Chevrolet is reviving another of its once-dropped SUV models, and much like the divisive 2020 Blazer, it's a bit different than the car it succeeds. The 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is a budget-conscious, space-saving crossover that forgoes the fuel-chugging V8 in favor of a small turbo engine, agile handling, and a small eco-footprint. Whether you love or hate the nameplate's comeback or, rather, its application, it'll be headed to showrooms in the spring of next year with a starting price that's under $20,000.
Notably, the Trailblazer takes on Chevrolet's current-gen SUV styling language that's extremely angular. It's sized to fit in between the teensy Trax CUV and mid-size Equinox, landing it in a narrow space that's somewhat close to the Jeep Renegade. Cargo space, however, is more plentiful in the Trailblazer with 54.4 cubic feet available compared to the Jeep's 50.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
Overall, the new Trailblazer takes on an ethos that targets active lifestylers who want more space and a taller ride-height than a sedan, all while being just the right size for city driving.
Sporting either a 1.2-liter or 1.3-liter three-cylinder—both of which are turbocharged—the crossover focuses more on fuel economy than anything else. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission as standard, although a nine-speed automatic is available in 1.3-liter, all-wheel-drive-equipped Trailblazers. In that application, Chevy's newest model produces a modest 155 horsepower.
The 2021 Trailblazer can be had in two trims: RS and Activ. The former is a sporty entry-level model that touts a mesh grille and unique front splitter elements, driving home that while it may not have a ton of power under the hood, it at least looks the part. Meanwhile, the Activ variant rides high on 17-inch wheels and Hankook Sport Terrain tires, which compliment unique shock tuning that's been configured for mild off-road use. With the Activ trim also comes a two-tone roof design and utility roof rails.
Regardless of which trim you spring for, the Trailblazer comes with loads of safety tech baked in. Standard Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, IntelliBeam Headlamps (Auto High Beam Assist), and more make for an inclusive package that puts you and yours in good hands. Features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and HD Rear Vision Camera are also available.
Lastly, on the tech front, a multi-device Bluetooth-enabled infotainment system is standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available.
Expect to see 2021 Trailblazers hitting showroom floors in the second quarter of 2020 with specific pricing announcements coming closer to launch.