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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV

The newest old Chevrolet SUV

After an entire decade in hiatus, Chevrolet has finally brought back the Trailblazer nameplate, this time for an all-new crossover that slots in snugly between their Trax and Equinox models. Available in five separate trim levels (L, LS, LT, ACTIV, and RS), the new Trailblazer is one of Chevy’s most affordable crossovers to date, with a starting price of just $23,898.

Visually, the Trailblazer is a lot more similar in design to the Equinox than it is to the Trax. Chevy fans will love it because it’s got the traditional Chevrolet lines and design cues we’ve gotten so used to over the last couple of years. Not only does it look great, but it’s the right size too. It’s perfect for a family of four but it’s not too bulky or wide to become a nuisance in tight parking spaces or narrow streets.

The cabin is exceptional as well. Chevrolet spared no expense when it comes to materials and build quality. This thing feels sturdy and solid, much better than a lot of its rivals. Every model, including the base L trim, comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Available with 2 engine choices, a turbocharged 1.2-liter four-cylinder, producing 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, where the power is sent to the front wheels through a CVT automatic. Or, a 1.3-liter engine with 155 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, with an all-wheel-drive option. The added power is great, but the fact that you get an all-wheel-drive system on top is worth the extra cost alone. The bigger engine also ditches the CVT in favor of a much sportier nine-speed automatic.

The Trailblazer perhaps isn’t as sporty as some in the class, but that does not detract from its rather enjoyable ride. The chassis is nimble and agile, far more playful than you’d expect from a small crossover. The steering is light and precise. With the larger 1.3-liter engine it’s decently quick too. Those 174 lb-ft of torque make it feel far more powerful than the figures would have you believe.

It’s not an off-roader, but its significant ground clearance and clever AWD system means you can tackle light off-road trails with confidence. It’s extremely safe and capable in all weather conditions, including snow and ice, which makes it a perfect choice if you live somewhere with a colder climate.

It comes with a 3-year or 60,000-kilometer base warranty, and a powertrain warranty that spans 5 years or 100,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. For a car that slides in at a shade under $24,000, we’re not sure what more you could ask for. It’s practical, safe, efficient, fun, and affordable. We think Chevy’s got a real winner on their hands with this one.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV