The new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is one of the newest competitors in the booming subcompact crossover class, slotting between the little Chevy Trax and the bigger Trailblazer. The Trailblazer moniker isn’t new to Chevrolet; it was previously used as a truck-based midsize SUV with up to seven seats until 2009. Except for the name, the Trailblazer bears little resemblance to its forefather.
This new Trailblazer is an appealing small crossover with a cool look and clever packaging. Trailblazer takes the same Camaro-like external styling cues as its older sibling, the Chevy Blazer, creating a distinctively aggressive appearance.
Consider upgrading to the Activ or RS trims if you want to stand out from the crowd. The Activ gives the Trailblazer a more rugged, off-road appearance, while the RS transforms it into a racier alternative with 18-inch wheels and black exterior embellishments.
Fortunately, unlike rivals, Trailblazer does not trade utility for a head-turning appearance. It provides plenty of passenger and baggage room, as well as a slew of standard equipment.
However, there’s a catch, the standard 137 horsepower 1.2-liter turbocharged engine offers unimpressive performance and runs out of breath quite soon. Thankfully, upgrading to the more powerful 155-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged engine solves most of the performance concerns. While it’s not a neck-snapping accelerating machine, it’s no slouch either. Furthermore, the Trailblazer feels agile and nimble in town, owing to its fast steering and decent handling. If only the ride wasn’t so bumpy.
The starting price of $19,995 for the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer appears to be appealing. In the face of over-$20,000 competition, a small-crossover SUV with the Trailblazer’s standard amenities for under $20,000 feels like a steal these days.
Altogether, the Trailblazer’s affordable pricing, excellent styling, and spacious cabin laden with features are enough to convince you to overlook its slight shortcomings.
|Trims||Originally MSRP (including destination charges)|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer L||$19,995|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer LS||$22,795|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer LT||$24,895|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ||$26,695|
|Chevrolet Trailblazer RS||$26,695|
The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is available in L, LS, LT, Activ, and RS trim levels. Despite being bigger than the Chevy Trax, the Trailblazer is the company’s most affordable SUV thanks to its sub-$20,000 starting price. The Trailblazer’s starting MSRP undercuts almost all its rivals.
What’s the best Trim Option?
Surprisingly, the base model doesn’t skimp on features. It comes well-equipped with popular safety and tech features including lane keep assist, automated emergency braking, forward collision alert, and an Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. If you’re on a limited budget, the Trailblazer L basic model is a smart option.
The LS Trim adds a few options over the L trim. But they aren’t that convincing. However, it opens up the more powerful engine option. Therefore, that should be the only case you should consider upgrading to the LS Trim.
The LT, on the other hand, is the greatest all-around trim. The Trailblazer LT offers the ideal mix of features and specifications that most customers value at an affordable price. It has several useful standard amenities, including cruise control and keyless ignition and entry, as well as access to the majority of the Trailblazer’s extra packages.
It also has a power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats, which are often seen exclusively in much more costly crossovers. With all of these improvements above the standard model, the price difference does not appear to be significant.
For $2000, you should go from the 1.2-liter to the 1.3-liter and add all-wheel drive (AWD), which includes a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
There are two more choices if you are willing to pay more than the price of an LT model. The Trailblazer Activ variant includes the more powerful engine as standard. Roof rails on a two-tone roof give Activ a distinct look.
In addition to a sportier exterior, Chevy has tailored it for off-road use with specialist all-season tires, reworked suspension, and a bit extra ground clearance from a redesigned front fascia. The Activ trim also includes a center armrest in the back seat, a simulated leather interior, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and steering wheel, and a heated steering wheel.
Finally, the RS trim is the top of the line, yet it starts at the same price as the Activ trim. The RS differs from Activ based on a few features, such as 18-inch alloy wheels with standard tires and black exterior elements.
