By on March 16, 2020

gm

The unexpected and potentially under-cylindered 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a vehicle you would have read about in these digital pages, had the pandemic not scrubbed a first drive event scheduled for late last week. For sure, yours truly was quite curious to see how well the model’s brace of boosted three-cylinders hauled around the tweener crossover’s modest bulk.

Alas, drive impressions are off the table as we deal with this virus thing. We’ve told you the specs already, given you a taste of what to expect from the not-quite-compact CUV and its Buick Encore GX sibling, and even revealed the EPA ratings of the latter model.

Now it’s time to hit the trail(blazer).

What’s the point, you say — same platform, same powertrains. Consumption should be the same, right? Not exactly. The EPA has revealed the gas mileage of one Trailblazer variant: the loaded, 1.3-liter, all-wheel drive version. That model puts its muscle down via a nine-speed automatic.

Power amounts to 155 horses and 174 lb-ft of torque and, in Buick form, this exact package garners an EPA rating of 26 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.

The donning of a bowtie badge brings a pleasant surprise for Chevy fans, as, while the city and combined ratings stay the same, highway fuel consumption rises by a single MPG, or 30 mpg even. It’s likely just a fraction of an MPG, given the usual rounding up and down of efficiency figures. Regardless, “30 mpg”, like beverage calories, is something you can highlight prominently on billboards and in marketing materials.

As for the front-drive 1.3L model and FWD-only 1.2L Trailblazer models (there’s 137 hp and 166 lb-ft on tap from the smaller of the two mills, btw), their exact thirst remains unknown. The EPA cites figures of 30 city/32 highway/31 combined for the AWD/1.3L Encore GX and 26/30/28 for the 1.2L version. Could the Trailblazer top both of these highway numbers? We’ll know soon enough.

Pricing should follow shortly, with GM claiming the base Trailblazer will fall below the $20k marker.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

46 Comments on “Chevrolet Trailblazer Seeps Into EPA’s MPG Listings...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Didn’t GM have non-clown sized CUVs 10 years ago getting 30MPG from a NA 2.4L?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Hamster drive clown cars from General Circus Motors, Mary Barra, Ringmaster

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I was getting 30-32mpg in my 4cyl 2002 Saturn Vue 5-speed. It’s as much in how you drive as in the engine/tranny combo.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      In theory, the last-gen Equinox/Terrain could hit 30mpg, although in practice it required quite a bit of discipline (I saw similar fuel economy to a 5.3L Silverado unless there was hours of sub-70 MPH driving). That said, hasn’t the testing been revised at some point in the past decade?

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I saw one of these on the road in Detroit area last week and did a double take. Had no idea what it was. Thought to myself, that is to small to be a Blazer, without catching the naming distinction. Not bad looking at all, but pretty tough to get excited about after hearing the choice of mills. Not that I would be excited if they offered this with a V6. These will probably option out in the high $30’s.

    It is a shame that the greatest feat the crossover segment has been able to accomplish is how to give the consumers less while simultaneously charging them more. I would say the same about trucks, but that seems to be a little different in that “give them more (of everything) and charge them WAY more”.

    In any event, it is all disproportionate to the value propositions we are used to with the sedan segment. The MSRP’s of new crossover’s and trucks seem to have no bearing on the actual cost of producing a vehicle anymore, just on how much they can get out of the consumer for “bigger”, “taller”, “four-wheel-drivier”, “black plastic claddier”.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    waste of time

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Looks only a mother could love and a fuel economy “benefit” that only slightly favors this over my CX-5. I fail to see the business case. It can’t be that much shorter, or people with legs couldn’t fit.

