Trailblazer to spearhead Holden SUV push

Holden Trailblazer

Captiva going, but new Equinox, revised Trax and new Acadia to flesh out growing Holden SUV range.

Holden's SUV onslaught begins next month with the Trailblazer, which undercuts key rivals by thousands of dollars.

The Trailblazer is the first of at least three new SUV nameplates - the others being Equinox and Acadia - that Holden chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard describes as "critical" to rebuilding the brand's record low market share.

Based on the Colorado ute, the Trailblazer replaces the Colorado 7 and is a mild facelift of that car, bringing styling tweaks to its nose, an updated dashboard and switchgear, revised suspension, a new torque converter that improves refinement, and more equipment.

Holden -Trailblazer -SUV-front -drivingThe new model is priced from $47,990 for the LT, which gets 17-inch alloy wheels, 7.0-inch touchscreen, digital radio tuning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, reversing camera, seven airbags (a driver’s knee airbag has been added to the dual front, front side and side curtain airbags that were already fitted) and a six-speed automatic (many rivals charge extra for an auto).

The flaghship LTZ is priced from $52,490 and adds 18-inch alloys, 8.0-inch touchscreen, leather trim, electric driver’s seat, tyre pressure monitoring, climate control air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, front parking sensors, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and forward collision alert (it doesn’t apply the brakes, only beeps to warn of a crash).

Holden -Trailblazer -SUV-rear -sideThe Trailblazer’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine has been updated to meet the Euro 5 emissions standards that come into play in Australia in November.

But outputs are unchanged, meaning there’s the same 147kW and 500Nm, each of which beats key class rivals such as the Toyota Fortuner (130kW/450Nm), Isuzu MU-X (130kW/380Nm), Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (133kW/430Nm) and Ford Everest (143kW/470Nm).

Holden -Trailblazer -SUV-driving -sideThe class-leading 3000kg tow capacity is also unchanged.

However, the six-speed automatic transmission is paired with a new “centrifugal pendulum absorber (CPA) torque, which locks up at lower revs – allowing you to better experience the 500Nm – and improves refinement, a key target of this updated car.

The Trailblazer kicks off an SUV offensive for Holden; the company has been lacking a credible mid-sized SUV, leaving it exposed to the likes of the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail.

Holden -Trailblazer -SUV-interiorHowever, within months Holden will retire the Captiva name – a car that first arrived in 2006 – and replace it with the five-seat Equinox; the all-new Equinox will be unveiled within weeks.

Holden has also heavily revised the small Trax SUV, giving it a more modern look inside and out; that car goes on sale within months.

And in 2018 Holden will begin selling the Acadia, a seven-seat SUV that is sold as a GMC in America. The Acadia is expected to be priced from about $40,000 and will go head to head with the Mazda CX-9, Toyota Kluger and Nissan Pathfinder.

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