Jun
29
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ in Dark Copper Metallic

Quick Spin, Consumer Guide Automotive

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ AWD

Class: Subcompact Crossover

Miles driven: 604

Fuel used: 20.2 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceC+
Fit and FinishB
Fuel EconomyA
ValueB
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB+
Tall GuyA-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs155-hp 1.3-liter
Engine TypeTurbo 3-cylinder
Transmission 9-speed automatic
Drive WheelsAWD

Real-world fuel economy: 29.9 mpg

Driving mix: 40% city, 60% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 26/30/28 (mpg city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $27,000 (not including $995 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Technology Package ($1620), Convenience Package ($620), Driver Confidence Package ($345), all-weather floor mats ($150)

Price as tested: $30,730

 

Quick Hits

The great: Fine passenger and cargo room within tidy exterior dimensions; good selection of available safety and convenience/technology features

The good: Unique appearance features; decent ride and handling; slightly improved all-terrain capability compared to other Trailblazers

The not so good: Some so-so cabin materials; a bit noisy in highway driving

More Trailblazer price and availability information

 

CG Says:

With the majority of American commuters now situated behind the wheel of one, driving a crossover or SUV no longer makes the social statement it once did. Indeed, if most of the other vehicles on the road around you are sport utilities of some sort, haven’t you really become a conformist?

The product planners at Chevrolet may have been asking this exact question when they created the Trailblazer Activ—a trim level that stands out a bit from the rest of the Trailblazer lineup by offering a more all-terrain, trail-ready look… and a smidge more off-road capability.

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ

The Activ trim level gives the basic Trailblazer an upscale, off-road-ready look. Our tester’s attractive Dark Copper Metallic paint contrasted nicely with tinted-chrome trim (an Activ exclusive) and Summit White two-tone roof.

The Trailblazer is a subcompact crossover SUV that debuted as an early 2021 model, slotting in between the tiny Trax and the more family-oriented compact Equinox in Chevrolet’s SUV lineup. Trailblazer trim levels ascend through entry-level L, midlevel LS and LT, and topline Activ and RS. Curiously, the L, which is not available with AWD, is priced below the least-expensive Trax model.

Also curious (or at least interesting), Chevrolet does not offer the Trailblazer in a straight-ahead premium trim—the sporty RS and the Activ models share topline status, right down to their identical starting prices. Both come standard with the step-up 155-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged engine in place of the base 137-hp 1.2-liter turbo that’s standard on the front-drive versions of the L, LS, and LT.

What is the difference between 4WD and AWD?

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ

The Trailblazer’s cabin has an attractive, sporty design, despite some so-so materials here and there. The $1620 Technology Package adds several desirable features, including Chevy’s Infotainment 3 Plus touchscreen system, Bose 7-speaker audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and wireless charging.

The RS gets an assertive, street-performance look via specific trim touches such as blacked-out exterior cues, red interior accents, and an exclusive available Oasis Blue paint color. The Activ’s off-road-ish vibe comes courtesy of its slightly raised ride height (8.0 inches of clearance, compared to 7.5 inches on other Trailblazers), specially tuned shock absorbers for rougher terrain, sport-terrain all-season tires, unique front and rear fasciae (the front bumper provides slightly better clearance for obstacles), and additional underbody shielding.

Test Drive: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer LT

Trailblazer Activ

The Trailblazer offers decent space for adults in both the front and rear seats, thanks in part to its tall-ish body height.

A key element defining the driving-character differences between the Activ and the RS is the tires. Both trim levels employ Hankook rubber, but the Activ is fitted with Dynapro AT2 all-terrain tires, while the RS comes on Kinergy GT all-season grand-touring tires.

Consumer Guide Publisher Tom Appel had the opportunity to evaluate our 2021 Trailblazer Activ test vehicle when he picked up his daughter from college for the summer—a round trip of about 350 miles from his suburban Chicago home. While the Activ is a little noisy at highway speeds—a complaint which may be primarily a result of those all-terrain tires—it is otherwise an excellent long-trip vehicle, providing reasonable ride comfort, excellent directional stability, and good fuel economy. Indeed, had the Trailblazer not been laden with more than a quarter-ton of college-kid stuff, our cumulative fuel economy might have crested 30 mpg.

Quick Spin: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS

Trailblazer Activ

The Trailblazer has 25.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats, and 54.4 with the rear seats folded. CG Publisher Tom Appel put that capacity to the test when he and his wife moved their daughter home from college for the summer. They managed to squeeze in most of the contents of a single dorm room by folding down the rear seats.

As for cargo space, the tidy Trailblazer boasts nearly 55 cubic feet of volume with the second-row seats folded. That’s pretty good for a subcompact SUV—in fact, it’s just 9 cubic feet less than the midsize Chevy Blazer. Tom managed to squeeze almost all the contents of his daughter’s dorm room into the Trailblazer, but not his daughter herself. She drove her own car home.

So, Trailblazer Activ or RS? We recommend you test drive both. However, if you live in the Snowbelt, the Activ’s winter-ready tires and extra ground clearance may be just the ticket when the next blizzard hits—or you’re frequently traversing gravel roads or off-the-beaten-path trails to get to a campsite or other outdoorsy destination.

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Trailblazer Activ

Activ and RS Trailblazers come standard with a 155-hp, 1.3-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that’s paired with a 9-speed automatic on AWD models. Activ models also get a slightly raised ride height and standard 18-inch high-gloss-black machined aluminum wheels on all-terrain tires.

Also, Chevrolet recently released info on the 2022 Trailblazer, which should be hitting dealerships soon. A heated steering wheel is a new feature that’s standard on the Activ and RS and available on LT. Also newly available are two dealer-installed options: roof-rack cross rails and a trailering package that includes a trailer hitch, harness, and bezel.

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2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ

The special equipment of the Activ doesn’t magically turn the Chevy Trailblazer into a hardcore off-roader, but it does add a bit of extra capability–and a fun, ready-for-anything vibe–to an already likable subcompact SUV.

Check out the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ Gallery

(Click below for enlarged images)

Quick Spin: 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS