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2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. 2022 Mazda CX-30: Which is Better?

Among subcompact SUVs, the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer offers lots of space at a low price, where the 2022 Mazda CX-30 has a luxury vibe and excellent driving manners. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • 2022 Chevy Trailblazer has a maximum of 54.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
  • Both can be equipped with all-wheel drive.
  • Mazda CX-30’s 2.5-liter turbo makes 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on 93-octane fuel.

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Front Left in Tan
The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts at $22,795.

Base price: $22,795 / Find out more about the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

What we like: Low price; stylish; roomy interior; choice of engines; optional all-wheel drive; good standard technology.

What we would change: Jittery ride on rough roads; no standard cruise control; weak engines.

Overview: The smallest of Chevy’s SUVs, the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a surprisingly roomy subcompact crossover. Power comes from a choice of two turbocharged 3-cylinder engines, although neither is particularly energetic. With the base engine, the Trailblazer is front-wheel drive only. The upgrade engine can be paired with all-wheel drive. The ride is enjoyable on smooth pavement, although it can feel jittery and shaky over rougher roads.

The Trailblazer has plenty of rear legroom for adults and 54.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo space despite its footprint. The design is clean and straightforward, with a sporty exterior look. Materials quality is basic in the lower trims, with hard plastics and cloth seats, although upper trims get leatherette and more soft-touch materials. The top trims go different ways, with the Activ model having some off-road goodies and the RS going for more of a sporty vibe.

What’s new for 2022: After a long absence, the Trailblazer name only returned last year, so changes for 2022 are small. Sirius/XM and electronic climate control now come standard, and new options include a Tow package, roof rack, and a heated steering wheel.

Features and technology: Power for the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer comes from a 1.2-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine connected to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Also available is a 1.3-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder, driving either the front wheels or all four via a 9-speed automatic.

The base LS trim comes with a 7-inch infotainment screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Sirius/XM satellite radio, a back-up camera, and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. Also included are A/C, USB-A and USB-C ports, a compass display, cloth seats, and 60/40 split-folding seats. Safety features come via the Chevy Safety Assist system, with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, forward-collision alert, and lane-departure warning. Oddly enough, cruise control is only available via a $495 package.

LT trim adds cruise control, heated front seats, and push-button start, among others. The next two trims are similar but go in slightly different directions, with both adding leatherette seats. The Activ trim includes a skidplate, off-road-tuned suspension, sport terrain tires, and different front and rear fascias, whereas the RS trim has more of a sporty look to it, with 18-inch wheels and black trim.

Many different option packages include automatic climate control, an 8-inch infotainment system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, HD Radio, Bose premium audio, and more USB ports.

What does the future hold: This is only the second model year of the redesigned Trailblazer, so we expect little more than some different features and paint colors, although we think a more powerful engine choice is sorely needed, and a re-tuning of the ride. See 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer models for sale

2022 Mazda CX-30

2022 Mazda CX-30 Driving in Red
The 2022 Mazda CX-30 starts at $23,000 (est.).

Base price: $23,000 (est.) / Find out more about the 2022 Mazda CX-30

What we like: Premium interior; great handling; lots of power.

What we would change: A bit tight in the back; complicated infotainment; most features unavailable in lower trims.

Overview: The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is among the most powerful and fun to drive of the subcompact crossovers. The steering is excellent, the transmission always knows how to shift, and handling is superb. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder base engine makes plenty of power, although there’s also a 2.5-liter turbo if you want even more juice. The standard setup is front-wheel drive, although either engine can be paired with all-wheel drive.

We love the sharp exterior looks, and the interior has a luxury feel, with high-quality materials and an elegant style. The front row is spacious and comfortable, although rear legroom is a bit tight. All controls fall easily to the hand, with the infotainment screen on the dash. There are 20.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, expanding to 45.2 cubic feet folded. Standard features are decent, although even some safety features are reserved for the higher trim levels.

What’s new for 2022: Given that the CX-30 was brand-new in 2020 and added the new turbo engine last year, we don’t expect much in the way of changes this year, aside from maybe some new paint colors or wheel options.

Features and technology: There is a choice of 2.5-liter engines in the 2022 Mazda CX-30, with the turbocharged variant making 227 hp and a robust 310 lb-ft of torque on regular 87 octane fuel. Either engine can be paired with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The base trim is exactly that, with keyless entry and ignition, cloth seats, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, two USB ports, and sport front seats. Infotainment comes via Mazda Connect with an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth, HD radio, Wi-Fi, and an 8-speaker audio system. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assistance.

The next trim adds simulated leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Above that, the Preferred adds an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, and a powered moonroof, with the Premium trim adding a head-up display, leather upholstery, satellite radio, navigation, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system.

Premium Plus adds automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic braking, and a 360-degree monitor.

What does the future hold: Our biggest complaint about the CX-30 is the availability of driver and safety aids, so we would like to see more of those added as standard equipment. Other than that, we don’t expect too many changes until the next refresh. See 2022 Mazda CX-30 models for sale

Trailblazer vs. CX-30: Strengths Comparison

Trailblazer Benefits: Fuel economy; cargo space; off-road ability.

CX-30 Benefits: More fun to drive; base power; more luxurious interior.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs. 2021 Mazda CX-30: Which Is Better?

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs 2022 Mazda CX-30 Interior
Top: 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer steering wheel and dashboard.
Bottom: The 2022 Mazda CX-30 steering wheel and dashboard.

Whether you choose the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer or the 2022 Mazda CX-30 is likely to come down to your priorities. The Trailblazer is a great value, with loads of space if you frequently carry passengers and cargo in your back seat. It’s not much fun to drive, but it’s impressively practical.

On the other hand, the 2022 Mazda CX-30 proves that even a subcompact crossover can be a blast to drive, with a choice of powerful engines and great driving manners. It’s not great if you frequently carry more than one passenger, but it sure is fun when you’re behind the wheel.

See 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer models for sale or See 2022 Mazda CX-30 models for sale

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer 2022 Mazda CX-30
Popular Powertrains
Engine 1.2-liter turbo I3 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 137 hp @ 5,000 rpm 186 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 162 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission CVT 6-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 30 mpg (29 city/31 hwy) 28 mpg (25 city/33 hwy)
Also Available 1.3-liter turbo I3; 9-spd automatic; all-wheel drive 2.5-liter turbo I4; all-wheel drive
Specs
Basic warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.9 inches 104.4 inches
Overall Length 173.5 inches 173.0 inches
Width 71.2 inches 70.7 inches
Height 62.5 inches 61.7 inches
Turning Diameter 37.4 feet 37.3 feet
Headroom, Front 40.0 inches 38.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.4 inches 38.3 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.4 inches 36.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.4 inches 55.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 53.8 inches 53.6 inches
EPA Passenger Volume n/a 94.1 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 54.4 cubic feet 45.2 cubic feet
Doug Lloyd
Doug Lloyd is an author specializing in comparison tests. A veteran of the automotive press world, Doug started at Sports Car International and Vintage Motorsport magazines and has worked at both Porsche Panorama magazine and Edmunds.com. Doug is also a jazz piano player and a composer for television.

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