- The Trailblazer is all new for 2021.
- In the compact crossover class, Mitsubishi also offers the Eclipse Cross.
- Both the Trailblazer and the Outlander Sport earned four-star NHTSA ratings.
2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Base price: $23,750/Read our 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review
What we like: Great warranty; sharp styling; good backseat space.
What we would change: Base engine is weak and wheezy; a full redesign and modernization is in order; upgrade engine only available in the top trim.
Overview: In the compact crossover class, the competition these days is quite fierce, and the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the grizzled veteran, in production since 2011. The Outlander Sport has much to recommend it, from comfortable seats and excellent outward visibility to a roomy backseat. But beyond that, it falls behind in its lack of standard tech, and a base engine that’s not only droning but underpowered. The cabin is a very pleasant place to be, with good ergonomics and some nice materials, but it’s not great to drive. The 2.4-liter upgrade engine is better than the base, but it’s not available outside the top GT trim. Also, while the Outlander Sport offers all-wheel drive, it’s primarily for rough weather rather than true off-roading. Another demerit is Mitsubishi’s limited dealer network, making it perhaps a challenge to find service and parts. One thing we like about the Outlander Sport, however, is its impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, better than all competitors except those from Hyundai and Kia.
What’s new for 2021: Given that it’s been in production essentially unchanged for 10 years, we expected improved equipment levels for 2021, but nothing yet has been forthcoming from Mitsubishi.
Features and technology: The 2021 Outlander Sport is offered in five trim levels, all of which come with the 2.0-liter engine except the top 2.4 GT which receives the 2.4-liter. The level of standard equipment in the ES is decent, with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, automatic climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen, two 12-volt outlets, and a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, a USB port and AM/FM/HD radio. The Convenience options package offers an 8-inch infotainment display, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, satellite radio, and another USB port.
The 2.0 SE trim includes that Convenience package, plus keyless entry and ignition, rain-sensing wipers, a 6-speaker audio system, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. A larger spoiler, a carbon-style grille and a “Special Edition” badge come with the 2.0 SP package, and the 2.0 BE adds a Rockford Fosgate audio system upgrade.
The top trim 2.4 GT has the 168-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, black roof rails, “soft touch” seating surfaces, and a remote garage door opener. All trims come with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available for $1,500.
What does the future hold: Given that the Outlander Sport has been essentially the same for 10 years, it’s overdue for a full refresh/redesign. See 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport models for sale near you
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer
Base price: $19,995/Read our 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review
What we like: Low starting price; good looks; good standard safety features.
What we would change:The seats are a bit small and rough, and the interior in general needs more refinement; add all-wheel drive option on all trims.
Overview:Carrying a name that once referred to a rugged boulder-basher, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a brand new compact crossover whose milieu is distinctly urban. The Trailblazer comes with rugged looks, a choice of a 1.2- or 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engines, and a starting price under $20,000. The Chevy comes nicely equipped, with such things as standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a host of safety equipment. We also like its 54.4 cubic feet of usable cargo space with all seats folded. It could use a bit more refinement, however, with some interior materials and surfaces that feel and look cheap, and seats that are small and a bit too firm for our liking. We also don’t love the CVT, which while it helps the Trailblazer earn 29 mpg combined, can drone when pushed. And despite its name, the Trailblazer is no off-roader, with the optional all-wheel drive (not available on the base trim) best for foul weather conditions.
What’s new for 2021: Everything, as the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is all-new.
Features and technology: Offered in five trim levels, the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer comes well equipped even in the base L trim, with such safety features as forward collision warnings, lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warnings. Other technology includes Chevy’s Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and two USB ports. Options include an 8-inch touchscreen, keyless opening and start, LED taillights, and 18-inch gloss black wheels. Adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring are also options, as are a Bose premium audio system and wireless phone charging.
The Activ trim includes dual exhausts, a two-tone roof, Activ shocks, and a simulated skidplate, and the top RS trim includes 18-inch wheels, a unique front splitter, and special black badging.
What does the future hold: We would like to see a bit more refinement to the interior, and maybe a more powerful upgrade engine. See 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer models for sale near you
Outlander Sport vs. Trailblazer: Strengths comparison
Outlander Sport Benefits: Much longer warranty; more refined interior; comfortable seats.
Trailblazer Benefits: Much lower starting price; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard; much larger dealer network; cargo space.
Outlander Sport vs. Trailblazer: Which is better?
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a perfectly pleasant little urban crossover, but neither engine is terribly powerful and it needs a refresh. For that reason, and for its better fuel economy, excellent standard features, rock-bottom starting price, and large, usable cargo space, we award this to the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Find a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport for sale or Find a Chevrolet Trailblazer for sale
|2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport||2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer|
|Engine||2.0-liter I4||1.2-liter I3, turbocharged|
|Horsepower||148 hp @ 6000 rpm||137 hp @ 5000 rpm|
|Torque||145 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm||162 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||27 mpg (24 city, 30hwy)||29 mpg (28 city, 31hwy)|
|Also Available||2.4-liter I4||1.3-liter I3, turbocharged; Automatic, 9-Spd|
|Basic warranty||5 years or 60,000 miles||3 years or 36,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||10 years or 100,000 miles||5 years or 60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||4 Stars||4 Stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||105.1 inches||103.9 inches|
|Overall Length||171.9 inches||173.5 inches|
|Width||71.3 inches||71.2 inches|
|Height||64.8 inches||62.5 inches|
|Turning Diameter||34.8 feet||37.4 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.4 inches||40.0 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||37.9 inches||38.4 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.6 inches||40.9 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||36.3 inches||39.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||56.2 inches||55.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.5 inches||53.8 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||97.5 cu. ft.||n/a|
|EPA Cargo Volume||49.5 cu. ft.||54.4 cu. ft.|