TrailBlazer auto vs manual? (and comparison to Pajero Sport...)




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  1. #1
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    Default TrailBlazer auto vs manual? (and comparison to Pajero Sport...)

    Hi there. Yes, I've read the countless threads across different brands concerning auto vs manual gearboxes, but haven't come across one pertaining to the TrailBlazer.

    I'd pretty much had my mind set on a 4x4 auto, but I've been offered a very good deal on a 2015 TrailBlazer 2.8 LTZ 4x4 manual. Took it for a drive and it is very responsive - quite different from an auto. I understand it is a case of choosing between fine grained control and better fuel economy vs. ease of driving, especially in peak hour traffic. (We have previously driven manual platkars for the past 20+ years)

    Just worried that the novelty may wear off and I'll end up wishing I'd gone for the auto. We tend to keep our vehicles for at least 10+ years after procurement.

    Comments appreciated...

    Also, going off on a tangent here, I've driven the Fortuner 4x4, very capable but interiorwise, in my very humble opinion, it just does not compare to the TrailBlazer. Have not driven a facelifted Pajero Sport, would it be worth my while to consider it? No hectic off-roading planned, it'll be primarily used on the road with the occasional off-road excursion.

  2. #2
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    The Pajero would be a good alternative.

    Definitely worth going for a test drive in one of those as well.

    Enjoy the hunt.
    Currently own: 2018 Ford Ranger 3.2 TDCI A/T 4x4 Double Cab XLT

    Then followed a 2009 Toyota Prado 4.0V6 (Nice car), after which a 2008 Pajero 3.8 V6 SWB followed (which I will forever miss)
    Fourth 4x4: 2013 Ford Ranger 3.2 TDCI 4x4 Manual double cab
    Third 4x4: 2013 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D4D 4x4 Manual
    Second 4x4: 2010 Mitsubishi Triton 3.2 Manual 4x4 Double Cab
    First 4x4: 2010 Nissan NP300 Hardbody 2.4 4x4 D/C

  3. #3
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    Thanks rmat1985.

    This afternoon I drove the auto & manual TrailBlazer again, and decided that auto is the way to go - especially in regular traffic, and in light of the TB's long shift gearbox. Don't really fancy a gym workout within the vehicle in peak hour traffic... Pity, as they were asking 430k for a 2015 4x4 manual with 88km (yes, 88km) on the clock - amazing deal.

    Then I managed to find a 2014 Pajero Sport 2.5 4x4 auto, and drove it today to compare it with the TB.

    My opinion is that mechanically, the Pajero is a better vehicle in terms of the engine and offroad capabilities. However, the interior and drive comfort was not as refined as the TrailBlazer. To me, the bits and pieces in the Pajero Sport felt "slapped on" while in the TB, everything was put together seamlessly. It just felt like a much nicer drive all round.

  4. #4
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    I suspect you have made up your mind, and from a comfort point of view, would also settle on the auto.

    Mind you, the Mitsu range is due for an upgrade soon, which could potentially mean cheaper deals, or improved vehicle, depending which model you opt for...

    youtube clips

    Gen 2 2.8TDi, running with a Lexus heart since 290000kms
    - developed a drinking problem since - V8 inception 2014/03/28
    - looking up after some driver rehabilitation and fine tuning (5.5-8.7km/l) 2015/08/14
    - keep the wheels on the ground at all times - 2014/12/04
    - body maintenance completed -
    2015/02/19
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  5. #5
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    I have had the 2013 4x4 MT for 2 years now and have become more and more satisfied with the car. Unfortunately I cannot offer a comparison as I haven't driven a Pajero. Several reviews rate the Pajero better. However, I have found the Chev very comfortable on a number of very uncomfortable roads (just completed 4100km through Kgalagadi,Fish River and Richtersveld and have done trips to Botswana and locally). I like the space in the boot (the fold down back row works well) and especially in the middle seats (we have kids in car seats which need extra room and an adult can sit very comfortably behind the driver).

