Cars

The Chevrolet Trailblazer will return in 2020 after shrinking in the dryer

The Chevrolet Trailblazer used to be a big, burly SUV built on a truck-derived body-on-frame architecture. If you’re a millennial, you may have ridden to school in one, or in one of its many offshoots. The nameplate will return to the automaker’s lineup for the 2021 model year as a much smaller, markedly leaner model positioned in the razor-thin space that separates the Trax and the Equinox.

When viewed from the front, the second-generation Trailblazer borrows a handful of styling cues from the Camaro, which received an emergency redesign for the 2020 model year, and the Blazer, which joined the Chevrolet portfolio in early 2019. The thin headlights and the tall, spindle-shaped grille create a visual link between the firm’s newest model and its emblematic sports car. Note the model pictured in Chevrolet’s photos is the RS trim, which comes standard with a two-tone paint job. More basic variants might not look as sharp.

The Camaro influence didn’t seep into the interior, where the dashboard’s design isn’t as sporty as the sheet metal suggests. Horizontal lines create a sense of width, but stylists settled for a relatively simple design with an information screen positioned between a pair of analog gauges, and a touch screen integrated into the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility will be available, though we don’t know whether they’ll be standard or optional.

While the Trailblazer will slot near the bottom of the Chevrolet hierarchy, the automaker isn’t skimping on tech. Every model regardless of cost or trim level will come standard with automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist with lane departure warning. Adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors will be offered either at an extra cost, or on upmarket trim levels.

Chevrolet hasn’t released technical specifications; we don’t know what will be under its hood. We expect nothing bigger than a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive will come standard, and all-wheel drive might be available at an extra cost. Full details will be released closer to its on-sale date.

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer will arrive in showrooms across the nation in early 2020. While pricing information hasn’t been published, either, its positioning between the Trax and the Equinox suggests it will start in the vicinity of $22,000. That figure places it in the same segment as the Jeep Compass and the Nissan Rogue Sport.

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