Furthermore, the Trailblazer is available with a variety of optional packages. They are the only way to obtain fantastic amenities such as a panoramic sunroof, hands-free liftgate, wireless phone charging, and much more.
However, you may forgo the $1,145 infotainment option that adds a larger screen because Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on the smaller screen as well. You may use your phone for navigation at times.
|Ground clearance||7 inches / 8 inches|
With the introduction of the brand-new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, the Chevy SUV portfolio earns a strong edge in terms of design. The 2021 Trailblazer, like the Chevrolet Blazer, borrows its covering from Chevy’s big kahuna Camaro. The Trailblazer’s front fascia, with its iconic Chevy dual-port grille, integrated squinting headlamps, integrated accent bar, and simulated front skid plate, conveys a feeling of intentional adventure amid a blob-like small-crossover-SUV party. Apart from that, you may also like the sculpted hood and two-tone paint scheme.
The Activ variant has a more robust appearance, with body cladding, an open grille, 17-inch wheels, and simulated skid plates. With a sporty-looking mesh grille, a unique front splitter, and a blacked-out Chevrolet emblem, the Trailblazer RS trim ups the performance ante.
Let’s have a look at the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer Interior:
|Total Passenger Space||98.2 cubic feet|
|Front Head Room||40.00 inches|
|Rear Head Room||38.40 inches|
|Front Leg Room||40.90 inches|
|Rear Leg Room||39.40 inches|
|Front Shoulder room||55.40 inches|
|Rear Shoulder Room||53.80 inches|
The center stack of the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is simple in design yet logically laid out. Although some of the materials seem cheap, Chevy is positioning this vehicle as an affordable vehicle, so calling cost effective makes sense. Nonetheless, upper-level versions have colored trim pieces and chrome decorations for those who are willing to spend money.
Furthermore, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer Interior is large, utilitarian, and well-equipped with plenty of convenience features in higher trims. The front seats are typically comfortable and spacious enough for taller passengers to spread their legs, while the bottom seat cushions are tiny and lack support. It’s simple to get in and out, the driving position is high and SUV-like, and there’s enough room for two persons to sit comfortably at the rear.
The Chevy has a spacious storage area behind the back seat. In addition to having 60/40 split rear seats, it also has a folding front passenger seat that makes it possible to fit items up to 8.5 feet long. The total load area is 25.3 cubic feet, but it extends to 54.4 cubic feet when the second row is folded down.
The Trailblazer 2021 has Chevy’s most recent infotainment system, which allows you to connect two Bluetooth devices at the same time.
A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Chevy’s Infotainment 3 system is standard, although an 8.0-inch display is available as an option. The display is clear and responsive to inputs, and you’ll like how simple it is to operate. They are also supplemented by physical radio and air conditioning controls, making it simple to manage these features while driving.
It supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as satellite radio, and the Technology package adds wireless connectivity to the two mobile interfaces.
Standard on the basic L is a four-speaker stereo, while higher trims provide either a six-speaker configuration or a superior Bose sound system with seven speakers. There are USB Type-A and Type-C connectors as well as a 12-volt outlet up front for charging. For backseat passengers, there is wireless charging as well as additional USB-A and USB-C connectors.
Chevy’s standard Teen Driver function, is a kind of “black box” that monitors driving patterns when a certain key fob is utilized. It can even set a speed limitation and prevent the sound level from reaching too high. Although my rebellious high school self would despise this feature, adults would be pleased with the knowledge that young drivers cannot be hooligans.
The standard L trim has enough features on offer:
The LS trim adds some features such as:
The LT trim adds a host of more features, including:
Driver Confidence package ($395)
The Convenience package ($620)
The Activ trim enhances its potency and visual presence both inside and out by including:
Technology package ($1,620)
The RS trims retain all options, but swap off-road equipment from the Activ trims for more sporty elements:
The Trailblazer is available with two turbocharged three-cylinder engines: 1.2-liter and 1.3-liter. The former generates 137 horses, whereas the latter develops 155 horsepower.
