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The Trailblazer officially makes a comeback with the 2021 model year. With each iteration, the SUV has seemed to get a bit smaller and sleeker, and the newest Trailblazer is very modern and a bit edgy. It has some bold stylings, with interesting angles and sculpted edges in its body. It would appeal to anyone interested in an affordable SUV that's compact and fairly efficient.
With two rows of seats, the Trailblazer fits the mold of the traditional mid-size or compact SUV. Leg room in the front is 40.9 inches. In the back, there is still plenty of space, with 39.4 inches of leg room. Behind the second row of seats is 25.3 cubic feet, and cargo capacity can expand to 54.4 cubic feet by folding down the back row. It's convenient that the back row is configured as a 60/40 split bench so that one or both sides can be folded down when extra cargo space is needed. Ground clearance is either 7 or 7.5 inches, depending on which trim is selected.
Five trims are available on the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. As the base model, the L is priced under $20,000; this is important to note, since it can be hard to find such competitively priced SUVs these days. The LS and LT come with modest price jumps, and at the top of the lineup are two trims, the Activ and the RS. These two higher trims are actually offered for the same exact price. This guide will go over the advantages of each trim so that potential customers can more easily narrow down their choices.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer L vs LS Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
These two lower trims have the same type of engine, which is an EcoTec 1.2-liter turbocharged engine. This engine can generate 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Given the relatively compact size of the Trailblazer, which is 173.5 inches long from end to end, this would be enough power to satisfy many drivers.
Similarities continue when looking at the other mechanical components. For instance, both trims have a continuous variable transmission, an electric parking brake, automatic stop/start to boost efficiency, and an air filter monitoring system that lets drivers know when the air filter needs replacing.
Only the LS, though, comes with the option to get all-wheel drive. The Trailblazer's available all-wheel-drive system can continuously monitor performance to see if any adjustments need to be made; drivers can activate or deactivate the system according to their needs and the road conditions.
There are a few other ways in which the L and LS differ. First, the L rides on 16-inch steel wheels, whereas the LS uses 17-inch silver painted aluminum wheels. Also, the L has a four-speaker audio system in comparison to the LS's six-speaker system. The LS is the only one out of these two trims that has a compass, carpeted floor mats in the front and rear, and a front passenger seatback that can fold completely flat to maximize storage capacity.
Otherwise, the L and LS are pretty comparable. On the exterior, they both have halogen taillamps and headlights, automatic high beams that Chevrolet calls IntelliBeam, and LED Daytime Running Lamps. Inside the cabin, the L and LS have manually adjustable front seats, rear heating ducts, cloth seats, and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel.
In terms of technology, the Trailblazer shines. All models of the 2021 Trailblazer come with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability and OnStar capability. These two lower trims use seven-inch touchscreens as part of their Chevrolet Infotainment 3 systems. The infotainment package includes voice commands and Bluetooth audio streaming.
When examining how well the Trailblazer does in the safety department, there isn't too much of a difference between the L and LS. They come standard with a rear vision camera to help people see what's behind them. They also have a forward collision alert system that includes front pedestrian braking and a following distance indicator. If there is an issue and the driver doesn't have a chance to hit the brakes, the SUV can do so on his/her behalf. Other safety features include lane keep assist and lane departure warning, which will work together to keep the Trailblazer where it should be.
The LS does offer a few options that the L does not. On the LS, a customer can choose to upgrade the vehicle with blind zone monitoring and lane change alert, as well as rear park assist and a monitoring system that alerts people to rear cross traffic.
As one would expect from a modern vehicle, all trims of the Trailblazer have child security door locks in the rear, three-point seat belts in all five positions, and tire pressure monitoring. In addition, the Trailblazer has a Teen Driver function in which adults can limit certain features, keep an eye on driving habits, and automatically turn on certain safety systems when new drivers are behind the wheel.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LS vs LT Trims. What is the Difference?
At the LT level, one of the biggest changes is that there's the opportunity to get the Trailblazer with an EcoTec 1.3-liter turbocharged engine. In comparison to the 1.2-liter turbo, the slightly larger engine can generate nearly 20 more horsepower. It can create up to 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, giving the SUV a lot more kick.
