The TrailBlazer won the North American Truck of the Year award in 2002. The 4.2L I6 Atlas LL8 won Ward's Best Engine from 2002-2004 with innovative features such as DOHC, Variable Valve Timing (VVT) on the exhaust camshaft, and GM's Patented "Lost-Foam" casting process.
The TrailBlazer is based on a truck platform, with all models having four-wheel drive as an option with both automatic engagement and the more traditional "4 High" and "4 Low" gearings. Its main disadvantage is its increased width (as compared to a Jeep Wrangler) and lack of suspension travel, causing it to high side when it encounters high-camber-variance terrain or large rocks. Additionally, it lacks either locking hubs or a limited slip differential. Instead a G80 locking rear differential is available as an option on all models except for the SS which has a G86 LSD standard.
The TrailBlazer was facelifted for 2006. A new front fascia and interior trim were included with the refresh, but only apply to the upper-level LT models. The LS trim still has the 02-05 front and rear fascias. The SS gets trim-specific front and rear fascias plus colormatched side skirts.