While the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer may share a name with its predecessor, the two models share almost nothing in common. Last seen in 2009, the previous generation Trailblazer was built on the GMT360 chassis—a midsize truck platform that would go on to be one of the most rebadged GM product lines in automotive history.
Used also for the GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender, the GMT360 chassis provided the ideal platform for midsize SUVs with a body-on-frame construction and rear-wheel drive based architecture.
First Generation Chevrolet Trailblazer (2002-2009)
The previous generation Trailblazer was a chameleon of sorts—available in both short and long wheelbase variants in a multitude of configurations. Rear-wheel drive was standard, but 4×4 and even full-time AWD was available on select trims.
A 4.2L I6 was the standard powertrain, but an aluminum block 5.3L V8 was introduced in 2003 as a more powerful and tow-friendly alternative. While 300-plus horsepower was certainly more than enough to make the Trailblazer a respectable performer, GM engineers didn’t stop there. They set their sights even higher in 2006, and developed the most powerful SUV the company had ever developed. The legendary Super Sport badge appeared on an SUV for the first time, and the Trailblazer SS was born.
Utilizing the Corvette’s 6.0L LS2 V8 engine, piloting the Trailblazer SS delivered a sports car-like experience with 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque on demand. Available in both RWD and AWD configurations with a 4.10 limited-slip differential, the Trailblazer SS could accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 5.4 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds.
All-New 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer
The new 2021 Trailblazer certainly isn’t the barnburner the SS was, but that was never Chevrolet’s intention. Built on the GM VSS-F platform, the new subcompact Trailblazer is a subcompact crossover slotted between the smaller Trax and compact Equinox. Featuring an overall size similar to the Buick Encore GX, the new Trailblazer comes standard in FWD configuration with AWD available on select trims.
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Interior and Exterior Styling
The Trailblazer provides seating for up to five passengers, with a generous 54.4 cubic-feet of max cargo space available for its compact size. An available flat-folding front passenger seat expands cargo capabilities even further—providing room for objects up to 8.5-feet long such as a small kayak and skis. The Trailblazer’s infotainment system exceeds expectations too, with available Wireless Apple CarPlay, Wireless Android Auto and on board Amazon Alexa.
The Trailblazer’s front fascia is bold and sporty—clearly drawing styling cues from both the Blazer and Camaro. A standard two-tone roof on ACTIV and RS trims give the Trailblazer a distinctive appearance unlike many other competing compact crossovers in the segment.
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Powertrain and Pricing
The standard powertrain is a turbocharged 1.2L four-cylinder rated at 137 horsepower, but a more powerful 1.3L engine equipped standard on ACTIV and RS trims produces 155 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. Both powertrains are extremely fuel-efficient—yielding up to 29-mpg city and 33-mpg highway in FWD 1.3L configuration.
The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts at only $19,995 after destination and delivery in FWD L trim. Higher trim levels like the AWD RS and ACTIV start at $27,995, or $26,495 in FWD configuration.