  • avatar
    Rnaboz

    1988 Subaru Justy 29#/hp =40mpg
    2021 Chevy Trailblazer 27#/hp=30mpg

    Both used 3 cylinders of Meh

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The next big thing at your neighbourhood GM dealer, the Flintstone footmobile. Yabba dabba doo!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Just as with the compact vs. subcompact car segments back in the day, it’s been clear for a while that the compact CUV segment as a whole is a quantum leap ahead of the subcompact one. The only reason to have cars of this class on the lot is for the buyer who can’t swing the payment on something in the Equinox class.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Seriously, if fuel efficiency is a priority, buyers should just look at the Escape, CRV, and RAV4 hybrids.
    My 2020 RAV 4 overall in 5000 miles of driving, much of it in very demanding conditions: -15 to +30 temps, high speeds, steep grades, and snowpacked loose surface conditions, stands at 39.6mpg.
    I wonder if either Trailblazer powertrain will get to 60 in 7.6 seconds like the RAV hv? Certainly with start-stop motors, turbos lag, and geared trannies, their powertrains will not have the seamless electric motor throttle response the three hybrids mentioned here have.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      While that might be all well and good for you, ttacgreg, I wouldn’t have another Ford if they gave it to me and I just happen to not like either the CRV or the RAV4, hybrid or not. Oh, I know most RAV4 andCRV owners like them but to me they are simply too generic and have no personality. And I’m quite certain that mileage of 39.6 is highway mileage, not everyday mileage… That is, unless you drive on the freeway no less than 90% of your daily drive. And those “seamless electric motor throttle responses” of the ones you list are still limited by the output power of the even smaller engines they’re likely to carry than the Trailblazer, assuming, that is, they’re all electric drive exclusively and carry a very tiny battery to give them that quick response. Remember how the first Chevy Volt had a tendency to lose significant power if the battery ever ran down in it, even though it was almost exclusively electric drive (the mechanical drive was an emergency backup, meaning it ran more off of the generator/battery than it did mechanical gearing.)

      For my money, I would much rather have a BEV with half the acceleration time to speed than what you boast and never have to visit a gas station again.

      • 0 avatar
        ahintofpepperjack

        Almost everything you said is wrong.

        “And I’m quite certain that mileage of 39.6 is highway mileage, not everyday mileage… That is, unless you drive on the freeway no less than 90% of your daily drive.”

        The Rav4 Hybrid is rated 41 city 38 highway. So 39.6 is absolutely everyday mileage.

        “those “seamless electric motor throttle responses” of the ones you list are still limited by the output power of the even smaller engines they’re likely to carry than the Trailblazer”

        The Rav4 Hybrid has a 2.5L naturally aspirated engine, which is over a liter bigger than the biggest engine you can get in the trailblazer.

        “Remember how the first Chevy Volt had a tendency to lose significant power if the battery ever ran down in it”

        I’m not sure why you’re comparing the current generation of Toyota Hybrids with a 10 year old GM design, but this is not and never has been a concern with Toyota’s Hybrid system.

        The fact is the Rav4 Hybrid will still be on the road in 10 years, and the trailblazer will be in the junk yard.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Hybrids are most efficient at less than highway speeds. Read it again: “5000 miles of driving, much of it in very demanding conditions: -15 to +30 temps, high speeds, steep grades, and snowpacked loose surface conditions, stands at 39.6mpg.” I commuted over i-70 Vail pass daily January and February.
        In less demanding conditions the mpgs are better. one recent tank came in at 47.1.
        As far as the battery running out and resulting in power drop, that has never happened to me. Alex on autos has a RAV4 hv towing test video, the powertrain battery never lost usable charge even climbing a pass.

        https://www.alexonautos.com/?s=rav4+tow

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    This 1.3 liter triple puts out more HP and torque than the small-block 350/2bbl V8 did in my ’74 Chevrolet.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Thinking about it, in the current market, (or at least pre COVID19 market) CUVs are so in demand that GM doesn’t have to worry about making a polished competent product. It’s a CUV, people will buy them in any case.

  • avatar

    Three cylinders ? I can’t even….

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am waiting for the yet smaller version of this with a turbo 2 cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine I am sure they could sell that for a base price of $19,999 and for an extra 1k offer a 3 blade mowing deck.

  • avatar
    deanst

    When a CRV is too powerful and doesn’t burn enough gas, I guess you look at this thing……..

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Haters gonna hate. Fine, you don’t like it , don’t buy it. But for many people this is a good choice. I sat in it at the car show and it was pretty damn nice. For people that are looking for something shorter that live in the city and still want a hatch with some cargo versatility it’s a good choice. I don’t understand why everyone on this site has to crap on everything that isn’t to their taste.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    More bland garbage from the volume leader for Witch Barra Motors.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    You might want to get over your love of the Rav4 and look at it more objectively.

    “The Rav4 Hybrid is rated 41 city 38 highway. So 39.6 is absolutely everyday mileage.”
    My Chevy Colorado is rated at 19 city and 24 highway. I achieve 17.5 city and 27 highway. Granted the hybrid does much better in the city than a non-hybrid but I’ve also noted that most hybrids don’t achieve their highway ratings unless you are a VERY conservative driver. Also, having driven one, I find that they are relatively sluggish in everyday driving unless you really try to drive with some ‘enthusiasm’, which still hurts their economy as that underpowered NA engine has to work harder just to meet the energy demand. More on that in a moment.

