2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer Reviews

2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer LS 4.3 Vortec from North America

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.3 Vortec Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles
Previous carGMC Jimmy

Summary:

Avoid at all costs, there is a reason GM discontinued this line

Faults:

Ticking noise evident upon purchase, not a big deal, but annoying.

Fan clutch went out at about 70,000 miles, which is completely common.

Water pump has been replaced 3 times.

Dash lights going out.

Speakers stopped working.

Thermostat is out.

Mass airflow sensor out.

Oxygen sensors need to be replaced.

Factory CD player is broken ($250 to fix via GM).

Transmission is slipping.

Heater/AC intermittently loses power.

General Comments:

It started out a good truck, I like the way it handles and accelerates. It tows well and is comfortable to ride in.

However, at this point it's going to nickle and dime me to death. I wouldn't purchase another mid-size SUV from Chevy again. I upgraded to a Yukon, as they are built better, and although more expensive, it's a more popular make and the kinks are worked out.

The fan clutch issue is a KNOWN issue. GM refuses to issue a recall, but they do know it exists. If you need something cheap, for short term, buy a used Trailblazer, but if you need something to last you with minimal repairs, this is not your truck.

If I don't sell it soon, I risk having to replace the transmission, which will cost nearly half of what the car is worth.

Oh, and for something as small as it is, you would think gas mileage would be better. At 15 miles to the gallon, my 2010 Yukon gets better gas mileage, with a V-8.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2012

19th Jan 2012, 13:01

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I had two, and they were both bad choices. So much for thinking the first one was a fluke or a lemon. I do have to say though I was getting around 24 mpg on the highway with both of mine, which was pretty awesome for a full framed SUV. Maybe you have more troubles than you think if you are down to 15mpg. I would get that kind of mileage with my 18 foot boat on the back, pulling in third gear.

2003 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance83000 miles
Previous carGMC Trailblazer

Faults:

Very little!

Pushed the tires to 70,000 miles. We weren't trying to be cheap; just didn't think about it! But they lasted that long, which says something.

Brake pads done twice now, and the rotors resurfaced, at around 70,000 miles (same time as the tires).

We did always do the oil changes and tire rotations.

General Comments:

I mean, it IS a big, monstrous gas-guzzling SUV :-) My family might not get another, just because it isn't perfect for our lifestyle.

I have no idea what will happen in another 7 years and at 160,000 miles, but the fact that at 82,000 miles we have had NOTHING major go wrong? Or even minor? Literally -- oil, other fluids, tires once, brake pads twice. That's a minimum of regular maintenance, and hardly constitutes a maintenance horror, quite the opposite really!

We've used it mostly for long vacation trips and taking the kids to college. Mostly packed it full with luggage. I personally have sometimes abused it with lumber, and even 1000# of marble block in the back. I had a board of plywood underneath to protect the seat backs (which do not fold as flat as in one of the old station wagons), and it worked just fine!

Two minor critiques. The third row of seats, the center seat belt locks pop up, making loading a pain when things catch on them (one is now cracked). And the grocery shelf has hardly ever been used, instead merely being a source of stress when it bends dangerously. To be fair, maybe rolling 600# over it doesn't count as 'normal use.'

We haven't tried towing anything with it yet.

Works fine in the snow; it was our only good vehicle for a couple days this past winter, what with the blizzard that hit Maryland very hard. I do still fishtail from time to time (and I am a very conscientious driver, don't tell me I was going too fast), but then again, this past winter was an exceptional amount of snow.

But having read so many horror stories about so many other cars, I mean, we haven't needed engine head gaskets, or a transmission rebuild, or even had any of the little luxuries like the seat motors fail on us. We've done well by it. And again, I'm curious where it will be when it's at 160,000 miles; will we have had some serious repair issues by then? 82,000 miles is still low-mileage in this day and age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th April, 2010

Average review marks: 6.1 / 10, based on 48 reviews