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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer: First Look

  • Trailblazer name rides again
  • Shares DNA with Buick Encore GX
  • Starting price under $20,000
  • Two turbocharged 3-cylinder engines

Chevrolet is still short on details, but it’s introducing an all-new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer early in 2020. Slotting between the Trax and the Equinox, Trailblazer is Chevy’s take on the also-new Buick Encore GX. This means that although Chevy is reintroducing the Trailblazer nameplate, it will now be applied to a compact, carbased crossover rather than a midsize, truckbased SUV. To date, Chevy has only revealed two trim levels: the sportier RS and the off-road-focused Activ grade.

Inside and Out

Chevy says the Trailblazer showcases the styling themes of the larger Blazer. Indeed, it does have a Blazer-inspired dual grille. For the RS, it is black mesh with a black Chevy bowtie. Activ versions get a more open grille with a gold bowtie. On both, the accent bar separating the two grille sections is integrated into the cat’s-eye headlamps. Large wrap-around taillights also highlight the design in the rear. Both grades get a standard two-tone roof, as well as 17-inch wheels. A hands-free rear liftgate is available

Furnished for five, Trailblazer provides a 40/60 rear seat that folds flat with the cargo floor. Additionally, the front passenger seat folds flat, creating the capacity to haul longer objects. Maximum cargo space is more than 54 cu-ft.

Getting the Go

Thrust will be in the form of either a 1.2-liter or a 1.3-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine. We assume both are the same 3-cylinder engines propelling the Buick Encore GX. If so, the 1.2-liter will generate 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, while the 1.3-liter will deliver 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) will usher engine output to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available in 1.3L-equipped models, in which case a 9-speed automatic transmission will do the shifting.

Turning all four wheels is what Chevy is calling selectable AWD. The driver may switch it on and off depending on weather conditions or the road surface. AWD models also offer unique calibrations for added rear-wheel torque at lower speeds for moderately steep and unpaved surfaces.

FWD models offer three drive modes: Normal, Snow and Sport.

More Tech

Unlike many other Chevy models only offering safety/driver-assist technologies on upper trim levels, the Trailblazer has a few baked in as standard equipment. Right out of the box, every Trailblazer will provide forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam assist, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, rear-vision camera, Teen Driver, Rear Seat Reminder and OnStar capability.

Offered as options will be a camera-based adaptive cruise control, rear-park assist, lane-change alert with blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert and an HD rear-vision camera.

Trailblazer addresses connectivity and infotainment with Chevy’s latest infotainment system capable of pairing two phones through Bluetooth, including hands-free operation. The system also includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite-radio capability.

When and How Much?

Look for the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer in dealer showrooms in late winter or early spring of 2020. Chevy announced a starting base price of under $20,000. This means its base price will be well below that of the smaller Trax. Find a Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More about Russ Heaps

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