Something a little more important than heated seats.
Though nothing like the model that used to wear its nameplate, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer has already turned into a massive sales success for General Motors. Chevy now offers two crossovers in the subcompact space, the Trailblazer and the Trax, in an interesting strategy that appeals to budget and feature conscious buyers. Even the Trailblazer's packaging is unique, offering two different turbocharged three-cylinder engine options that are similar in displacement.
Buyers can opt for the base 1.2-liter three-cylinder unit or upgrade to a larger 1.3-liter mill with more power and torque. It costs $1,360 to upgrade the engine, but it looks like the price increase has not turned away buyers. According to GM Authority, the 1.3-liter engine is more popular than anticipated.
"More customers are asking for the 1.3-liter than we anticipated," said Brad Franz, senior marketing manager of Chevrolet SUVs. Chevy initially predicted that 60% of customers would opt for the more powerful 1.3-liter engine, which produces 155 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. 40% of customers were predicted to stick with the 1.2-liter producing 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. In reality, the split is closer to 70-30 in favor of the 1.3.
Franz did not explain the discrepancy, but perhaps it's related to the Trailblazer's trims. Chevy markets the Trailblazer as its more premium subcompact option, and the top two trim levels, the sporty RS and rugged Active, both exclusively come with the larger engine.
It's also worth pointing out that the 1.2-liter engine only powers the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Opting for the 1.3-liter engine is the only way to get all-wheel-drive, which also replaces the CVT with a nine-speed automatic. Though Chevy was wrong on its initial prediction, the brand can't be upset that customers are spending more money on the Trailblazer.