The 2024 Chevy Trailblazer is superior to its little brother

The 2024 Chevy Trailblazer is superior to its little brother

It’s embarrassing to be outdone by a little brother. Just ask the Chevrolet Trailblazer, a subcompact SUV that’s been around since 2021. The underpowered Trax sitting next to it in the showroom was never really cause for concern, until the redesigned 2024 Trax showed up with a whole new outlook on life. The new Trax promises more space, attractive style, and new features — all for a lot less money — and we just gave it our 10 Best Trucks and SUVs award. It’s already outpacing the Trailblazer’s sales numbers as well, having surpassed them in the third quarter of 2023.

Highlanders: Cheeky looks, refined ride, powerful brakes.

The Trailblazer does its best to stay relevant, and a refresh for the 2024 model year brings larger screens inside, a refreshed look, and new colors. But the Trailblazer faces an uphill battle against its much cheaper counterpart — and against other vehicles in this competitive segment.

One might wonder why Chevrolet would bother selling both the Trax and Trailblazer. These two models are an example of the clear division within the small SUV segment. The Trax is intended to compete with smaller, front-wheel-drive hatchbacks at the lower end of the price spectrum – such as the Kia Soul, Hyundai Venue and Nissan Kicks – while the longer Trailblazer is meant to be a “true” SUV. (In that it offers optional all-wheel drive, at least) it costs a bit more and has a more upright shape.

Lows: Slow acceleration, cheap interior materials, questionable value.

That’s not entirely an illusion, either, as the Trailblazer has a seating position higher than the Trax by more than two inches, according to our measurements. And if you opt for all-wheel drive, the Trailblazer offers a more compelling optional powertrain, a 155-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged three-cylinder mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission (unlike the other Trailblazers’ CVT and six-speed). -Automatic speed in Trax). There are more refinements to be found in the Trailblazer, too, as its heavier weight creates a planted feel on the road. We like the way the Trailblazer steers, and its brake pedal exhibits good feel, bringing the SUV down from 70 mph in just 166 feet.

But when you look more closely at the numbers, paying more for the Trailblazer starts to make less sense. The Trax’s longer wheelbase means it offers a bit more room for passengers, and it also has a bit more luggage space with the seats folded, which accommodated 21 carry-on bags in our tests compared to 19 in the Trailblazer. Additionally, the Trax’s 1.2-liter engine is barely at a disadvantage next to the heavier 1.3-liter Trailblazer. The Trax hits 60 mph just 0.1 second slower, and it performed slightly better in our 75 mph highway fuel economy test (30 mpg combined, versus 29 mpg in the Trailblazer).

The price difference is what makes the fight seem really unfair. The Trax’s base price is just $21,495, while the comparable Trailblazer is about $3,000 more expensive. The disparity grows when you start piling on the options, as our loaded Trailblazer RS ​​AWD — which is thick with desirable extras like a panoramic sunroof and power liftgate, which the Trax doesn’t offer — stickered at $34,470. On the other hand, a barely loaded Trax costs $27,000.

Verdict: The Trailblazer suffers from the more convincing presence of the Trax.

If you’re just looking to spend as little money as possible on a satisfying small crossover, the value-for-money Trax is a no-brainer. But if you’re willing to pay more for things like all-wheel drive and interior niceties, there are several more attractive options within the Trailblazer’s price range, including the Mazda CX-30 and Kia Seltos. This leaves the Trailblazer stuck in an awkward borderline space, with little to recommend unless you can get an attractive discount.

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2024 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS ​​AWD
Vehicle type: Front engine, 4 wheel drive, 5 passengers, 4 doors

price
Base/as tested: $29,995/$34,470
Options: Power panoramic sunroof, $1,495; Convenience Package (automatic climate control, USB Type-A and -C ports, wireless device charging, 120-volt outlet, auto-dimming inside mirror, lighted driver and passenger vanity mirrors, power liftgate), $1,195; Adaptation and Audio Package (7-speaker Bose sound system and adaptive cruise control) $995; Fountain Blue paint, $395; Driver Confidence Package (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear park assist), $395

engine
Turbocharged and intercooled, DOHC, 12-valve, 3-valve, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 82 inches31338 cm3
Power: 155 hp at 5600 rpm
Torque: 174 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm

moving in
9 speed automatic

the structure
Suspension, F/R: struts/torsion beam
Brakes, F/R: 11.8-inch vented disc/10.4-inch disc
Tires: Continental ProContact TX
245/45R-19 98H M+S TPC Spec 3178

Dimensions
Wheelbase: 103.9 inches
Height: 173.5 inches
Width: 71.2 inches
Height: 65.7 inches
Passenger Size, F/R: 50/45 ft3
Load size behind F/R: 54/25 feet3
Empty Weight: 3390 lbs

grandfather Test results
60 mph: 8.7 seconds
1/4 mile: 16.7 seconds at 83 mph
100 mph: 28.0 seconds

The above results remove a 1-foot subtraction for 0.3 seconds.
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 9.5 seconds
Top Gear, 30-50 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top Gear, 50-70 mph: 6.5 seconds
maximum speed (grandfather EDT): 130 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 166 ft

grandfather Fuel economy
Note: 23 mpg
Highway driving at 75 mph: 29 mpg
75 mph highway range: 380 miles

EPA fuel economy.
Combined/city/highway: 27/26/29 mpg

grandfather Test explained

Shot by Joey Caparella

Although he grew up on a steady diet of typical Honda and Toyota models — or perhaps because of it — Joey Caparella had an obsession with the automobile industry throughout his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee. He found a way to write about cars for the school newspaper during his college years at Rice University, which eventually led him to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to start his first professional auto writing gig at Rice University. Car magazine. It was part of Car and driver Team since 2016 and now lives in New York City.

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