It’s official: the Trailblazer is coming back to America. While it has been available in different Asian markets for some time, the Trailblazer has not been sold here in the US since 2009. After much rumoring and many questions, however, Chevrolet has made an official statement, and we will be getting a 2021 Chevy Trailblazer here in the states.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that very, very little has been officially revealed from Chevrolet about what the new Trailblazer will have to offer. We don’t really have much in the way of leaks or spy reports coming in either…so, for now, information is quite limited with respect to this vehicle. That being said, what we do know leaves a lot of room open for informed speculation and predictions based on the current SUV lineup from Chevy.
With that in mind, here’s what you should know right now, based on current information. Be sure to check back in the months to come, especially as the 2020 auto shows kick-off, for all the latest information.
Not a Trax Replacement
When images of the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer first started making the rounds, a lot of people looked at it and assumed it would replace the Trax in the existing Chevy lineup. The Trax is a compact SUV that is the smallest model offered by Chevy. Looking at what we now know is the Trailblazer, it’s smaller than the Equinox, so that made a lot of sense.
We know now, however, that the Trailblazer will not be replacing the Trax in Chevy’s SUV lineup. It will be included, into Chevrolet’s offerings alongside the Trax, Equinox, and other models. That’s an interesting move that says Chevy is confident that compact SUVs will continue to be a big market, and that there’s room for another option.
No Longer a Midsize Model
The original Trailblazer was released in 2002 here in the US, and it was a midsize SUV. It quickly earned a reputation for itself as a popular option that sold well but ultimately came to an end here in the states in 2009. It returned in some parts of Asia starting in 2012, however, and ever since people have wondered if it would come back home.
With the announcement of the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, we know that it’s coming back, but it’s no longer a midsize model. According to an official press release from Chevrolet (one of the few actual pieces of solid information we have about the Trailblazer), it will “join the fast-growing small SUV segment.” So there you have it: the Trailblazer will now be a small SUV, not a midsize model – make of that what you will. Car and Driver gives their take on it.
Slotted Between Trax and Equinox
That same press release also gives us another fascinating tidbit of information: a rough idea of how large it will be and what we should expect from it. The official statement is that it will be “positioned between the Trax and Equinox” in Chevy’s lineup. As I mentioned up above, the Trax is a compact model, while the Equinox is a small SUV in their lineup. So we know that in terms of where Chevy sees it, it will be a small SUV between the compact Trax and the small Equinox.
Why is this important or noteworthy? Well, we can use this information to get a sense of a lot of other things we should expect from the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. For example, let’s consider its size. The 2020 Trax is 167 inches long, 66 inches tall, and has about 48 cu.ft. of internal cargo space. By comparison, the 2020 Equinox is 183 inches long, 65 inches tall, and has over 64 cu. ft. of interior cargo space. Both vehicles fit 5 people.
Using this information, knowing that the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer will fit between these two SUVs, we can safely predict it will seat 5 people, be around 175 inches long, 65 inches tall, and offer about 55 cu.ft. of cargo space. Of course, these numbers could very well be off when we see the 2021 model, but if you want to get a sense of what to expect with the new Trailblazer, these are pretty safe bets.
RS Trim Confirmed
Very little has been said about what kind of trim levels we should expect with the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. That makes sense since there is so little actual information about it, other than that it exists and will be released here in the US. However, knowing that it will fit between the Trax and the Equinox in Chevy’s lineup, we can make another educated guess here.
Looking at the 2020 Trax, we can see that it has three trim levels available. The 2020 Chevy Equinox has four trim levels available, and since the Trailblazer is a small SUV like the Equinox, I lean toward it having features more in keeping with its sibling. I expect it to have four trim levels, like the Equinox, probably including a Premier trim at the very top, with all of the best and most luxurious features.
The one thing we know for sure, however, is that there will be an RS trim level because it has been shown off a bit so far. It has a signature two-tone roof that sets it apart from the other Trailblazer trims, even though we really don’t know what they are yet. With this in mind, and since the Trailblazer is coming back from a long absence, we could see more than the four trims I expect – likely one or two limited edition or special edition trims to celebrate its return. Overall, however, I still think four main trims should be expected, including the RS.
Great Safety Features Included
Although Chevrolet has been pretty tight-lipped with much information about the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, the safety features are actually one area where they have been more forthcoming. In fact, we know certain safety features will specifically be included, not just as available options but as standard in all Trailblazer models. More importantly, these include some active safety features currently standard on the Equinox, but not the Trax.
Standard safety features will include front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist with lane departure warning. We also know, from the official press release from Chevrolet, that optional safety features on the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer will include adaptive cruise control, a high-definition rear vision camera, and rear park assist. So while we might not know just how powerful the Trailblazer will be yet, we know it will be another safe addition to the Chevy SUV lineup.
Likely Price Tag
This is going to be a pretty deep dive into speculation, so just take all of this with a grain of salt, but don’t be too surprised if I’m not very far off the mark. When considering the price of the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer, I once again looked at its place in their upcoming lineup. By which I mean, I looked at the 2020 Trax and Equinox, knowing the Trailblazer will fit between them.
The starting price for the baseline 2020 Chevy Trax is $21,300 while the Premier trim of the Trax starts at $27,600. On the other hand, the 2020 Equinox starts off at $23,800 for the baseline model, and the Premier trim starts off at $31,400. That’s actually a pretty narrow gap there between the two for the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer to fill, which makes this fairly simple.
Assuming prices don’t change for their 2021 models, the Trailblazer’s starting MSRP will need to be between $21,300 and $23,800 – so I’d expect to see it split the difference at $22,500. We might see it as low as $22,000, but that might make the Trax seem priced too high. A Premier trim for the Trailblazer would need to come in between $27,600 and $31,400. I fully expect it to be priced under $30,000 to set itself apart from the Equinox, perhaps $29,500 to split the difference, or just $29,000 to really make itself attractive.
Only time will tell, and in the end, I’ll either be proved a prophet or a fool. I can’t wait to find out!