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2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer Pros vs Cons & Competitor Insights

2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
Makes & Models Select a Make and Model
By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Published: Feb 5, 2024

So you're wondering - is the new 2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer the best subcompact SUV for budget-minded buyers? Well, let's take a look under the hood and see how Chevy's latest entry in the crowded subcompact crossover segment stacks up against the competition.

In this review, I'll assess the key pros and cons of the Chevy Trailblazer and compare it to popular rivals like the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, and Honda HR-V. We'll check out the exterior styling, interior space, tech features, pricing, fuel efficiency and more to see where this little SUV shines and where it falls short.

By the end, you'll have the inside scoop on the 2024 Trailblazer to help inform your purchase decision if you're considering this stylish small SUV or its competitors. Let's hit the road and see what insights we can uncover!

Key Takeaways

  • It stands out in the small SUV crowd if you want standout style and a big touchscreen on a budget. It's priced less than most rivals.

  • Despite the compact size, clever packaging means nice passenger and cargo space inside. You also get standard safety tech and driver assists across the lineup.

  • Fuel mileage is solid too - up to 33 mpg highway with the 1.3L engine with front-wheel drive beats most competitors.

  • Downsides? The ride is on the firm side and it gets noisy on the highway.

  • Overall the Trailblazer focuses on value, utility and head-turning looks. A good option if you want space, style and tech without overspending.

What We Like - Nine Pros of the Trailblazer

The 2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer brings a lot to the table for crossover shoppers, with attractive design, great infotainment tech, and generous passenger and cargo space being some of its notable strengths.

1. Attractive Design

One of the Trailblazer’s biggest pros is its eye catching exterior styling. With refreshed front and rear fascias featuring revised headlights, taillights, and integrated exhaust tips, the 2024 Trailblazer has a more polished look compared to its predecessor.

New paint options like Copper Harbor Metallic and Cacti Green allow buyers to get more adventurous with color choices. Higher trims offer two-tone paint schemes with a Black Roof, and new wheel designs ranging from 17-inch to 19-inch high-gloss black aluminum wheels further amplify the Trailblazer’s curb appeal.

2. Advanced Infotainment System

One of the Trailblazer's biggest upgrades is the new 11-inch diagonal HD color touchscreen now standard across the lineup. This large infotainment display provides sharp visuals and intuitive access to the crossover's technology features.

Key capabilities of the Trailblazer's infotainment system include:

  • SiriusXM satellite radio - Wide range of subscription radio stations

  • Chevrolet Connected Access - Remote vehicle services through mobile app

  • Available Bose® premium 7-speaker audio system

  • 6-speaker audio system with amplifier

  • SiriusXM 3-month Platinum Trial Subscription

This modern infotainment suite keeps the Trailblazer competitive in its class.

3. Seamless Wireless Smartphone Connectivity

Chevy makes it seamless to sync and charge devices in the 2024 Trailblazer. The standard wireless phone charging pad means one less cable to plug in. Other notable connectivity features include:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - Connect your compatible smartphone without plugging in

  • Built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot - Connect up to 7 devices to high-speed data

  • Available wireless phone charging - Qi-compatible charging pad

  • USB ports - Plug in devices or power accessories

  • Bluetooth

  • OnStar & Chevrolet Connected Services capable

Rear passengers aren't left out either, with multiple USB charging ports located on the back of the center console. The Trailblazer’s strong wireless and wired connectivity options accommodate all passengers.

4. Competitive Pricing

When it comes to pricing, the 2024 Trailblazer brings some serious value to the small SUV game. This Chevy undercuts rival subcompact SUVs like the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, and Honda HR-V by a decent margin.

Let's break it down:

The Trailblazer starts at just $24,395 (including the destination fee) for the base LS trim. This undercuts the base prices of close competitors by as much as $1,300. the Seltos kicks off at $25,715. For the Kona you're looking at $23,550 to start, and the HR-V begins at $24,895.

Moving up through the trims, the Trailblazer keeps its advantage. Take the mid-level LT - it priced at $25,595. For the comparable Seltos EX or Kona SEL, you'd shell out close to $27k.

Bottom line - Chevy gives you excellent standard features and modern styling at lower price tags.

5. Spacious Interior and Cargo Space

Don’t let the compact exterior fool you – the Trailblazer utilizes its dimensions efficiently to provide impressive interior space and cargo flexibility.

