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

After on a time, the Chevrolet Trailblazer was a entire body-on-body, midsize SUV. The previous-faculty Trailblazer was a beefy point, available with a V8 motor and rear-wheel travel. But as shoppers’ requires have evolved, so have the SUVs them selves. Just after extra than a ten years, the Trailblazer is back again in the type of a kinder, gentler, subcompact crossover.

Table of Contents


  • Snappy turbocharged motor
  • Great styling
  • Good infotainment tech

Really don’t Like

  • Bland inside
  • Can get extra high-priced than most of its competition

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is made available in LS, LT, Activ and RS trims. The Activ is the just one pictured right here, which has a rugged-ish glance, even though the RS is a minor sportier. Like the Buick Encore GX with which it shares a platform, the Trailblazer is available with possibly a 1.2-liter turbo I3 and a continually variable transmission, or a 1.3-liter turbo I3 with possibly a CVT or a 9-pace computerized. For this evaluation, I’m concentrating on the uplevel 1.3T and 9-pace combo.

The Trailblazer is larger sized than the Chevy Trax, but with its sub-$twenty,000 beginning price tag, is essentially the minimum high-priced SUV in the company’s lineup. It shares a lot of its style and design with its big brother, the Blazer, and to superior influence. The twin-port grille and squinty headlights glance terrific, but really don’t be fooled by what Chevy phone calls the “simulated” skid plate down under. Nonetheless, I like the sculpted hood and I am always right here for a two-tone paint plan. Individually, I think the Trailblazer appears finest in RS guise.

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


Chevy’s 1.3-liter I3 is amazingly perky. Positive, it only would make one hundred fifty five horsepower, but it’s the 174 pound-feet of torque that actually allows with acceleration. It arrives on early at 1,600 rpm and stays flat until finally four,000 rpm, making freeway merging just about easy. The 9-pace computerized transmission is tuned extra for gas economy than nearly anything else, upshifting early to increase performance. All through my time with the vehicle, I averaged 29.1 miles for every gallon, which is on the much better facet of the EPA’s rankings of 26 mpg city, 30 mpg freeway and 28 mpg blended for this motor.

That’s not to say the Trailblazer is exciting to travel, however. Get it on backroads and the comfortable suspension and generous entire body roll will make you think two times about making any quick directional variations, and it’s easy to upset the over-all smoothness on uneven stretches of pavement. Then all over again, nothing in this smaller SUV course is all that satisfying to travel, help save for the Mazda CX-3. I think most folks will find that the Trailblazer does an satisfactory position day to day, with loads of usable very low-end energy and easy-to-travel dynamics.

There is a Activity method in the Trailblazer, which Chevy suggests variations the transmission’s shift logic, giving the steering a heavier really feel. This also activates the all-wheel-travel placing — which is a little something the driver can flip on and off with a button — however the big difference right here is hard to really feel. The transmission retains revs a bit for a longer period less than intense acceleration, but it won’t actually change the Trailblazer’s over-all demeanor. If you live in a chilly-climate local weather, a Snow method would make the throttle significantly less intense, perhaps resulting in significantly less wheelspin when placing off from a prevent.

The Trailblazer arrives conventional with Chevy’s Protection Help package deal, which incorporates ahead-collision warning and braking, front pedestrian braking, lane-maintaining help, a following length indicator and computerized large beams. Adaptive cruise handle is section of a $620 package deal and blind-location monitoring is section of a different $345 package deal. That’s bizarre, thinking of both equally individuals solutions are conventional on the Toyota CH-R. If you want extra tech like a fingers-on steering help element, verify out the Kia Seltos. Irrespective of their price tag, the driver support features perform as marketed, maintaining me at a established length from a lead vehicle, warning me of other vehicles in my blind location and manufacturing a ding even though gently bringing me back again into the lane if I start off to drift out.

Inside of the Trailblazer, a conventional seven-inch touchscreen runs Chevy’s Infotainment 3 method, but my tester has the upgraded 8-inch monitor. It responds fast to my inputs and I really like how easy and intuitive it is to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are right here, and with wireless connectivity in upper trim levels. Both of those the driver and passenger can hook up their phones to the method with a nifty twin-Bluetooth interface. Charging is taken treatment of by USB Type-A and Type-C ports, plus a twelve-volt outlet up front. Wireless charging is available, as are further USB-A and USB-C ports for rear-seat passengers.

The inside style and design is variety of meh, but the infotainment tech is terrific.


Mothers and fathers will relaxation easy with Chevy’s conventional Teen Driver element, a black box of kinds that information driving actions when a individual essential fob is employed, and can even established a pace limiter and prohibit the audio quantity from heading much too large. It is really a element that my rebellious large faculty self would despise, but the grumpy grown girl I have turn out to be requires gleeful pleasure in recognizing youthful motorists won’t be able to be hooligans.

A lot as I like the onboard tech, I’m significantly less impressed by the relaxation of the Trailblazer’s inside. Positive, the materials are primarily high-quality and I like how considerably storage area is available, but the style and 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 actually extra, the backup digital camera quality is middling, however motorists can decide for a large-definition digital camera as section of a $1,720 technological innovation package deal (Arrive on, just make this conventional!). In general, perform surely requires precedence above type right here.

The Trailblazer’s cargo area places it in the center of the course, at 25.3 cubic feet behind the second row of seats, growing to fifty four.four cubes when folded. Fold down the front passenger seat and you can accommodate products up to 8.five feet extended, like kayaks or lumber. If you require extra area, nevertheless, you really should glance at the Kia Seltos, with 26.6 and sixty three cubic feet respectively, or the Honda HR-V, with 24.3/fifty eight.8.

The Trailblazer is a high-quality minor SUV, but numerous of its competition are extra nicely-rounded.


The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer begins at $19,995 such as $995 for destination. Even so, my LT tester ups the beginning price tag to $25,600, and as soon as the solutions are tacked on, I’m searching at $28,one hundred eighty such as destination. For that price tag I can get a nicely equipped Kia Seltos or Honda HR-V, or I can get a loaded Nissan Kicks with virtually $seven,000 to spare.

The Trailblazer is a wonderful addition to the subcompact SUV segment with its energetic powertrain and bold exterior styling. But thinking of how nicely-rounded so numerous of its competition are, regretably for the Trailblazer, that may well not be enough.