Chevrolet revived the Trailblazer name for 2021 and attached it to a stylish little subcompact SUV. Model year 2022 offers a few new features for the Trailblazer, including two dealer-installed options: roof rack cross rails and a trailering package with a trailering hitch, harness and bezel. A heated steering wheel is standard on the Activ and RS trims, optional on the LT trim. There are four new metallic exterior colors: Crimson, Blue Glow, Vivid Orange, and Mahogany Red.
The 2021 base L model has been dropped, so the 2022 Trailblazer lineup has four trim levels: LS, LT, Activ, and RS. Pricing starts at $21,600 for the LS model. The LT comes in at $23,800. Activ and RS models both start at $25,700. The destination charge for all versions is $1,195.
Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available. Opting for AWD is an extra $2,000 for LS and LT trims, and $1,500 for the Activ and RS.
Trailblazer has a choice of two different turbocharged three-cylinder engines. One is a 1.2-liter generating 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, the other is a 1.3-liter making 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque.
Front-wheel-drive models have a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and all-wheel-drive models come with a nine-speed automatic.
I drove a 2022 Trailblazer RS with the 1.3-liter engine and AWD. Engine performance played second fiddle to the vehicle’s appealing design, but the efficiency-appropriate 155 horsepower is adequate for drivers more interested in fuel economy than excitement.
The engine’s stop-start system could use some smoothing out, but it can be disabled for those who aren’t fond of it.
There’s no faulting the adept nine-speed automatic transmission, and Trailblazer handles nicely enough on curvy roads to generate some fun.
Fuel economy ratings for the Trailblazer I tested are 26 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.
For a subcompact, Trailblazer’s interior is surprisingly roomy, even capable of accommodating front-seat passengers well over 6 feet tall. The back seat provides good lateral space and excellent headroom, but legroom is tight. Cargo space is a generous 25.3 cubic feet with the rear seat upright and 54.4 cubic feet with it folded.
Standard features worthy of note on the RS model include 10-way power adjustment with lumbar for the driver’s seat, SiriusXM satellite radio, Wi-Fi available with Onstar services, a heated steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, automatic high-beams, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision alert.
As a top-of-the-line model, the RS standard features aren’t overly impressive, but they do serve to keep Trailblazer’s costs within reach of more limited budgets. Deep pockets can then pile on from a list of fancy upgrades such as a Bose premium audio system with seven speakers, wireless charging, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (it’s a good intuitive one, by the way), LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, additional driver assist features and so on.
2022 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER AWD RS
Base price, including destination charge: $28,395
Price as driven: $32,150
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.