Chevy is making waves in the automotive industry with the recent debut of the all-new 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, which marks the grand return of the luxury SUV that was replaced by the Traverse in 2009. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. It was the cusp of the new millennium when Chevy introduced the world to the upscale TrailBlazer, a top-tier trim on the 1999 Chevy Blazer that was designed to compete with the Ford Explorer and attract families looking for a capable and comfortable SUV. The Trailblazer did that and more.
After proving itself as part of the Blazer lineup, the Trailblazer gained its own footing in the Chevy lineup in 2002 when it replaced the Blazer and proved a larger SUV could, in fact, blaze any trail in its way. Over the next several years, Chevy improved upon the SUV with a seven-passenger TrailBlazer EXT that delivered exceptional cargo and passenger space. For drivers looking for more power, Chevy answered the call with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that delivered 290 horsepower and a towing capability of 4,900 pounds, which marked a first in the Chevy mid-size SUV lineup.
Delivering even more power in 2006 to the tune of 395 ponies and a V8 under the hood, the Trailblazer had a few more good years left in the Chevy lineup before it met its end in 2009. By then, crossovers ruled the road, and Chevy responded with the all-new Traverse. Over the last 12 years, Chevy reintroduced the Trailblazer to international markets and, after growing success, is proud to revive the SUV as a subcompact crossover for American drivers in 2021.
The all-new Trailblazer gives drivers the choice between two turbocharged three-cylinder engines, all-wheel or front-wheel drive, and a continuously variable automatic transmission or a nine-speed automatic transmission. The combinations deliver a range of power, but neither offers the quick acceleration of earlier models.
When you opt for a front-wheel drive model, the Trailblazer comes standard with the 1.2-liter turbocharged engine and a continuously variable transmission with a selectable stop-start capability that’s designed to enhance efficiency. This combination does exactly that by delivering 137 horsepower and averaging 28 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. The front-wheel drive models also feature three drive modes: Normal, Snow, and Sport. Normal is ideal for your daily commute, while Snow improves acceleration and throttle response in winter weather. Sport mode modifies the steering and shifting for a faster response and more nimble handling.
The all-wheel drive Trailblazer is ideal if you’re looking for a crossover that can handle its own in harsh conditions like rain, sleet, mud, or snow. Equipped with a more powerful 1.3-liter engine and nine-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive model delivers 155 horsepower and an average fuel economy of 26 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. This engine is also available on front-wheel drive models.
Like the Blazer and Traverse, the Trailblazer is equipped with a selectable all-wheel-drive that gives you the ability to activate and deactivate the system as needed, which improves fuel economy.
The reintroduction of the Trailblazer means an all-new exterior and interior to usher the crossover into the 21st century. The bold design begins on the outside with Chevy’s signature dual-port front grille and bowtie that give the Trailblazer more dimension, while the accent bar, headlamps, and faux front skid plate give it a visually wider and stronger stance. But not all Trailblazers are designed the same, with the ACTIV and RS offering unique styles.
The Trailblazer ACTIV and RS are both equipped with a two-tone roof that immediately sets the crossover apart from the other trims. The ACTIV sits on all-season, all-terrain tires and replaces the signature front grille with a more rugged version in addition to adding roof rails and trapezoid-shaped exhaust tips. The RS also replaces the traditional grille with a performance-inspired mesh grille complete with a black bowtie to give the RS its sporty aesthetic.
The interior of the Trailblazer is also redesigned and boasts quality finishes that vary across trim levels, the latest technology and safety features, and ample room for cargo and passengers. When you get behind the wheel of the Trailblazer, you’ll find a dual-cockpit interior that gives the crossover a modern feel and puts everything you need within reach.
When it comes to hauling cargo and passengers, there’s no question about capability with a flat-folding passenger seat and a flat-folding second row that maximizes the cargo length to 8.5 feet and 54.4 cubic feet. You can also opt for the 40-60 split-folding seats on the second row, which gives you even more options to haul both passengers and gear!
The 2021 Trailblazer doesn’t run short on technology, and that makes it an even more attractive option if you’re looking for a crossover packed with the latest safety, connectivity, and driver-assist features that keep you safe and connected when you’re behind the wheel.
The safety suite is especially impressive and extends beyond the Trailblazer’s standard airbags to the Chevy Safety Assist suite of driver-assist tools. This suite includes technology like Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, a Rear Seat Reminder, OnStar, and IntelliBeam Headlamps.
Automatic Emergency Braking and Forward Collision Alert work together to minimize collisions by alerting you to potential collisions and instances of tailgating when you’re traveling at speeds below 50 mph. If the system detects an imminent collision, automatic emergency braking will enhance your braking to minimize the impact or, in the event you fail to brake, will automatically provide hard emergency braking. Front Pedestrian Braking is also a standard feature and works similarly to monitor pedestrians in front of the Trailblazer.
The Trailblazer is also equipped with a rear vision camera that provides a clear view behind the vehicle and is especially helpful when backing out of a parking space in a busy area. This camera can be upgraded to a high-definition version that provides an even clearer picture. Additional features include Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning to help keep the Trailblazer in its lane, a Rear Seat Reminder, access to OnStar, and IntelliBeam Headlamps to enhance visibility.
Chevy also equips the Trailblazer with its innovative Teen Driver technology that helps new drivers learn the ways of the road for safe driving. Beyond these standard features, you can upgrade the Trailblazer to include advanced features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Rear Park Assist, the latter of which takes the guesswork out of parking altogether! Other upgrades include Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
While these driver-assist features make the Trailblazer safe to drive, Chevy also makes the crossover SUV fun to drive with an outstanding suite of connectivity technology. This technology includes the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus system on every trim. The system is housed on a 7.0-inch touchscreen display on the base model with higher tier trims upgrading to an 8.0-inch display. The system offers access to Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, as well as integration with the GM Marketplace app. This app takes convenience to the next level by allowing you to pay for gas, make reservations at your favorite restaurant, and order food all from the display.
You’ll also love the available SiriusXM with 360L that gives you access to exclusive content and commercial-free music while you’re cruising down the road. The satellite radio even learns your preferences the more you use it and can deliver a custom listening experience that you’ll love. Of course, you can also sync your phone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto or by using the Trailblazer’s Bluetooth capability. Whatever the case, you’re sure to stay connected and entertained anytime you’re blazing a new trail in the Chevy.