By Peter Perrotta
The first thing you can’t fail to notice about the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS AWD that I recently drove for one week is its striking color: Oasis Blue.
If I were naming it – and I am sure the folks at Chevy are glad that I’m not – I would’ve opted for a more appropriate “Electric Blue”.
But, that’s neither here nor there, suffice it to say that this Oasis Blue, with a black roof top and a Jet Black with red accents interior makes for a very “can’t miss” image as you drive it around town.
It is definitely a “love it or hate it” color combination. However, there are plenty of other color options available on the Trailblazer if one is considering buying or leasing one anytime soon.
The second most obvious thing one notices about the 2021 Trailblazer RS is its new sculpted body style, and once you plop yourself behind the wheel and take it for a spin, you can’t help but start wondering if the three-cylinder 1.3 liter Ecotec turbo engine is sufficient.
Yes, that’s right folks, a three-cylinder engine – albeit turbo charged – in an SUV. It certainly was a bold move for GM.
Needless to say, Chevy has sort of taken it on the chin from the traditional motoring press reviewers for this move.
The slings and arrows start from the get-go with the simple headline on Car and Driver’s online review of this car: “2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer: Lots of show, not much go.”
While Motor Trend raved about the versatility of the Trailblazer, their editors also hit it up for being slow.
So I guess you are ready for me to jump on the bandwagon, right?
Well, not exactly. That would be too easy.
While the metrics don’t lie – this engine puts out a pedestrian 155 horsepower – and its zero to 60 time is a laborious 9.4 seconds, there is still much to like about the Trailblazer.
Let’s clear the air. If you are looking to own a quick and nimble European-styled little SUV that you can scoot about town with a kid and dog in tow but still zip in and out of traffic making aggressive lane changes, then stop right there folks, this isn’t the car for you.
But, not everyone wants to drive like that. I love my wife, dearly, but I don’t think she ever accelerates aggressively or takes her 2011 Nissan Altima over 55 mph.
My point is, even if we concede the point that the Trailblazer is slow, so what?
I am sure there are plenty of folks out there among the vast motoring public who would be perfectly content driving this 2021 Trailblazer around town or on a vacation sojourn and not even notice or even think it’s slow because their driving style fits this model perfectly.
My overall impression of the 2021 Trailblazer is a positive one. This vehicle is well-styled, inside and out, and is roomy and comfortable to drive. It also has a versatile, utilitarian personality as well.
On weekends, I carry around glass display cases for when I set up at baseball card shows to sell my wares. The Trailblazer held all three of my cases quite well and my Martin acoustic guitar also fit back there when I was taking it to get it restrung.
The Trailblazer is rather nimble to maneuver around town and it also takes the typical bumps and bruises in our New Jersey roads quite well. There isn’t too much shake, rattle and roll when you go over bumps or hit potholes.
The 2021 Trailblazer RS AWD model I road tested carries a base sticker price of $26,900. With added options and destination and delivery charges the bottom line sticker price on my tester comes in at $30,580.
The added options included $1,720 for a technology package, $620 for a convenience package and $345 for a driver confidence package.
The technology package includes wireless Bluetooth Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, a Bose 7-speaker upgraded sound system and more.
The driver confidence package includes rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert and side blind zone alert.
Among the items included in the driver convenience package are rear port charging stations, automatic zoned AC, and the Sirius Satellite radio system.
The infotainment system in the Trailblazer is the standard one included in most of the GM lines. It is a solid performing system that is easy to use without any glitches.
Chevy offers up the Trailblazer in five different trim levels: the L, LS, LT, Activ and the RS.
The entry level L can be had for a meager starting base price of $19,995.
The three cylinder turbocharged engine in the Trailblazer I drove for one week gets a fairly impressive 28 miles per gallon overall in the EPA’s fuel consumption ratings. It gets 26 mpg in city driving and 30 in highway driving.
The EPA estimates the annual cost of driving the Trailblazer around town for one year is $1,450 as it uses about 3.6 gallons of gas per every 100 miles driven.
This vehicle has not yet received a rating for the government’s 5 star crash and safety tests.
The bottom line is that while this Trailblazer may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is plenty to like about it to consider it a serious contender for anyone who is considering owning or leasing a small SUV.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.