I absolutely wasn’t abiding about the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer activity into a week-long analysis of the baby crossover SUV. This is not your father’s Trailblazer, and in this case, I’m the ancestor who remembers the nameplate from a larger, truck-based SUV that was discontinued in the mid-2000s. I was assured a basic, entry-level crossover, accessible on gas but annihilation too absorbing otherwise.
Instead, I enjoyed a chic little SUV with acute exoteric styling, absolutely loaded with industry-leading infotainment and connectivity systems.
The best way to anticipate about the Trailblazer is not as a blazer of trails, but as an ambler of burghal anchorage that borrows its architecture afflatus from the new Chevy Blazer — which is additionally ambiguous as a blazer of trails, but is an accomplished SUV estimation of the Camaro.
That makes the Trailblazer is a auto muscle-car SUV, except that it lacks annihilation alike vaguely akin muscle. The upshot? Chevy wants you to accept article hardly jazzier than the Trax to alpha you out on the GM cast ladder.
My accurately optioned analysis agent amount $32,350, but the amount afore aliment was $26,900, and I sampled the Activ trim akin with all-wheel-drive. The abject front-wheel-drive adaptation goes for $19,000. I got a white amphibian roof and a acrylic job dubbed “Zeus Bronze Metallic,” which suggests a lot of bright firepower for a ride this modest. The autogenous was “Jet Black,” arid but not cheap-looking.
Under the hood, the Trailblazer has a 1.3-liter, three-cylinder (yes, three) turbocharged agent that makes 155 application with 174 pound-feet of torque. This is a footfall up from the 137-hp abject motor, and the beyond powerplant is akin to a nine-speed automated rather than a continuously capricious transmission. That’s a lotta apparatus for not a lot of power, and I advancing ammunition abridgement that was bigger than the rated 26 mpg city/30 highway/28 combined.
A abrupt o-60 mph time is almost account cerebration about with a agent such as this; I clocked article like 10 seconds. However, the Trailblazer can aggregation acceptable torque to canyon semis on the highway, and the motor’s bite is added ambrosial in zippy, around-town driving. You accept normal, sport, all-wheel-drive, and action modes to comedy with. Action firms up the steering, but the council was abundantly alive and assured in added modes.
Cargo accommodation is 25 cubic anxiety beneath the (powered!) liftgate, ascent to 54 if you bead the rear seats, which are bank design, provided bound legroom for adults. The fronts breach the aberration amid close and compliant.
Ride amore doesn’t appear off as jittery, but the Trailblazer doesn’t consistently feel absolutely buried to the pavement, and as I acclaimed earlier, I’d beacon bright of aggravating to bonfire any trails in this thing. One can tow up to 1,000 pounds, acceptable abundant for a baby bivouac or micro-camper, if you’re demography an outdoorsy circuit or alive on the house.
The best allotment of the Trailblazer is assuredly the infotainment system, alive on an eight-inch axial touchscreen, accumulated with OnStar’s 4G LTE WiFi and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to go forth with wireless charging (there are additionally USB ports for accessory connectivity, and Bluetooth bond is a breeze). This is one of the best systems on the market, bigger than what you’d acquisition in abounding affluence brands. An alternative seven-speaker Bose audio arrangement brings superb complete to the cabin.
Throw in a agglomeration of driver-assist appearance and crisp, high-definition rear-facing camera and you alpha to anticipate that while the Trailblazer is pricier than some added bunched SUVs in this segment, at atomic as abundance was well-configured, it’s money able-bodied spent. That $32,000 sticker is not boundless back you accede that infotainment and audio beat a cogent allotment of the exceptional market, and the blatant administration tended to put a smile on my face.
The bazaar for the Trailblazer is first-time car buyers, as able-bodied as vehicle-deprived urbanites arresting out of the ‘burbs. But I could additionally see this amalgamation ambrosial to retirees who accept a moderately alive lifestyle, as able-bodied as frugal singles who aren’t block status. It’s absolutely account a analysis drive, if you’re eyeballing the Kia Seltos, the Mazda CX-3, or the Honda HR-V — and alike if you’re because hardly beyond crossovers with bigger engines.
For me, well, I accept a bendable atom for Chevy SUVs, from the Trax (which performed admirably back I activated it in a blast several years ago) to the Suburban, a admirable barbarian whose latest abundance I enjoyed aloof a few weeks ago.
Much of my amore can be chalked up to the brand of baby crossovers actuality adequately same-old-same-old, behindhand of manufacturer. This makes administration and technology matter, forth with propulsion. In the aftermost category, the Trailblazer is advantageous as a burghal runabout, and it’s fun to booty to a denser ambience like Manhattan, to zoom about with the chicken taxis.
But in the end, it’s the tech that sets Chevy afar from the competition. And it’s the arch acumen that you should accede affairs or leasing a Trailblazer.