Now You Know the Rest of the Chevrolet Trailblazer Fuel Economy Story

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

We can’t tell you how the Chevrolet Trailblazer, reborn as a vastly different vehicle for 2021, drives (thanks to a first drive program scuttled at the 11th hour by coronavirus), but at least we can tell you what to expect at the pump.

As the model starts quietly trickling onto dealer lots at a time when most Americans are scared to leave the house, the Environmental Protection Agency has gotten around to testing the model’s full range. Two three-cylinder engines and two transmissions are on tap. Let’s take a look.

As we told you earlier this month, the loaded Trailblazer (1.3-liter turbo three, nine-speed automatic, all-wheel drive) garnered an EPA rating of 28 mpg combined and 30 mpg on the highway. Less than jaw-dropping, some would say, but the loaded Trailblazer’s curb weight is believed to land somewhere around 3,400 pounds, despite slotting between the subcompact and compact class.

A four-cylinder Nissan Kicks tips the scales at less than 2,700 lbs and, with less horsepower on tap, manages 33 mpg combined.

But what about those other Trailblazer configurations, you ask? Right. According to the EPA, the base 1.2-liter Trailblazer (137 horses, 162 lb-ft of torque) — a beast only available with front-drive and a continuously variable transmission — improves on the top-flight model’s gas mileage, but only by a bit. Fuel economy is 28 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.

If the larger engine’s output (155 hp, 174 lb-ft) appeals to you, but AWD seems needlessly expensive or pointless for your region, that CVT can also be found in a front-drive 1.3L variant. There, the unit’s thriftiness combines with a lower curb weight and reduced driveline loss for an EPA rating of 29 city/33 highway/31 combined.

While those figures are less than that of the featherweight Kicks, they’re almost on par with the sub-subcompact Hyundai Venue, which rates a 32 mpg combined figure when equipped with a CVT. The thriftiest Trailblazer’s fuel economy also matches that of the most efficient 2021 Kia Seltos.

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Apr 02, 2020

    So, aside from the dubious styling and frantic and over matched 3 cyl engines, a CVT developed by GM ???? Like the one co developed with Fiat for Saturn ? No thanks.

  • Amca Amca on Apr 02, 2020

    A quick note: The EPA doesn't actually do the mileage testing. Manufacturers do it themselves, and submit the results to EPA with the threat of fines (and reputation damage and lawsuits) if the automakers engage in monkey business.

  • Stephen My "mid-level" limited edition Tonino Lambo Ferraccio Junior watch has performed flawlessly with attractive understated style for nearly 20 years. Their cars are not so much to my taste-- my Acura NSX is just fine. Not sure why you have such condescension towards these excellent timepieces. They are attractive without unnecessary flamboyance, keep perfect time and are extremely reliable. They are also very reasonably priced.
  • Dana You don’t need park, you set auto hold (button on the console). Every BMW answers to ‘Hey, BMW’, but you can set your own personal wake word in iDrive. It takes less than 5 minutes to figure that that out, btw. The audio stays on which is handy for Teams meetings. Once your phone is out of range, the audio is stopped on the car. You can always press down on the audio volume wheel which will mute it, if it bothers you. I found all the controls very intuitive.
  • ToolGuy Not sure if I've ever said this, or if you were listening:• Learn to drive, people.Also, learn which vehicles to take home with you and which ones to walk away from. You are an adult now, think for yourself. (Those ads are lying to you. Your friendly neighborhood automotive dealer, also lying to you. Politicians? Lying to you. Oh yeah, learn how to vote lol.)Addendum for the weak-minded who think I am advocating some 'driver training' program: Learning is not something you do in school once for all time. Learning how to drive is not something that someone does for you. It is a continuous process driven by YOU. Learn how to learn how to drive, and learn to drive. Keep on learning how to drive. (You -- over there -- especially you, you kind of suck at driving. LOL.)Example: Do you know where your tires are? When you are 4 hours into a 6 hour interstate journey and change lanes, do you run over the raised center line retroreflective bumpers, or do you steer between them?
  • Mike Bradley Advertising, movies and TV, manufacturing, and car culture have all made speeding and crashing the ultimate tests of manhood. Throw in the political craziness and you've got a perfect soup of destruction and costs.
  • Lou_BC Jay Leno had said that EV's would be good since they could allow the continued existence of ICE cars for enthusiasts. That sentiment makes sense. Many buyers see vehicles as a necessary appliance.
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