Originally conceived as an upscale trim level version of the Chevrolet Blazer in 1999, the TrailBlazer became its own mid-sized sport utility vehicle in 2002. Replacing the Blazer small sport utility vehicle, the TrailBlazer invoked a stronger sense of refinement than its predecessor did. Aiming for the middle-class families that were tempted by the Ford Explorer, the 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer came standard with a 270-horsepower 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system, air conditioning as well as front and side-impact airbags.
One year after the sales premiere of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the mid-sized sport utility vehicle was expanded to include an extended length model and a new engine. Included with third row seating, the seven-passenger 2003 TrailBlazer EXT Along with possessing a cargo volume of 100.2 cubic feet with the back two rows of seating folded down, the Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT’s production lasted from 2003 to 2006. Also in 2003, a 290-horsepower 5.3-liter V-8 powerplant was first offered on a Chevrolet mid-sized sport utility vehicle. Optional with the TrailBlazer EXT model, the V-8 engine provided enough momentum to tow up to 7,200 pounds.
A North Face Edition package was also introduced on the 2003 TrailBlazer the included special seating as well as standard liftgate luggage rack, rain-sense windshield wipers and a clothesline. Another V-8 engine was planted into the Chevrolet TrailBlazer for 2006 as an SS model was introduced. The 2006 TrailBlazer SS received a 395-horsepower 6.0-liter V-8 paired with a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels and some minor styling changes. The truck-based TrailBlazer ended production after the 2009 model year and was replaced by the more car-like Chevrolet Traverse crossover. Discontinued in North America since 2009, Chevrolet revived the TrailBlazer name in 2012 for some international markets.