Chevrolet Blazer vs Trailblazer: Which SUV is Better for You?

The Chevrolet Blazer and the Trailblazer are two popular SUV models from American automobile manufacturer Chevy. But what’s the difference, and which one is right for you? This comprehensive comparison examines the key specs, performance, capability, price, and more to help you decide between the Chevrolet Blazer vs Trailblazer.

Chevrolet Blazer Overview

The Chevrolet Blazer is a two-row midsize SUV that was reintroduced in 2019 after being discontinued in 2005. It seats up to 5 passengers and is aimed at buyers looking for a sportier, more stylish option compared to a traditional boxy SUV.

Key specs and features:

  • Available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive
  • Two engine options: 2.5L 4-cylinder or 3.6L V6
  • Up to 305 horsepower
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • Generous cargo space
  • Available advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking

Chevrolet Trailblazer Overview

The Chevy Trailblazer is a new subcompact SUV addition for 2021. It’s smaller than the Blazer yet more spacious than other subcompact competitors. The Trailblazer seats up to 5 and is targeted toward budget-focused buyers.

Key specs and features:

  • Front-wheel drive only
  • 1.2L turbocharged 3-cylinder engine
  • 137 horsepower
  • 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Good cargo room for class
  • Available active safety features like lane keep assist

Blazer vs Trailblazer: How They Compare

So between the revived Blazer and the fresh-faced Trailblazer, which Chevy SUV is the better pick? Here’s a detailed comparison of critical factors we looked at when comparing Trailblazer vs Blazer.

Performance and Capability

The Blazer offers significantly stronger performance and towing capability than the petite Trailblazer. Its available V6 can sprint from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds while towing up to 4,500 lbs. The Trailblazer reaches 60 mph in a more leisurely 10+ seconds and can only manage 1,500 lbs of towing.

Therefore comparing the Chevrolet Blazer vs Trailblazer, we clearly see that the midsize Blazer is the easy winner if you want a more powerful, versatile SUV. But the tiny Trailblazer compensates with nimble maneuverability and a small turning radius, ideal for city driving.

Interior Space and Cargo Room

You might assume the larger Blazer also provides more passenger and cargo volume, but the efficient Trailblazer nearly matches it in both metrics. The Chevy Blazer offers just 1-2 cubic feet more legroom and cargo space.

So unless you absolutely require maximum interior room, the Trailblazer punches far above its weight class while the Blazer disappoints slightly. For families or outdoor adventurers needing to haul lots of gear, the numbers suggest both work almost as well.

Technology and Connectivity

Being brand new for 2021, the Trailblazer comes well-equipped with the latest tech. Its standard 7-inch touchscreen runs the newest Chevy Infotainment 3 system and includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. USB ports are abundant, too, for device charging.

Meanwhile, the recently revived Blazer soldiers on with an older version of MyLink infotainment. But upgraded trims do offer larger 8-inch displays, built-in navigation, WiFi hotspot, and wireless charging. So tech-lovers who want cutting-edge convenience features may prefer the top Blazer models.

Off-Road Prowess

Neither the road-focused Blazer nor the city-friendly Trailblazer is designed for serious off-roading. Still, the available all-wheel-drive on higher Blazer trims provides some light overland capability for rural buyers.

With increased ground clearance and an advanced twin-clutch system managing torque distribution, the AWD Blazer can confidently handle gravel roads, snow, or remote trailheads. In comparison, the strictly front-wheel-drive Trailblazer shouldn’t leave the pavement.


The IIHS has not yet crash-tested the new Trailblazer, but it performed well in GM’s simulations. Available active safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and more.

Therefore, comparing the safety of the Chevrolet Blazer vs Trailblazer, the latter scored a top “Good” rating in its IIHS evaluations. It also provides comparable advanced driver assistance systems like front collision mitigation braking and lane change alerts. So both appear to offer excellent protection, though the Trailblazer’s real-world safety remains unproven.

MPG and Efficiency

Looking at fuel economy in the Trailblazer vs Blazer contest, the tiny 1.2L Trailblazer takes the win because it gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Even with all-wheel drive, the midsize Blazer with its larger V6 engine is rated for only 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Around town or on road trips, expect to pay more at the pump driving the Blazer.

Cost and Value Comparison

As their size difference suggests, you’ll pay quite a premium upfront for the larger, quicker Blazer compared to the subcompact Trailblazer. The 2021 Trailblazer starts around only $21,000 but a base 2021 Blazer begins closer to $29,000. Fully loaded top-trim versions retail for $35,000 and $45,000 respectively.

However, the Blazer does offer significantly more power, passenger room, and cargo versatility to help justify its higher prices over the mini Trailblazer. However, the newer Chevy Trailblazer wins for overall value by providing modern essentials like Apple CarPlay in an attractive small SUV package.

Final Recommendation

The revived midsize Blazer excels at cargo hauling and trailering thanks to its optional V6 muscle. Buyers wanting more aggressive performance in a sharp, sporty-looking package will appreciate the capabilities of the Blazer. But families and commuters focused on fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and affordability can’t go wrong with the value-packed Trailblazer.

FAQs on Chevrolet Blazer vs Trailblazer

Which has more horsepower, the Chevrolet Blazer vs Trailblazer?

The Blazer’s available 3.6L V6 engine significantly outmuscles the Trailblazer’s tiny 1.2L 3-cylinder, producing 305 hp vs only 137 hp.

Which of the Chevy Trailblazer vs Blazer is better in snow?

The all-wheel-drive Blazer handles better than the strictly front-wheel-drive Trailblazer when driving in snowy and slippery conditions.

Can the Trailblazer tow a small trailer or boat?

Yes, the Trailblazer’s 1,500 lb tow rating allows you to tow a small, lightweight trailer, jet skis, or a bass fishing boat. The larger Blazer can handle loads up to 4,500 lbs.

Which provides more cargo space and legroom?

Surprisingly, the subcompact Trailblazer nearly matches the midsize Blazer in both cargo capacity and backseat legroom, falling short by only 1-2 cubic feet.

Does the Chevy Trailblazer have Apple CarPlay?

Yes, even base Trailblazer models come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.