WITH the highest torque output, second-best power figure and relatively light kerb mass, when compared to the other 4x4s at the 2017 Tow Test, the Holden Trailblazer looked very promising as a tow hauler.
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It felt responsive compared to the others from the moment we took off with the caravan behind it – you even feel tempted to check that ’van is still hitched up.
On the freeway, the Trailblazer cruised easily in sixth gear with the engine quietly spinning at 1600rpm at 100km/h, even on slight inclines. With slightly steeper climbs, the transmission eventually made a downshift to fifth, where the engine revved at 2200rpm; while amping up the noise level, it wasn’t intrusive.
The Driftbox recorded acceleration figures that put the Trailblazer as the quickest of this bunch to 60km/h, despite the wheelspin just off the line on very wet tarmac. Reaching 80km/h took 0.1sec more than the Ford Everest, which was the quickest of the six wagons in this increment.
The Trailblazer’s engine is a relatively smooth diesel and doesn’t object to being revved to give its best.
While you might put the slightly slower 0-80km/h time – compared to the Everest – down to wet-weather traction issues, the same can’t be said of our hill climb test, where the Trailblazer was 2km/h slower than the Everest at the top of the hill.
Even though it doesn’t feel like a particularly slow-revving, high compression diesel when accelerating hard though the gears, it sure behaves like one when using engine braking. The Trailblazer recorded a respectable 60km/h at the bottom of our test descent.
The Trailblazer’s fuel figure was around average for this group, and its fuel range was an acceptable 492km when towing.
The Trailblazer rose 18mm at the front and dropped 30mm at the rear once 180kg of coupling weight was dropped onto the towball. Its 2845mm wheelbase is similar to its competitors, but the rear-axle-to-towball-point measurement, at 1270mm, is by far the longest.
Perhaps that might, in part, explain the Trailblazer’s tendency to yaw slightly over bumpy roads with a caravan behind – it didn’t feel quite as planted as some of the others when towing. The ride quality felt firm when towing, but not to the point where it became uncomfortable.
Like most of the wagons here, you can’t load up the Trailblazer to its full payload and also tow a trailer at the maximum permitted weight. The Trailblazer’s GCM figure of 5700kg brings it up 120kg short of its full payload and maximum towing capacities compared to the field.
The squared-off exterior mirror design also meant the towing mirrors attached securely to the Trailblazer.