Chevy Trailblazer 4.2 Engine Specs

by Justin Cupler
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From 2005 through 2009 Chevy produced a mid-sized SUV known as the Trailblazer. The Chevy Trailblazer comes with several engine options, the base model being a 4.2-liter, in-line six-cylinder Vortec engine. This engine produced good numbers relative to the other six-cylinder SUVs in its class; Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango.


The 4.2-liter Vortec produced 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, which is a high number compared to its competition. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer and the Dodge Durango only produce 210 horsepower from their respective six-cylinder engines.


The 4.2-liter in the Chevy Trailblazer produced 275 ft-lbs. of torque at 3,800 rpm. This is a significant advantage over the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango’s 235 ft-lbs. at 4,000 rpm. It also has a slight advantage over the Ford Explorer V-6, which produced 254 ft-lbs of torque at 3,700 rpm. These torque numbers pushed the Trailblazer's maximum towing capacity to 6,300 lbs. Compared to the Ford Explorer at 5,760 lbs, Dodge Durango at 6,000 lbs and the Jeep Grand Cherokee at 6,500 lbs; the Trailblazer was the second highest.


SUVs are usually not the poster children for fuel economy. The Chevy Trailblazer with the 4.2-liter got 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. This is about average compared to the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, the Durango’s 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway and the Explorer’s 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.

Internals and Construction

The 4.2-liter had double overhead cams and utilized variable cam phasing. It had four valves per cylinder, making the total valve count 24. The Vortec had a cylinder bore of 3.66 inches and a stroke of 4.01 inches; this produced an overall displacement of 256 cubic inches. It also had a compression ratio of 10.1 to 1. The block of this Vortec engine was made from cast iron.

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