2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

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2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Review: A Crossover With Charm

by Deiondre van der Merwe

Remember the Chevrolet Trailblazer? Yeah, that midsize SUV that your family friends probably drove back in the 2000s. Well, the Trailblazer name returned for the 2021 model year as a subcompact crossover. Chevy felt it needed a model to slot between the Trax and Equinox in the US, so what better way to fill the gap than to dust off a name from the past to take advantage of nostalgia.

The Trailblazer shares a platform with the new Buick Encore GX, and goes toe-to-toe with rivals like the Honda HR-V, Kia Seltos, and Mazda CX-30. Unlike the last generation, which offered engines ranging from an inline-six to a Corvette V8, this new Trailblazer only comes with a choice of two turbocharged three-cylinder mills. The most powerful 1.3-liter engine produces just 155 horsepower, but plenty of torque going out through either a CVT or nine-speed automatic.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
8.6
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2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Trailblazer?

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer was an all-new model and for 2022, only its second model year in the USA, little is changing. The entry-level L trim has been dropped, a trailering package has become available, and satellite radio is now standard equipment on all trims. Roof-rack cross rails are now available as a dealer fitment, a heated steering wheel is now standard on some trims and available on others, and there are several new exterior paint colors.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive exterior styling
  • Available choice between FWD and AWD
  • Roomy interior
  • Tons of storage space
  • Great technology
  • Affordable starting price
  • Underpowered engines
  • Ride quality could be better
  • Gets pricey with options
  • Nine-speed automatic is clunky

Best Deals on 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
1.3L Inline-3 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$21,800
LT
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
1.3L Inline-3 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$24,000
ACTIV
1.3L Inline-3 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,900
RS
1.3L Inline-3 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,900
L
1.2L Inline-3 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
TBC
See All 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Although its RS badges may hint to the contrary, the Chevy Trailblazer is not an athletic driver. The steering feels light, making it great for quick city maneuvers, but it doesn't inspire confidence for sporty driving. We noticed plenty of body roll, which is an acceptable trade-off for ride comfort, but the Trailblazer's suspension is far from what we'd call supple. It's plush enough to avoid complaints, but the Encore GX felt softer and more comfortable. The 1.3-liter engine is hardly a tire scorcher, but we did notice a difference in acceleration with the AWD button engaged, getting the Trailblazer off the line with less of a chirp from the front wheels. Chevy includes a sport mode labeled with a checkered flag button ahead of the shifter, but it does very little to help the car live up to its RS badging. The Trailblazer feels like a car designed for city driving, with the occasional dirt road to your kid's soccer game.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer A Good car?

It's always dangerous business reviving a famous model name, particularly when you restore a famous SUV's moniker as the smallest and cheapest crossover in your lineup. Look beyond the title, though, and the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a good SUV. The only problem is, it manages to be good at everything, but it's not the best in any particular category. So while it does have its merits, it may just be in for a tough time with the competition. We'll give credit where it's due. Both powerplant choices are decent at low speeds, making city driving drama free, and the CVT does an excellent job of maintaining efficient fuel economy figures. Available AWD is nice, given that not all of its competitors offer the same. The Trailblazer also possesses a quality interior, though that opinion is largely based on higher trims. Technology is a high-point, especially with cool features like wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. The seating is particularly comfortable and spacious for a subcompact, and while the ride quality could be better, it's not too harsh for the segment it competes in. The Trailblazer checks in with a great starting price that balloons quickly, but with future discounts and incentives, we see a lot to love here.

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer Comparisons

Chevrolet Blazer CarBuzz
Chevrolet Equinox Chevrolet

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs Chevrolet Blazer

The new Chevy Trailblazer slots in well below the Blazer, and costs a lot less. The Blazer is a much larger and more attractive crossover in comparison, so the heavier price tag may just be worth it. Chevy sticks to its guns and offers a lackluster 2.5-liter engine for the Blazer, but the available 227-hp 2.0-liter turbo and 308-hp V6 do their part to make up for it. The Trailblazer doesn't even provide an engine that produces more than 155 hp, so if power is a primary concern, the Blazer is the way to go. The Blazer also has a better interior which is probably attributed to its larger price tag and offers more space, both in terms of passengers and cargo. Notably, the Blazer's fuel economy figures are nowhere near as impressive as its smaller, three-cylinder relative. The Blazer is the better choice for those who value true power and some extra luxury in terms of comfort and standard features. But if you don't need all the space, ability, and additional kit, the Trailblazer packs in enough of the necessities and niceties to make how much (or how little) you pay for it, entirely worth it.

See Chevrolet Blazer Review

2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer vs Chevrolet Equinox

The Trailblazer manages to be substantially cheaper than the Equinox by about $4,000, though you wouldn't assume that based on appearances alone. The Equinox has just been restyled for 2022 and is larger, classified as a compact SUV, and thus offers more space from the inside. Despite being significantly more affordable, the Trailblazer shares almost all of its safety features with Equinox. It's not difficult to be more powerful than the Trailblazer, but the Equinox only just manages it with its 170-hp 1.5-liter engine to drag the extra weight around. Last year's 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine has been dropped from the lineup. It offers more trunk space, with 29.9 cubic feet on offer in comparison to the Trailblazer's 25.3 cubes. The Trailblazer being cheaper and more frugal in terms of fuel economy might just tilt the odds in its favor, especially now that the Equinox has lost its 2.0-liter trump card.

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