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

Once on a time, the Chevrolet Trailblazer was a human body-on-frame, midsize SUV. The previous-faculty Trailblazer was a beefy thing, readily available with a V8 motor and rear-wheel travel. But as shoppers’ desires have progressed, so have the SUVs them selves. Just after far more than a 10 years, the […]

Once on a time, the Chevrolet Trailblazer was a human body-on-frame, midsize SUV. The previous-faculty Trailblazer was a beefy thing, readily available with a V8 motor and rear-wheel travel. But as shoppers’ desires have progressed, so have the SUVs them selves. Just after far more than a 10 years, the Trailblazer is back again in the variety of a kinder, gentler, subcompact crossover.


  • Snappy turbocharged motor
  • Superb styling
  • Good infotainment tech

You should not Like

  • Bland interior
  • Can get far more costly than most of its rivals

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is made available in LS, LT, Activ and RS trims. The Activ is the a single pictured in this article, which has a rugged-ish appear, while the RS is a tiny sportier. Like the Buick Encore GX with which it shares a system, the Trailblazer is readily available with both a 1.2-liter turbo I3 and a constantly variable transmission, or a 1.3-liter turbo I3 with both a CVT or a 9-speed automatic. For this review, I am focusing on the uplevel 1.3T and 9-speed combo.

The Trailblazer is greater than the Chevy Trax, but with its sub-$20,000 setting up value, is actually the minimum costly SUV in the company’s lineup. It shares a whole lot of its design with its massive brother, the Blazer, and to very good outcome. The dual-port grille and squinty headlights appear good, but never be fooled by what Chevy calls the “simulated” skid plate down under. Still, I like the sculpted hood and I am normally in this article for a two-tone paint plan. Individually, I assume the Trailblazer seems to be greatest in RS guise.

The Trailblazer shares a whole lot of its design cues with its midsize massive brother, the Blazer.


Chevy’s 1.3-liter I3 is amazingly perky. Positive, it only would make a hundred and fifty five horsepower, but it really is the 174 pound-toes of torque that really helps with acceleration. It comes on early at 1,600 rpm and stays flat right up until 4,000 rpm, building highway merging practically easy. The 9-speed automatic transmission is tuned far more for fuel economic climate than something else, upshifting early to optimize efficiency. Throughout my time with the car or truck, I averaged 29.1 miles per gallon, which is on the much better side of the EPA’s ratings of 26 mpg city, thirty mpg highway and 28 mpg mixed for this motor.

That’s not to say the Trailblazer is entertaining to travel, however. Get it on backroads and the delicate suspension and generous human body roll will make you assume twice about building any quick directional adjustments, and it really is uncomplicated to upset the all round smoothness on uneven stretches of pavement. Then once again, very little in this modest SUV course is all that worthwhile to travel, help save for the Mazda CX-3. I assume most folks will find that the Trailblazer does an ample occupation working day to working day, with tons of usable minimal-conclude energy and uncomplicated-to-travel dynamics.

There is a Sport manner in the Trailblazer, which Chevy suggests adjustments the transmission’s change logic, giving the steering a heavier feel. This also activates the all-wheel-travel setting — which is a little something the driver can change on and off with a button — however the variance in this article is tricky to feel. The transmission retains revs a bit more time beneath aggressive acceleration, but it doesn’t really transform the Trailblazer’s all round demeanor. If you reside in a cold-temperature weather, a Snow manner would make the throttle fewer aggressive, most likely resulting in fewer wheelspin when setting off from a end.

The Trailblazer comes common with Chevy’s Basic safety Assist offer, which incorporates forward-collision warning and braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-maintaining assist, a next distance indicator and automatic higher beams. Adaptive cruise management is section of a $620 offer and blind-location monitoring is section of a individual $345 offer. That’s strange, thinking about both equally people possibilities are common on the Toyota CH-R. If you want far more tech like a arms-on steering assist aspect, check out out the Kia Seltos. Regardless of their value, the driver help attributes function as advertised, maintaining me at a set distance from a guide car or truck, warning me of other motor vehicles in my blind location and generating a ding while carefully bringing me back again into the lane if I commence to drift out.

Inside the Trailblazer, a common 7-inch touchscreen operates Chevy’s Infotainment 3 procedure, but my tester has the upgraded 8-inch screen. It responds rapidly to my inputs and I love how uncomplicated and intuitive it is to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are in this article, and with wireless connectivity in upper trim levels. The two the driver and passenger can hook up their telephones to the procedure with a nifty dual-Bluetooth interface. Charging is taken care of by USB Form-A and Form-C ports, moreover a 12-volt outlet up front. Wi-fi charging is readily available, as are more USB-A and USB-C ports for rear-seat travellers.

The interior design is kind of meh, but the infotainment tech is good.


Mom and dad will rest uncomplicated with Chevy’s common Teen Driver aspect, a black box of sorts that information driving actions when a specific critical fob is used, and can even set a speed limiter and prohibit the audio volume from heading too higher. It is really a aspect that my rebellious higher faculty self would loathe, but the grumpy grown lady I have become usually takes gleeful pleasure in realizing younger motorists can not be hooligans.

Much as I like the onboard tech, I am fewer impressed by the rest of the Trailblazer’s interior. Positive, the supplies are generally high-quality and I like how considerably storage space is readily available, but the design lacks the spunk of the Nissan Kicks, the sophistication of the Mazda CX-3 or the quirky specifics of the Kia Seltos. What is far more, the backup digital camera top quality is middling, however motorists can choose for a higher-definition digital camera as section of a $1,720 technology offer (Appear on, just make this common!). General, perform definitely usually takes precedence about variety in this article.

The Trailblazer’s cargo space puts it in the center of the course, at twenty five.3 cubic toes powering the second row of seats, increasing to fifty four.4 cubes when folded. Fold down the front passenger seat and you can accommodate merchandise up to 8.five toes very long, like kayaks or lumber. If you need to have far more space, nonetheless, you must appear at the Kia Seltos, with 26.six and sixty three cubic toes respectively, or the Honda HR-V, with 24.3/fifty eight.8.

The Trailblazer is a high-quality tiny SUV, but lots of of its rivals are far more nicely-rounded.


The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer commences at $19,995 together with $995 for destination. On the other hand, my LT tester ups the setting up value to $twenty five,600, and once the possibilities are tacked on, I am searching at $28,one hundred eighty together with destination. 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 $7,000 to spare.

The Trailblazer is a great addition to the subcompact SUV phase with its energetic powertrain and bold exterior styling. But thinking about how nicely-rounded so lots of of its rivals are, sad to say for the Trailblazer, that might not be enough.

Rosa G. Rose

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