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The Chevy Trailblazer SS SUV Was the Best of Chevy's Mid-2000s Super Sport Madness

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author photo by Will Kinton October 2016

If you couldn't tell, I have a weird appreciation for the numerous SS editions of otherwise-mediocre pre-bailout Chevy models. I love that Chevy put an SS badge on almost everything they made throughout the mid-2000s -- and that they did so without cheapening the Super Sport name. Every one of the SS models, from the Malibu Maxx SS to the HHR SS, featured an actual performance improvement that fundamentally changed the driving experience, boosting it from "mostly terrible" to "actually pretty awesome." The Chevy Trailblazer SS SUV is no exception, and I think it may the best of all the Chevy SS models -- mostly because it's a fast sport utility vehicle that actually retained its utility.

Chevrolet created the Trailblazer SS by taking the standard Trailblazer and adding the 6.0-liter LS2 V8 from the C6 Corvette, which made 395 horsepower in the Trailblazer SS. While this was slightly less power than the 400-hp Corvette, the Trailblazer's LS2 managed to create more torque, allowing it to hit 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds. Chevy also worked over the Trailblazer's suspension -- making it ride lower and firmer -- and implemented an air-leveling system to the rear. They also gave it a quicker differential and some 255-millimeter-wide 20-inch chrome rims. These changes made the Trailblazer SS about as fast as the contemporary Porsche Cayenne GTS both on the straights and in the curves, but for less than half the price.

The best part of the Trailblazer SS was that it was able to retain its SUV-ness despite the performance improvements. Its primary competitor, the Grand Cherokee SRT, may have been a full second quicker getting from 0 to 60 mph, but it also could only tow 3,500 pounds -- if you needed to pull anything of significance, you'd be out of luck. The Trailblazer SS remained a truck, boasting a 6,700-pound towing capacity, which is about as much as any regular person would ever need. Inside, it was spacious, comfortable and well-equipped. Finally, to a passing non-enthusiast, the SS just looked like a very well-equipped Trailblazer.

Chevy introduced the SS trim of the Trailblazer in 2006 and continued to make it until 2009, selling over 26,000 examples. Today, there are 137 currently on Autotrader, with an average price of around $16,500. Unfortunately, most have a fair number of miles on them -- but considering the reliability of the LS2, you'll probably be fine.

Photo credit: HumanZoom at English Wikipedia

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Chevy Trailblazer SS SUV Was the Best of Chevy's Mid-2000s Super Sport Madness - Autotrader