There’s sufficient rear legroom for adults, while the front passenger seat folds fully flat to accommodate longer cargo. This flexibility allows the Trailblazer to carry items up to 8 feet long even in lower trims.

With the rear seats up, the cargo bay provides a competitive 25.3 cubic feet of hauling space. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats down, and you have an expansive 54.4 cubic feet of room to work with, on par with larger compact SUVs. Unexpectedly generous passenger and cargo capacity for a subcompact crossover.

6. Good Safety and Driver Assistance Features

The 2024 Trailblazer comes well equipped with advanced driver assistance features and safety technology, even on lower trims.

Key standard and available driver aids include:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking - Detects and brakes for pedestrians and collisions

  • Lane Keep Assist - Steers back into lane if drifting

  • Forward Collision Alert - Warns if approaching slowed or stopped traffic

  • Front Pedestrian Braking - Brakes to avoid hitting pedestrians

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert - Alerts to approaching perpendicular traffic when in reverse

  • Rear Park Assist - Audible warnings for nearby objects when reversing

  • Adaptive Cruise Control - Automatically adjusts speed to maintain distance from vehicle ahead

  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert - (Lane departure warning) Alerts to vehicles in blind spots during lane changes

Other notable technology features include Keyless Open and Start, allowing you to unlock and start the vehicle while the key fob stays in your pocket. The Trailblazer also offers available remote start to warm up or cool down the cabin from a distance.

It has five star crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although not rated for 2024, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gat it a Top Safety Pick+ in 2022 and 2023.

7. Light Off-Road Capability

The Trailblazer ACTIV trim enhances the crossover's off-road capability with its specially tuned suspension, higher ground clearance, and underbody skid plates.

Unlike other Trailblazer models, the ACTIV comes exclusively with a more robust all-wheel drive system instead of front-wheel drive. This improves traction and control when navigating rutted dirt roads, gravel, or other slippery terrain.

The ACTIV's chassis upgrades include:

  • Higher 8.0-inch ground clearance

  • Off-road tuned suspension with increased wheel articulation

  • Functional skid plate for underbody protection

  • 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires

While no match for a dedicated off-roader, the Trailblazer ACTIV provides genuine adventure readiness not typically found on subcompact crossovers. Its unique adventurous spirit makes it appealing for outdoor-loving buyers.

8. Fuel Efficiency

The 2024 Chevy Trailblazer delivers solid fuel economy for an affordable subcompact crossover SUV. Here's how it stacks up against the competition:

  • Trailblazer (FWD, 1.3L engine): 29 mpg city / 33 highway / 31 combined

  • Trailblazer (AWD, 1.3L engine): 26 mpg city / 29 highway / 27 combined

  • Kia Seltos (FWD): 25-29 mpg city / 30-34 highway / 27-31 combined

  • Hyundai Kona (FWD): 27-30 mpg city / 33-35 highway / 29-33 combined

  • Honda HR-V (FWD): 25-28 mpg city / 31-34 highway / 27-30 combined

The front-wheel drive Trailblazer with the 1.3-liter turbocharged engine matches up nicely against competitors' fuel economy. Opting for all-wheel drive reduces mileage slightly. Overall, the 2024 Trailblazer offers the efficiency buyers expect from a modern small crossover SUV.

Frugal during city commuting and road trips alike, the Trailblazer provides an affordable way to travel without compromising fuel economy. Careful gear ratios in the nine-speed automatic transmission help further maximize efficiency. Fuel economy ratings can be found at the EPA.

9. Good Assortment of Trim Levels

The 2024 Trailblazer is available in a range of trim levels catering to different budgets and needs:

(Prices include the destination fee of $1,295)

  • LS - Starts at $24,395. Includes 1.2L turbo engine, front-wheel drive, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

  • LT - Starts at $25,595. The Trailblazer LT adds styling upgrades, convenience features, and available packages like the Cold Weather Package.

  • ACTIV - Starts at $28,395. Comes with off-road upgrades like all-wheel drive, off-road suspension, and skid plates. Includes 1.3L turbo engine and 9-speed automatic transmission.

  • RS - Starts at $28,395. The sporty Trailblazer RS trim offers unique styling like black mesh grille and rocker panels. Also equipped with the 1.3L turbo and 9-speed automatic. A heated steering wheel is standard.

Lower LS and LT trims cater to budget-minded buyers with their lower prices and fuel-efficient 1.2L turbo paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Stepping up to the ACTIV and RS trims bring more power via the 155-hp 1.3L turbo along with the smoother, quicker shifting 9-speed automatic and available all-wheel drive capabilities.

