The Trailblazer is back for ‘21. But its not what we thought it would be. Instead of the Colorado based SUV that other parts of the world get, we get yet another small crossover from a brand that already has 6 other SUV’s/Crossovers. The Trailblazer sits below the Trax in the lineup, at least that’s how Chevy presents it.
The Trailblazer lineup is spread across 5 trims: L, LS, LT, Activ and RS; 2 engines: a 1.2 liter turbo with 137 horses and a 1.3 liter turbo engine with 155 horses;2 transmissions: a standard CVT and an optional 9 speed auto; and front or awd.
The Trailblazer L starts at the aforementioned $19,995. With it being the base trim, you can guarantee this is the rental trim. It comes standard with the 1.2 liter engine and the CVT. The Trailblazer comes with some impressive standard features. And when I say impressive, I mean impressive for GM/Chevy. Other automakers have been having base models with great standard features for awhile. GM is just now coming around. Standard features include:
- Chevy infotainment system with 7” touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility
- Forward Collision Warning
- Front Pedestrian Braking
- Auto Emergency Braking
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
- 10 standard airbags
Also keep in mind you cant get awd or the 1.3 liter engine on this trim. This trim is unique in that other than its standard features, its spartan as hell color wise. Like it almost shouldn’t be sold to the public. The only color available on the L is GM’s favorite base color, Summit White. And that’s paired with jet black cloth interior. Standard wheels on this trim are 16” steelies. With no options to speak of besides accessories, the Trailblazer L rings in at $20k give or take tax title and licensing fees. I don’t think dealers will even stock this trim.
The next trim up is the LS. Starting at $22,495, it builds on the L by coming standard with 17” wheels, a digital compass, front and rear carpeted floor mats, fold flat front passenger seat and a 6 speaker audio system. You can also choose optional awd and the 1.3 liter engine on this trim as well.
Spending a little more money gets you options, as evidenced here by the availability of 8 exterior color choices and 2 interior cloth color choices. All exterior colors are no charge save for $695 Iridescent Pearl Coat. There is one option package on this trim, a $495 Driver Confidence and Cruise package that bundles cruise control (which weirdly isn’t standard), rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert and lane change alert with side blind zone alert in a package of safety features that should’ve been standard. I selected it. With no other options and no accessories selected, a Trailblazer LS rings in at $22,990; $24,990 with the 1.3 and awd.
The next trim up is the LT, which like most Chevy models, should be the volume trim. Its split into 2 with it starting at $24,595 with the 1.2 and CVT and $25,955 with the 1.3 and the CVT. It builds on the LS by coming standard with things like LED foglamps, deep tinted rear windows and liftgate, heated power folding body color mirrors, remote start, heated front seats, and 17” black painted aluminum wheels.
Exterior and interior color choices are the same, though the LT gets the option of leatherette seating in black or gray and black. You want leatherette seating? Its not free or cheap as it requires adding on $1,810 in additional options and packages (more in that in a bit).
The LT trim gets real options that should make the Trailblazer easier to live with on a daily basis and not feel as..cheap. There are 5 options packages to choose from. 3 of these were already selected when choosing leatherette seating: $345 Driver Confidence Package, $620 Convenience Package (includes a larger 8” touchscreen, 2 rear usb ports, auto dimming mirror, auto climate control, sat radio with trial subscription, front illuminated vanity mirrors), $845 Premium Seating Package (this one is another strange options and shows how GM wants to charge customers. The leatherette seating is in its own package which includes the leatherette seating and then also includes a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a rear center armrest, but the package itself requires the addition of 2 other packages? That doesn’t make sense to me.). The 2 other packages are a $1,770 Sun and Liftgate package that comes with a pano power sunroof and a hands free power liftgate, and a $475 Adaptive Cruise Control Package that comes with adaptive cruise control, leather wrapped steering wheel and a drivers information center with a 4.2” LCD color display.
Trying to choose the Sun and Liftgate package you will see that you have to spend more money, as this package weirdly requires the 1.3 liter engine (if its not already equipped), bringing the total price of this package to $2,165. I added this along with all the other packages. At this point, the Trailblazer, outside of the accessories is loaded. A Traiblazer LT with all options rings in at the same price with both the 1.2 and 1.3 liter engines and fwd $29,045; $30,650 with the 1.3 and AWD.
The next trim is $26,395 poser offroad ACTIV trim (they even spelled it funky). Only available with the 1.3 liter engine with either front or awd. This trim gets a trim specific exterior called Zeus Bronze Metallic which is like a root beer brown. You can also get contrasting roof colors but only in either Zeus Bronze or Summit White. And whatever color the roof is the mirror caps are the same color as well. So I choose a handsome looking Black with the Zeus Bronze contrasting roof. Interior leatherette choices are also different with choices being either Jet Black/Almond Butter or Jet Black/Arizona accents which is a lighter almost beige brown. Both are no extra cost.
This trim gets only 4 option packages, 3 of which are the same as the LT trim ( Driver Confidence, Convenience and Sun & Liftgate Packages). The ACTIV trim gets a $1,720 Technology Package that includes a wireless charger, 8” touchscreen, Bose premium audio system, SD card reader, LED headlights, and a HD rear camera among other things. Selecting this package requires the addition of both the Driver Confidence and Convenience packages. So with pretty much every option package selected and the Traiblazer ACTIV loaded out, it rung in a $30,850; $32,350 with awd.
The top of the Trailblazer line is the sporty $26,395 Traiblazer RS. This is another trim that’s only available with the 1.3 liter engine. It comes with 18” high gloss black wheels, a (pointless I might add) leather wrapped flat bottomed steering wheel, Black Chevy bowtie and exterior badging, LED taillamps and dual polished exhaust.
The RS gets 2 specific exterior colors that are both no cost: Scarlet Red Metallic and a sporty almost BMW like Oasis Blue which I choose with the contrasting Black roof. Inside the only seat choices are Black leatherette seating. With the same option packages selected as the ACTIV, a Trailblazer RS rings in at $30,850: $32,350 with awd.
As I have to always ask, who is this for exactly and why does it exist? The answer to the second one is almost obvious as its to satisfy consumer insatiable need for crossovers. As to who its for? I’m not sure. I assume its going to replace the Trax in the lineup eventually as it has a slightly high starting price (exactly $700 more). Its just 6.3” longer than the Trax and is not that much bigger than the Trax in places where it counts. Like rear legroom where the Trailblazer has just 3.7” more rear legroom. But it doesn’t make sense and I’m sure we will probably see a new model that sits between the Trax and Equinox or Trailblazer and Equinox if the Trax goes away. And the madness will continue.