2006-2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS — The basic ingredients in any Chevy SS vehicle are a big engine, intimidating looks, and lots of badges. SuperSport models are usually based on whatever’s popular at the time, and nothing was more trendy in the mid-2000s than the midsize SUV. So SS engineers crammed a 6.0L big block under the hood of a midsize Chevy Trailblazer. Then they gave it a very un-soccer mom look to match its baby-eating exhaust growl. There’s nothing timid about this SS-UV, which makes it a terrific cheap thrill…
The first things you notice about the Chevrolet Trailblazer SS are the big silver front air dams, and the flared wheel arches, filled with beefy 20-inch tires. The look is unmistakably mean, and it’s backed up by an angry noise coming from that Corvette-derived LS2 V8. Pull up to the elementary school drop-off lane in this thing and you’ll scare all the children and half of the teachers. This will likely eliminate you from the kiddie carpool list, even though you’ll have plenty of room for the kids and all their crap. But you better not forget to buckle them in.
Powering this beast is a slightly detuned version of the 6.0L LS2 V8 found in the C6 Corvette. In the family-friendly 2006–2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS, the LS2 makes 390hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough go-juice to reach 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds (which ain’t bad for a heavy family wagon). It can also tow 6,800 lbs (when properly equipped), and for optimal snow/bad weather traction, AWD was available. Both RWD and AWD versions got a limited-slip differential. And the super-low 4.10 gears made for violent, neck-snapping launches.
To manage all of that power, engineers fitted the 2006–2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS with a lower, stiffer sport suspension, bigger brakes, and quicker steering. They also gave it a racy steering wheel and bolstered front bucket seats to keep you from sliding around in the bends. Granted, you’re not going to be ripping through curves like a Porsche Cayman. But for a big SUV, the Trailblazer SS handles shockingly well.
With a big price tag, and a tiny 13 mpg (combined), this muscle truck wasn’t a big seller. Just 26k (roughly) copies of the 2006–2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS were built, and you can pick one up today for $10,000–$14,000 (depending on mileage and condition). They’ll probably be worth collecting one day. But until then, the Trailblazer SS is one heckuva Cheap Thrill.