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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

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$19,000 - 26,900 MSRP

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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer has a roomy interior, an intuitive infotainment system, and lots of standard features, but it also offers weak engine performance and an unsettled ride quality. The Trailblazer does not have an overall score or ranking because it has not been fully crash tested or rated for reliability.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy seating and cargo space
  • Lots of standard tech features
  • Easy-to-use touch screen
  • Jittery ride quality
  • Sluggish acceleration

Research & Ratings

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is unranked in Subcompact SUVs due to missing safety data. Currently, the Chevrolet Trailblazer's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 12 pieces of research and data.

N/A

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 6.2
Interior: 7.6
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other subcompact suvs.
TBD
Reliability:
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other subcompact suvs.
TBD

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Is the Chevrolet Trailblazer a Good SUV?

The all-new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a decent subcompact SUV. The Trailblazer offers an upscale and spacious interior, a user-friendly infotainment system, and a wide array of standard features like Apple CarPlay, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist. It’s a nimble SUV that's easy to squeeze into tight parking spots and scoot along city streets, and its three-cylinder engine nets good fuel economy. That said, the Trailblazer’s appeal is dulled by its tepid acceleration and jittery ride quality on rough roads, making it hard to recommend outright.

Why You Can Trust Us: 12 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 12 Chevrolet Trailblazer reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Trailblazer?

You should consider the Trailblazer if you want a new SUV but don’t have a big budget. The Trailblazer starts at just $19,000, and its base model is pretty well-equipped in terms of tech features. On the other hand, you’ll find some vastly better SUVs if you can afford to spend a bit more, like the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30. Some even cost a bit less, such as the Kia Soul and Nissan Kicks.

Compare the Trailblazer, Kona, and CX-30 »

2020 vs. 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer: What's the Difference?

The Chevrolet Trailblazer returns for 2021 after a lengthy hiatus, so there are no 2020 models to compare it with. Chevrolet previously sold a truck-based TrailBlazer SUV from 2002 to 2009, but these vehicles share nothing in common.

Check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Trailblazer Cost?

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer has a $19,000 starting price, making it one of the least expensive vehicles in the class. The price peaks at $26,900 for the off-road-oriented Trailblazer Activ model with all-wheel drive.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevy dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Trailblazer Versus the Competition

Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. Chevrolet Blazer

There’s some confusion about the modern day Chevrolet Blazer and Trailblazer. The new Blazer is a midsize SUV, and the new Trailblazer is a subcompact SUV. There’s still a distinct overlap in terms of styling and feature availability, but not much else. The Blazer is a foot and a half longer than the Trailblazer, and it has a roomier interior and punchier engine options. On the other hand, the Trailblazer’s highlights are its better gas mileage and lower starting price ($19,000 vs. $28,800).

Compare the Trailblazer and Blazer »

Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. Chevrolet Trax

The Chevrolet Trax is the brand’s other subcompact SUV. It’s a few inches shorter than the Trailblazer yet $2,300 pricier in its base trim level, and it’s hard to figure out why. The Trax’s interior isn’t any nicer, it’s not particularly relaxing to drive, and its acceleration is lackluster. The Trax is outfitted with fewer active safety features as well. The Trailblazer may be a few tweaks and refinements short of a great SUV, but it’s still better than the Trax.

Compare the Trailblazer and Trax »

Compare the Trailblazer, Blazer, and Trax »

Trailblazer Interior: All Aboard!

Trailblazer Cargo Space

The Trailblazer has 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats upright and 54.4 cubic feet with those seats folded. That’s above average for a subcompact SUV, though it’s still short of cargo-carrying leaders like the Kia Soul and Nissan Rogue Sport, which offer more than 60 cubic feet of space.

How Many People Does the Trailblazer Seat?

The Chevrolet Trailblazer is a four-door SUV with five seats. The front seats are generally comfortable and roomy enough for taller occupants to stretch out, but the lower seat cushions are a bit small and lacking in support. The rear seats can comfortably fit three kids or a pair of adults, which isn’t always the case in this segment, and it’s easy to get in and out. Outward visibility is good to the front and sides of the Trailblazer, though rear visibility is poor due to the thick roof pillars.

Cloth upholstery and manually adjustable front seats are standard. Available upgrades include heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and synthetic leather upholstery.

Trailblazer and Child Car Seats

The Trailblazer has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

Trailblazer Interior Quality

The Trailblazer has an upscale and stylish interior with a mix of hard and soft-touch plastics. It’s not the ritziest cabin in this segment – that honor goes to the Mazda CX-30 – but it’s far from the worst. On the downside, a lot of road and engine noise makes its way into the cabin, even at low speeds.

Trailblazer Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Chevrolet Trailblazer comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen. An 8-inch touch screen is available. Both displays have crisp graphics, large icons, and respond promptly to inputs. They are also accompanied by physical buttons and knobs for the audio and air conditioning controls, making it easy to adjust these functions when driving. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as well, allowing users to integrate their iPhone and Android apps on the screen.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, four speakers, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, a six- or seven-speaker stereo, and wireless device charging
  • Additional standard features: remote keyless entry
  • Other available features: automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, and a power liftgate

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Trailblazer Performance: Hardly Blazing

Trailblazer Engine

The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is offered with two engine options: a 137-horsepower 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder and a 155-horsepower 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder. Neither engine moves the Trailblazer with much authority. There’s an initial punch of power at low speeds, and it’s suitable enough for cruising around town. But that muscle quickly dissipates as engine speed builds, leaving the Trailblazer out of breath when climbing steep hills, merging on the highway, or trying to pass another vehicle.

