Once upon a time, the Chevrolet Trailblazer was a entire body-on-body, midsize SUV. The previous-school Trailblazer was a beefy matter, readily available with a V8 engine and rear-wheel push. But as shoppers’ needs have advanced, so have the SUVs them selves. Following a lot more than a 10 years, the Trailblazer is back in the type of a kinder, gentler, subcompact crossover.

Like

  • Snappy turbocharged engine
  • Outstanding styling
  • Excellent infotainment tech

Really don’t Like

  • Bland inside
  • Can get a lot more high priced than most of its competition

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is provided in LS, LT, Activ and RS trims. The Activ is the one particular pictured in this article, which has a rugged-ish seem, although the RS is a minimal sportier. Like the Buick Encore GX with which it shares a system, the Trailblazer is readily available with both a 1.two-liter turbo I3 and a repeatedly variable transmission, or a 1.three-liter turbo I3 with both a CVT or a nine-velocity automatic. For this critique, I am focusing on the uplevel 1.3T and nine-velocity combo.

The Trailblazer is larger sized than the Chevy Trax, but with its sub-$twenty,000 commencing rate, is truly the least high priced SUV in the company’s lineup. It shares a ton of its design and style with its large brother, the Blazer, and to superior effect. The twin-port grille and squinty headlights seem great, but you should not be fooled by what Chevy calls the “simulated” skid plate down under. However, I like the sculpted hood and I am constantly in this article for a two-tone paint plan. Individually, I think the Trailblazer appears to be like most effective in RS guise.

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


Chevrolet

Chevy’s 1.three-liter I3 is surprisingly perky. Absolutely sure, it only makes 155 horsepower, but it truly is the 174 pound-toes of torque that seriously assists with acceleration. It will come on early at 1,600 rpm and stays flat right until 4,000 rpm, producing freeway merging nearly effortless. The nine-velocity automatic transmission is tuned a lot more for gas economic system than everything else, upshifting early to improve performance. During my time with the motor vehicle, I averaged 29.1 miles for every gallon, which is on the greater facet of the EPA’s rankings of 26 mpg town, 30 mpg freeway and 28 mpg blended for this engine.

Which is not to say the Trailblazer is pleasurable to push, while. Get it on backroads and the soft suspension and generous entire body roll will make you think two times about producing any quick directional changes, and it truly is easy to upset the general smoothness on uneven stretches of pavement. Then yet again, very little in this smaller SUV course is all that worthwhile to push, conserve for the Mazda CX-three. I think most people will uncover that the Trailblazer does an adequate occupation day to day, with lots of usable low-stop electrical power and easy-to-push dynamics.

There is a Activity manner in the Trailblazer, which Chevy claims changes the transmission’s change logic, offering the steering a heavier experience. This also activates the all-wheel-push placing — which is anything the driver can transform on and off with a button — while the distinction in this article is tough to experience. The transmission retains revs a little bit for a longer period under aggressive acceleration, but it doesn’t seriously adjust the Trailblazer’s general demeanor. If you live in a cold-weather local weather, a Snow manner makes the throttle a lot less aggressive, possibly resulting in a lot less wheelspin when placing off from a end.

The Trailblazer will come normal with Chevy’s Protection Support package, which contains ahead-collision warning and braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-preserving assist, a pursuing length indicator and automatic higher beams. Adaptive cruise management is section of a $620 package and blind-location checking is section of a different $345 package. Which is strange, looking at equally people selections are normal on the Toyota CH-R. If you want a lot more tech like a arms-on steering assist element, look at out the Kia Seltos. Irrespective of their rate, the driver support characteristics perform as marketed, preserving me at a established length from a guide motor vehicle, warning me of other motor vehicles in my blind location and manufacturing a ding although carefully bringing me back into the lane if I start off to drift out.

Within the Trailblazer, a normal 7-inch touchscreen operates Chevy’s Infotainment three technique, but my tester has the upgraded 8-inch display screen. It responds fast to my inputs and I really like how easy and intuitive it is to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are in this article, and with wi-fi connectivity in higher trim degrees. Both equally the driver and passenger can hook up their telephones to the technique with a nifty twin-Bluetooth interface. Charging is taken treatment of by USB Type-A and Type-C ports, additionally a 12-volt outlet up front. Wi-fi charging is readily available, as are additional USB-A and USB-C ports for rear-seat travellers.

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


Chevrolet

Mothers and fathers will rest easy with Chevy’s normal Teen Driver element, a black box of types that documents driving conduct when a specific important fob is utilised, and can even established a velocity limiter and prohibit the audio volume from heading as well higher. It really is a element that my rebellious higher school self would loathe, but the grumpy grown woman I’ve turn into can take gleeful pleasure in knowing youthful drivers cannot be hooligans.

Significantly as I like the onboard tech, I am a lot less amazed by the rest of the Trailblazer’s inside. Absolutely sure, the supplies are primarily fantastic and I like how much storage space is readily available, but the design and style lacks the spunk of the Nissan Kicks, the sophistication of the Mazda CX-three or the quirky details of the Kia Seltos. What is a lot more, the backup camera top quality is middling, while drivers can opt for a higher-definition camera as section of a $1,720 technology package (Come on, just make this normal!). Overall, purpose certainly can take precedence over type in this article.

The Trailblazer’s cargo space places it in the middle of the course, at 25.three cubic toes at the rear of the 2nd row of seats, expanding to 54.4 cubes when folded. Fold down the front passenger seat and you can accommodate merchandise up to 8.5 toes very long, like kayaks or lumber. If you need to have a lot more space, having said that, you need to seem at the Kia Seltos, with 26.6 and sixty three cubic toes respectively, or the Honda HR-V, with 24.three/fifty eight.8.

The Trailblazer is a fantastic minimal SUV, but many of its competition are a lot more properly-rounded.


Chevrolet

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts off at $19,995 which includes $995 for place. However, my LT tester ups the commencing rate to $25,600, and as soon as the selections are tacked on, I am searching at $28,one hundred eighty which includes place. For that rate I can get a properly outfitted Kia Seltos or Honda HR-V, or I can get a loaded Nissan Kicks with almost $7,000 to spare.

The Trailblazer is a nice addition to the subcompact SUV section with its lively powertrain and daring exterior styling. But looking at how properly-rounded so many of its competition are, sad to say for the Trailblazer, that might not be enough.