Chevrolet's 2021 Trailblazer is a subcompact SUV or crossover vehicle. It gives you plenty of space for cargo and passengers. It just comes in a smaller package than its full-sized SUV counterparts. This makes it easier to park and maneuver.
The Trailblazer name has been around for nearly two decades now. This latest version features an all-new design and is smaller than past generations. Will it live up to the Trailblazer legacy? Here are some things to consider before you pull the trigger on a purchase.
What's New for 2021?
The entire vehicle is new for 2021. Chevy ended production of the original Trailblazers for North America in 2009. This new model is a subcompact SUV in place of the previous large SUVs. The exterior, interior and powertrains have been completely revamped.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer – The Pros
1. A Ton of Cargo Space
One of the best reasons to get an SUV is for the extra storage space. This may be a subcompact SUV, but it has room to spare. Chevrolet has designed the new Trailblazer with plenty of options for how you can configure the cargo area too.
In all, you can get up to 54.4 cubic-feet of storage space here. The entire second row and the front-passenger seat can be folded down flat. You can even get a cargo-area length of 8.5 feet over the passenger-seat area. This is great for storing long items such as building materials, fishing poles or even a kayak.
2. The Stylish and Roomy Cabin
The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer seats up to five people. The front cabin area is spacious and comfortable. The second row of seats also offers plenty of room and comfort. The second row is easy to access as well.
The fit and finish of the interior is excellent. While the materials themselves are rather basic, the design and craftsmanship here are flawless. It's an attractive and stylish interior, particularly at the higher trim levels.
3. Sharp All-New Exterior Design
The brand-new exterior design is as sharp as anything on the road today. The latest Trailblazer is a head turner. The Activ trim level offers a rugged look that's perfect for the outdoor adventurer. The RS models have a sleeker, sportier appearance. There is something here for just about any personal taste.
4. Excellent Fuel Efficiency
One of the strengths of the new Trailblazer is its excellent fuel economy. A Trailblazer equipped with the 1.3-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine has a combined fuel-economy rating of 31 miles-per-gallon. Gas mileage will vary slightly depending on whether your Trailblazer has all-wheel drive (AWD) or front-wheel drive (FWD).
The 1.2-liter base engine comes in at a slightly lower number. It's not too far off though. This model will provide around 29 miles-per-gallon.
5. Off-Road Capabilities
One great perk that owners get with an SUV is the ability to drive off the beaten path. Not all SUVs are equal when it comes to off-road capabilities. The available AWD for the Trailblazer greatly enhances its off-road performance. An SUV equipped with AWD will have three drive modes called Normal, AWD and Sport. The Activ trim level also has an off-road tuned suspension system.
6. The Ability To Tow
The ability to tow is another perk of owning an SUV. Long trips sometimes require bringing a trailer or boat along for the ride. The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer has you covered in this category. A Trailblazer equipped with the 1.3-liter engine, when properly set up to tow, can haul around 1,000 pounds.
7. Good Handling and Maneuverability
The latest Chevrolet Trailblazer offers surprisingly good steering dynamics. Along with the smaller size, the steering dynamics make the Trailblazer handle more like a small coupe than an SUV. The Trailblazer is easy to zip around town in. It's easy to get in and out of tight parking spaces with the Trailblazer too.
8. The Modern Infotainment System
Chevy has packed the latest Trailblazer with some nice, modern technology. One area in which it excels is with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System. Features will vary a bit depending on your trim level. At the higher end, you get an 8-inch, HD color touchscreen to access all of the features.
The system also offers Bluetooth connectivity, HD radio and access to SiriusXM satellite radio. Music lovers will enjoy the optional, premium sound system by Bose, complete with 7 speakers.
9. Good Crash-Test Ratings
Everyone wants their vehicle to be a safe one. Few things are as important as protecting yourself and your loved ones. Fortunately, the 2021 Trailblazer fares well in crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rates the 2021 Trailblazer four out of five stars in its Overall category.