Front-wheel-drive Trailblazers come with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and can be had with either engine. All-wheel-drive models come with the 1.3-liter engine only and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The CVT operates smoothly for the most part. The nine-speed automatic exhibits prompt and relatively smooth shifts.

Trailblazer Gas Mileage

The Trailblazer gets an EPA-rated 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with its 1.2-liter engine, which is pretty good for a subcompact SUV. The slightly larger 1.3-liter engine actually improves fuel economy to 29/33 mpg city/highway.

Trailblazer Ride and Handling

The Trailblazer has quick steering and a small turning radius, making it feel agile around turns and easy to maneuver in parking areas. There isn’t much body lean when cornering either. The downside is that the steering feels a little too responsive at highway speeds and can require constant corrections. The suspension has a similar give and take.

The L, LS, and LT models all ride fairly comfortably, with the suspension soaking up most bumps and dips. The Trailblazer Activ and RS models have a rougher ride though, which is due to the Activ’s stiffer shock absorbers and the RS’ large 18-inch wheels and low-profile tires.

Trailblazer Off-Road Performance

Despite its name, the 2021 Trailblazer isn’t really an off-road SUV. The Trailblazer has up to 8 inches of ground clearance and an available all-wheel-drive system, but ultimately, it’s no more capable off road than class rivals like the Subaru Crosstrek.

Trailblazer Towing Capacity

The Trailblazer is rated to tow up to 1,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about performance »

Trailblazer Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Trailblazer Reliable?

The 2021 Trailblazer does not have a predicted reliability rating at this time.

Chevrolet Trailblazer Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Trailblazer with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Trailblazer Safety

Trailblazer Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. The Trailblazer received four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests, as well as five stars in the side crash test.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Trailblazer.

Trailblazer Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set audio volume and speed limits for secondary drivers)
  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist

Available advanced safety features:

  • Rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control

Read more about safety »

Trailblazer Dimensions and Weight

The Trailblazer is 14.5 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,996 to 3,289 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Built?

Chevrolet builds the 2021 Trailblazer in South Korea.

Which Chevrolet Trailblazer Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer comes in five trim levels: L, LS, LT, Activ, and RS. The base model Trailblazer L is a good choice if you have a tight budget. Prices start at just $19,000, and the L trim is well-equipped with standard tech and safety features. If you’re thinking of blazing an actual trail though, you’ll want all-wheel drive, and that’s reserved for the LS-and-up trims.

Chevrolet Trailblazer L

The entry-level Trailblazer L has a $19,000 starting price. Standard equipment includes a 137-horsepower 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and front-wheel drive. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a four-speaker stereo, a Wi-Fi hot spot, remote keyless entry, and 16-inch steel wheels.

The Chevy Safety Assist suite also comes standard, and it includes forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Chevrolet Trailblazer LS

The Trailblazer LS trim starts at $21,500 for front-wheel-drive models. LS all-wheel-drive models start at $23,500 and come with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a larger 155-horsepower 1.3-liter turbocharged engine. This trim adds a six-speaker stereo, a flat-folding front passenger seat, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Options include a Driver Confidence and Cruise package for $495. It adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and cruise control.

Chevrolet Trailblazer LT

The Trailblazer LT trim starts at $23,600 for front-wheel drive-models with the 1.2-liter engine, $24,960 for front-wheel-drive models with the 1.3-liter engine, and $25,600 for all-wheel-drive models with the 1.3-liter engine. This trim adds heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, cruise control, tinted windows, roof rails, and fog lights.

The Driver Confidence package is available for $395. The $620 Convenience package comes with an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, and automatic climate control. Other options include synthetic leather upholstery for $845, adaptive cruise control for $620, and a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free power liftgate for $1,770.

Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ

The Trailblazer Activ trim is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast, and it starts at $25,400 for front-wheel-drive models and $26,900 for all-wheel-drive models. This trim comes standard with the 1.3-liter engine and adds a skid plate, off-road-tuned shock absorbers, and synthetic leather upholstery.

Most options carry over. Additionally, you can get a $1,720 Technology package that bundles an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, satellite radio, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, wireless device charging, adaptive cruise control, and LED headlights.

Chevrolet Trailblazer RS

The Trailblazer RS trim is priced at $25,400 and $26,900 for front- and all-wheel drive versions, respectively. The RS trades the Activ trim’s off-road equipment for black exterior accents, 18-inch alloy wheels, and two-tone cloth and synthetic leather upholstery. All options carry over unchanged.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevy deals page.

See 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer specs and trims »

The Final Call

The reborn 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is one of the lastest entries in the growing subcompact SUV class. Instead of forging ahead though, the Trailblazer is more of a midpack performer. It has a surprisingly roomy interior and user-friendly tech features, but it’s let down by its nervous ride quality and underwelming engines. Yes, the Trailblazer is worth a look. Just know that there are plenty of other SUV options in this size and price range.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Trailblazer is one of the best-looking vehicles in its class. But while the design inside and out hits the mark, the three-cylinder engine lets down the driving experience. We can see why Chevy appears to want to keep quiet about it. There's also the matter of the high as-tested prices of the Activ and RS trim levels. A more powerful engine would certainly make us more forgiving of the high as-tested price. Rivals like the CX-30 and Hyundai Kona offer a superior driving experience and better value." -- Car and Driver
  • "We've just had our first drive in this little looker, and we came away a little disappointed… but only a little. There's a lot to like about the Trailblazer, but GM came up short in a couple of key areas." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "So the Trailblazer isn’t trailblazing anything in this space. It’s another small crossover that is decent at most things, but doesn’t stand out in any significant way. We like how it rides; we like the tech, and the RS/Activ trims are legitimately desirable packages. But perhaps what’s most important is that Chevy finally has a tiny crossover that’s easy on the eyes." -- Autoblog
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