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2021 Chevy Trailblazer: A new SUV with an old name?


What do you do when a vehicle changes so much that you’re not quite sure it should keep its name? You take it for a test drive like publisher Tim Esterdahl did with the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. While many old favorites have seen reboots lately, most of them have gone bigger and bolder than their old namesakes. The Trailblazer did the opposite.

Reborn as a small compact SUV, this cute entry-level vehicle is priced just right and is more stylish than the Trax, which was Chevy’s last attempt at a budget friendly starter car.

Sittin’ pretty

The Trailblazer doesn’t look like a budget car. It has class with its sleek front end, gold bowtie, fog lamps, wraparound taillamps, black cladding and dual chrome exhaust. The keyless entry makes it feel like a grown-up car and the roof rails and all-weather floormats included with the ACTIV trim level are ready for a little weekend adventure.

Plus, did you know the ACTIV trim includes a functional skid plate? That’s right, this little compact SUV can leave the pavement and get you to some out-of-the-way places.

The model Esterdahl drove has a deep coffee brown interior with some chrome accents. The seats are heated, and the cupholders roomy enough for a big gulp cup.

2021 Chevy Trailblazer – technology for today

Chevy knows this car’s price tag and sporty appearance are going to attract a young crowd so they’ve loaded it with USB-A, USB-C and wireless charging options as well as Bluetooth connectivity. And while the 7-inch infotainment screen seems a little small by today’s standards, it fits well beneath the unique air vents and looks pretty cool.

The ACTIV trim level is all-wheel drive, but the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer is also available as a front-wheel-drive SUV with a couple of different engine and transmission options, which Esterdahl outlines in his video.

Under the hood of the 2021 Trailblazer

The Trailblazer has a 1.3-liter turbo engine and 9-speed transmission. While 154 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque don’t sound like much, they are plenty for a compact SUV and will help contribute to great fuel economy.

Under the hood, everything is easy to reach making fluid checks and refills a breeze.

A Trailblazer for every budget

There are a lot of trim levels to choose from as well as different engine and transmission options. Tim goes over some of these in his video, but you should know that the base model starts at just $19k. Things go up from there, of course, but you’re sure to find a good match somewhere in here: L, LS, LT, ACTIV and RS.

What do you think? Is the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer a good car for the price?


Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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