A teal 2022 Chevy Trailblazer RS is shown from the front at an angle.

A Look at the Chevy Trailblazer’s Two Powerful Engine Options

Chevrolet has always been at the forefront of automotive innovation. So, it wasn’t surprising when Chevy turned people’s heads when it brought back the Trailblazer for the 2021 model year. Chevy took the name from a fairly standard midsize SUV with a boxy look and transformed it into a subcompact crossover with a sporty and rugged look. The Trailblazer quickly became the choice for drivers looking for a small SUV with versatility. Those looking for a Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale know they are getting a subcompact SUV that stands out among its subcompact rivals. This one matches its cool looks with handling that can best be described as fun. Add a roomy interior that can be easily reconfigured to transport all kinds of things, and you have a Trailblazer that is a cut above the rest of its vehicle class.

The 2023 Chevy Trailblazer comes in four trim levels, each offering something slightly different to drivers. However, the key to this vehicle is the number three. That is because Chevy offers the Trailblazer a choice of two different three-cylinder gas engines. This makes the Trailblazer incredibly economical without harming performance in any appreciable way. The key to deciding which Trailblazer is right for you comes down to choosing between these two I-3 gas engines.

Two Engines, Three Cylinders

The base engine on the 2023 Chevy Trailblazer is a 1.2-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3. This comes paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and is the standard engine on the Trailblazer LS and LT models. The larger engine on the 2023 Trailblazer is a 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3, which is standard on the ACTIV and RS trim levels. It is also available on the Trailblazer LT and comes with either a CVT or a 9-speed automatic transmission. The 1.2-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 is good for up to 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Not surprisingly, the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 provides greater output, delivering up to 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. That ability to generate more torque at a lower engine speed can come in handy on the road.

Aside from output, there is another major difference between how the engines are utilized on the 2023 Trailblazer. The models with the 1.2-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 pair the engine with a CVT and are also front-wheel drive only. This is fine if you want to get the best fuel economy; however, it limits your ability to capture the benefits of enhanced traction provided by all-wheel drive. This is why Chevy offers the models with the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 with an option; you can either stick with front-wheel drive and a CVT transmission or, if you want enhanced performance, you can opt for all-wheel drive and a 9-speed automatic transmission. While this will cut into fuel economy to a small extent, it may be worth it if you want to get the most out of driving your Trailblazer.

The black interior of a 2023 Chevy Trailblazer Activ is shown from above the center console.

Exceptional Handling and Performance

No matter which Trailblazer model, you will get an excellent suspension system. The front features MacPherson struts, while the rear is a compound crank design. If you choose the available all-wheel drive on the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3, there is also a Watts link for the rear suspension system. The rack-and-pinion steering on the Trailblazer gives you exceptional handling and cornering. As it is, the Trailblazer has a very tight 36.8-foot turning circle. This will make maneuvering a cinch, helping you steer through heavy highway traffic with relative ease.

While the Trailblazer isn’t going to win any races, it does have fairly solid acceleration. For example, the Trailblazer with the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 can go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph. While this is not exceptional acceleration, it can handle the quarter mile in just 17.1 seconds at 80 mph. This is a testament to the Trailblazer’s road-holding capability.

Your choice of Trailblazer model will also have an impact on the overall handling of your vehicle. The 2023 Trailblazer LS and LT models feature 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in all-season tires. The Trailblazer RS has slightly larger 18-inch aluminum wheels, also with a set of all-season tires. The Trailblazer ACTIV is built to optimize speed and acceleration. As a result, this model has 17-inch aluminum wheels with a set of sport terrain tires. This shows the thought that went into designing each available trim on the 2023 Chevy Trailblazer, appealing to a wide range of drivers.

Impressive Fuel Economy

Chevy has done an exceptional job maximizing the fuel economy of the 2023 Trailblazer. With gas prices continuing to be high, saving money each time you fill up is key, especially for drivers who plan to use their Trailblazer for their daily commute. Few things are more frustrating for commuters than seeing their hard-earned pay go to pay for gasoline. This is why the two engines on the Trailblazer are vital for drivers looking to save a few bucks.

The key to both of these three-cylinder gas engines is the use of a turbocharger. This device boosts performance without having an appreciable effect on fuel economy. As a result, the Trailblazer with the 1.2-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 gives you 29 MPG in city driving and 31 MPG on the highway. These are exceptional numbers that are only surpassed by the Trailblazer with the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3, a CVT transmission, and front-wheel drive. This will give you an incredible 29 MPG in the city and 33 MPG in highway driving.

If you opt for the added traction of all-wheel drive on your 2023 Trailblazer, you will still get solid fuel economy. This model with the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 and a 9-speed automatic transmission will give you 26 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. Whether your commute is all local roads or combines highway driving, you will get there without burning too much fuel on your average ride and keep more money in your pocket.

A yellow 2023 Chevy Trailblazer Activ is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a dealer that has a Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale.

Great Performance Complimented by Innovative Safety Features

Chevy has put a premium on providing standard safety for its vehicles, and the 2023 Trailblazer is no exception. No matter which trim you choose, you will get the standard Chevy Safety Assist package. This consists of six different driver assistance technologies that will help you safely get wherever you are going in your Trailblazer.

One of the key features is Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. It is not uncommon for drivers to get distracted for even a moment while out on the highway. They look to the infotainment system to change a song or glance briefly at the gas gauge to see if they need to fill up. In that instant, their vehicle can begin to drift out of the lane. If this goes unchecked, they can collide with a vehicle driving next to them. To avoid this, Lane Departure Warning will sound as soon as their Trailblazer begins to drift. This will alert the driver to the situation. As soon as this occurs, Lane Keep Assist will begin to use a series of slight steering adjustments to get the Trailblazer safely back in the lane. This is just one of the many benefits of the standard Chevy Safety Assist system on the 2023 Trailblazer.

Ready to Blaze the Trails With Two Fantastic Engine Choices

Three cylinders seem like an odd number for a vehicle’s engine. Most folks are used to even numbered cylinders, like I-4 and V6 engines. Hearing that the 2023 Trailblazer offers two different I-3 gas engines seems strange to many drivers, but don’t be put off by the odd number. The two I-3 gas engines on the Trailblazer provide exceptional fuel economy and solid performance due in part to the use of a turbocharger by Chevrolet on these engines. Whether you choose a Trailblazer with the 1.2-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3 or the 1.3-liter EcoTec Turbo I-3, you get a subcompact SUV with the performance and handling you need to confront your daily commute.