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eyepatrol

Explorer vs Trailblazer

41 posts in this topic

My folks are considering getting a new vehicle before the snow flies this year. The two vehicles they're interested in are the Explorer and the Trailblazer. They've been asking my wife and I a little about the Trailblazer since we own Chevy's (my wife a Tahoe). But, neither of us have driven much less owned a recent Explorer or Trailblazer.

My parents currently have a '97 Expedition and I think they'd be happier with the Trailblazer EXT since it's longer and has more room. The Trailblazer also comes with more hp & torque and what appears to be slightly better fuel economy.

So what are the pros/cons of the Explorer/Trailblazer comparison? They are fairly similar with a few differences. Either of these vehicles known to have specific problems (engine, tranny, other)?

PS - don't need any Toyota or Jeep or Dodge (or other brand) suggestions at all. smirk

Thanks!

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I think they would be happy with either, personal preference, you know, Chevy vs Ford thing, but this time it is Chevy vs Ford wink . I would have them drive one of each and just pick the one they liked, since it is going to be theirs!

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I agree with that 100%. But they're trying to find out if or what the differences are, so I'm just trying to give them some honest facts. I've done some research at Ford and Chevy websites and pulled off some specs, but just wondering if there is some good user info out there as well.

No doubt they'll drive both. In fact they've already driven the Explorer. And my guess is they'll stay with Ford since dad likes to keep the money local. But mom, well, that's another story. grin

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I would run with Chevy, we have always had good luck with them over the past 15 years. We have had 2 fords in the family over that same period and nothing but problems.

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Quote:
My parents currently have a '97 Expedition

Do they not like the Expedition?

What years are we talking about on the "Explorer sv Trailblazer".

If they are looking to down size for fuel econ, they might no be saving much, if any at all.

I personally would stick with the Expedition if it is a 5.4l. Or go newer.

I like the Explorer, but the fuel econ on a 4.6l is about the same as a 5.4l Expedition.

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I have a Trailblazer EXT with the 5.3 V8 and cannot be any happier. Interior room is huge, almost like a suburban, very quiet, mileage is approx 19mpg hwy, and 13mpg if I tow a 17.5ft Crestliner. It has 94,000 miles right now and had no problem whatsoever. Used value of TB is much higher also than Explorer, something to consider for the future.

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Shack....I think they're just looking for something a bit smaller, less expensive and easier to get in and out of. They've enjoyed their Expedition over the years for the most part, but it's obviously not as good as what SUV's are like today and it's time for them to get a new vehicle.

As for what year.....they'll be looking for brand new. 2008 model or 2009 if they're out by then.

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Thanks Valv. I would lean towards the TB too as the EXT offers some nice room and cargo space. I think as for engines, the Ford's 4.0/4.6 and Chevy's 42./5.3 all get similar fuel mileage. Somewhere in that 13/20 range. The Chevy's engine's seem to have more hp and torque, but my folks only have a 16' boat, so any of these engines will pull that fine.

Speaking of boats, my folks might upgrade to a bigger boat in the next year or two as well. Most likely they'll get a 17 footer or 17.5 footer.

I'd be interested to hear how the towing goes with these vehicles. Not so much if these vehicles can tow boats that size, but on a windier day, does it feel like the boat is controlling the vehicle or the vehicle controlling the boat? I used to have an Explorer that I towed my Warrior with and I just hated the feeling of the boat pulling the back of the vehicle one way other the other on windier days. My folks won't get a boat that big or heavy, but I'm sure they'll want a vehicle that tows the boat well where they don't really feel the boat being towed.

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My Dad has a TB, short one. It is really nice, actually, and I am a full sized truck fan. I like it better than I thought I would. We have pulled our 18' alum boat with 150 motor and it really pulls it pretty good. We didn't drive fast, and only 300 mile trip, and short trips, but it pulls well. I bet a longer version would pull better. Didn't feel the sway you sometimes can in short vehicles.

No mechanical problems that I know of, but he did have some weather stripping come off around one of the doors. It is very quiet inside, and without the boat it has really good ZIP if you floor it smile He gets a hand calculated 21 mpg on the highway, and about 17 around town. Not bad.

Good luck to them,

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get the trail blazer the bigger motor will not have to work as hard and the gas milaege is about the same.

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The Extended TB was discontinued in 04/05 I cannot remember the specific year right off hand. The fuel mileage has been pretty accurate from every source on here. Used TB's have been like all suvs and there trade-in/retail value has fell through the floor so it is a good time to buy. The torque comes from the 4.2 being an inline 6. TB's are set to run "new" production though 09, but another option would be the GMC acadia. As far as towing people have had great experiences pulling boats.

Also if you remember back 2-3 years ago when Bassmasters and chevy had a deal, they used TB's a lot for there big glass boats.

