Good standard safety and infotainment tech
Roomy for its size
Jittery ride on rough roads
So-so performance from both engines
Cruise control isn’t standard
Tow package, roof rack, and heated steering wheel are new options
and electronic climate control are now standard
Price: The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer has a starting MSRP of $21,600 for the LS FWD model. Pricing tops out at the Activ AWD and RS AWD models, which both start at $27,200.
The Chevrolet Trailblazer name is back in the form of a subcompact crossover SUV. As the entry-level model of the expansive Chevrolet SUV lineup, it’s the most affordable of the bunch. The Trailblazer is a strong value choice in its segment with a low starting price, good fuel economy, and some good standard features like an intuitive and modern infotainment system. A few of its top competitors include the Mazda
CX-30 and Kia
Seltos, which are similar in size, feature content, and pricing.
The Chevy Trailblazer is pretty roomy for a subcompact crossover, making it a good choice if you want true SUV versatility in a small and affordable package. Some SUVs in this class have cramped back seats, but the Trailblazer has an adult-friendly second row of seats. This Chevy’s downsides are a jittery ride when the roads are rough, and pretty underwhelming performance from both available engines.
2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer pricing
The starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer is $21,600 for the base LS FWD model. Moving up the model range, the LT model starts at $23,800, and the RS and Activ trims both start at $25,700.
If you want all-wheel drive, it’s a $1,500 upgrade for the Activ and RS trims. For LS and LT, AWD is an extra $2,000.
A destination charge of $1,195 applies to all Trailblazer models.
The 2023 Trailblazer in Nitro Yellow.
Driving the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer
The Chevy Trailblazer is a pleasant SUV to drive around town and on the highway, as long as the road conditions are good. However, when the road gets rough, the ride can get a little bumpy. This is especially true if you get the RS model with the big 18-inch wheels.
The base engine is good enough for getting around town, but it tends to run out of breath after it eventually gets up to highway speeds. If you want a little extra muscle, upgrade to the 1.3-liter turbo engine. This is a gutsier unit than the base engine, but still gives the Trailblazer only middling performance.
Trailblazer models equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) come with three drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Snow. They’re all pretty self-explanatory. Normal is suitable for everyday driving, Sport livens things up a bit, and Snow mode is good for, well, driving in the snow. The drive modes adjust things like throttle mapping, which wheels get more power, and shift points to change your driving experience to suit the road conditions.
The underwhelming performance of the Chevy Trailblazer is forgivable since the subcompact SUV segment generally isn’t known for rip-roaring performance. If you’re looking for a small SUV that’s fun to drive, consider the more engaging Mazda
CX-30 or a turbocharged variant of the Hyundai
The interior of the Trailblazer is pretty roomy for a subcompact SUV. The back seats have enough legroom to accommodate adults, and the cargo area is decently big, too. The maximum cargo space with the rear seats folded down is 54.4 cubic feet.
The interior design of the Trailblazer is straightforward but doesn’t look boring inside. It will be a breath of fresh air if you prefer a traditional shifter rather than buttons or a knob. The controls are laid out nicely and are easy for the driver to reach. The steering wheel has nice grips without being too chunky.
As for the quality of the interior materials, it depends on which trim you choose. If you get one of the lower trims, you’re going to find some pretty basic materials inside, like cloth upholstery and hard plastics. On the other hand, if you go into one of the higher trims, you’ll have some nicer leatherette seats and more soft-touch materials.
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The exterior design is a strong suit of the Chevrolet Trailblazer. Taking some cues from the bigger Blazer, it looks decidedly sportier than most of its rivals. We like the unique light signature and the crisp, angular lines throughout the body. In addition, a 2-tone roof is available if you want to add some extra personality to the Trailblazer. The 2-tone roof is becoming a popular option in this segment, and you can find it on other small SUVs like the Nissan
Kicks and Hyundai Venue.
The 2023 Trailblazer has the 2-tone roof option.
The look of the Trailblazer can change a bit depending on which trim you choose. For example, the Activ model has an off-road attitude with distinct fascias and a functional skid plate. The RS trim takes a page from the Camaro’s book by adding a sporty appearance package inside and out, but don’t get too excited. It has no mechanical upgrades over the other Trailblazer models with the same 1.3-liter engine.
Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Wireless Android Auto and Apple
CarPlay come standard on every Chevy Trailblazer. That makes it easy to connect your phone to the infotainment system without taking it out of your pocket or purse.
Sporty RS trim
The Trailblazer RS adds a sporty look to this already stylish SUV. It has black exterior accents, distinct 18-inch wheels, and 2-tone cloth/faux leather seats.
The base LS FWD trim of the Chevy Trailblazer comes pretty well-appointed with standard safety and infotainment technology. Every Trailblazer comes with the Chevy Safety Assist system, which bundles automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, a following distance indicator, forward-collision alert, and automatic high beams. The standard infotainment system is a 7-inch screen with a backup camera, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Other standard features include electronic air conditioning, a USB-A port, a USB-C port, a compass display, 40/60 split-folding back seats, a tilt/telescoping steering column, and Teen Driver mode.
One feature that oddly does not come standard on the base trim is cruise control. If you want cruise control on the LS trim, you’ll have to add the Driver Confidence and Cruise Package ($495).
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Upgrading to the midrange LT trim adds some nice creature comforts to the Trailblazer. A few features that become standard on LT include cruise control, push-button start, remote start, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, front fog lights, tinted rear windows, and heated, power-adjustable mirrors.
The Activ and RS models are priced the same and have similar equipment, with a few key differences. The Activ model is more off-road-oriented, and the RS trim has a sportier look. Some standard options on both of these top trims include a rear center armrest, a defroster system, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-exit exhaust, LED taillights, and trailering provisions.
Some standard features on the Activ model include a functional skid plate, off-road-tuned suspension, sport terrain tires, and distinct front and rear fascias. The RS has more of a sporty appearance package with 18-inch wheels and black exterior trim, including black Chevy bow tie emblems.
A few option packages are available throughout the model range, allowing you to pick and choose which features you’d like while keeping the pricing pretty reasonable. For example, the LT trim is available with a Premium Seating Package ($995) that adds a leatherette interior and a heated steering wheel. Also available on LT is an Adaptive Cruise Control package ($770) that adds an enhanced driver information center and a heated steering wheel on top of adaptive cruise.
The LT, Activ, and RS trims have a Convenience Package ($520) available that adds automatic climate control, an 8-inch infotainment system, more USB ports, and an auto-dimming mirror. There’s also a Driver Confidence Package ($345) available on these trims that adds lane-change alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.
Available on the RS and Activ trims is a Technology Package ($1,620) that adds some excellent features. These include the upgraded infotainment system with HD Radio and Bose premium audio, wireless device charging, adaptive cruise control, an HD backup camera, and LED headlights.
The base 1.2-liter engine is standard on the FWD LS and LT trims. The upgraded 1.3-liter engine is optional on the LT FWD model, and it’s standard on all AWD models and all Activ and RS models.
Engine and transmission
There are two engines available under the hood of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, both turbocharged inline-3 engines. The base engine is a 1.2-liter turbo-3 making 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The bigger 1.3-liter engine is slightly more efficient and brings a slight boost to performance with 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque.
There are two different automatic transmissions available for the Trailblazer. All FWD models come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while AWD models are equipped with a 9-speed automatic. Both transmissions are smooth and responsive, and they help the Trailblazer get pretty good fuel economy.
All Trailblazer models equipped with the 1.2-liter engine are front-wheel drive, while the 1.3-liter engine can be had with FWD or AWD.
1.2-liter turbocharged inline-3
137 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/31 mpg
1.3-liter turbocharged inline-3
155 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/33 mpg (FWD), 26/30 mpg (AWD)
This story originally ran on KBB.com.