Trailblazer image release a wrong turn

Announcement of a crash test score for an impending Holden SUV revealed more than the maker would have preferred.

THE national crash safety assessor has gazzumped Holden on revealing an upcoming sports utility, but the brand is taking the blame.                 

Holden New Zealand spokesman Edward Finn says “an oversight at our end” resulted in the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP), when announcing a top crash test score for the impending Trailblazer, also provided something that Holden has kept under wraps – a first-time view of the showroom-ready vehicle.

The image, seen today, was sent out by ANCAP to Australian and New Zealand media but later rescinded. It no longer appears on the organisation’s website.

ANCAP seeks to crash test most popular models sold in Australia and New Zealand as a consumer service, but often its results do not come out until after those vehicles have gone on sale.

Even though the Trailblazer and Colorado utility it spawns from are refreshes of existing product – the wagon being what we are currently calling the Colorado 7 - which had previously been ANCAP assessed.

The updated Colorado ute was tested again for better result; originally only the dual cab was considered worthy of a maximum five star score but now evert updated version has been determined to be equally good.

This news was announced on August 11 by ANCAP and its New Zealand agent, the Automobile Association, on the eve of the one-tonne truck’s media launch in Australia.

It is possible Holden imagined ANCAP would extend the same courtesy for the Trailblazer, and hold off announcing the crash result until the wagon was unveiled to Australian media next month.

Obviously, that didn’t happen. Says Finn: “All I can think what might have happened is that team in Australia would have been asked to supply a photo for the release and they did … but perhaps they weren’t aware the release was coming out when it did.”

Holden’s own media website still only provides images of the Trailblazer as a Chevrolet (left and below), but the ANCAP image confirms the Holden is identical, save for a change of badge, with the same face that applies to the Colorado ute.

The ANCAP image will be especially interesting to Kiwis as Trailblazer is not being released here until November, at least two months behind Australia.

Finn has suggested that Holden NZ doesn’t intend to impart much local market information until then.

“Local lineup info - spec, pricing etc - is all still to be released. We will do so closer to launch … expect to hear about this (in) November.”

The Trailblaxer unsurprisingly maintains the five star scored meted Colorado 7, with an overall 34.49 out of a possible 37, a ‘Good’ rating for pedestrian protection, a perfect score for side impact protection and full marks in the pole test.

ANCAP says standard safety equipment on all Trailblazer variants include dual front, side chest and head-protecting curtain airbags (which extend across all three seating rows) along with a driver’s knee airbag. Seat belt reminders are also fitted for the first and second rows.

ABS, automatic headlights, daytime-running lights, electronic brakeforce distribution, ESC, emergency brake assist, hill-start assist, rear collision avoidance, roll stability system and trailer stability control are all listed as standard equipment across the entire Trailblazer range.

Stella Stocks, AA motoring services general manager, says the focus on pedestrian safety is good news for everyone.

“As safety technology improves it’s good to see manufacturers focusing on how to make the roads safer for all road users, particularly