The 2023 Chevrolet Traiblazer starts at $22,995 in the United States and at $26,193 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
Versatile, attractive, great infotainment system.
Fuel economy could be better, base engine doesn’t quite cut it, stiff ride.
With the rising price of fuel and inflation rate, vehicle shoppers are looking at downsizing their rides, and the subcompact crossover category is getting more and more popular as time goes by. In this segment, we find the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer that’s one of GM’s most affordable models.
The current-generation Trailblazer is built on a platform shared with the Buick Encore GX, and has nothing to do with the midsize, body-on-frame TrailBlazer SUV that was sold on our shores up until the 2009 model year. It also has nothing to do with the TrailBlazer SUV that’s sold in some South American countries, also as a body-on-frame vehicle which shares its bones with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.
Rather, our 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a five-passenger subcompact crossover that was introduced for the 2021 model year, and not much has changed since then. The 2023 model year brings some paint colour changes, as Zeus Bronze Metallic, Oasis Blue and Satin Steel Metallic are replaced with Nitro Yellow Metallic, Fountain Blue and Sterling Gray Metallic. As before, buyers can choose a contrasting roof colour on some trim levels, Summit White, Mosaic Black Metallic, Crimson Metallic and the new Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, which replaces the Zeus Bronze roof.
Four trim levels are available. The base LS includes air conditioning, an infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen and SiriusXM capability (subscription required after trial period), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, automatic headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also gets a bunch of advanced safety features such as forward collision alart, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and automatic high beams.
The LT adds items such as cruise control, heated front seats, an intelligent key system, a remote engine starter, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated outside mirrors, LED fog lamps and roof rails. The Activ trim level gives the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer an outdoorsy appearance to attract buyers who enjoy an active lifestyle, while the RS takes on a sportier approach. The Activ and RS get more features, some of which are optional on the LS and/or LT, as a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seating, SiriusXM with 360L, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, an eight-inch infotainment screen, a Bose seven-speaker stereo, wireless phone charging, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free tailgate, LED headlamps, 18-inch wheels and more.
Front-wheel-drive Trailblazer variants are equipped with a turbocharged 1.2L inline-three engine that develops 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, managed by a continuously variable automatic transmission. The 1.2L mill can be replaced with a turbocharged 1.3L inline-three that generates 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet. The 1.3L engine comes standard when AWD is chosen, and is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission instead.
Here are the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings for the U.S. market:
1.2L engine with FWD: 29/31/30 mpg
1.3L engine with FWD: 29/33/31 mpg
1.3L engine with AWD: 26/30/28 mpg
Here are the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings for the Canadian market:
1.2L engine with FWD: 8.0/7.6/7.8 L/100 km
1.3L engine with FWD: 8.1/7.2/7.7 L/100 km
1.3L engine with AWD: 8.9/7.8/8.4 L/100 km
Here is 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer pricing for the U.S. market, freight and preparation charges included:
Trailblazer LS FWD: $22,995
Trailblazer LS AWD: $24,995
Trailblazer LT FWD: $25,195
Trailblazer LT AWD: $27,195
Trailblazer Activ FWD: $27,095
Trailblazer Activ AWD: $28,595
Trailblazer RS FWD: $27,095
Trailblazer RS AWD: $27,095
Here is 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer pricing for the Canadian market, freight and preparation charges included:
Trailblazer LS FWD: $26,193
Trailblazer LS AWD: $28,193
Trailblazer LT FWD: $27,893
Trailblazer LT AWD: $29,893
Trailblazer Activ AWD: $32,493
Trailblazer RS AWD: $32,493
Competition includes the Buick Encore GX, the Fiat 500X, the Honda HR-V, the Hyundai Kona, the Jeep Renegade, the Kia Seltos, the Mazda CX-30, the Mitsubishi RVR, the Nissan Qashqai, the Subaru Crosstrek, the Toyota Corolla Cross and the Volkswagen Taos.
What the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer Does Well
- The Trailblazer is easy to drive, with a just-right size and a good turning radius.
- Its infotainment system is tough to beat, with fairly big and responsive touchscreens, big button zones and an easy-to-use menu layout. It’s packed with features and not very distracting while driving, which is a good thing.
- The Trailblazer’s cabin offers decent front and rear room given its subcompact size, and cargo volume is also pretty good at 13.2 cubic feet (716 litres) with the rear seats up, 25.3 cubic feet (1,540 litres) with the seatbacks folded.
- The 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer’s design is attractive, while the Activ and RS trims are distinctive in their own way. They can both be specified with a two-tone paint scheme as well.
What the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer Doesn’t Do Well
- The turbo 1.3L engine is sufficiently powerful, but the 1.2L three-cylinder doesn’t really cut when we regularly haul the family. To make matters worse, the small engine is less fuel-efficient than the bigger one.
- Speaking of fuel economy, there are more frugal choices in the subcompact crossover segment, such as the Corolla Cross, the Seltos, the Kona and the Crosstrek that are equipped with simpler 2.0L four-cylinder engines.
- The Trailblazer’s ride is a little on the stiff side, especially with the 18-inch wheels wrapped in low-profile 225/55R18 rubber.
- While the U.S.-market Trailblazer has a few no-charge paint colour options, the Trailblazer in Canada offers only one free colour—Summit White. The rest all cost between $495 and $1,195. Seriously?
What We Tell Our Friends
The 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer is an interesting subcompact crossover for its relatively affordable price and its high level of active safety features. It’s also quite versatile, with ample interior room and cargo space for lugging the family’s belongings on road trips.
On the other hand, GM’s engine downsizing strategy isn’t exactly paying off here, as many competitors offer similar fuel economy with more refined four-cylinder engines. While a Trailblazer LT AWD can be had for just over $27K in the U.S. and just under $30K in Canada, many low-cost option packages are available, which quickly jack up the price, so we must choose them carefully.