August 11, 2020


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2021 Chevy Trailblazer review: Reborn SUV is a hit-or-miss proposition

When on a time, the Chevrolet Trailblazer was a system-on-body, midsize SUV. The aged-faculty Trailblazer was a beefy matter, accessible with a V8 motor and rear-wheel travel. But as shoppers’ desires have advanced, so have the SUVs on their own. Immediately after much more than a decade, the Trailblazer is back in the type of a kinder, gentler, subcompact crossover.


  • Snappy turbocharged motor
  • Outstanding styling
  • Great infotainment tech

Will not Like

  • Bland inside
  • Can get much more costly than most of its opponents

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is made available in LS, LT, Activ and RS trims. The Activ is the a person pictured right here, which has a rugged-ish look, while the RS is a minor sportier. Like the Buick Encore GX with which it shares a platform, the Trailblazer is accessible with possibly a 1.two-liter turbo I3 and a repeatedly variable transmission, or a 1.3-liter turbo I3 with possibly a CVT or a 9-pace automated. For this evaluate, I’m focusing on the uplevel 1.3T and 9-pace combo.

The Trailblazer is larger than the Chevy Trax, but with its sub-$twenty,000 starting off value, is in fact the minimum costly SUV in the firm’s lineup. It shares a lot of its style with its large brother, the Blazer, and to great influence. The twin-port grille and squinty headlights look great, but you should not be fooled by what Chevy phone calls the “simulated” skid plate down underneath. Even now, I like the sculpted hood and I am generally right here for a two-tone paint scheme. Individually, I believe the Trailblazer appears to be very best in RS guise.

The Trailblazer shares a lot of its style cues with its midsize large brother, the Blazer.


Chevy’s 1.3-liter I3 is surprisingly perky. Positive, it only would make 155 horsepower, but it is the 174 pound-feet of torque that genuinely helps with acceleration. It will come on early at 1,600 rpm and stays flat right up until 4,000 rpm, earning freeway merging almost effortless. The 9-pace automated transmission is tuned much more for gas financial state than everything else, upshifting early to maximize efficiency. All through my time with the vehicle, I averaged 29.1 miles per gallon, which is on the greater facet of the EPA’s rankings of 26 mpg metropolis, thirty mpg freeway and 28 mpg merged for this motor.

That’s not to say the Trailblazer is enjoyable to travel, though. Get it on backroads and the delicate suspension and generous system roll will make you believe twice about earning any speedy directional improvements, and it is easy to upset the over-all smoothness on uneven stretches of pavement. Then all over again, practically nothing in this smaller SUV class is all that gratifying to travel, preserve for the Mazda CX-3. I believe most folks will locate that the Trailblazer does an sufficient task day to day, with heaps of usable low-close power and easy-to-travel dynamics.

There is a Activity mode in the Trailblazer, which Chevy states improvements the transmission’s shift logic, providing the steering a heavier truly feel. This also activates the all-wheel-travel setting — which is something the driver can transform on and off with a button — though the change right here is tricky to truly feel. The transmission retains revs a bit lengthier under intense acceleration, but it does not genuinely modify the Trailblazer’s over-all demeanor. If you live in a chilly-weather weather, a Snow mode would make the throttle fewer intense, perhaps ensuing in fewer wheelspin when setting off from a end.

The Trailblazer will come typical with Chevy’s Security Support bundle, which includes ahead-collision warning and braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-keeping guide, a adhering to length indicator and automated substantial beams. Adaptive cruise manage is section of a $620 bundle and blind-place monitoring is section of a independent $345 bundle. That’s bizarre, considering each those alternatives are typical on the Toyota CH-R. If you want much more tech like a fingers-on steering guide aspect, examine out the Kia Seltos. Irrespective of their value, the driver assistance capabilities function as advertised, keeping me at a established length from a guide vehicle, warning me of other vehicles in my blind place and producing a ding while carefully bringing me back into the lane if I commence to drift out.

Inside of the Trailblazer, a typical seven-inch touchscreen runs Chevy’s Infotainment 3 technique, but my tester has the upgraded eight-inch display. It responds promptly to my inputs and I love how easy and intuitive it is to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are right here, and with wi-fi connectivity in upper trim levels. Each the driver and passenger can connect their telephones to the technique with a nifty twin-Bluetooth interface. Charging is taken care of by USB Variety-A and Variety-C ports, furthermore a twelve-volt outlet up front. Wi-fi charging is accessible, as are more USB-A and USB-C ports for rear-seat passengers.

The inside style is type of meh, but the infotainment tech is great.


Moms and dads will relaxation easy with Chevy’s typical Teen Driver aspect, a black box of kinds that information driving conduct when a unique key fob is utilised, and can even established a pace limiter and prohibit the audio quantity from going as well substantial. It is a aspect that my rebellious substantial faculty self would dislike, but the grumpy grown female I’ve grow to be can take gleeful pleasure in being aware of young motorists are not able to be hooligans.

Much as I like the onboard tech, I’m fewer amazed by the relaxation of the Trailblazer’s inside. Positive, the supplies are largely fantastic and I like how substantially storage area is accessible, but the style lacks the spunk of the Nissan Kicks, the sophistication of the Mazda CX-3 or the quirky specifics of the Kia Seltos. What is much more, the backup digital camera excellent is middling, though motorists can choose for a substantial-definition digital camera as section of a $1,720 technology bundle (Come on, just make this typical!). All round, operate certainly can take precedence around type right here.

The Trailblazer’s cargo area places it in the center of the class, at 25.3 cubic feet driving the next row of seats, expanding to 54.4 cubes when folded. Fold down the front passenger seat and you can accommodate merchandise up to eight.5 feet extended, like kayaks or lumber. If you require much more area, nevertheless, you ought to look at the Kia Seltos, with 26.6 and sixty three cubic feet respectively, or the Honda HR-V, with 24.3/fifty eight.eight.

The Trailblazer is a fantastic minor SUV, but a lot of of its opponents are much more perfectly-rounded.


The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts off at $19,995 such as $995 for location. On the other hand, my LT tester ups the starting off value to $25,600, and as soon as the alternatives are tacked on, I’m on the lookout at $28,180 such as location. For that value I can get a properly outfitted Kia Seltos or Honda HR-V, or I can get a loaded Nissan Kicks with practically $seven,000 to spare.

The Trailblazer is a nice addition to the subcompact SUV phase with its energetic powertrain and bold exterior styling. But considering how perfectly-rounded so a lot of of its opponents are, sadly for the Trailblazer, that could not be sufficient.