With features spanning from a basic rearview camera system on the LS to the RS's aggressive looks and available Bose audio, the Trailblazer lineup has a well-equipped model to suit different buyers.

(Reference: Chevrolet Specs)

Where it Falls Short - Four Cons of the Trailblazer

While the 2024 Trailblazer has plenty to offer buyers, it’s not without some disadvantages buyers may want to keep in mind.

1. Base Engine Performance

The Trailblazer’s standard 1.2-liter turbocharged engine making just 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque feels underpowered at times, especially when paired with the front-wheel drive and CVT transmission. Quick acceleration or merging onto highways takes planning.

Compared to the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona base engines, the Trailblazer’s small turbo-three can feel lethargic. The optional 1.3-liter engine improves performance.

2. Ride Quality

Don’t expect a plush ride in the Trailblazer. Reviewers have noted the crossover’s firm suspension tuning results in a somewhat stiff and bumpy ride over rough roads. Ride comfort could be better.

3. Noise Levels

The Trailblazer’s cabin lets in more wind and road noise than rivals, especially at highway speeds. Engaging in conversation or listening to music requires turning up the volume. More sound deadening would help make the interior quieter.

4. Visibility

Thick roof pillars and a sloping rear window design restrict over-the-shoulder visibility for the driver. The rearview camera helps when backing up, but the Trailblazer's rear and side visibility is more limited than rivals like the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona.

The large C-pillars create substantial blind spots that can make changing lanes tricky. Looking over your shoulder doesn't reveal as much as drivers may be used to.

Optional features like the surround vision camera and blind spot monitoring can help compensate, but drivers may need extra caution when maneuvering the Trailblazer in parking lots or busy roads. Test driving the Trailblazer will help buyers assess if rearward visibility is adequate for their needs.

How it Stacks Up to Competitor Insights

How does Chevrolet’s latest entry stack up against the top models in the subcompact SUV segment? We compare the 2024 Trailblazer with the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, and Honda HR-V.

Vs. Kia Seltos: A Close Contest

The new Trailblazer faces stiff competition from the similarly priced 2024 Kia Seltos. Both crossovers offer attractive styling and an array of feature-packed trims.

While the Seltos edges out the Trailblazer in base engine power and handling agility, the Chevy fights back with its larger touchscreen and slightly more spacious rear seat. Trailblazer shoppers may also prefer its bolder, truck-like exterior styling.

Fuel economy and technology offerings are evenly matched, though the Seltos offers optional all-wheel drive across all trims unlike the Trailblazer. For shoppers weighing these factors, it’s very close between the Trailblazer and Seltos.

Vs. Hyundai Kona: Efficiency or Space?

Hyundai’s 2024 Kona provides slightly better fuel economy and a smoother ride than the Trailblazer, along with a comfier interior and more upscale vibe.

However, the Trailblazer’s larger dimensions give it an edge for passenger room and cargo versatility. The Chevy’s back seat and trunk space handily outpace what you’ll get in the Kona.

Shoppers who prioritize efficiency and comfort may lean towards the Kona, while the Trailblazer tempts those wanting more usable interior room. The Kona’s crisper handling provides a trade-off for buyers as well.

Vs. Honda HR-V: Style or Substance?

Honda sticks to the practical side with its 2024 HR-V, offering great interior flexibility through its “Magic Seat” second row and intelligent cabin storage. Powertrain smoothness bests the Trailblazer too.

Where the Trailblazer pulls ahead of the HR-V is with its more expressive styling, larger infotainment screen, competitive pricing, and additional standard driver aids. The HR-V’s age also shows in some areas.

Ultimately, the choice comes down style versus functionality. Shoppers wanting flair and features pick the Trailblazer, while those appreciating utility opt for the HR-V and its smart cabin layout. Both crossovers make their case for buyers.

Final Thoughts

Bottom line? The 2024 Trailblazer is a smart buy if you want attention-grabbing looks, spacious little SUV on a budget. A Trailblazer starts at less than a $1,000 compared to its rivals. You get standout style, decent performance, and room for stuff without overspending. Adding to the value are good fuel economy, the standard 11-inch diagonal color touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base engine could use more pep. Overall, this Chevy focuses on value and practicality. If price matters most, the Trailblazer deserves a test drive to see if it fits your needs. For affordable style and space, it's hard to beat.