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Holden gives Trailblazer the Z treatment

Black and white: Holden’s Trailblazer Z71 special edition gets black bits such as side mouldings, alloy wheels, mirrors, door handles and bonnet panels.

Struggling Holden Trailblazer gets limited-edition Z71 kit to give sales a kickstart

Holden logo3 May 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

HOLDEN has launched a dressed-up limited-edition Trailblazer Z71 in an effort to rev up sales of the Colorado-based seven-seat off-roader that is ranked a lowly 15th in the large SUV sales rankings after four months this year.

Priced $1000 more than the $54,490 plus on-road costs of the regular flagship Trailblazer LTZ on which it is based, the Z71 gets extras such as black-painted alloy wheels, black protective side mouldings, floor mats and a bunch of other black items such as mirrors, door handles, B pillars and bonnet decals.

The package is based on the Z71 special-edition Colorado served up by Holden in August last year as part of the ute’s latest facelift.

The Z71 badge is borrowed from Holden’s American sister company Chevrolet which originally applied the tag to special off-road suspension packages for its 4x4 vehicles.

A limited run of 400 Z71 Trailblazers will be imported from General Motors’ plant in Thailand for Australian customers who will have to choose from four colours – white, red, grey and black. The satin-finish grey and the gloss black are “prestige paints” that cost an extra $550.

Holden has not put a value on the extras fitted to the ZR1, although a spokesperson said the wheels alone would be worth more than the $1000 price premium.

The black-painted alloy wheels for the ZR1 are the same diameter – 18 inches – as those on the LTZ donor car.

While Holden’s Colorado has hit its straps in recent months, coming third in the Australian pick-up sales rankings with 1824 units last month, the related Trailblazer is not setting the world on fire in its large SUV category of which it has just a 2.6 per cent share with 982 sales in the year to date.

This compares with market leader Toyota’s Prado with 5067 sales and 13.4 per cent segment share YTD.

Of the ute-based large SUVs available in Australia, the Trailblazer trails the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (2751), Isuzu MU-X (1956) and Ford Everest (1198), while outselling Toyota’s HiLux spin-off, the Fortuner (607).

Formerly known as the Colorado 7, the Trailblazer’s name change came in October last year, along with a facelift that include a new front fascia, improved noise, vibration harshness (NVH) control and better fuel economy from the 2.8-litre diesel engine.

At the time, Holden said it would be disappointed if the Trailblazer did not outperform the Colorado 7 in the showroom. Official VFACTS figures for April show the Trailblazer has achieved that task – just. Last year, the Colorado 7 had found 968 buyers to the end of April, while the Trailblazer has found 982.

Holden chose the top-end Trailblazer LTZ, with its leather seats and other luxury touches, for the Z71 treatment because a lot of large SUV activity is centred at the high end where bells and whistles are in high demand.

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