is one of the most iconic SUVs of the 2000s. Still, not all models are created equal, so here are the Chevy Trailblazer years to avoid.
So what are the Chevy Trailblazer years to avoid? The 2002 and 2005 model years are definitely the worst years for the Trailblazer, however, in general, you should avoid all model years before 2008, as all of these models have less than favorable reputations when it comes to reliability.
Lucky for us, trusted websites like KBB, Consumer Reports, and carcomplaint.com all track useful data about how well cars hold their value, and what problems owners tend to have with them.
With my own expertise along with this valuable data, I have determined that these are the worst model years for the Chevy Trailblazer.
What Was The Worst Year For The Chevy Trailblazer?
While the new version of the Chevy Trailblazer, which began production for the 2021 model year is quite a reliable car, the first-generation Trailblazer didn’t have nearly as good of a reputation, with every model year before 2008 being prone to a variety of different issues.
If you are seriously considering buying a used Trailblazer, you really should avoid every model year from 2002 through 2007, however, the absolute worst model years for Trailblazers are the 2002 and 2005 Trailblazers.
Starting with the 2005 Trailblazer, this is the model that received by far the most complaints on carcomplaints.com. Receiving over 900 complaints from owners, the 2005 Trailblazer had tons of problems including electric issues, faulty interior accessories, and issues with the engine including the check engine light coming on without any explanation.
Some of the most commonly reported issues had to do with faulty interior electronics and gauges.
The fuel gauge, which was a problem with pretty much every model before the 2008 model year, would often show that there was no gas in the tank even just after being filled up.
And that’s no to mention the issues that many owners reported with the instrument panel malfunctioning and the speedometer not working.
Now, even though the 2005 Trailblazer received the most complaints, carcomplaints.com actually rates the 2002 model year as the worst Trailblazer model year
This is because many of the experienced issues occurred at lower mileages than with other Trailblazers and repair costs for this model tend to be higher.
Though the 2002 model also often experienced problems with the fuel gauge, the most reported issue was complete transmission failure which, of course, is incredibly expensive to repair.
The 2002 model also commonly experienced problems with the climate control system and engine.
Again, though the 2002 and 2005 model years are definitely the worst model years for the Trailblazer, I still can’t recommend any of the other model years before 2008 either, as even though they all had fewer reported issues than the 2005 model, none of them are very reliable and all of them have been subject to multiple recalls.
How Long Do Chevy Trailblazer Engines Last?
The life expectancy of the Chevy Trailblazer’s engine can vary depending on a lot of different factors.
Still, most reports boast that the Trailblazer’s engine can easily last anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles.
However, it is important to remember that if you are looking for a first-generation Trailblazer, it will be really hard to find one that hasn’t already reached the 150,000 mile mark, meaning that even though the first-generation engines do tend to last for quite a while if you buy one used you probably won’t be able to get much longevity out of it.
Another thing to remember is that the engines in the model years from 2002 through 2007 also tended to experience quite a few issues with the engine, with some owners reporting major engine failures as early on as 65,000 miles.
Still, if you manage to get your hands on a 2008 or 2009 model with decent mileage, you should be able to expect that the engine will easily last you to at least the 150,000 mile mark.
Are Chevy Trailblazers Reliable Cars?
When talking about if Chevy Trailblazers are reliable or not, it really depends on what model year you’re talking about.
The new Trailblazer released in 2021 is quite a reliable car with Consumer Reports giving the 2022 model a predicted reliability rating of 5 out of 5.
Though not nearly as reliable as the new models, the 2008 and 2009 models also have a much better reputation for reliability than the earlier iterations of the Trailblazer.
However, every model year of the Trailblazer that came out before the 2008 model should be considered quite unreliable as they commonly experience issues with the fuel gauge, other interior accessories, engine, transmission, and many more.
What Is High Mileage For A Trailblazer?
As mentioned before, most Trailblazer engines can be expected to last anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles before experiencing catastrophic engine failures, with the model years before 2008 being more prone to such issues.
Still, because most first-generation models have been around for so long, it is increasingly difficult to find a Trailblazer that isn’t already very close to the 150,000 mile mark, if it hasn’t already passed that mark already.
That makes buying an older model a bit tricky as most of them are already at the upper limit of what you can expect to get out of them in the first place.
While I consider 200,000 miles being quite high for a Trailblazer, I would still advise against buying one that has already hit 150,000 miles as if you do, it has a very high chance of not lasting you as long as you want it to.
- The worst years model years for the Chevy Trailblazer are the 2002 and 2005 model years.
- Every model year before 2008 should be avoided.
- The most common problems with these models are faulty fuel gauges, problems with interior accessories, and engine and transmission issues.
- The new Trailblazer is a very reliable car and the 2008 and 2009 model years are the most reliable of the first-generation Trailblazers.
- A Chevy Trailblazer engine can be expected to last anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles, however, models released between 2002 and 2005 probably won’t last that long.