give us a V8 and a diesel, and we will be happy. If you build it, we will come.

Ray Saez, Jr.

Ray is a lifelong auto enthusiast. His father worked on the dealership side of the industry for many years, and his passion for fast, fun, and unique cars has been passed on. Particularly fond of American cars and trucks, Ray is an avid General Motors fan. When not writing, he can be found with his dogs, or at a local car show.

View all contributions by Ray Saez, Jr.

Website: http://autowaffle.com

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