The Chevy Trailblazer is available in two engine choices: a base 1.2L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 137 horsepower and 162 lb-feet of torque. It comes paired exclusively with a CVT transmission and is available in front-wheel-drive only. The larger 1.3L engine makes a heftier 155 horsepower and 172 lb. feet of torque offers optional all-wheel-drive and comes standard with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The Trailblazer is available in 5 trim levels: L, LS, LT, ACTIV and RS. An impressive standard feature list includes a 7-inch infotainment system, 3 selectable terrain drive modes, power locks and windows, 16-inch wheels, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, remote keyless entry, 3 USB ports, 4G LTE hotspot capability, steering-wheel-mounted controls and a host of standard advanced safety features.
Stepping into a LS adds availability for the larger engine and all-wheel-drive, front safety technology, a fold-flat passenger seat, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels and signature LED daytime running lights. LT further adds roof rails, foglamps, heated seats and remote start capability.
ACTIV trimmed Trailblazers add equipment better-suited for rough roads including heavy duty suspension components, a dual exhaust setup, unique exterior styling and 17-inch wheels with Hankook Sport Terrain all-season tires that feature a more aggressive shoulder design over other tire models.
Lastly the RS model also features dual exhaust like the ACTIV, but adds 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with black inserts, cloth/leatherette seats with red accents and a flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in leather.
Standard safety features include forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, Intellibeam headlamps, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, rear-vision camera, rear-seat reminder and OnStar4. The Trailblazer also offers some very strong tech options that include adaptive cruise control, rear park assist, lane change alert with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and an HD rear vision camera.
Did Chevrolet really need to jam the two-row Blazer between the three-row Traverse and the smaller Equinox? Probably not. Did Chevrolet really need to wedge a third engine option between the base I4 and the upmarket V6? Probably not. But buyers shopping for a two-row crossover with ample space and power will probably be happy the automaker did, since this new-for-2020 combo feels like a winner. Mostly.
I wasn't originally sold on the idea of adding some sportiness to GM's crossover portfolio, but both on paper and in person, the Blazer works. The sharp angles up front play very well and the rear end even manages to snag a bit of the Camaro's character without overemphasizing it. Throw in a dash of ruggedness by way of the dark-gray trim around the bottom of the body and boom -- you've got one seriously good-looking SUV.
The interior, on the other hand, has a few more downs to counteract the ups. From five feet, the cabin looks great -- the angles on the dashboard are interesting and the bit of leather on the 3LT trim's dashboard adds a premium touch. The Camaro-like climate controls are always interesting, with the ring around the front vents used to set the temperature. There's a good amount of storage in the center console and while I appreciate the unique dual-level layout of the door panel cubbies, the higher trays aren't large enough to hold anything appreciable.
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