10. Driver-Assist Tech and Safety Features
In addition to good crash-test results, the Chevy Trailblazer also offers a good amount of safety equipment and driver-assist technology. Every trim level comes equipped with a class high of 10 airbags. There's an indicator light to tell you when you're following the vehicle ahead a little too closely. Another warning lets you know if your tires aren't inflated to a safe level.
All models of the Trailblazer offer Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking and Emergency Braking. These features greatly reduce the likeliness of an accidental front impact. Chevy's unique Teen Driver system allows you to set parameters for the younger drivers in your home. It even provides a detailed report of the driver's habits so you can coach them into becoming a safer driver.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer – The Cons
1. The Base Engine Is Weak and Sluggish
The 3-cylinder base engine is weak and sluggish. It takes a long time to get up to 60 miles-per-hour. It struggles to pass vehicles at highway speeds too. Fortunately, Chevy also offers a better powertrain with the 1.3-liter turbo engine. This model can crank out a respectable 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque.
2. The Base Model Is Too Bare
While the higher trim levels are packed with technology and convenience features, this is not so for the base model. It's as bare-bones as it gets as far as this class of vehicle is concerned. If you're looking to save money with a base model, there are other options that will give you more bang for your buck.
3. Unimpressive Ride Quality
The ride quality of the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is not the best. Most SUVs suffer a bit in this category. Still, plenty of competitors in this class outdo the Trailblazer here. If a smooth ride is high on your priority list, this vehicle may not be the right choice for you.
4. A Slow-Shifting Transmission System
Depending on the model you chose, you will either get a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) or a 9-speed automatic. The CVT works well enough. The automatic-transmission system sometimes takes too long to downshift. It doesn't seem to be a problem when it moves up through the gears. Shifting down, however, can become annoying.
How It Stacks up To the Competition:
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs 2021 Hyundai Kona
The latest Chevrolet Trailblazer and Hyundai Kona are both comparably-sized vehicles. Both can seat up to five people. Both come in at a similar price point too, though the Trailblazer is a bit less expensive. The Trailblazer offers more cargo space in back. It also has slightly more horsepower when you select a model with the 1.3-liter turbo engine.
Both vehicles do well in crash-test ratings. The Kona offers slightly better warranty coverage while the Chevy offers better fuel efficiency. The added cargo space, exterior style and comfortable interior make the Chevrolet Trailblazer the better choice here.
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs 2021 Nissan Rogue Sport
When it comes to the Trailblazer and the Nissan Rogue Sport, the Trailblazer offers a bit more horsepower and torque. The Nissan Rogue Sport, in spite of its name, has rather sluggish acceleration with every powertrain option. Once again, the Trailblazer offers a lot more cargo space too.
The Trailblazer can tow up to 1,000 pounds. While that won't win any awards, it's far better than the Rogue Sport that is not engineered to tow at all. The Trailblazer gives drivers a better quality interior again too. The Chevrolet is hands-down the better option between these two small SUVs.
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs 2021 Subaru Crosstrek
The latest Subaru Crosstrek has a lot going for it. It offers some of the best off-road performance in this class of vehicles. It comes in at a higher price than the Chevrolet Trailblazer, though. The Trailblazer will also save you a bit more at the gas pumps with slightly better fuel efficiency.
The seating and cargo capacities between these two vehicles are very close. The Crosstrek offers slightly more cargo space at 55 cubic feet, but this is so close as to be a non-issue. When comparing the cost of the two vehicles with the number of features they provide, the Chevrolet Trailblazer once again wins out as the better value.
If you're in the market for a new subcompact SUV, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is well worth a look. It offers an enormous amount of interior space for a vehicle of its size. The storage options allow you to haul just about anything you could ever need to. The trailblazer also offers good fuel economy and a lot of nice safety features. It should provide you with years of service as a reliable people and cargo hauler.