Best & Worst Chevrolet TrailBlazer Years

I've ranked all Chevrolet TrailBlazer models so you can avoid the worst years and pick the best Chevrolet TrailBlazer year!

In this guide, I’ll break down all Chevrolet TrailBlazer generations, revealing the best Chevrolet TrailBlazer years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

With insights from trusted sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, we delve deep into reliability scores, safety ratings, and owner feedback to provide a clear picture.

Focused specifically on the Chevy TrailBlazere’s best and worst model years, this piece aims to guide your decision-making process with well-researched facts.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Chevrolet TrailBlazer Generations

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer first hit the roads in 2002, establishing itself as a robust mid-size SUV that combined the ruggedness required for off-road adventures with the comfort needed for everyday driving.

Here, we present a table listing all Chevrolet TrailBlazer generations from 2002:

GenerationYears
1st generation (KC)2002-2009
2nd generation (C1)2021-Present

As you can see, the Chevy TrailBlazer was discontinued in 2009 before being reintroduced in 2021.

Highlighting the significant changes and improvements between each Chevrolet TrailBlazer generation can be a crucial deciding factor for potential buyers.

Chevrolet TrailBlazer Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When assessing the Chevrolet TrailBlazer’s model years, our rankings and categorizations consider a variety of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

A forthcoming graph will present the combined ratings from these sources, offering insight into the TrailBlazer’s performance over the years.

Chevrolet TrailBlazer Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, based on the compiled data, we’ll provide a quick overview of our categorization of all model years for the TrailBlazer into best, neutral, and worst years.

GenerationBest YearsWorst Years
1st generation2007
2008
2009
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2nd generation2022
2023
2024
2021

“Neutral Years” are not specified for the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, as the focus is on distinguishing the most and least reliable model years based on the factors listed.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls play a significant role in these rankings, as a higher number of complaints and recalls can significantly impact a vehicle’s perceived reliability.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet TrailBlazer 1st Generation (2002-2009)

Chevrolet TrailBlazer 1st generation 2002 model
The 2002 Chevy TrailBlazer

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer, introduced in the early 2000s, quickly became a significant player in the SUV market. Its blend of power, versatility, and comfort appealed to a broad audience.

The best years for the Chevy TrailBlazer span between 2007 and 2009, while the worst years to avoid are from 2002 to 2006.

The Best Years: 2007, 2008, 2009

These marked the best model years of the first-generation Chevrolet TrailBlazer.

Chevrolet equipped these models with a robust 4.2L I6 engine, producing 291 hp, and offered a 5.3L V8 option for those desiring 300 hp.

These models boasted improved fuel efficiency, achieving an average of 15 city/21 highway MPG for the 5.3L 2WD variant.

Safety enhancements, including advanced airbag systems and electronic stability control, set these years apart.

Additionally, luxury features such as leather seating, a premium Bose sound system, and advanced navigation systems were more commonly included, making these model years highly sought after on the used market.

The Worst Years: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

With over 1000 complaints about various reliability issues, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 are the least reliable Chevrolet TrailBlazer years to avoid.

Common complaints included transmission fluid leaks, instrument cluster failures, windshield wiper failures, headlight malfunctions, cooling fan clutch failures, and engine issues.

They were recalled for instrument cluster failures, fuel leaks, transmission transfer case control module, front lower control arm, and windshield wiper assembly malfunctions.

The 2003 Chevy TrailBlazer was additionally recalled for reduced braking performance.

The 2005 and 2006 Chevy TrailBlazer received many complaints about premature fuel level sensor failures, affecting the accuracy of the fuel gauge.

The 2006 and 2007 models were recalled for power steering hose leaks and headlight failures.

See NHTSA 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2nd Generation (2021-Present)

Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2nd generation 2021 model
The 2021 Chevy TrailBlazer

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer made a significant return in 2021, marking the revival of a beloved nameplate with a completely new design and modern features. This second generation introduced a smaller, more urban-friendly crossover that deviates from its predecessor’s larger, more rugged nature.

2022-2024 are Chevy TrailBlazer’s best years, while 2021 is the worst year to avoid.

The Best Years: 2022, 2023, 2024

Which year TrailBlazer is best? Notable improvements in engine performance, safety features, and in-cabin technology have highlighted the Chevy TrailBlazer’s best years of 2022-2024.

The 2022 model introduced a 1.3L turbocharged engine, delivering an impressive 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission for smoother acceleration and better fuel efficiency, averaging 29 city/33 highway MPG.

Safety features were significantly enhanced, with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control becoming standard.

The interior saw upgrades with a more intuitive infotainment system featuring a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and increased connectivity options.

Higher trim levels, like the RS and Activ, offered unique styling cues, advanced AWD systems, and off-road-oriented features, making them particularly appealing for their mix of style and function.

The Worst Years: 2021

The reintroduction year of the TrailBlazer, 2021, faced problems, primarily with the brake system. Early adopters reported issues with brake failures and unusual squeaking noises when reversing.

The 2021 Chevrolet TrailBlazer was subject to a recall concerning sensor contamination in the electronic brake boost system, potentially leading to increased braking effort and the risk of a crash.

See NHTSA 2021 Chevrolet TrailBlazer recalls and complaints.

Chevrolet TrailBlazer Resale Values

See the graph below, which showcases the average resale values of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer over time.

Chevrolet TrailBlazer Average List Price

Conclusion

What year is the best for Chevy TrailBlazer?

As we wrap up our exploration of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer’s model years, it’s very clear that the 2008, 2009, and 2022-2024 models stand out as the most reliable and best years to buy, offering enhanced safety, technology, performance, and much fewer complaints.

Conversely, 2002-2006 and 2021 have been identified as the least reliable years to avoid due to their noted problems.

What year of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer offers the best value for its features and reliability?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.