The TrailBlazer model name—complete with stylized capital B mid-word—began use on a midsize Chevrolet SUV in North America in the early 2000s before becoming the Traverse at the end of the decade. The Trailblazer name (no big B) was then used in the Asian market before it returned to North America in 2021 as the designation of a much smaller crossover. Today the Trailblazer is the largest of three subcompact SUVs that Chevy sells, which includes the Trax and electric Bolt EUV.
Like its larger compact cousin, the Blazer, the subcompact Chevy Trailblazer boasts handsome looks. Its exterior styling has lots of character and it has the stance of a small bulldog. We also appreciate the Trailblazer's spacious interior and available AWD. Although it isn't the quickest small crossover on the market, the Trailblazer never felt slow around town.
We were less impressed by the Trailblazer's handling, which lacked poise and precision. Interior plastics felt cheap and it's odd that features like navigation and multi-zone climate control are not offered. Compared to others in the segment, the Trailblazer can get pricey when it's fully loaded, which becomes a tough sell when the competition is oftentimes equipped with more.
When configured in FWD form, the base-model Trailblazer LS and next trim level up, the Trailblazer LT, get a standard 137-hp 1.2-liter turbocharged inline-three. The upgrade is the 155-hp 1.3-liter turbo-three, which is standard on the Trailblazer Activ and RS FWD and every AWD trim. The engine is also available for the LT FWD. All FWD models employ a CVT, while AWD ones use a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy compares favorably to the FWD-only 2022 Kia Soul. While neither of its engines are as small as the Trailblazer's, the Soul's less powerful 2.0-liter I-4 is good for 28-29/33-35 mpg. In comparison, the Trailblazer FWD with the 1.2-liter engine is rated at 29/31 mpg city/highway and with the 1.3-liter unit at 29/33 mpg. Unexpectedly, the larger Trailblazer engine gets the best fuel economy. Trailblazer AWD models are rated at 26/30 mpg city/highway.
At the high end of the 2022 Trailblazer's trim range are the Activ and RS models. Both are meant to appeal to different small SUV buyers, but they have features that overlap, like the larger 1.3-liter turbo-four engine, black roof rails, exterior two-tone color schemes, and LED taillights. They're also both equipped with leather wrapped steering wheels and shift knobs but the sporty Trailblazer RS differs with a flat-bottom steering wheel and an RS logo on its shift knob.
Like the Blazer RS and others, the Trailblazer RS conveys athleticism via black Chevy bowtie badges, a distinct mesh grille, and dual exhaust outlets with chrome tips. The Trailblazer Activ distinguishes itself with off-road features such as chrome-plated front and rear fascia and trim-specific shock tuning to provide ride comfort on gravel terrain.
The 2022 Trailblazer's FWD and AWD models received five-star overall safety ratings from the NHTSA, the administration's highest grade. The IIHS has yet to publish ratings for the current subcompact crossover version of the Trailblazer and has ratings for only the larger SUV from the 2000s, which is related only in name to the current version.
Every Trailblazer comes equipped with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring, and rear parking sensors are available for all trim levels and adaptive cruise control is available on the Trailblazer LT, Activ, and RS trims.
The Trailblazer and 2021 Honda HR-V are close in interior space. For more space, the Trailblazer is equipped with a fold-flat front passenger seat that offers room for objects up to 8.5-feet-long when the rear seat is folded.
Cargo space (behind first/second rows):
2022 Trailblazer: 54.4/25.3 cubic feet
2021 HR-V FWD: 58.8/24.3 cubic feet
Legroom (first/second rows):
2022 Trailblazer: 40.9/39.4 inches
2021 HR-V: 41.2/39.3 inches
All 2022 Trailblazers come standard with automatic headlights and an infotainment system that includes six speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen. An 8.0-inch touchscreen is available on the Trailblazer LT and up, and active noise cancellation is available on AWD models.
The Trailblazer LT features heated front seats, keyless entry, and remote start. LED fog lights are also standard on the LT, and a hands-free powered liftgate is available. The Trailblazer Activ receives LED taillights, a heated steering wheel, and an available seven-speaker Bose premium sound system. The range-topping Trailblazer RS is outfitted with a 10-way power adjustable driver seat.
The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer is available with four trims this year: LS, LT, Activ, and RS. We would skip the off-road-lite Activ and "sporty" RS and opt for the Trailblazer LT (one level above the base model LS). We'd get AWD, which automatically includes the larger 1.3-liter turbo-four engine, and then check off the $345 Driver Confidence package for blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic monitoring and $770 adaptive cruise control package.
The Trailblazer LT AWD stickers for $26,995 before adding the packages. The Trailblazer LT also has options to upsize the infotainment touchscreen (Convenience package, $520), switch to leatherette seating upholstery (Premium Seating package, $995), and add a hands-free powered liftgate (Sun and Liftgate package, $1,770).
|$0||0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR program that is good towards the purchase of select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||3.49% Financing for a maximum term of 84 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR program that is good towards the purchase of select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 60 Months - GM announces a GM Financial APR program that is good towards the purchase of select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||2.99% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60, 72 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models.||01-31-2022|
|$0||3.24% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - GM announces APR rates on select models.||01-31-2022|