    “The Rav4 Hybrid has a 2.5L naturally aspirated engine, which is over a liter bigger than the biggest engine you can get in the trailblazer.”
    — But has less horsepower, which validates my statement as the Chevy Volt absolutely demonstrated 10 years ago.
    Note: Again I point out that this Trailblazer isn’t getting any better economy than a 2002 Saturn Vue carrying the Opel 2.4L four-banger. Note also that this Trailblazer also has about 20hp more as well as higher torque than said Saturn in a smaller and lighter body. Your NA 2.0 liter engine is little, if any, stronger than that Saturn’s, meaning the turbocharging overcomes the power limitations of a normally-aspirated engine.

    “I’m not sure why you’re comparing the current generation of Toyota Hybrids with a 10 year old GM design, but this is not and never has been a concern with Toyota’s Hybrid system.”
    — I’ve driven the Toyota Hybrid system many times. One of my best clients owned a Toyota hybrid and I will acknowledge that he was quite impressed with its in-town economy. However, on longer trips the vehicle never achieved its rated highway economy, to the point that they stopped trying and drove his wife’s Kia Sonoma on longer trips because it achieved significantly better economy than the Toyota over the highway.

    As for the Rav4 Hybrid still on the road in 10 years? Perhaps. But that 10-year-old Trailblazer will be right there beside it, even if not in similar numbers. (I really doubt its sales will ever match the Toyota’s.) On the other hand, I also expect that BEVs will be on the verge of matching, if not out-numbering ICEV and Hybrid sales by then.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      “2002 Saturn Vue carrying the Opel 2.4L four…”

      The 4 cylinder was standard GM ecotec fare. It was the 3.0 V6 that was from Opel. We had an AWD 02 with the 3.0…and it got around 15 mpg and required removal of the intake manifold to change the failure proned thermostat. The interior was disentigrating by 06, 2 windows no longer worked and the blower only worked sometimes. ECU failed in it too. Terrible vehicle and I was a freaking Saturn apostle up to that point.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The 2.4 Ecotec was an Opel engine… the data was on my window sticker and in my owner’s manual I also had a two-stage clutch in it because I custom-ordered the vehicle from the factory.

        Interestingly enough, NONE of the equipment failed on my ’02 in a full ten years of ownership and over 130,000 miles. The clutch plates finally had to be replaced at 140,000 miles and the ECU didn’t fail until about two years after that.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Ecotec_engine

          Im sure it found its way into some Opels as they were a division of General Motors, but It was not an Opel designed motor, unlike the 3.0 v6. That was an opel motor that was also used in the Cadillac Catera and the Vue. It was a larger version of the same 2.2 Ecotec that you could get at that same Saturn dealer in an Ion at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Art Vandelay: The V6 in the Vue, as well as the transaxle attached, were Honda powertrains and the vast majority of owners claimed that V6 was worthless… trouble all the time.

            And thank you for confirming that it was an Opel motor–admittedly a GM engine, that was the 4-banger in the Vue. The first-year models had their issues since it was intended first to carry a CVT not a gearbox but I have to say that the 4-banger was a solid engine–unlike the V6.

  • avatar
    Schurkey

    I have a 2003 Trailblazer. Love it. Does everything we want. Getting long in the tooth, though. I wish I could buy another brand-new 2003 Trailblazer, but with the LS V8 instead of the 4.2L six. (As sixes go, the Atlas is a good one; I’d just prefer a 5.3 or perhaps 6.0 LS.)

    The 2021 Trailblazer is a piece of shit. How can GM expect to sell the thing? Looks like a fishmouth Lexus. Hateful. Three cylinders? I don’t buy vehicles with four-poppers. I don’t buy MOTORCYCLES with fewer than four cylinders. The best vehicles have more than one engine cylinder for every road wheel.

    I guess the ’03 is gonna have to soldier on for a few more years.

    God bless full-frame construction, 4WD, and V-8s.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dwford: Direct sales would mean a lack of price competition within the brand, and therefore higher prices. The...
  • Superdessucke: Yes, and public transit infrastructure in major cities. It’s crumbling in most of our major...
  • PeriSoft: [Porsche] We replaced the door handle with a rope to save weight! [Moretti] Hold my beer.
  • Rick T.: I continue, as an old fogey, to be shocked at how many young people are talking from the phone when they...
  • ajla: I’ve read many “insider” things over the years saying that direct sales would not be a net...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber