But the Touareg... the Touareg is the only one of the three that dares to get down and dirty and come out the other side smiling.

(PS: Thank you for your confidence in me. If they ever hold a poll for Best Columnist I will come looking for your vote).

Baraza, I’m a fan of General Motors cars after experiencing the prowess of the D-Max’s capabilities and roughness, especially the diesel turbo. I am eyeing their Chevrolet Trailbalzer and I would like your advice on the pros and cons of the car. How does it stack up against the Toyota Surf and the Prado J120? Clement.

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J120. PHOTO| FILE

Clement, the Trailblazer’s similarities to the Prado are uncanny, and I did a review of the car right here on November 9 last year. Here are some extracts from that article:

“So that means it is essentially a D-Max longroof, a la Ford Everest, Pajero Sport, Toyota Fortuner; or what exactly are you saying?

“Yes, and no. Yes, because that is what this wagon is intended to be in concept. Its placement in the market lies right in the firing line of the aforementioned vehicles, which are seven-seat covered versions of their respective double-cab pick-up stablemates. However; while the Everest, Pajero Sport, Fortuner — and Nissan Pathfinder — are obviously related to their truck versions, the Trailblazer is not immediately recognisable as a covered D-Max.

“And it actually isn’t. The similarities go only as far as using torquey turbodiesel engines and having a body-on-frame construction.”

Here’s my summary of the car, looking at the pros and cons:

Chevrolet Trailblazer. PHOTO| FILE

On the comparison of the Trailblazer to the Prado J120 and the Toyota Surf; these two may be highly capable Toyotas but they are outdated in the Trailblazer’s presence. The only logical reason to shop here would be to save money or if you are a coward who is averse to straying from the mainstream.

The Trailblazer really is a diamond in the rough that’s yet to be found; but we found it last year in Amboseli National Park as part of an all-white convoy blowing dust at tourists who came expecting to see elephants but were instead affronted by entitled auto-journos in borrowed American demonstrators. Don’t judge us; we do it for your sake.

Chevrolet Trailblazer dashboard. PHOTO| FILE

Greater visual appeal, both inside and out. Roomy interior, but it is a county government staff car, so you will look like one of them.

Well optimised suspension makes it comfortable with slightly better handling than the boogey-man J120 Prado.

A raft of new technology, particularly in safety and driver assistance.

Excellent NVH containment in what should be, for all intents and purposes, an agricultural implement.

Feels solid and unbreakable, which it probably is.

The brakes are... let’s just say try and stick to the speed limit; this is a big, heavy car and shedding speed lacks the immediacy and urgency you may be used to in lighter, sportier fare.

The engine has gobs of torque. Given that it is Euro 2 spec, it will practically swallow effluent and keep running without the moodiness expressed by overly sensitive, snobbish European mills such as the BMWs and Benzes and Volkswagens.

It may handle better than the J120 Prado, but it is still wobbly to some extent. Drive carefully. The ride is a touch bouncy, and the slab-sided design means crosswinds on the open road forcefully demand intimacy.

The engine has gobs of torque. Given that it is Euro 2 spec, it will practically swallow effluent and keep running without the moodiness expressed by overly sensitive, snobbish European mills such as the BMWs and Benzes and Volkswagens.

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