Chevy Blazes a Trail With Its Iconic SUV

A person of religion is shown on his knees praying to a Chevy badge.

If you’re looking for a Chevy Trailblazer for sale right now, then you might think you already know everything there is to know about this small SUV. Well then, why don’t you write this article if you’re so smart, huh? Go ahead and tell everyone about how Chevy has evolved this vehicle across several different names, including the original Trailblaze and the even blazier Trailblazer. Go on, I’ll wait…

That’s what I thought, hot shot. Not so clever now, are you!? Fortunately, I’m the sort of person who can forgive such arrogance and provide you all with the information you’re so hungry for. You’re welcome, in advance, and this is just my way of rewarding you all with the remarkable wealth of knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years. So let’s take a look at the history of the Trailblazer, where we’re at today with this model, and what the future holds.

Origins: The 1976 Chevy Trailblaze

Some people will try to tell you that the Chevy Trailblazer got its start as the “TrailBlazer” trim available for the Chevy Blazer back in the late 1990s. Those people are idiots. In truth, the original version of this vehicle dates back to the mid 1970s, when Chevy introduced the Trailblaze SUV. It was released right around the height of the Oil Crisis and got a truly astounding 4 MPG in the city and 3 GPM (gallons per mile) on the highway.

As you can imagine, it was hated by a wide range of drivers at the time. It was only offered for two model years, during which sales were so poor that Chevy had to buy a massive plot of wilderness from the federal government, and used that land to bury thousands of Trailblaze models unsold. According to legend, they lost the deeds and maps to this land, so Chevy has no idea where they were buried, and there’s a standing $4.17 bounty on offer for anyone who can find it and provide GM with that information. Despite its unpopularity when it was new, like Star Trek a fan base developed for the Trailblaze in the years following its cancelation. These days, a Trailblaze model in good condition is quite the collector’s item if you can find the right buyer.

Modern Take: The Chevy Trailblazer

Following this disastrous initial launch, Chevy went back to the drawing board and began working on a new take for this vehicle. After almost 20 years of development, the best they could come up with was a trim level for the Chevy Blazer. In need of a new name, their marketing department decided they wanted something to convey a vehicle even more of a trailblaze than the original one, hence a “TrailBlazer.”

Following that release, we got the more modern take on the TrailBlazer as its own model for the 2002 model year as an SUV that was available until 2009. This iconic SUV took a break for a hot minute, then returned as an all-new offering for the 2020 model year and has quickly proven itself as a very popular subcompact crossover. It should come as no surprise, then, that GM has bigger plans for this vehicle than you might suspect. In fact, it’s going in a direction that few could predict, so here’s the inside scoop…

Future Plans: The Buick TrailBlazest

No, you didn’t read that wrong. This is what the future holds for this SUV. Everyone knows Chevy has an overloaded lineup, while Buick has a strangely useless selection of models available, so Big Papa GM wants to shake things up and move things around. Part of this is discontinuing the Chevy Trailblazer in the not-too-distant future, then reintroducing it as a Buick model. Once again, looking for a name that expresses growth and advancement, they’ve decided that if something starts as a Trailblaze, then goes Trailblazer, it must finally be the TrailBlazest! Yes, the big “B” is back, baby.

My sources within GM have confirmed that engineers are already hard at work to make the TrailBlazest the blaziest trail that ever trailblazed ever. What that means, exactly, is unknown even to those people working on the project, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out. Early designs and sketches suggest it could be a completely revolutionary offering with advanced power systems, innovative technology, and a design that’s at once familiar, yet revelatory. It’s also just as likely that it will be a Chevy Equinox with a Buick sticker slapped on it. Stay tuned to see what GM decides!

Editor’s Note: Although we have been unable to verify all of the information in this article, we’ve decided to publish it anyway because that’s what online journalism is all about in the current year of 202—um, whatever year this is. GM did respond to our initial request for a statement confirming that they are developing the TrailBlazest to be “the blaziest trail that ever trailblazed ever!” Although this response came from an email account in Bangkok, we assume it is legit.


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