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2021 Chevy Trailblazer returns respectable fuel economy

With the optional 1.3-liter inline-three engine, it rivals competing crossovers from Honda and Toyota.

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Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2021 Chevy Trailblazer
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2021 Chevy Trailblazer

The Trailblazer RS will come standard with a two-tone color scheme.

Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Trailblazer is set for a return this spring, but it's not the Trailblazer you remember. While the Trailblazer of yore was a big, body-on-frame SUV, the reborn Trailblazer returns as a small crossover to slot between the and .

Oh, and it features three-cylinder engines exclusively. We now know just how frugal one of the tiny inline-three engines will be after the EPA published fuel economy estimates this week for the optional 1.3-liter unit. Drum roll please: The 2021 Trailblazer will return 26 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. Those estimates are actually slightly lower than competing vehicles.

Of note, the estimates for this Trailblazer are for the all-wheel-drive model, and we know Chevy will fit the small crossover with a 1.2-liter inline-three as standard equipment. With the even smaller engine and front-wheel drive, those numbers will surely improve. But, right now, rival crossovers from , Toyota and Kia have a slight edge.

2021 Chevy Trailblazer is a tiny-tough SUV

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The Honda HR-V is the most direct comparison since it also offers AWD. The EPA estimates it'll return one mpg better across the board with a larger, inline-four engine at 27, 31, 29 mpg. Toyota's C-HR doesn't offer AWD, but it returns identical estimates to the HR-V.

Another newcomer, the Kia Seltos, also matches the Honda and Toyota's estimates with AWD and the 2.0-liter inline-four engine. The Seltos, however, also offers a zippier 1.6-liter turbo-four engine, which sees fuel economy estimates drop to 25, 30, 27 mpg. Front-wheel drive is standard on Kia's little ute too, which improves fuel economy estimates.

What the Trailblazer's 1.3-liter engine does provide is more power over the standard 1.2-liter engine. Assuming the power figures are identical to its cousin, the Buick Encore GX, drivers will have 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque on tap. The smaller engine produces 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque.

We'll learn more about the base engine, its fuel economy estimates and a full pricing breakdown as we approach the Trailblazer's launch this spring.

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Watch this: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer: Another small crossover is joining Chevy's lineup