A yellow 2024 Chevy Trailblazer for sale is shown parked near an ocean.

Should the Trailblazer and Trax Co-Exist in the Chevy Lineup?

Sometimes, a company sells a product that’s strikingly similar to another product in its catalog. When this happens, it’s understandable this can cause a bit of confusion, not only to the person who may be interested in shopping for a vehicle but even to regular onlookers who may simply be intrigued at what the difference could be between two vehicles that are similar in price and spec. Some may wonder if both the Trax and the Chevy Trailblazer for sale have what it takes to earn a rightful spot within Chevy’s lineup of conventional SUVs. After all, Chevy isn’t the type of manufacturer to sit around and ignore red flags.

As one of the more prominent industry leaders, it’s up to Chevy to ensure its lineup looks enticing, up to par, and or better than the competition. Simply put, if something isn’t working, Chevy doesn’t wait to rectify the issue. Given the Trailblazer in its current form is still in its formative years, I must say that I like the results. But that doesn’t answer whether or not the Trax should stick around. With that in mind, let’s dive a bit deeper into it because I have a few things I want to show you, and I also have the answer you’re looking for.

A person is shown walking near a yellow 2024 Chevy Trailblazer.

Trimming the Fat

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: pricing. The 2024 Trax is noticeably cheaper than the Trailblazer, with the 2024 Trax and Trailblazer sporting starting prices of $20,400 and $23,100, respectively. When discussing vehicles priced under $25,000, many people’s wallets can’t afford too much wiggle room because money is a finite object as much as we wish it grew on trees. With this in mind, a 13% price difference can be a substantial one.

So, how was the lower price of the Trax accomplished? Given something had to give, the main difference comes down to base-level performance and a slightly different presentation of its tech features. However, the performance of the Trax is the same kind you’d get with the base Trailblazer models, but the former doesn’t have any other powertrain configuration.

This means the 2024 Trailblazer and Trax are equipped with a turbocharged 1.2L I-3 engine, and both output 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Even with these numbers, the two engines aren’t presented in the same way, as the Trax utilizes a tried and true 6-speed automatic transmission against the Trailblazer’s more modernized Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT.) Given this is the only powertrain of the 2024 Trax, this means the SUV uses the 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive in every configuration.

Does this inherently make the base Trax a bad purchase? No, and a large reason why is that aforementioned price. Don’t forget, the Trailblazer outputs the same 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque in its base configuration, and that’s still with that 13% price difference between the base models. If a driver wants to save over a couple of thousand dollars, is satisfied with the performance I mentioned, and not having AWD isn’t a deal-breaker for them, the Trax earns its spot in the lineup from a performance perspective.

A problem the Trax poses for the Trailblazer is that if the performance of the Trax is enough for some, they may not see the need to opt for the Trailblazer, especially if they have to spend even more money to move on from the turbocharged 1.2L I-3 engine. Where the Trailblazer’s performance begins to differ more greatly from the Trax is with the available turbocharged 1.3L I-3 engine. Along with the slightly larger engine displacement, which is attributed to the higher horsepower and torque outputs, this powertrain comes equipped with a CVT like the base engine but can be upgraded to a 9-speed automatic transmission. And, an all-wheel drivetrain is available for this upgraded powertrain too.

With the turbocharged 1.3L I-3 engine, the 2024 Trailblazer reaches 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque, which is 13% more horsepower and 7% greater torque output than the base engine, and by extension, the Trax. What I deduce from both SUVs is that both have a reason to co-exist in Chevy’s lineup if you look at it from a few different perspectives. The perspective I’ve ultimately landed on between the 2024 Trax and Trailblazer is that drivers who don’t want or need AWD, and perhaps they feel the horsepower and torque increases don’t facilitate the higher price tag of the Trailblazer, won’t have a problem with the Trax and how it performs. But wait, you may remember I mentioned the Trax’s tech features are slightly different from the Trailblazer, so how does that impact things? Let’s talk about that next.

The black interior of a yellow 2024 Chevy Trailblazer is shown.

Chevy Made the Right Decisions Here

I believe it goes without saying if you purchase a base-level 2024 Trax and Trailblazer, the price difference won’t be noticeable regarding raw performance aside from the different transmissions. However, one thing that undoubtedly separates the two vehicles, and is a clear byproduct of that extra money you spent on the Trailblazer, are the screens inside the car. For starters, both the 2024 Trax and Trailblazer come with an infotainment center, and something that has consistently caught my eye as a self-proclaimed technology enthusiast is the fact that both the Trax and Trailblazer don’t cut corners, and despite the screen size differences, you’ll get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at no extra cost.

It’s not the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto part of it that’s surprising, but rather the fact it’s the variants of the software that don’t require a USB cable connection. And, like the Trailblazer, there are available Trax models with a wireless charging pad to create a more cohesive wireless experience. While I’m talking about it with you, the infotainment center that comes standard with the Trax has an 8-inch screen, and the Trailblazer has an 11-inch screen. This same 11-inch screen can come with pricier Trax models so that you won’t be missing out on much on that side of things. That’s not all, though.

What also comes standard with the Trailblazer is an 8-inch Driver Information Center to display your vehicle’s gauges, while the Trax comes with a 3.5-inch Driver Information Center – the 8-inch screen is available, however, which can further make the Trax hold up to the Trailblazer experience. For the most part, comfort features like the 6-way manual driver’s seat come standard on both cars with an available 8-way power-adjustable seat, but the Trailblazer again bests the Trax with a standard 6-speaker audio system over the Trax’s 4-speaker setup. Let’s break down what I’ve discussed so far and wrap up our discussion.

The Truth About the Trax and the Trailblazer

Between the Trax and Trailblazer and everything I’ve discussed, do you believe the Trax and Trailblazer both earn their spot in Chevy’s lineup? I believe so, and here’s why. If we consider the Trax to possess the Trailblazer’s best qualities fundamentally, but with the exception that you’re getting a slightly smaller infotainment center, a few nips and tucks to various tech features, and also eliminating the choice of more performance or AWD, the Trax’s lower price not only makes sense, but it’s a great value too.

Not everyone needs, or quite frankly, care about having the latest and greatest tech features, but even with that in mind, the Trax is still giving you an exceptionally well-rounded package between what people may consider more premium tech, like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the more extravagant features are shelved for the Trailblazer. There’s nothing wrong with giving people choice, and the way I see it, the Trax is the practical way to go for drivers who aren’t interested in the fancy goodies, but the Trailblazer will satisfy those looking to have their cake and eat it, too.