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The reason I asked Eyepatrol, was like fishin58 said, a slightly used lease return or program Explorer/Trial Blazer right now is very cheap. They are almost giving these things away. Something with around or under 10,000 miles on it.

I am a Ford guy, but given the consensus, I would have to say the Trail Blazer is something I would look into if I was in the market for a mid sized SUV.

I would also say, the Expedition has gone threw some major changes since 97 and I would just suggest to your parents to just look at it. They where going to faze out the Explorer a couple years back and one of the reasons was because of the changes in the Expedition had drawn Explorer owners into the Expedition. Very easy to get in and out of.

Good luck!

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I forgot to mention my daughter has a GMC Envoy with the 4.2 and she gets same mileage as my TB 5.3 V8. I pull a Lund 2150 Cuddy Cabin, she pulls a 21 ft ChrisCraft bow rider. No problem with neither.

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That's disappointing! I really thought the EXT was about the right size vehicle. Even though we have a Tahoe, I pushed hard for my wife to get the EXT or Envoy XL.

I'll have to look into the Acadia. Never heard of it before.

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Oh I agree completely on the slightly used vehicle idea! Both mine and my wife's vehicle were bought like that. Saved THOUSANDS! I know we'll never buy a brand spankin' new vehicle ever again. But, I'm guessing my folks will go brand new.

My dad is a Ford guy too. We've always had a Ford dealer in town and he's never owned anything but a Ford. He likes to keep the money local and I can understand that. But the connections/ties that he had 11 years ago aren't there anymore and I just think they should keep an open mind and keep their options open. Ford makes a great product in the Explorer, but there's other fish in the lake too. smile

Both my folks are now in their 60's. My mom is retired and my dad is eventually getting there. I know they went with the bigger Expedition 11 years ago, but at that time I had siblings still living at home. I think now they just want a smaller, less expensive vehicle in general. I'm actually very surprised they're even going to buy a new vehicle. My dad has always driven his vehicles into the ground, and then some. He doesn't drive them 6-feet under.....he drives them 12-feet under! shockedgrin

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It appears through some research now that the Trailblazers and Envoys will be discontinued alltogether. GMs goal is to discontinue these vehicles by 2010 which of course is just over a year away.

I can't hardly recommend a vehicle to my folks that won't be made anymore though. I did take a look at the Acadia which is the same as the Chevy Traverse. They appear to be smaller than the TB & Envoy. Probably smaller than my folks would care to have though.

With the TB & Envoy being taken out of production, I'd have to say the Explorer will be the best mid-size SUV on the market.

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I dont think they will be sorry, the Ford Explorer has came along way in the last 10 years.

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I agree. I know there are the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango out there, but living here in Gaylord, I believe the closest dealer for those is Waconia and that's just too far away. Besides, I don't think the GC and Durango are as nice overall as the Explorer or TB.

I'm sure they'll be happy with the Explorer (or Navigator or Mountaineer).

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With the TB & Envoy being taken out of production, I'd have to say the Explorer will be the best mid-size SUV on the market

Unless of course you compare it to a Toyota 4 Runner.

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I should have added to the end of that by saying....."for my folks". smirk

We all have our preferences. wink

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Yep, I respect your (or your parents) opinion to not consider a Toyota or Honda, but I think you are seriously limiting your options with just a Trailblazer or Explorer.

Having said that, I’ve heard much better opinions on the Ford compared to the Chevy.

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Yep, I respect your (or your parents) opinion to not consider a Toyota or Honda, but I think you are seriously limiting your options with just a Trailblazer or Explorer.

Having said that, I’ve heard much better opinions on the Ford compared to the Chevy.

Ditto...

I'll add, I think the Explorers are great vehicles. I've owned an older one and loved it, but I needed that extra 10mpg with high fuel prices for amount of driving/commuting I do. All my trucks (not SUV) have been Ford, and for good reason. They've never let me down. wink

However, my wife and I went Honda CR-V for our newest vehicle. Small, but roomy, comfortable, quiet smooth ride, and I liked more of the safety features it offered. 28-30 mpg highway is nice. Explorer was overkill (size, mileage primarily) for our needs and we didn't like the Escape. We're not Chevy at all, I can't help ya there.

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My folks test drove the Escape too. They didn't like it one bit. Plus, my brother-in-law who is a tranny mechanic said the Escape's trannys have been bad. My wife also has a co-worker who had bought an Escape and he ended up taking Ford to court over it!

But I digress. My folks don't like the size and ride of the Escape. They're in the market for that "bigger" mid-size SUV and even though there are Hondas and 'Yotas out there in full force, I can guarantee my folks won't own one. Just not their "thing". Plus, a dealer would be too far away. It's either Ford of Chevy because we have that Ford dealer in town and there is a Chevy dealer just 7 miles away in Harvey Lee's town. smile

Thanks for all the responses though! I do appreciate it!

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