Buyers searching for a new SUV might be surprised to learn that Chevy is reintroducing the Trailblazer. Hold on, though. It’s not what you think. The new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer will have a completely different look, size, and frame. Rather than sharing a truck frame like the old TrailBlazer, which hasn’t been on the market since 2009, the new Trailblazer is becoming a crossover, which will mean it’s a lot smaller. In other words, Chevy SUVs are getting quite a bit of a makeover, so be prepared for a totally different vehicle than the one you used to know.
Being a crossover, the new 2021 Trailblazer may be smaller, but that may be a good thing for some drivers. Not everyone wants a massive gas-guzzling beast, especially if you live in a city where parking is hard enough to find in a small vehicle. There are a few interesting features of note, which might make the 2021 Trailblazer appealing for those who drive in places with varied terrain. This will likely be geared more toward those folks who live out on a dirt road and need to drive into town a lot, rather than off-roading on desert mountains. Even so, for an SUV whose base model comes in under $20,000, there are definitely perks.
Drivetrain and Trims
The 2021 Trailblazer will come with two options under the hood: a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine or 1.3-liter 4-cylinder. With the 1.3-liter engine option paired with all-wheel drive, it will come with a nine-speed automatic transmission for an extra $2,000. If going with the 1.2-liter option, there will only be front-wheel drive available, and it comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The Trailblazer will come in five different trim levels. At the base is the L model for an MSRP of $19,995. Next is the LS with an estimated MSRP of $22,495, followed by the LT at $24,595, then the Activ at $26,395, and last is the RS at $26,395. Each trim except for the L model can come equipped with all-wheel drive, and trim level MSRPs are estimated except for the base model.
Chevy is going for a sporty look with the new Trailblazer. The styling definitely leans toward an appeal for those leading an active lifestyle, indicated by an almost boxy look with rounded corners to soften its edges. A spoiler at the back and roof rails on top say this should belong to someone planning excursions, but the drivetrain might say otherwise. Test driving will certainly tell a better story, but this vehicle has yet to be driven because it’s still under wraps. The option for a two-tone roof is also appealing to the sport factor, and there are dozens of colors to mix and match.
The interior has an attractive appearance with details like two-tone colors, stitching, storage pockets, and cup-holders. All trim levels will come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Bluetooth capability for two devices to be connected at once. The infotainment screen in the dash will mirror some of what an Android phone may have on the screen, and there is a wireless charger for smartphones. The dash and steering wheel have all the buttons and dials one would expect with a new car, so the driver’s seat is loaded with connectivity for devices and gauges.
Chevy claims on their website to be “best-in-class [for] rear-seat legroom,” which could mean enough space for adults back there, but this would need to be confirmed by sitting in the vehicle itself. Cargo space is fair, with a total of 54 cubic feet available when the 60/40 split back seat is folded down. Additionally, the front seat folds down to accommodate longer items and allows for up to 8.5 feet of clearance front to back.
Chevy clearly intends to be a frontrunner in automated safety features. The standard suite of tech-assisted options is extensive and comes with all models. Auto emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, following distance indicator, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, rear vision camera, teen driver tech, and rear seat reminder are all standard with all models of the 2021 Trailblazer. That’s an inclusive list, but it gets even longer with the more upgraded models. Lane change alert with side blind alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, adaptive cruise control, HD rear vision camera, and On-Star are available with specified models.
Most of these safety features are self-explanatory, but a few are worth a closer look. Teen Driver technology, for instance, is a programmable option which will show a report of how the driver performed. This means that when your younger or less-experienced drivers take the car out for a spin, you can look at the data the car provides about how well the driver performed during the drive. Certain safety technology will automatically be engaged when in Teen Driver mode, and the audio in the vehicle is muted until all front-seat occupants are buckled for the ride.
Another safety feature geared toward parents is the rear seat reminder. This feature is engaged when a back door is opened either at the beginning of a trip or during (indicating that someone has gotten into the back seat). At the endpoint of your drive, a chime will sound off to remind you to check the back seat in case you have children on board, and it is accompanied by a reminder on the dash. So, for folks traveling with little ones who may have fallen asleep on a drive, you can feel comforted knowing the car will remind you to check the back seat before you leave the vehicle unattended.
The connectivity with tech on the new Chevy SUVs is getting pretty slick. Any car company without an app to connect to new vehicles is honestly behind the times; Chevy has made sure to be right in the running with this option. An available app that runs on your smartphone will allow drivers to use their phones like a wildly expansive remote control for their Trailblazer.
The list of things you can do with your phone is long, but here are a few: remote fob (to start or stop, lock or unlock, etc.), vehicle locator, vehicle status (check fuel levels, oil gauge, tire pressure, etc.), voice assistant (connected to Amazon Alexa), service scheduling, owner’s manual, how-to videos, smart driver features (where you check on your teen driver’s performance), trailer light test (to make sure brake lights are working), trailer load calculator (makes sure you don’t overload when towing), and more. With this list of features, one wonders if the phone can drive the Trailblazer to the front door for pick-up service.
On-board tech in the Trailblazer allows for streaming through Spotify, Pandora, Marketplace, The Weather Channel, and others. Whether you like Apple or Android, you can connect your phone to the system and stream content from your phone as well. Sirius XM is also available with 360L, a new platform that allows streaming for on-demand content.
If it’s not convenient enough to have Amazon deliver to your doorstep, you can now have it delivered to your Trailblazer. A specialized key will equip your vehicle to allow Amazon delivery to your car in certain locations, which brings a whole new side to the meaning of on-demand. And, of course, you will be able to connect your Trailblazer with your Alexa at home so you can tell Alexa to turn on, lock, or check other features on the vehicle. This same sort of thing can also be programmed through your Google assistant if that’s what you prefer. Either way, we have reached the point where many features are accessed via voice commands. Talk about easy.
Check Out the 2021 Trailblazer (When It Hits Showroom Floors)
If a small crossover fits the bill, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer may be worth a test drive. It’s not for the serious off-road lifestyle, but it will get you through the snow and mud if you opt for the Activ model that’s built with a higher profile and proper tires. For those who need an SUV that doesn’t break the bank, the Trailblazer is on the more affordable side, though the higher end of options and models will offer more tech and the more desirable engine. Buyers will have a lot of choices with five models and countless available features to fill a lot of needs.