    The TB has performed very well on gravel, thick sand, rocky passes and mud. It crawls powerfully (pulling fully loaded off-road trailers) up and down treacherous slopes at 700rpm in low range with no wheel spin.

    In terms of MT vs AT, again I can't offer a balanced opinion but I like the MT because I often tow. Reviews have said that the AT makes towing a bit frustrating in the TB because the car automatically switches gears at the wrong moments when towing. I found the MT TB has towed well whether at 120kph or crawling up a rocky pass.

    The TB probably could do with a bit more ground clearance if off-roading is a priority and the 18 inch mags are a major problem. I decided to buy an extra wheel when I purchased the vehicle originally, which has been very useful. Finding 18" (AT) tyres is TRICKY. If the pajero has 17" wheels that would be a major plus in favour of Pajero. If you do go for the TB then try and negotiate a good price on an additional mag or think about smaller sized mags because you dont want to be stranded in a rural area not able to get an 18" tyre when you have 2 punctures.

    Also, I don't like the plastic interior of the TB. For close to R500k I think it should have been a better interior finish.

    I use it as my everyday vehicle around Jhb and haven't been bothered by gear changing.

    I like the dial for switching between 4x2 and 4x4 - very simple and you can do it on the fly (except low range).

    There have been several comments in earlier threads related to this question which may be worth reading.

    What about waiting for the Ranger SUV to try that??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunky View Post
    I have had the 2013 4x4 MT for 2 years now and have become more and more satisfied with the car. Unfortunately I cannot offer a comparison as I haven't driven a Pajero. Several reviews rate the Pajero better. However, I have found the Chev very comfortable on a number of very uncomfortable roads (just completed 4100km through Kgalagadi,Fish River and Richtersveld and have done trips to Botswana and locally). I like the space in the boot (the fold down back row works well) and especially in the middle seats (we have kids in car seats which need extra room and an adult can sit very comfortably behind the driver).

    The TB has performed very well on gravel, thick sand, rocky passes and mud. It crawls powerfully (pulling fully loaded off-road trailers) up and down treacherous slopes at 700rpm in low range with no wheel spin.

    In terms of MT vs AT, again I can't offer a balanced opinion but I like the MT because I often tow. Reviews have said that the AT makes towing a bit frustrating in the TB because the car automatically switches gears at the wrong moments when towing. I found the MT TB has towed well whether at 120kph or crawling up a rocky pass.

    The TB probably could do with a bit more ground clearance if off-roading is a priority and the 18 inch mags are a major problem. I decided to buy an extra wheel when I purchased the vehicle originally, which has been very useful. Finding 18" (AT) tyres is TRICKY. If the pajero has 17" wheels that would be a major plus in favour of Pajero. If you do go for the TB then try and negotiate a good price on an additional mag or think about smaller sized mags because you dont want to be stranded in a rural area not able to get an 18" tyre when you have 2 punctures.

    Also, I don't like the plastic interior of the TB. For close to R500k I think it should have been a better interior finish.

    I use it as my everyday vehicle around Jhb and haven't been bothered by gear changing.

    I like the dial for switching between 4x2 and 4x4 - very simple and you can do it on the fly (except low range).

    There have been several comments in earlier threads related to this question which may be worth reading.

    What about waiting for the Ranger SUV to try that??
    As a matter of interest Chunky, I had a 265/70/16 tyre fitted to my TB spare wheel in place of the standard 245/70/16, which is as near as damnit the same size diameter as the 265/60/18 fitted (+2.2mm). I too am looking to replace the 18 inch rims for 16 inch, I was quoted over R3500 for one 18 tyre, while the 16 inch cost me under R2000.
    2013 Chev Trailblazer 2.8 4x4 auto.

  7. #7
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    Ive found the tyre price in JHB are crazy, worked out it would be cheaper to drive to durbs, change the tyres and come back up. but the fitment centre i spoke with in durbs have offered the same prices at one of the local JHB centres but need to call him first. PM me and will send you details of the place.

  8. #8
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    The PJS does not have the most comfy seats out there,neither the fortuner..never driven the blazer so cant say.
    Auto is definately the way to go for easy driving

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