By on May 29, 2019

gm

Hot on the heels of its Chinese-market debut in Shanghai last month, General Motors has foisted a reborn Trailblazer on North America. Take our word for it — GMT360 afficionado Chris Tonn couldn’t be happier.

The original TrailBlazer (note the uppercase “B”) bowed out of the American market after 2009, though a Holden-badged version built on the Chevy Colorado platform appeared overseas in 2012. The unrelated Chinese model is what you see here, riding atop a new architecture that underpins the Buick Encore GX you saw earlier today.

That’s right, the 2021 Trailblazer is a small crossover that slots between the subcompact Trax and compact Equinox. GM decided upsetting Blazer purists wasn’t enough.

There’s little to tell you about this vehicle that we haven’t already stated. Rumors began to swirl after a U.S. trademark application for the Trailblazer nameplate was uncovered earlier this year. The model’s Shanghai debut, where it appeared alongside a cheaper Tracker model destined for developing markets, further ramped up speculation.

It seems the Trailblazer will not replace the Trax, despite the two being fairly close in size. Looking like a downsized Blazer, the Trailblazer arrives in early 2020, likely with nearly identical levels of interior room as its Encore GX platform mate. While Chevrolet hasn’t mentioned dimensions, the Trailblazer, like the Encore GX, boasts a slightly larger footprint than the existing subcompact crossover pair. In the Encore GX’s case, cargo volume tops the Encore’s by 5 cubic feet.

gm

Powertrains? Take a guess. Chevy could utilize the more powerful of its two turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinders, the turbo 1.5-liter found in the Equinox and Malibu, or perhaps something even larger. There will be an RS trim with a contrasting roof, Chevy claims. With models like the Trailblazer and Blazer, existing as they do between segments already occupied by bow-tied vehicles, GM will have to be careful to avoid cannibalizing sales of other models. Naturally, this will still occur, but the idea is to increase the brand’s overall light truck haul with a readily available offshore offering.

“Trailblazer is a continuation of the design language for Chevy’s crossover family and extends our momentum into one of the industry’s fastest-growing segments,” said Chevrolet brand director Laura Pacey in a statement.

Like the Encore GX, the Trailblazer will tempt buyers with a high level of standard content, at least in the safety arena. Chevy plans to offer standard front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning. Optional kit includes adaptive cruise control with camera, rear park assist, and GM’s gimmicky high-def rear-vision camera, which admittedly offers a wider view of the road behind.

Pricing will be announced closer to the model’s on-sale date.

[Images: General Motors]

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61 Comments on “The Chevrolet Blazer – er, Trailblazer – Is Back for 2021...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Yet another ugly little wart in a (growing) sea of ugly little warts…

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Ick.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    How can there possibly be room between the penalty box trax and the craptacular equinox?

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Oh, there definitely is, the Trax is embarrassingly tiny and cramped. But GM has never been known for roomy interiors, so this probably won’t end up being that much bigger.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Probably why GM sells an extended version of the Escalade. Not enough room in the regular Escalade.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Beranek

        Uh, I’ve got a Buick with a split bench and a column shifter that has acres of room. But modern interior design- with a big fat console and door trim that puffs toward you- takes up volume. CUVs exaggerate this because they’re taller but squished horizontally. The Trax looks like a freakin’ cube!

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    I can not believe how incredibly lazy GM got with these names. Resurrecting Blazer and Trailblazer and then just randomly applying them to CUVs that have clearly been rushed to market without much thought. And what a hilariously intense name for such a tiny CUV. Although I suppose the Renegade is no different in that regard.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Well, the Renegade at least has some off-road prowess and is the clear winner in that regard among its competitors. It also has styling that many people find confident.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    We laugh but they’ll likely move an s-ton of these. It looks like the Volvo compact in these pics.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “or perhaps something even larger.”

    An engine larger than 1.5L?!
    What kind of crazy talk is that?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Just think, it could be worse. All these tiny turbo engines could be non-turbo and have sub-100 horsepower. At least as they are, they can actually accelerate decently.

      The 1.5T in my friend’s ’18 Accord LX accelerates better than her previous 2.5L Altima, and shes getting 35-40 MPG. Last she said, it was averaging 38. Not bad at all, although she is a fairly conservative driver.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “although she is a fairly conservative driver”

        That’s probably the best use case for modern gasoline turbo engines. You get a decent swig of torque off idle and you can get good fuel economy just cruising around. IMO, where the current turbo options suffer (in the sub $100K area anyway) is in performance applications. That’s when the uneven power delivery, more muffled sound, and poor on-boost MPG becomes apparent.

        I’m guessing this CUV isn’t intended for people wanting to push it so the 1.5T will probably be fine.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    If GM slaps it together using cheap parts, doesn’t worry about reliability, and finances it for eight years, they might be able to sell it cheaply to people who cannot afford a Toyota. Just throwin’ it out there.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      What comparable Toyota could not be afforded at 72 or 84 months?

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        People who can’t afford (or get approved for) a Toyota buy a Mitsubishi or Nissan.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Exactly. Or a GM.

