Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS Specsby Justin Cupler
With a Corvette engine up front and a performance suspension underneath, the 2009 Chevy TrailBlazer SS could get the kiddos to soccer practices and ballet recitals with alacrity. This performance SUV was a freak in its era, with credentials that only the Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Porsche Cayenne could match. Sadly, the SS model died along with the rest of the TrailBlazer lineup following the 2009 model year.
The 2009 TrailBlazer SS was 191.8 inches long, 74.7 inches wide and 67.8 inches tall. It's wheelbase was 113 inches long, and it had 7.8 inches of ground clearance. With two-wheel drive, the TrailBlazer SS weighed 4,496 pounds and with all-wheel drive it weighed 4,662 pounds. For an SUV, the TrailBlazer had good weight distribution, as only 53 percent of its weight was on the front axle.
On the outside, the SS came well-equipped with premium features like power heated mirrors with turn-signal indicators, a trailer hitch receiver, full-auto headlights with delay-off feature, fog lights, variably intermittent wipers, a security system, 20-inch alloy wheels with V-rated tires, and auto-leveling suspension.
The 2009 TrailBlazer SS could carry five people. The front seats had 40.2 inches of headroom, 46.9 inches of legroom, 58.5 inches of shoulder room and 56 inches of hip room. The rear seats had 39.6 inches of headroom, 37 inches of legroom, 58.5 inches of shoulder room and 58.2 inches of hip room. With all of the seats in place, the TrailBlazer SS could haul 41 cubic feet of cargo, and this capacity expanded to 80.1 cubes with the rear seats folded.
The TrailBlazer SS's cabin came standard with auto climate control, rear climate control, power front seats with memory, power windows and door locks, cruise control, tilt steering, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, OnStar, adjustable pedals, AM-FM-CD audio system with six speakers and steering wheel-mounted controls, leather seating, a split-folding rear seat, heated front seats, a silver-faced tachometer with black numbering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, embroidered seat backs, sport seats, French stitching on the center console, aluminum door-sill plates and chrome accents.
Under its hood, the 2009 TrailBlazer SS came with the LS2, 6.0-liter, V-8 engine. This engine once saw use in three modern-day GM muscle cars: the 2005-through-2007 Corvette, 2006 and 2007 Cadillac CTS-V, and the 2005 and 2006 Pontiac GTO. In the SS, this engine produced 390 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 400 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. It featured a cast-aluminum block and heads, an overhead valve configuration, 10.9-to-1 compression and a 6,600-rpm redline.
The potent V-8 mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L70 transmission, which had four forward gears. The TrailBlazer SS's final drive ratio was 4.10-to-1. As standard, this hot SUV came with rear-wheel drive, but it was available with a performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system. This all-wheel-drive system had a base 67-percent torque bias to the rear, but the Torsen center differential could send up to 45 percent of the power to the front wheels and up to 75 percent of the power to the rear wheels, depending on the conditions.
The TrailBlazer SS received EPA-estimated ratings of 12 mpg city and 16 mpg highway with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive
Suspension and Braking
The TrailBlazer SS wasn't just a standard model with a big engine. Chevy designed it as an all-around performance SUV, so its suspension was one inch lower than the standard model and its springs were up to 25 percent stiffer. The front stabilizer bar on the SS model was 10 percent thicker than the one on the base model.
The TrailBlazer SS's steering system was quicker to respond than that on the base model, as GM fitted it with a 16-to-1 steering ratio to the base model's 20.4-to-1 ratio. This allowed it to turn from lock to lock in just three turns to the base model's 3.82 turns.
The brake system also received some mild modifications on the SS model, as the front brakes used 12.8-inch rotors -- 0.8 inches larger than the base model. The rear rotors remained the same size. Chevy also replaced the aluminum, dual-piston calipers on the front of the base TrailBlazer with cast-iron, dual-piston units on the SS model. ABS was standard on all TrailBlazer models in 2009.
Chevrolet claimed a 0-to-60-mph time of just 5.7 seconds with the 2009 TrailBlazer SS and a 62-to-0-mph stopping distance of 135 feet. In independent testing, the 2006 TrailBlazer -- with five more horsepower than the 2009 model, but otherwise the same vehicle -- sprinted to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, ran the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 98 mph, topped out at 130 mph, stopped from 70 mph in 180 feet and held 0.81 G on the skid pad.
On top of stellar performance ratings, the TrailBlazer SS could also tow 6,800 pounds and carry 1,505 pounds of payload with two-wheel drive.
In 2009, the TrailBlazer based at $37,195. As of June 2014, Kelly Blue Book values the 2009 TrailBlazer SS between $20,2154 and $23,315 from a private party. If you are looking at buying from a dealership, KBB values the SUV at $25,515. Buying a certified pre-owned model from a GM dealership jumps the value to $25,965.
Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Autos.com. Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.