Again, the 1.3-liter turbo engine is paired with a continuous variable transmission. This type of transmission keeps things smooth and simple. Having standard cruise control in the LT can make a difference on long road trips. Cruise control is only an option on the LS.
An addition at the LT level is keyless start. With an advanced key fob, the keys can stay in a purse or pocket, and it only takes the push of the engine start/stop button to get going. Once drivers get use to this type of start system, it can be hard to go back to the traditional method. Something that goes hand-in-hand with the keyless start is keyless open. Having the key fob nearby allows a driver to lock or unlock the doors by simply touching the door handle.
While both of these two trims have 17-inch wheels, the ones in the LT are a little more upscale. They have a high gloss black finish and have a machined face, rather than just having a silver painted finish. Plus, the LT has deep tinted glass in the liftgate and on the rear side windows, which many people will appreciate for the privacy and for the shade. On the LT, there's the option to get a hands-free liftgate that can be very convenient. Further, the LT has LED fog lamps that not only look cool but help with visibility, and it has roof-mounted side rails that can make it easier to secure cargo up top.
When sitting in the driver's seat of the LT, the first thing that people might notice is that the seat is power-operated. It can move in ten different ways and has a power lumbar function. That seat, along with the front passenger seat in the LT, can be heated when the weather outside is chilly. In fact, the LT comes with remote start, so someone can get the engine going and the climate system running before he/she even gets in.
If one prefers, there are a number of upgrades available on the LT that can give it more of a premium feel. It can come with a leatherette seat trim, a leather-wrapped shift knob, an leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a center armrest that the rear passengers can enjoy.
In the safety department, the LS and LT have identical offerings. With driver-assist technology, the safety package is pretty impressive, though blind spot monitoring and related features are not standard.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LT vs ACTIV Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
While the LT can come with either a 1.2-liter or 1.3-liter engine, the Activ comes standard with the 1.3-liter version. The Activ is a little more heavy duty than the LT, as evidenced by it having off-road suspension tuning, a skid plate underneath to protect the body from bumps and scrapes, and trailering equipment that can include a hitch to tow up to 1,000 pounds. Even its tires are a sport terrain version, and its front and rear lower fascias have some titanium and chrome to add to the enhanced appearance.
On top of having LED fog lamps like the LT does, the Activ has LED taillamps. Like the LT, the Activ has the option get a panoramic power sunroof and a power liftgate. The sunroof has a dual-pane design, and it can either be tilted upward for ventilation or slid back to let a lot of fresh air in. The power sunshade can be quickly closed or opened, depending on how much light is wanted inside the cabin.
The inside of the Activ feels somewhat similar to the LT, though it has leatherette seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. It does come with the option to get wireless charging, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio, and adaptive cruise control. With the optional technology package, people will also enjoy listening to music through the Bose premium sound system. Both the LT and Activ have an eight-inch touchscreen as an available component, in contrast to the standard seven-inch touchscreen.
One other interior difference is that the Activ has a rear center armrest, which has two cup holders and can either be folded up or down.
Compare the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ vs RS Trims. What is the Difference?
As previously mentioned, the Activ and RS cost the same amount, so it makes sense that they're very similar to each other. Some things to note are that the RS does not have the skid plate and off-road suspension that the Activ has. It does have the same 1.3-liter turbo engine as the Activ, and it also has 18-inch high gloss black aluminum wheels, along with black lower fascias in the front and rear.
The seat trim on the RS is a cloth with leatherette, though there is an option to get full leatherette seats. Like the Activ, the RS has some leather components, many available add-ons, remote start, keyless open and entry, and available wireless charging. Numerous other RS features are identical to those found on the Activ.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer has a lot to offer for a modestly priced SUV. While the Activ and RS certainly have their own advantages, it might not make sense for most customers to extend their budgets that far. Considering that the LT has plenty of available and standard benefits, it seems to be the most ideal pick.
The LT is competitively priced, and it gives customers the choice of the whether to get the 1.2-liter or 1.3-liter engine. Most would probably pick the latter for its greater capability. The LT has some nice touches, like fog lamps, keyless entry, a power-operated driver's seat, heated front seats, and leatherette seating trim. Overall, the LT has the best value.