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General Motors Brazil’s new Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV has little in common with the former Blazer.

The sole available version, the fully-loaded LTZ, costs BRL145,450/US$69,400 (V6 petrol, 235 bhp) and BRL175,450/$83,550 (four-cylinder diesel, 177 bhp). 

The R$30,000/$14,300 price difference is enough to purchase a well equipped compact car, proof of the irrationality of the 70% of buyers who will opt for the diesel version.

It is the most expensive model produced in the Mercosur region.

The mid-size and large SUV market in Brazil is good for 180,000 units a year (5% of light vehicles) and is highly profitable for automakers.

GM expects to sell only 400 units a month and does not intend, at least for the time being, to offer anything more affordable.

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The Trailblazer has seven seats plus electrical engagement of part-time four wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission and all expected comfort and safety items.

Backrests recline in the two rear seat rows, there’s independent air conditioning for the rear of the cabin and curtain-type airbags extend to the last seat row.

Yet, despite the high price, a rear view camera and navigator with touchscreen are dealer-installed accessories. Interior room, for both people and luggage, is generous.

The live, rear axle is coil-sprung with five links. Ride, on or off road, is way better than predecessor models.

The diesel engine has VM Motori origins and is made in Brazil by MWM International. It is quieter than the previous generation and the 423Nm/320 lb ft of torque is really impressive. The petrol, 3.6-litre/219.6 cu in V6 is much more free revving and smooth.

The Trailblazer was developed in Brazil but production started first in Thailand, last June.