The 1.2-liter engine comes with a CVT transmission (continuously variable transmission) and front-wheel drive. It seems sluggish off the line, but it has enough power for city streets. Not so on the highway, where it seems underpowered. The CVT, on the other hand, does an excellent job of keeping the engine inside its powerband. There’s not much of that rubber-band sensation, and it works fairly well as a conventional geared automatic.
Driving the 1.3-liter turbocharged 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer doesn’t seem underpowered. This engine may just have three cylinders, but, it seems more potent than its capacity and cylinder count would suggest. You may mistake it for a little turbo-4 if you didn’t know any better. Even though it only produces 155 horsepower, its 174 pound-feet of torque greatly aids in acceleration. Highway merging becomes practically seamless since it kicks in early at 1,600 rpm and maintains a flat pace until 4,000 rpm.
The 1.3-liter engine is available with all-wheel drive as an option. When you choose all-wheel drive, you also get a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission instead of the usual CVT. The transmission, on the other hand, is adjusted more for maximum gas mileage than anything else, shifting up early to enhance efficiency.
Normal, Sport, and Snow are the available driving modes. According to Chevrolet, the Sport mode modifies the transmission’s shift mechanism, giving the steering a stiffer feel. This also enables the all-wheel-drive configuration, which the driver may toggle on and off with a button, albeit the change is subtle. The gearbox maintains revs a little longer under hard acceleration, but this has little effect on the Trailblazer’s general demeanor.
If you reside in a cold area, the Snow mode reduces throttle response, resulting in reduced wheelspin when starting it after a while.
While the Trailblazer’s chassis isn’t exceptionally sporty, it boasts precise steering and manages curves well.
However, there is a lot of body roll, which makes fast directional changes difficult, and it’s easy to disrupt the general smoothness over uneven sections of pavement. But, other than the Mazda CX-3, nothing in this compact SUV class is particularly athletic to drive. Therefore, it makes little sense to complain too much. Most people will find the Trailblazer to be acceptable daily, with enough useful low-end grunt and easy-to-drive characteristics.
EPA-Estimated MPG figures
|Front-wheel drive (FWD)||All-wheel drive (AWD)|
|1.2-liter I3||28/31 MPG||NA|
|1.3-liter I3||29/33 MPG||26/30 MPG|
The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer has qualified for the IIHS 2021 top safety pick plus criteria. It has backed an overall score of 9.8/10. In all six crash tests, the Chevy received the highest grade of Good from the IIHS. Depending on the model and options, the Trailblazer’s headlamp performance was rated as either Good or the second-highest Acceptable.
The Trailblazer receives a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. Models manufactured on or after July 14, 2020, received a five-star overall rating, including four stars in the rollover test and five stars in the frontal and side crash tests.
Standard Safety features:
Available advanced safety features:
J.D. Power has rated the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer with a predicted reliability score of 81 out of 100. A J.D. Power projected dependability score of 81-90 is regarded as Great.
The Trailblazer has attractive aesthetics, a tastefully designed interior, enough space, decent driving qualities, and reasonable pricing in lower-priced trim levels. However, in terms of its performance, it is a bit behind compared to other models with the same features. Here’s how it compares to its rivals:
Starting MSRP: $23,295
The Subaru Crosstrek offers an adventurous image and plug-in hybrid option over the Trailblazer. However, Crosstrek’s interior is plain-looking compared to the Trailblazer. Moreover, the Chevy offers more standard features and cargo space.
Starting MSRP: $21,685
The Hyundai Kona matches the Chevy Trailblazer with its quirky design, however, it boasts a more gutsy optional turbo engine. On the other hand, the Trailblazer offers more cargo space as well as a better steering feel. It’s also right up with it in terms of the features list.
