Chevrolet Trailblazer 2005: The Weekly Driver ReviewWritten by James Raia
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Standard features are adequate: power mirrors, heated daytime running lamps, remote keyless entry, tinted rear glass, 65/35 second and third-row folding seats and a rear window defogger, among other standard items.
Three options packages, aforementioned Sun, Sound and Entertainment, as well as Luxury and V8 Power Play packages, can add nearly $7,000 to base sticker, pushing total price to more than $41,000.
Some options are worthwhile, including OnStar Emergency System (with one year of free service) and leather-appointed seats. Other options – cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel audio controls – are standard for other manufacturers' SUVs.
A Preferred Equipment Savings reduction of $3,150 lowers top-of-the line Blazer's price, after a $685 destination charge, to $38,515.
As such, Blazer isn't most expensive or most economical SUV on market. But certainly, for nearly $40,000, good brakes and sufficient second-row headroom shouldn't be issues.
2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer
Safety features -- Dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags. Antilock brakes.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) -- 14 mpg (city), 19 mpg (highway).
Warranty -- Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Power train, 3 years/36,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/100,000 miles; 24-hour free roadside assistance, 3 years, 36,000 miles
Base price -- $34,270.00
James Raia is a Sacramento, Calif., journalist who writes about sports, travel and lifestyle topics as well as the automotive column, The Weekly Driver Review.
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Mitsubishi Outlander 2005: The Weekly Driver ReviewWritten by James Raia
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For all of its less-than-spectacular features, Outlander rebounds in several areas.
From driver's seat, visibility is good. The vehicle's leather seats are comfortable and front and rear seat access is spacious. Despite Outlander's compact SUV status, there's plenty of cargo space behind rear seat. And rear lift gate is nicely designed and functions with ease.
The Outlander's best feature, though, is its vast array of standard features, particularly in limited edition. Consider: air-conditioning, cruise control a 210-watt Infinity AM/FM stereo (six-disc CD and MP3 features), power doors, windows and sunroof, remote keyless entry, leather seats, heated front seats, a 10-way adjustable driver's seat, dual visor vanity mirrors, integrated fog lights, a nicely designed roof rail, a 60-40 split reclining rear seatback and daytime running lamps.
Still, Outlander doesn't have workmanship of other vehicles in its class and its resale value can't match more well-recognized SUVs offered by Ford, Honda and Subaru. Further, Outlander is an SUV with an underpowered engine. Isn't that a contradiction?
2005 Mitsubishi Outlander
Safety features -- Dual front and front side airbags, antilock brakes, daytime running lamps.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) -- 21 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway).
Warranty -- Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/100,000 miles; Roadside assistance, 5 years, unlimited miles.
Base price range -- $25,179.00.
James Raia, a journalist in Sacramento, Calif., syndicates the column, The Weekly Driver Review and is co-author of the e-book How To Buy A Car Without Getting Ripped Off