          • 0 avatar
            MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

            I think that may be Internet Lore. My credit union will give me money for anything I want, they could not care less whether it’s Toyota or Nissan or GM or Maserati. You either qualify for a car loan or you don’t.

            Pick a price point…20 Grand, 30 Grand, there’s an offering from Toyota, Nissan and Mitsu at comparable price points so if you can get a loan for say 25 Grand for a Nissan then you can get one for a Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Toyota is becoming known for building crossovers with no cargo space. At least Toyota tries to keep the price down with small brake pads, and crappy entune infotainment systems.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Any word on where this and its Buick brother are going to be built? GM has several options available.

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      C-H-I-N-A. Will he sold by the COSCO container ship load as rental fleets, then the 2nd owner buying on payments will not know the difference from China Trailblazer and Mexican Blazer. $289 per month for a one year old car for the next who gives a crap many monthly payments. “Sign me up”.

      They will be doing anything to get out of that 5 year old Altima with a shelled out Jatco CVT and 4 pungent black ice trees hanging from the mirror.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is embarrassing, every bit as bad as the Blazer.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Not sure where all the hate is coming from – I doubt it will be demonstrably worse than any of its peers.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Oh, it’s the same old, same old on this site. If it’s from GM it’s got to be bad.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Very few here seem to like its peers, either. Only the Renegade receives something akin to acceptability.

      I like my little Element, and the more off-road oriented small crossovers (like Renegade and the upcoming Bronco Scout) arent too bad in my eyes. Not really interested in this, HR-V or Ec(h)oSport.

      For what it’s worth, I hope the about-to-be-introduced Ford Puma replaces the Echosport here.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      deans…you are so correct.

      Is this little thing my cup of tea? Probably not, nor is any of the other ‘cute ute’ offerings. GM continually gets bashed around here, first they eliminated most of the cars that don’t sell, they were dumb. Then they make a reasonable attempt to quickly get some offerings to the dealers that the masses are buying, small cross-overs, they are dumb.

      I had two Equinox as company cars, put close to 150k total on them. Perfectly fine CUV, only had one issue between the two. I currently own 4 GM now and other than the one that is 61 years old, I rarely have issues with them. Yet, Honda extends the warranty last week on all CRV and Civic models with the 1.5L and no one around here says a word.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    A Trailblazer apparently inspired by a Hyundai Santa Fe – ughh

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Thank you to GM for integrating the screen and not being lazy and just gluing it on like other recently revealed mommy mobiles.

  • avatar
    EGSE

    Is GM buying overstock Lexus grilles on ebay?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    We briefly looked at a Trax and a Renegade a couple of years back. I could never get my wife to commit to either one, so we never pulled the trigger. The Trax really was cramped, and while the Renegade was roomier, it was also pricier.

    Only seeing the pix, I really can’t judge how big this car is, but if it fits between the Trax and ‘Nox this might be the Goldilocks solution. I’d like to see one in person and drive it to determine if it might work for us.

  • avatar
    mcs

    This is for the Blazer, but still applies:

    youtube.com/watch?v=o7NLVDBUBBY

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    So this “Trailblazer’s” a smaller and boxier version of the vehicle purists consider an abomination. At least it’s decent looking; at least in those two pictures and at that trim level. Just expect lower/mid trims to look really cheap and skimp on much needed features because it’s a Chevy thing; and if it follows the Blazer’s example, the Premier and RS will be overpriced vs the competition.

    Also, GM could’ve made this trucklet at Lordstown if Barra and Company cared.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I would rather have seen this called the Tracker, and a new version of the overseas BOF TrailBlazer introduced here to compete with Wrangler, Bronco and 4Runner. Oh well.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    This thing is NOT a Blazer nor a TrailBlazer. It carries the name but not the capabilities. Just another mistake by GM and Chevrolet.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    I WANT ONE !!!!!!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So Trax, Trailblazer, Equinox, Blazer, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban

    Encore, Encore GX, Envision, Enclave

    Those of you who have said that the Malibu and Regal are dead at the end of their product cycle, now I agree with you.

  • avatar

    Is the interior rubbish?

  • avatar
    Eric

    Poor choice of name but I can definitely see a spot for it.

    They are matching the Jeep lineup. Cherokee vs equinox for the compact suv. Trax vs renegade for subcompact cheapest suv with polarizing styling.

    Jeep has the compass which is a stretched renegade with a larger engine and a traditional look borrowed from the Grand Cherokee. The Trailblazer is just matching that. Stretched trax and a more standard blazer look. Plus most subcompact suvs have no cargo space. The strecth helps. This will be a popular family hauler to Walmart/Costco and never go off road.

    The question is will their be Buick and GMC badged versions of the Trailblazer? Encore GX is probably not sexy enough to sell here.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Anyone recall the Trailblazer SS, Corvette powered?
    I suppose this one won’t offer a version of that……

  • avatar
    scott25

    I’d hope that with the launch of this and the GX the old Trax and Encore will be reduced to bargain basement pricing (like they deserve), but given GM’s “ambitious” pricing recently I doubt it.


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