Subcompact SUVs have enjoyed popularity in the market since their introduction in the 20th century. They’re smaller and less expensive than their heftier SUV counterparts but with ample cargo space, zippier handling, and boosted fuel efficiency. They’re easy on the eyes, too; they sit up high and have an off-roading vibe going for them. One of the most charming in this particular subsection of SUV is the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer.
The Trailblazer moniker was first paired with the 1999 Chevy Blazer as a high-end trim. It was such a stunner that in 2001, the Trailblazer debuted as its own model (for the 2002 model year), a boxy midsize SUV. It was shelved from 2008 until 2020 when it resurfaced as a redesigned crossover.
The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer marks the second model year for the revamped crossover, and the subcompact SUV packs a big punch. It seamlessly blends practicality and performance and adds a whole lot of personality to the Chevy SUV lineup. From the outside, it calls to mind the off-roading vehicles of days gone by (it was born out of the Blazer, after all). It’s got a perky, lifted look with big wheels, two-toned paint options, and roof rails on certain trims. Pair these adventure-ready touches with Camaro-esque aggressive styling – squinty headlights, punchy front end – and you’ve got yourself a real showstopper.
Versatility is something Chevy does well, and the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer is no exception. It can suit the needs of a wide range of buyers with four trim packages to choose from, the LS, LT, Activ, and RS.
LS: The Chevy Trailblazer’s base model is an economic powerhouse. It has a starting MSRP of $21,600 and includes some lofty features, including three driving modes and a digital compass displayed in the driver information center.* Its rear vision camera will make parking the subcompact SUV a cakewalk.
LT: One rung up the trim ladder is the Chevy Trailblazer LT. It gets some slick upgrades that the LS doesn't have. On the exterior, the LT gets high gloss black 17-inch aluminum wheels with an upgraded face and deep-tinted windows, as well as silver roof-mounted side rails. The heated mirrors and LED fog lamps are a nice touch, too.
Activ: The Chevy Trailblazer Activ is designed to go where you go. It’s the best-suited for rougher terrain with a functional skid plate (to prevent damage from contact with the ground) and off-road suspension tuning for more feel and response. The Activ comes standard with trailering equipment and 17-inch sport terrain tires for a boost in grip. This trim’s capabilities are backed by its looks; it has a two-toned paint job available, with Summer White or Zeus Bronze Metallic roof color options. When it’s cold outside, the heated steering wheel will come in handy.
RS: The sporty RS makes high performance on-road its business, with sharp looks to match. It has 18-inch high gloss black wheels and a dual-outlet exhaust. Like the Activ, the RS has the option of a painted roof, with subtler, sleeker colors: Mosaic Black Metallic and Crimson Metallic.
Performance is one of the hallmarks of the 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer, and it’s designed to be customizable to fulfill different customers’ needs. It’ll get up and go with 174 lb-ft of torque and gets an impressive 29 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The LS, LT, Activ, and RS trims are all available in both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). FWD varieties’ engines send power to the front wheels only. These vehicles are lighter and tend to get better gas mileage. AWD vehicles get power sent to all four tires, and that comes with better traction and handling in poor conditions.
The LS and LT front-wheel drive models have a 1.2-liter ECOTEC engine under the hood. All-wheel drive is optional on the LS or LT trims, but is standard on the ACTIV and RS trims. All-wheel drive models will pack a little more punch with their 1.3-liter ECOTEC engine, although both versions are geared at power and efficiency. Chevy Trailblazers come equipped either with a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) or a 9-speed automatic transmission.
CVTs are smoother and more efficient, while the 9-speed automatic will feel sportier and give more cues to the driver as far as the vehicle’s performance goes. Not content to stop there, the Trailblazer also offers three unique driving experiences in the form of its driving modes: Normal Mode, AWD Mode (or Snow Mode for FWD vehicles), and Sport Mode.
Everything about the interior of the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer is engineered to amplify comfort and utility. It’s weekend-trip-ready with a maximum cargo space of 54.4 cubic feet and a fold-flat front passenger seat that further capitalizes on cargo space; with the front passenger seat folded flat, the Trailblazer can accommodate up to 8.5 feet of whatever it is you’re hauling.
The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer takes maximizing cargo space a step further with optional add-ons, including the collapsible cargo area organizer, designed to keep all your stuff in the right place, even during bumpy rides. The five-seater also has great rear-seat legroom at 39.4 inches, so everyone will stay comfortable during those long drives. All trims come standard with a 7-inch color touchscreen, 6-speaker audio system, and are compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Chevrolet prioritizes safety at the top of their list. Their Chevy Safety Assist is becoming standard in more and more of their vehicles, including all trims of the 2022 Chevy Trailblazer. Chevy Safety Assist is a comprehensive safety package that includes the following:
Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Emergency Braking: This feature uses cameras to warn the driver when there’s a potential front-end collision detected, allowing them to take evasive action. If the vehicle is going less than 50 mph and an immediate front-end collision is detected, the vehicle will brake automatically or enhance braking, helping to avoid impacts or reduce their severity. It even provides a tailgating alert if the vehicle following too closely behind another vehicle.
Front Pedestrian Braking: This feature uses those same cameras, but specifically to detect pedestrians and, in the event of detection, provides automatic braking to avoid or reduce the severity of collisions.
Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning: This will alert the driver to unintentional drifting outside of the lane and utilizes gentle steering to get the vehicle back on the right track.
Following Distance Indicator: This feature encourages drivers to maintain a safe following distance between their vehicle and others by displaying the distance between in the form of how many seconds it would take for your vehicle to cover that distance. A 3-second following distance is a good rule of thumb.
Intellibeam Auto High Beam Assist: This feature can detect driving conditions and automatically flips the vehicle’s high beams on and off accordingly.
The Trailblazer doesn’t stop with the Chevy Safety Assist package. In addition to a whopping ten airbags, all trims also come standard with these additional safety features:
Rear Vision Camera: This displays the area directly behind the vehicle when it’s backing up at slow speeds.
Teen Driver Technology: 2022 Chevy Trailblazers have several customizable settings to encourage better driving for your kids. The settings can apply to a specific key fob which will automatically enable safety systems while limiting certain vehicle features. It also “grades” the driver by providing data on their driving, so new drivers can pinpoint trouble areas and fine-tune their driving skills.
Want more? Available add-on safety features include lane change alert with blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, and adaptive cruise control.