Chevy’s new Trailblazer will bolster its offering in the small-SUV segment when it goes on sale later this spring. At the recent Calgary Auto Show, we took a look inside the newcomer’s flexible, stylish interior.
First, what’s a Trailblazer?
The Trailblazer fits right between the Trax and Equinox in Chevrolet’s SUV lineup. On the outside, it shares styling cues with the larger Blazer we reviewed here, with aggressive looks to target younger buyers.
2009 vs 2021: interiors compared
New Chevy Trailblazer engine
Under the hood are turbocharged, 137-HP 1.2-litre or 155-HP 1.3-litre engines. A CVT transmission is standard (a 9-speed auto is optional with the 1.3) and there are FWD or AWD drivetrains.
Main competitors in the compact SUV segment
In a competitive, fast-growing segment, Trailblazer will go head-to-head with rivals like the Hyundai Kona, Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Renegade, Ford EcoSport, Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V. The four-model lineup includes the entry-level LS, mid-range LT, and two AWD range-toppers with standard contrast-colour roofs: Activ and RS.
“The four-model lineup includes the entry-level LS, mid-range LT, and two AWD range-toppers with standard contrast-colour roofs: Activ and RS.”
The off-road focused Activ gets modified suspension and different tires while the RS, with cosmetic additions like a mesh grille and carbon-style rear diffuser, is targeted at style-conscious urban buyers. Ten major safety features are standard across the range, including lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
“Both Trax and Trailblazer are now in the same segment and aimed at younger buyers, but they fill different needs,” explains Nikhil Chugh, who handles sales and marketing for GM in Calgary. “Trax is for the small-car buyer looking to upgrade to an entry-point SUV; Trailblazer is more of a lifestyle buy, offering additional features and convenience.”
Inside the new Chevy Trailblazer and what to expect
Chevrolet accurately describes the Trailblazer’s interior as having a, “driver-focused, dual-cockpit design with an integrated center stack”. There are multiple cable connection options, including USB-C, and as you’d expect nowadays there’s a central colour touchscreen – 7in is standard, rising to 8in if you specify the Convenience Package on the LT, Activ, or RS models (MSRP C$695/US$620). Other highlights of the Convenience Package are dual rear USB charge ports and SiriusXM.
RS and Activ trims get more tech
Activ and RS buyers can ramp up the tech content with the C$1,995 (US$1,720) Technology Package, which adds a wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connection that was developed by GM engineers in Canada.
Also included in the package is a 4.2in driver information display, wireless charging, a 7-speaker Bose audio system and LED projector headlamps. Two Bluetooth devices can be paired simultaneously with Chevy’s latest Infotainment 3+ system.
At the Calgary Auto Show we were able to examine the LT and RS trim levels and were impressed with the design and materials. The front-seat accommodation is spacious, and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, so it should be easy for most drivers to get comfortable.
How’s the small SUV’s cargo space and interior comfort?
It’s a practical space, too, with lots of storage in the doors, centre console and between the seats, as well as a slot for your cellphone between the cupholders. We particularly liked the fold-flat front passenger seat, standard on all grades, which that helps the Trailblazer to fulfill its lifestyle brief.
When the rear seat back is also folded down (it splits 60/40), an 8.5ft stretch of interior storage opens up that could accommodate a kayak, for example. Up to 54.4 cu.ft of cargo space is available with the entire second row folded.
An available, dual-pane sunroof brings a lot of light to the interior, as witnessed on the show models we sat in. It comes as a C$1,995 (US$1,770) package with the hands-free power liftgate, which neatly projects the Chevy bowtie down onto the road at the kick-activation point.
How much will the 2021 Trailblazer cost?
The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer will be priced in Canada from C$23,898 (MSRP) for the FWD LS. Add in the freight, destination and air-tax charges and you get to an eye-catching starting price of C$25,798. AWD comes as a C$2,000 upgrade.
Canadian MSRPs for the other models are as follows: LT C$26,098 (FWD) or C$28,098 (AWD); AWD Activ and RS C$30,598.
In the US, the entry-level L model has an MSRP of US$19,995. The LS is US$22,495, LT starts at US$24,595 and the Activ and RS are priced from US$26,395.
The 2021 Trailblazer arrives in dealerships across North America this spring.