Quick Spin: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

You want to talk about controversy? Here’s a great example staring you in the face. When Chevrolet announced that the Trailblazer nameplate was being put on an all-new compact SUV, people feared the worst. Thankfully, this Trailblazer is a well-rounded CUV that should prove to be a success.

Our weekly-long ride with a Trailblazer featured the RS trim. That’s the top trim based on sporty looks. There is also an Activ trim that features a more rugged appearance. The RS trim allowed us a change to sample Chevy’s updated 1.3L turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 155 horsepower and 9-speed automatic transmission. This powerplant was a total surprise and an absolute gem in this application. The 9-speed shifts incredibly smoothly while always keeping the engine in the power band under acceleration. On the highway, we saw nearly 30 mpg as well. When sent down a back road, the Trailblazer stood the test fairly well. Sure the steering is numb, but the smaller size makes it seemingly nimble around corners and the suspension soaks up bumps better than pretty much everything in this segment.

Inside you notice a high seating position from such a small car and plenty of features. Materials were of a higher class variety and fit and finish was quite good for something costing right around $30k. Our top trim RS had the 8.0″ touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities as well as a decent seven-speaker Bose sound system. Ergonomics were good for myself and all passengers, and I found the driving position comfortable at 6’1″. There are minimal blind spots, and the standard safety features help to all but mitigate any qualms with that.

Sure, the Trailblazer isn’t blazing the trails it once did, but instead is hitting the local coffee shops on Saturday morning. With its small size, affordable price tag, and feature-laden interior, we think this new Trailblazer will be a success. We might just opt for a different color.

-Scott Villeneuve

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer AWD RS$27,000
Driver Confidence Package$345
Convenience Package$620
Technology Package$1,620
Destination Charges$995
As-Tested MSRP$30,580

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