Starting MSRP: $23,375
The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is more polished and fun to drive than the Chevy Trailblazer. However, this comes at a premium, since the highest trim reaches almost above $35,000. The Chevy Trailblazer is a much more affordable option. It has a good amount of standard features, and practicality, thereby slightly edging out on the value front.
Starting MSRP: $34,795
The Volvo XC40 2021 is a charismatic small crossover with a plethora of amenities. However, unlike the Chevy Trailblazer, it’s not for you if you have a tight budget, since the top-of-the-line trim reaches over $40,000.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer used to be a midsize, body-on-frame SUV. An intimidating vehicle with rear-wheel drive and a V8 engine. However, just as consumer requirements have changed, so have SUVs. The Trailblazer is returning after more than ten years in the guise of a subcompact crossover that is kinder and friendlier.
While the Trailblazer is no performance car, with not so attractive interior, and a sporty design. It has an outstanding list of standard safety features, and a starting price of around $20,000, so it appears to be well-suited for some serious urban trailblazing.
One of the best-looking cars in its class, the Trailblazer has a style that is most reminiscent of the Camaro. This little SUV is also surprisingly spacious, and the cabin too comes lined up with a generous amount of standard features. The infotainment system is very responsive, easy to use, and loaded with all tech you would require. There are also plenty of driver assistance features on offer. The Trailblazer’s optional flat-folding front passenger seat makes it more practical.
Its 1.2-liter I3 turbocharged engine is enough for ambling around town but needs the effort to reach motorway speeds. Fortunately, things improve with the more potent 1.3-liter engine; but, several competitors do offer more powerful choices.
Altogether, if you are looking for a performance sub-compact SUV, look somewhere else. But, if you are looking for a car that’s perfect in every other aspect and is budget friendly, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is hard to ignore. The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is a strong competitor of cars like the Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul, and Honda HR-V.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV was completely redesigned for 2021 and returns for 2022 with little changes; the most affordable L trim has been eliminated this year. Moreover, a heated steering wheel, roof rack cross rails, a trailing option, and some revised paint colors are all new for 2022.
The new starting price is $22,795 for the LS trim with front-wheel drive due to the elimination of the L basic trim level. If you’re on a tight budget and want the cheaper, discontinued L model, choose 2021. Since there weren’t any significant modifications in 2022, it makes more sense to save a little money by opting for the 2021 model even for higher trim options.
The Trailblazer is produced at GM Korea’s Bupyeong facility and is entirely developed and engineered by GM Korea.
If you need a new SUV that does a lot of city duty without a grand budget, consider the Trailblazer. The Trailblazer begins at somewhat over $19,000, and its base model is rather well-equipped. It’s a little SUV that can fit into narrow parking spaces and zip down city streets, and its three-cylinder engine gets decent gas mileage.
On forums, Motor and Wheels discovered several owners who assert to have driven their Trailblazer models for over 200,000 miles. A few owners also stated that their machines had traveled 300,000 miles.
These owners did stress the significance of routine maintenance, though. As long as you keep the Chevrolet Trailblazer maintained, it will serve you well.
The engines are one of the primary distinctions between the 2021 Chevy Equinox and the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. The Trailblazer engines have higher available fuel efficiency, however, the Equinox has more power and torque.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer has a 7.0-inch ground clearance (8.0-inch on Activ Trim), which means it can manage deep snow to some extent. The Trailblazer’s 7.0-inch ride height is commendable for a mid-size SUV. Furthermore, it offers a snow mode that adjusts the pedal map to enable greater performance on icy road surfaces by slowing acceleration and torque response to reduce wheel slide.
There is some misunderstanding concerning the current Chevrolet Blazer and Trailblazer. The Trailblazer is a subcompact SUV, whereas the Blazer is a larger medium SUV. There is still some aesthetic and feature availability overlap, but not much else. Compared to the Trailblazer, the Blazer is a foot and a half longer has a spacious cabin and has more powerful engine options. The Trailblazer, on the other hand, has superior gas mileage and a cheaper initial price.
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