Review: 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

The Trailblazer is a compact crossover in every implication of that segment name. But it's surprisingly well-outfitted and designed.

The Trailblazer is a compact crossover in every implication of that segment name. But it’s surprisingly well-outfitted and designed, making it far from being just a “cheap compact.” The new Trailblazer was introduced last year and has already made a mark for itself as a popular compact crossover. This year, a couple of things shuffle around as to what’s available for the Trailblazer, but it’s otherwise still a solid choice in the compact segment.

This year, Chevrolet has made satellite radio standard in all trim levels and has added a trailering package option. Though towing is limited to only 1,000 pounds, adding a trailer hitch receiver to a vehicle this size has implications beyond pulling a trailer. Think racks and add-ons to extend cargo.

The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer fits above the ultra-compact Trax model but below the small Equinox, firmly in the compact SUV segment. There are two engine options and four trim levels for the Trailblazer this year.

The base engine is a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine that outputs 137 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This combination isn’t much to shake a stick at and while it might suit the lower-end buyer in the base LS or slightly better LT trim levels, it’s not a highlight. Upgrading to the Activ or RS trims replaces that with a better 1.3-liter turbocharged engine (155 hp) and nine-speed automatic transmission.  This combo won’t win any races, but it brings peak power much faster and makes the 2022 Trailblazer feel a lot less sluggish. It also allows the all-wheel drive and trailer hitch option to be had. Both of which we recommend.

What’s more, as Chevrolet’s latest SUV offering, the Trailblazer has all of the latest technologies as either standard or available features. The interior is surprisingly roomy for the compact’s size too. Standard features include a 7-inch touchscreen with WiFi hotspot, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio, forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assistance, and automatic high beams. The front passenger’s seat folds flat for extreme cargo situations as well.

Options for the 2022 Trailblazer are plentiful and include a hands-free liftgate, panoramic sunroof, a larger (8-inch) touchscreen, LED headlamps, wireless smartphone charging, and a higher-resolution rearview camera. Other safety tech options include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and rear parking sensors. Driver’s aids like an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, and premium Bose audio are also options. As are household-style outlets, added USB ports (including in the rear), etc. The Trailblazer is pretty feature-packed for such a tiny vehicle.

We like the look and feel of the Trailblazer and its drive quality is surprisingly good for a compact. It’s a bit noisy on the highway, which is common in this segment of vehicles, but we like the drive quality and handling characteristics for everyday motoring.

The 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts at around $25,000 and just tops $30,000 in its topmost packaging.

This review first appeared on DriveModeShow.com.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.
Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.